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The Threat From Cyber Attacks

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report in Special English. Attacks on computer systems are a growing concern among United States lawmakers. Recently, the head of a congressional committee warned about the threat of cyber attacks from China, Iran and other countries.

Congressman Michael McCaul is chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives. He compared the threat from cyber attacks to the terrorist threat faced by the United States on September 11, 2001. But he said that, this time, the nation knows about the threat and is taking action.Other lawmakers expressed concern about reports that China is to blame for most attacks against American computer networks.

Recently, President Obama told ABC News that there has been a steady increase in the threat to cyber security from other nations and from criminals. He said the United States has taken part in what he called "tough talk" with China and other nations. China's Foreign Ministry has said the country is open to talks. But it said China is itself a victim of attacks, and not responsible for computer crimes.

In February, President Obama signed an executive order on cyber security. The order directs American agencies to improve information sharing on cyber threats. A Senate bill on cyber security last year failed to get enough votes to pass. Some business groups and privacy rights activists expressed opposition to the measure. Now, a new cyber security bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 18Mar2013)

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