As McConnell laid out his thoughts, another panel of cyber experts was convening across town.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski told the Bipartisan Policy Center crowd that some $8 trillion was exchanged each year on the Internet. Shutting down the Internet, he said, would essentially shut down our economic growth engine.
He outlined what he sees as the biggest threats, and called on Internet service providers to do a better job of informing Internet citizens about the risks they face every time they logon.
Botnets are perhaps the biggest threat, according to Genachowski. Essentially, botnets are like robots that take over your computer, rendering it a "zombie". One single botnet, Genachowski told the crowd, controlled some 12 million computers in 190 countries for a short period of time.