House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence member Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) is an original cosponsor of bipartisan legislation to help protect computer networks across the country from cyber-attacks originating from China and other hackers. Introduced by Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (MI-08) and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02) this week, the "Cyber-Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011" (H.R. 3523) would give the federal government new authority to share classified cyber-threat information with pre-screened, approved American companies.
"Each day, our businesses and American consumers are targeted by hackers and opposing nations, such as China, that are intent on stealing sensitive government information, corporate intellectual property and consumers' personal data. Often times the damage is already done before we even realize that we were targeted," said LoBiondo. "It is clear that we live in the Internet-driven 21st century, but continue to operate under a pre-Internet national security plan despite many of our chief economic rivals -- especially China - aggressively moving forward. This critical legislation will allow the federal government, corporations and the American people to better coordinate and protect themselves from ongoing cyber-threats."
The legislation will help U.S. businesses better protect themselves and their corporate customers from hackers looking to steal intellectual property by allowing them to share cyber-threat information with others in the private sector and enable the private sector to share information with the government on a voluntary basis. The legislation also provides liability protection for companies that choose to protect their own networks or share threat information.
"There is an economic cyber war going on today against U.S. companies," Intelligence Committee Chairman Rogers said. "There are two types of companies in this country, those who know they've been hacked, and those who don't know they've been hacked. Economic predators, including nation-states, are blatantly stealing business secrets and innovation from private companies. This cyber-security bill goes a long way in helping American businesses better protect their networks and their intellectual property."
Other provisions of the bipartisan bill include:
Allowing private sector entities to share information anonymously or restrict who they share with, including the government; and,
Requiring a review of the sharing and use of information by the federal government to ensure the protection of privacy and civil liberties. An annual unclassified report to Congress will provide recommendations for enhancing privacy and civil liberties.
The goal of the legislation is to create a more robust cyber-security industry with expanded services for American consumers and corporations, thus creating opportunity for future security-focused businesses and job creation. The legislation does not contain any new federal spending or impose additional federal regulation or unfunded mandates on the private sector.