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Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Madam Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3523. I also appreciate the efforts of my colleagues on the Intelligence Committee for fostering a greater sharing of cyberthreat information. This bill is a start, but my opposition is because it does not do what we know that we need to have done.
Having been involved in homeland security issues for nearly a decade, I know how important it is to protect our Nation's networks from cyberattacks. But in an effort to foster information-sharing, this bill would erode the privacy protections of every single American using the Internet. It would create a Wild West of information-sharing, where any certified business can share with any government agency, who can then use the information for any ``national security'' purpose and grant that business immunity from virtually any liability. None of the amendments offered by the chairman and ranking member would change any of those basic facts.
I and several of my colleagues offered amendments that would have addressed those concerns by ensuring that civilian agencies would take the lead in information-sharing, restricting how the government could use the information, and making sure consumers' sensitive information is adequately protected. Unfortunately, the House will not have an opportunity to consider them today.
If my colleagues want to accomplish something on cybersecurity, then vote ``yes'' on any or all of the suspension bills before us today; but do not vote for H.R. 3523. It violates the ``do no harm'' rule and would set back the privacy rights of all our citizens who have enjoyed the establishment of the Internet.
This fatally flawed bill is opposed by not only every major privacy or civil liberties group, from the ACLU to the Constitution Project to the Center for Democracy and Technology, but also the Obama administration. For these reasons, Madam Chair, I strongly urge a ``no'' vote on H.R. 3523.
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