Lawmakers Pass Senator Dodd's Cyberterrorism Bill

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

SACRAMENTO – The Legislature has approved a bill from Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that will add “cyberterrorism” to the list of conditions that constitute a state of emergency under the California Emergency Services Act.

“As cyberterrorism becomes more of a threat, it is crucial that we give the governor the tools necessary to defend our state and assist in recovery,” Senator Dodd said. “Clearly, this new scourge has the potential to disrupt our lives and could result in the loss of water, power or essential public safety services.”

According to the California Military Department, California's size and importance makes it vulnerable to cyberterrorism. “Hacktivists,” nation-states, and other terrorist threat groups are attacking government networks to steal sensitive information and make political or economic statements.  They could disrupt services and infrastructure, private businesses, or pose a threat to national security.

Senate Bill 532 authorizes the governor to respond quickly, allocating resources to ensure public safety and safeguard property, similar to what happens in an earthquake, wildfire or other natural disaster.

The bill passed the Senate and Assembly late last week with overwhelming bipartisan support.  It heads next to Gov. Jerry Brown for a signature. It was supported by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

“Napa County is very familiar with disaster recovery,” Napa County Sheriff John Robertson said. “Anything that helps the governor assist us in recovering from a cyberattack would be beneficial to our local community.”

"Implementing reasonable and responsible efforts to minimize risks and mitigate impacts to a potential security threat is a sound and sensible policy approach, which is why Metropolitan supports SB 532," said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  "Because of our reliance on informational technology, Metropolitan undertakes critical measures to protect valuable and sensitive data to avoid delay or disruption in the delivery and treatment of water supplies to our 26 member public agencies."




Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at