President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for an investigation into cyberattacks on US government websites and a new cybersecurity bill that would force internet service providers to create data-minimization mechanisms for websites they do not host.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said the new law, which has the support of Democrats in Congress, would be a “big, big problem” for the country.
“We have so many issues that need to be taken care of and we don’t want to have another thing happen,” Trump said.
“We want that to happen.
We want to get rid of this problem.
We’re going to get it done.”
Trump said the law could be used by the Obama administration to prosecute people and companies who did not properly safeguard data on their networks.
The White House said in a statement that Trump has been briefed on the new cybersecurity legislation, which is a product of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Prism program, and called it “the most significant cybersecurity legislation in the country’s history.”
“We are encouraged by the progress made in this legislation and look forward to signing it into law,” the statement said.
“As President Trump said at the signing ceremony, we will get this done, but we are determined to make it happen quickly and without delay.
We are confident that the legislation will help to keep Americans safe and protect our nation’s information.”
Trump’s announcement comes as lawmakers in Congress continue to debate the future of the cybersecurity law, a bill that was introduced by the House and Senate last month.
The House and House Republican leaders have been negotiating on a bill since December, but the Senate is still waiting on a recommendation from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on whether to make the bill permanent.
The legislation would create a new cybercrime task force and establish a cybersecurity training program that would train federal employees and contractors on cybersecurity.
The OMB said in December that it was “not aware of any evidence” that the law had caused damage to government networks.
In addition to Trump’s remarks, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that he would push for a cybersecurity bill “that addresses the threat posed by cyber threats.”
The House is also scheduled to take up the bill on Wednesday.
Ryan said at a press conference that cybersecurity is a top priority for the Republican Party.
“The president wants to make this the biggest problem we’ve had, the largest threat we’ve ever had, and he is not going to have it,” Ryan said.