U.S. Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) introduced Tuesday a bill to require the U.S. State Department to investigate potential benefits of establishing a joint U.S.-Israel cybersecurity center.

Were the center to be established, it would be to leverage the expertise of institutions of higher education, the private sector and government entities in both countries in the areas of cybersecurity and protecting critical infrastructure. A similar joint center of excellence already exists for energy and water technology.

The bill would give the State Department one year after enactment to report to Congress, which would be left to act upon it, a spokesperson for Rosen told JNS.

“Cybersecurity continues to be a growing threat, and we must address it immediately. By collaborating with our allies, we can better strengthen our cybersecurity defenses,” said Rosen. “This bipartisan legislation would help us take much-needed steps towards establishing a joint cybersecurity research center with Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East and a major hub for new and emerging cybersecurity technologies.”

“As chairman of the Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, improving our nation’s defensive and offensive cyber capabilities has been a top priority of mine,” said Rounds. “Israel is a world leader in cybersecurity. Partnering with this close ally on a cybersecurity center of excellence, where experts can share best practices and other critical information, can help us bolster the cyber capabilities of both nations.”

Similar bipartisan legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May by Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.).

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