- The Washington Times - Friday, August 16, 2019

Most adults in the country favor increasing federal income taxes to raise money specifically for defending against cyberattacks, the results of a recent survey suggested Friday.

Three-in-five adults polled said they support hiking taxes to help fund government cybersecurity efforts, and nearly four-in-five said they will consider a candidate’s stance on cybersecurity when voting in future elections.

The findings stem from a survey of 2,021 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, including 1,723 registered voters, conducted last month by The Harris Poll on behalf of Anomali, a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity firm.

Among the questions asked of respondents was what percent increase in federal income tax, if any, they would they support toward funding efforts to defend against cyberattacks targeting U.S. business, organizations, agencies and citizens.

Sixty-one percent of adults surveyed said that they support raising taxes to some degree to help fund cybersecurity efforts, including 70% of adults between the ages of 18-34 and 58% of adults 35 years and older, according to Anomali.

In response to a separate question, 79% of voters said they will consider a candidate’s stance on cybersecurity when casting ballots in the future, according to Anomali.

Yet while nearly nine-in-ten Americans — 87% — said that they think cybersecurity should be a top priority for the government, hardly half — 51% —said that they believe the issue is currently being effectively addressed, the company reported.

“It is probably not too surprising to learn that most Americans believe that the government should do more to defend against cybercrime,” said Joe Franscella, Anomali’s senior director of strategy.

Several of the more than 20 candidates currently vying to compete in 2020 against President Trump have touted proposed cybersecurity policies, though the topic was virtually ignored by moderators during the first two rounds of Democratic debates to take place.

White House hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, previously wrote that she planned within 100 days of being elected president to “prioritize cybersecurity and protect our elections and other American infrastructure from cyber attack.”

And presidential candidate John Delaney, a former congressman for Maryland also seeking the Democratic nod, has called for the creation of a new federal agency, dubbed “the Department of Cybersecurity.”

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