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Mikulski Speaks on Senate Floor in Support of Nominee for Maryland District Court Judge Grimm

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University of Maryland, Baltimore County
April 21, 2011

Senator Mikulski gave the following remarks at a roundtable and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the UMBC Research and Technology Park.

"I am happy, once again, to be here on the campus of UMBC. Internationally known, internationally recognized with its dynamic president and of course, our extraordinary Chancellor, Dr. Brit Kirwan. This is a wonderful day.  

"Let me tell you why I'm so excited. Maryland is not becoming – it already is the epicenter for cyber security in the United States of America. Make no mistake about it. We are here, and it will stay.  

"What we're developing here are jobs that are going to protect America. These are jobs that will never go on a slow boat to China, or a fast track to Mexico. These jobs will determine the safety and security of the United States of America.  

"I am so excited about the fact that there are two federal agencies here, both growing what they're doing to protect the troops and the nation. And, we have the University of Maryland, one of the greatest land grant colleges in the United States. UMD will be primary in developing the workforce to support not only the jobs in government, but the jobs in the private sector.  

"My job as a United States Senator is to make sure we have a safer country, and a stronger economy. So what do we want to do? We want to protect dot mil. We want to protect dot gov. But we certainly want to protect dot com.  

"We're already protecting dot mil. There's the National Security Agency, led by General Alexander, the head of the cyber command for the United States of America. We are the cyber command.  

"At Ft. Meade, there is DISA, the Defense Intelligence Service Agency. DISA is protecting all of the networks for the United States military. Whether you're special ops on a mountain in Afghanistan, or working at Ft. Hood or one of our military hospitals, they're protecting all of those networks.  

"Then, the Navy came with its 10th Fleet. We are now the home port to the cyber fleet. They don't have submarines. They don't have battleships. They don't have aircraft carriers. But they are protecting the United States Navy. Whether it's a Navy seal on a special mission, or communicating with our ships from Japan, we're protecting those networks.  

"So, we're protecting dot mil. But, we also have to protect dot com. Our power grid. Our financial services. The New York Stock Exchange. The NASDAQ. The personal identities of people.  

"We're doing this right here. And how are we doing it? We have one of the great civilian agencies: the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Montgomery County. This is where we're establishing a cyber tech transfer center.  

"Yesterday, I stood at NIST with a representative of the President – his cyber czar – to announce what we call a 'trusted security card.' Supported by government, led by the private sector. So, whether you're a consumer or a corporation, you will have a trusted identity and not need 15 passwords.  

"Why? Because of what's going on. We're working with the FBI, who are our cyber cops, investigating what happened with NASDAQ and preventing cyber crime.  

"Let me give you a sense of the kind of bank heists that are going on. Organized crime has now gone cyber.  

"Two years ago in one Vermont village, at the height of ski season, cyber thugs from Eastern Europe – a non NATO nation – broke into a business cyber network and stole 28,000 identities in 72 hours. You don't need a visa to come here, and steal your Visa card.  

"So, what's going on to protect that? It is our government investment working with the private sector to come up with new ideas to protect dot mil, dot gov and dot com.  

"We are not here to grow government. We are here to protect our country and the people who live in it. And by doing this, we're going to build a stronger economy.   So what do we need to do this? We need a will. We need a commitment. We need that sense of entrepreneurship that's part of our country. We need people who are going to develop the important technologies, and you need the workers to go with it.  

"This is why we are turning to the University of Maryland. Dr. Kirwan has developed a comprehensive workforce development taskforce. We will harness the intellectual power of UMBC and other campuses to work with the private sector.  

"I think it's fantastic. We're here at the dawn of it.  

"Let me conclude by saying this. I have the great honor of delivering William Donald Schaefer's eulogy in a few days.  

"I had a long relationship with William Donald Schaefer. We got started together. He became mayor when I came to the city council. He was old school, I was new school. He was machine politics, I was fighting the machine. I wanted to stop a highway, he wanted that highway.

"But, we duked it out, and what we now know as Baltimore is the result of that work.  

"I see representatives of the Tech Council here. On Wednesday, we had lunch at a restaurant right in the path of the old expressway. Instead of having meetings to stop the road, we were having a meeting to build a super information highway.  

"This is the new economy. This is the new opportunity. And I believe that the people in this room are going to seize the day.  

"Just like we created one renaissance 30 years ago, we're going to go back and see that this was the beginning of something so spectacular, we can only yet envision it and dream about it.  

"I am honored to be your Senator, and to help you get it."