The chief of US spy organisation, the National Security Agency (NSA), Keith Alexander, believes that the US government needs to speed up the process of getting cyber security legislation in place in order to defend the US from attacks.
The Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was passed by the US House of Representatives in April, and was said to allow police to search through data they obtain from ISPs without a warrant. Although privacy concerns have led to the Senate holding back on pursuing the legislation, it is thought lawmakers have been busy drawing up a similar piece of law to CISPA, and Alexander believes that it is essential for the US.
"How do you defend Wall Street from a major crisis?" he asked in an interview by Politico.
"We have the rules in place that you can defend Wall Street from being taken down, and inform civilian leadership," he said.
The rules would need to be part of some form of cyber legislation, he claimed, and ought to be drawn up before an adversary decides to launch a "cyberpacket" attack.
In his speech, he claimed that the media has mischaracterised government surveillance programmes and said that he supported the head of MI5, Andrew Parker's view that leaks concerning government spy agencies from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, have endangered UK national security and "handed the advantage to terrorists".
"I think Andrew Parker's message is right," he said, adding that the leaks would cause "irreversible damage to our nation".
He urged the US government, industry and allies to work together to tackle a cyber-security threat, but said that information-sharing could be hampered by a lack of trust since Snowden's revelations.
But he asked for telecoms firms to read court filings and use their technical knowledge to reach their own conclusions about what government is doing with the data.