From: Dutton, John
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2012 10:06 AM
To: MD01 All Staff
Subject: Cyber Intelligence bill
This email is to provide a quick update on yesterday’s passage of H.R. 3523 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The House passed the bill by a vote of 248-168. Congressman Harris voted in support of the bill.
The bill allows the U.S. Government to share information with the private sector about incoming cyber attacks, and allows private companies to voluntarily choose to share information about threats they identify with the U.S. government.
The bill does NOT allow the government to block websites (which was a concern with the Stop Online Piracy Act that caused much commotion).
However, we will likely hear some complaints about the legislation from conservative privacy rights advocates. Some points that might be helpful include:
Congressman Harris shares their concern about the protection of privacy and individual liberty. That is why he voted against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization bill (which included provisions potentially allowing the detention of U.S. citizens). Congressman Harris closely monitored the legislative development of the Cyber bill, and a number of important changes were made that help protect individual liberties. These changes include:
· narrowing the scope of “cyber threat information” that may be shared with the government,
· Narrowing definitions in the bill regarding what information may be identified, obtained, and shared.
· limiting government use of shared information to 1) cybersecurity; 2) investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes; 3) protection of individuals from the danger of death or physical injury; 4) protection of minors from child pornography or risk of sexual exploitation; and 5) protection of the national security of the United States.
· Prohibiting the federal government from using, among other things, library records, firearms sales records, and tax returns that it receives from private entities under this Act.
· Clarifies that nothing in the bill would alter existing authorities or provide new authority to any federal agency, including Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, or the Intelligence Community to install, employ, or otherwise use cybersecurity systems on private sector networks.
· Sunsets the provisions of the bill five years after the date of enactment.
This bill seeks to address profoundly serious threats to American national security. The issue isn’t about individual hackers or amateurs. The modern threat is from foreign corporations engaging in corporate espionage to steal research and development, and major foreign countries devoting a portion of their national budget to intelligence services that seek to access and disrupt U.S. government and critical infrastructure.
The legislation was also endorsed by the Heritage Foundation.
President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, seeking greater regulatory powers over private companies.