Maryland’s congressional delegation has played a big role in funneling money to transform the area around Fort Meade into an epicenter for the nation’s cybersecurity efforts, according to a new report in Politico.
The publication argues that Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2nd District) among others have deftly directed resources that will bolster the region, even as the nation braces for broad federal budget cuts.
“Maryland lawmakers have jockeyed for years to position their state as an epicenter for protecting the nation’s digital defenses. At Fort Meade, they’ve set up U.S. Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s coordination point for cyberoffense and defense. They’ve helped incentivize companies to set up shop nearby. And they’ve brought home big federal cybersecurity grants — including a recent $10 million check for a new cybercenter tasked to work with industry.”
Mikulski told Politico that lawmakers leveraged what was already there in and near Fort Meade—namely, the National Security Agency and its related tenants. The U.S. Cyber Command set up shop there in 2010 and has been hiring workers quickly. Most branches of the Armed Forces are also developing their own cyber commands.
Of course, there is still considerable debate in Washington regarding U.S. Cyber Command's exact mission and capabilities. But the future of the area is clear.
“We are the epicenter of cybersecurity in America. We are Fort Cyber,” the senator said in a recent speech, according to Politico. “The battlefield is real, but the battleships are being built right in Maryland.”
See the full report from Politico: “Maryland Lawmakers Build Fort Cyber.”