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Remarks Of The Honorable David J. Hickton United States Attorney For The Western District Of Pennsylvania At The Robert M. Mill Lecture Series Pittsburgh Labor And Management Past And Future: A Labor Management Discussion
United States
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thank you Leo for that kind and generous introduction.

Leo and I are very good friends. His contributions as leader of the United Steelworkers are well known. Leo’s community contributions are vital to our region. But what is most special about Leo Gerard is his keen understanding and insight that we all need each other to succeed; that partnerships between management and labor, between the private sector and public sector, between the urban cities and the suburban neighborhoods, between the young and experienced, the affluent and the poor are critical to meet the challenges we face. The leadership Leo Gerard has provided in collective bargaining, trade, worker safety and the environment, and charitable giving often partnering with his counterparts like John Surma, CEO of U.S. Steel, has sustained us and led the world at a time of great challenge. Leo, we are all deeply indebted to you. Thank you.

This Labor Management forum on the cyber challenge comes at a very important juncture as we mobilize to meet this threat. It should come as no surprise to residents of Western Pennsylvania that the FBI perceives the cyber threat as the top threat to our Country and our people. Top officials like former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller have been predicted that we will inevitably face a “Cyber Pearl Harbor” or a “Cyber 9-11.” Certainly our experience here with the disruption from cyber bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh last year and the DDOS attacks upon PNC Bank have heightened our awareness that this problem is real; it is present; and, it threatens our lives, our prosperity and our security.

The good news is that this Administration, from the President and the Attorney General, to the Defense and Intelligence communities, has taken steps to position us to meet this challenge. Many of the Nation’s resources to meet this threat are right here in Pittsburgh. The National Cyber Forensics Training Alliance (NCFTA) and CERT are headquartered in Pittsburgh. We here in the United States Attorney’s Office reorganized in October 2010 and established a dedicated National Security and Cyber Section to align our resources with the leadership in Washington. Our partners here in the federal, state and local law enforcement are all on board and we are making the commitment necessary for us to succeed. Our Cyber Security Conference last October sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh and the US Attorney’s Office and the visit last January by Paul Kaminski, Chairman of The Rand Institute and a leading expert in Defense and Cyber issues, are just two examples of some of the public actions that we have taken to raise awareness. That said, the threat is real and substantial, the threat evolves every day and we need to continue to improve our response and resiliency.

Today, we are blessed to have a very distinguished panel to consider some of the issues presented by the cyber challenge. I was honored to be asked to participate and jumped at the opportunity to join you. We are especially fortunate to be joined by Dr. Ernest McDuffie, Lead for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).

Before we get to work, I want to issue a challenge: I propose that by Labor Day this September, we form “The Pittsburgh Cyber Security Initiative”, a public-private collaboration to fuse our resources to multiply our response to this threat. This Initiative would include increased awareness of the cyber security challenge; increased education at all levels, from elementary school through post-graduate education; increased training and certification programs; increased vocational opportunities in cyber jobs of the future; scientific research to develop best practices and bolster resiliency; and, increased investigation and prosecution of cyber crimes.

In anticipation of today’s program, much work toward this end is underway. For example, Linda Lane, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools and Linda Hippert, Head of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit have agreed to participate in developing joint curriculum for cyber and to offer increased cyber training and competitions like and including the Cyber Patriot competition introduced to us by Mr Kaminski. Cyber Patriot is a High School-based program which enlists students to develop cyber defenses and inspires High School students to pursue careers in cybersecurity. Chip Carter and Ken Gormley, Deans of Pitt Law School and Duquesne Law School have been meeting with me to develop a joint program in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University to offer a cyber law specialty and to develop a signature cyber law institute which will further highlight our already recognized capacity for excellence in this area. Mike Dunleavy, President of the IBEW and Alex Johnson, President of CCAC have been meeting with me and a larger group including Leo Gerard and Allegheny County Labor Council President Jack Shea to develop and expand upon the existing certificate program between the IBEW and CCAC to specifically train and certify cyber expertise. In addition, we have coordinated with the Rand Institute and members of the corporate and foundation communities to develop a pro forma for necessary research to identify information gaps to get ahead of the fluid and emerging issues presented. These and other efforts all taken in the spirit of this Institute are designed to help us better meet the cyber threat, to better do our part as part of the national defense effort, and to provide opportunities for education and training to develop this growth area for our local workforce. The people of Western Pennsylvania are known and recognized for effective and diligent hard work whenever this Country has faced a challenge.

Many of these efforts we are undertaking – increasing public awareness of the cyber risk, broadening cyber education for students at all levels, and cultivating and managing a talented cyber workforce – spring from the pages of the NICE Strategic Plan.

For my part, I make this pledge: the United States Attorney’s Office will place a top priority on responding to the cyber threat at every level. Whether it is criminal identity theft, theft of individuals’ savings or theft of corporate intellectual property, disruptive hacktivists and anarchists, cyber terrorists or cybercrimes by actors allied with nation-states, or any other cyber crime, we will aggressively investigate, charge and prosecute cyber criminals. We will give no quarter and will be relentless in our approach to protecting the public from this threat. We will lead in this emerging area to develop the best defenses, the best practices, the best intelligence and strive to make Western Pennsylvania and the United States of America uninhabitable for cyber predators and criminals. We will not rest until we succeed.

Thank you.

Updated July 14, 2015