Collins, King Cosponsor Bipartisan Legislation to Establish National Commission on Digital Security

Commission will bring together tech, intelligence, law enforcement, global commerce, and privacy experts to make recommendations to protect privacy and public safety

Click HERE for a transcript of Senator Collins’ floor statement

Click HERE to watch Senator Collins’ floor statement

Note to Assignment Editors and News Directors: Click HERE for high quality video of Senator Collins’ floor statement

Collins, King to spoke from the Senate floor on this legislation this afternoon.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME), members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, cosponsored bipartisan legislation that would establish an independent National Commission on Security and Technology Challenges. The digital security Commission will bring together all stakeholders, including tech leaders, law enforcement, the intelligence community, privacy and civil liberties advocates, computer science researchers, and global commerce leaders, who will be charged with developing recommendations for maintaining privacy and digital security while also finding ways to keep criminals and terrorists from exploiting these technologies to escape justice.

“During the next ten years, the issues of digital security and lawful access to encrypted devices will only become more complex and more important,” said Senator Collins. “A dialogue among the Administration, Congress, law enforcement, and the tech community is needed to protect the privacy rights of law abiding individuals in an era where terrorists and criminals increasingly use encrypted devices. The Digital Security Commission should have an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to this debate.”

“For too long we’ve looked at this debate as a showdown between privacy and security, where only one side can prevail at the expense of the other. But in reality, the only losers in that scenario are the American people – and they deserve better,” Senator King said. “That’s why, rather than pitting the government against tech companies, this approach forges a third way, bringing together the best minds from all sides to find real, long-term solutions that protect personal privacy and defend national security in the digital age.”

The 16-member Commission, which will include a broad range of individuals with specific expertise, will be appointed in equal numbers by the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate. The Commission also will include a nonvoting representative selected by the Administration. The Commission will be charged with issuing an interim report within six months and will be required to submit majority recommendations for Congress to consider within 12 months of the law's enactment.  The Commission will bring together leaders from tech companies, the privacy community, law enforcement, and others to examine the intersection of digital technology and national security and determine the implications for national security, public safety, data security, privacy, innovation, and American competitiveness in the global marketplace.‚Äč The panel will engage with all the key stakeholders to get to the heart of these challenges and publish findings and recommendations in a publicly available report for all to consider.

Additional Senate cosponsors of the legislation, which was led by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), include Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). An accompanying bill was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX).


Click HERE for a list of statements from organizations and individuals supporting the legislation.

Click HERE for additional information on the Commission.

Click HERE for the full bill text.

Click HERE for a section-by-section summary.