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Hearing of the House Rules Committee - Remarks on Amendment to CISPA

Hearing

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Jan Schakowsky's remarks before the Committee on Rules today in support of the Schakowsky Amendment to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act:

"I want to thank Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger for their work on this bill, particularly their efforts to address the concerns of the White House and civil liberties groups. I believe that a number of the changes made in markup are positive; however, I still have concerns that this bill does not do enough to protect the civil liberties of American citizens. That is why I am introducing this amendment to ensure that the U.S. military or defense agencies do not directly collect or receive cyber information on American citizens. I want to thank my colleagues Congressmen Adam Schiff, Bennie Thompson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Diana DeGette, and Jared Polis for cosponsoring this amendment.

"My amendment states that companies can only report cyber threat information directly to civilian agencies, ensuring that the NSA and Department of Defense do not directly collect sensitive information on American citizens. This is keeping with the long-held American tradition that the military does not operate on U.S. soil against U.S. citizens. I strongly believe that empowering the NSA or any other military agency to routinely collect sensitive information on Americans goes against this cornerstone of our democracy.

"Mr. Chairman, my amendment in no way precludes agencies, including the NSA, from receiving threat information once it has been routed through civilian agencies, nor does it mean that the military cannot provide support to government agencies and companies in addressing the cyber threat. It simply adds a layer of civil protection between U.S. citizens and the military. The NSA will also continue to play a critical role in providing the private sector with cyber threat information.

"According to a White House Statement of Administration Policy 'the Administration supports the longstanding tradition to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian spheres [. . .] however, newly authorized information sharing for cybersecurity purposes from the private sector to the government should enter the government through a civilian agency, the Department of Homeland Security.'

"As written, this legislation designates the Department of Homeland Security as the coordinating entity for cyber threat information. However, I feel we need to go one step further to ensure that all information, particularly personal information on American citizens, is being routed through civilian agencies.

"I also am cosponsoring two amendments. I am proud to cosponsor an amendment by Congressman Schiff requiring that "reasonable efforts" be made to remove information, unrelated to the cybersecurity threat, which can be used to identify specific persons. I am also proud to cosponsor an amendment by Congressman Conyers to rein in the broad liability shield offered to private companies under this bill, and to clarify that they are only shielded from liability for using cybersecurity systems to identify or obtain cyber threat information and sharing it as permitted under this bill -- not for misconduct or negligence.

"Mr. Chairman, these three amendments restore critical civil liberties and privacy protections for consumers. I urge the committee to rule these amendments in order."


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