Cybercrime, which can involve anything from stealing personal information and trade secrets to crippling a city's infrastructure through malicious computer code, is a growing concern in Washington. In February 2013, President Obama acknowledged the threat in his State of The Union address:
"We know hackers steal people's identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy."
James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, called cybercrime the top national threat at a March Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. And in April, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that allows private companies to share customers' personal information in the hopes of preventing new cyberattacks. And most recently, parts of PRISM, a covert government program which monitors foreign communications through the servers of common tech companies, were declassified in June 2013. As of the time of this writing, the story is still unfolding.