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Public Statements

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Madam Chair, I yield myself 4 minutes.

Never a problem have I seen when it comes to our national security, Madam Chair, that we are just not prepared to handle.

In just the last few years, nation-states, like China, have stolen enough intellectual property from just the Fed's contractors that it would be equivalent to 50 times the print collection of the Library of Congress. We have nation-states that are literally stealing jobs and our future. We also have countries that are engaged in activities and have capabilities that have the ability to break networks, computer networks, which means you can't just reboot. It means your system is literally broken. Those kinds of disruptions can be catastrophic when you think about the financial sector or the energy sector or our command and control elements for all of our national security apparatus.

This is as serious a problem as I have seen. So, last year, I and my partner--Dutch Ruppersberger, the vice chairman and ranking member of the Intelligence Committee--agreed that this was a significant enough problem to the future prosperity of America that we'd better do something about it.

We needed to stop the Chinese Government from stealing our stuff. We needed to stop the Russians from what they're doing to our networks and to people's personal information, data, and resources. We needed to prepare for countries like Iran and North Korea so that they don't do something catastrophic to our networks here in America and cause real harm to real people.

So, in a bipartisan way, we set out to do something very, very, very narrow. When the government spies overseas, it collects malware--viruses, software that is dangerous to our computers. That means they can either steal our stuff--the personal information off of your computer--or they can steal the secrets that make your business viable, the kinds of secrets that give people jobs.

So wouldn't it be great if we could take that source code, that software and share it with the private sector so that they could put it on their private systems, like they do every single day to try to protect networks, and have that added advantage of that extra coverage from that malicious source code? The good news is this happens every day. If you have Norton or McAfee or Symantec or any other antivirus protection on your computer, it has patches of information that they know is really bad stuff, and every time you turn your computer on, it updates and tries to protect your computer, your personal information.

That's all this is. It is adding to that patchwork some zeroes and some ones that we know is malicious code that is either going to steal your information or break your computer or something worse. That's all this bill is. It draws a very fine line between the government and the private sector. It is all voluntary. There are no new mandates. There is no government surveillance--none, not any--in this bill. It just says, if we know we have this source code, shouldn't we be obligated to give it so it doesn't do something bad to the companies and individuals in America. That's all this bill does.

We have worked collaboratively with hundreds of companies, with privacy groups, with civil libertarians. We have worked with government folks. We have had hundreds and hundreds of meetings for over a year. We have kept this bill open in an unprecedented transparent way to try to meet the needs of privacy concerns, civil libertarian concerns, civil liberties concerns. We wanted to make sure that, with this bill, people understood exactly what we were trying to do, how simple it is, and how crucial it is to the future defense of this great Nation.

Without our ideas, without our innovation that countries like China are stealing every single day, we will cease to be a great Nation. They are slowly and silently and quickly stealing the value and prosperity of America.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I yield myself an additional 1 minute.

One credit card company said that they get attacked for your personal information 300,000 times a day--one company. We have a company that can directly show you stolen intellectual property. This one particular company estimated 20,000 manufacturing jobs that they lost for Americans, which were good-paying jobs, because countries like China stole their intellectual property and illegally competed against them in the marketplace.

This is as bad a problem, Madam Chair, as I have seen. I think you'll hear throughout the day this has been a responsible debate and that it has been a responsible negotiation to get to privacy concerns and our ability to protect your information on your computer through this series of zeroes and ones, the binary code on our computers.

Again, I want to thank my ranking member for his partnership and his work. He has been exceptional to work with on something on which we both agree and on which we agreed, in a bipartisan fashion, was a danger to the future prosperity of America.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Madam Chair, I yield myself 2 minutes.

Lots of misinformation about this bill today. I respect the gentleman from Georgia greatly for his efforts. I heard the gentleman from Texas talk about searches and seizures. And this is the good news: there are none of those things in this bill. None.

You know, if I knew that your house was to be robbed, I would expect that if the police knew, that they'd pick up the phone and call you and say, you are going to be robbed. Take precaution. We'll be their shortly.

This bill just says, if we have this nasty source code, these zeroes and ones, I want to give it to you so you can protect your systems. That's it. No monitoring, no content, no surveillance, nothing. That's not what this bill is about.

I understand the passion about it. That's why we've taken a year to forge this bipartisan effort to get where we believe privacy is protected. It is paramount that we do that, that our civil liberties are protected. It is paramount that we do that.

But we at least take down the hurdle to share nasty source code or software that's flying through the Internet, that's developed, and it's very sophisticated, by the Chinese and the Russians and the Iranians and other groups and non-nation-state actors that are going to steal your personal information.

That's all this is. It's sharing bad source code so you can put it on your system so you don't get infected. End of story.

I wish people would read the bill, all of it, every word of it. I think you'll find the carefully crafted language to make sure that our rights are protected, that the Fourth Amendment is protected.

And by the way, just like the Army, the Navy, the Marines, your FBI is protecting you. That's what this bill allows it to do, simply that.

So, as I said, I respect greatly the gentleman from Georgia. There's a lot of atrocities I think he lived through in his life that no one should have to live through. We took those things into consideration when we wrote this bill, and that's why we've got so much support and so much technical company support, companies like Facebook and Microsoft and all of those groups.

So I hope people read the bill and support the bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I yield myself the balance of my time.

I do want to thank the ranking member and both staffs from both committees who have been tireless in this effort to get it right and to find that right place where we could all feel comfortable.

The amendments that are following here are months of negotiation and work with many organizations--privacy groups. We have worked language with the Center for Democracy and Technology, and they just the other day said they applauded our progress on where we're going with privacy and civil liberties. So we have included a lot of folks.
It has been a long road. It has been the most open and transparent bill that, I think, I've ever worked on here. We kept it open to the very end to make sure that we could find the language that clarified our intent to protect privacy, to protect civil liberties, and to just be able to share dangerous information with victims. That's all this bill is. The whopping 13 pages it is does only that. So I appreciate the comments today. I look forward to the amendment debate.

Again, Mr. Ruppersberger, it has been a joy to work with you on this particular issue.

As an old Army officer once told me, once you find a problem, you are morally obligated to do something about it. We set about it a year ago to make America safe and to protect your network at home from people stealing it, breaking it, and doing something worse.

So, Madam Chair, I look forward to the debate on the amendments, and I yield back the balance of my time.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I want to first compliment Mr. Langevin for working with us on the cybersecurity bill. He has been an instrumental force in pushing this cybersecurity issue to the front and in getting the language that we have that finds that right balance.

My concern with this, which is why I thought, at least, the President's advisers who were recommending to him that he veto the bill were misguided, is that now we have done something in this bill that is fairly unique. It is all voluntary, and we have separated the government and the private sector. The government is not going to be involved in private sector networks, and they're not going to be involved in the government networks. Perfect. That's exactly the balance we found.

With this, it crosses both of those, and it gets us to a place that I think we need to have a lot more discussion on, and you can see by the level of debate just on this issue how people are really nervous about the Federal Government getting into their business.

This, I'm afraid, opens it up to that. Here's the good news. We believe this is already covered in the bill as far as the sharing component, and you replace the word ``utility'' with something that isn't defined, ``critical infrastructure, owners and operators.'' We're not sure what that is, and in some cases you could extrapolate that to be even the local police, who argue they're part of the national security infrastructure. Does that mean local police are going to get very sensitive foreign cyberintelligence information? And why would they have it? We don't know the answers to those questions, and that's why we're having such a hard time with this amendment.

I would argue that there does need to be a Homeland Security bill, and it really shouldn't be done in the Intelligence Committee. It should be done in the Homeland Security Committee.

So I would love to work with Mr. Langevin as the process works its way through the Homeland Security Committee and believe that that should be fully debated.

Remember, when you start getting regulation into the private sector, including private networks, that, I argue, is troublesome and very worrisome to me, and something I would have a hard time supporting.

So, I look forward to working with the gentleman. I would have to oppose this amendment, but I want to thank you for all your work on the cyberissue and, clearly, this cyber information-sharing bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I would just remind the gentleman that the definition does not go back anywhere in this bill to that. It leaves it open, and when you start, again, crossing that valley between the government and the private sector, it causes serious issues--as you can see, the people who are very concerned that the government is going to get into regulating anything on the Internet.

I would say this is no pride of authorship. I don't know if Mr. Ruppersberger and I could have any more authors participate in our bill than we have.

The problem here is very real and very substantive. And that's why I think both the gentlemen, who have as much passion and care and commitment to this issue as I've seen, need to work that issue on the Homeland Security Committee so you can do it in a way that won't rise to the level of the objections that we have seen when just the suggestion of regulating outside of the purview of national security comes into discussion.

That's why I would hope the gentleman would exercise extreme caution when taking that walk. It is perilous for the government to get into regulating the Internet, and I oppose that completely. That's why we have these problems, I think, arise from it. I think, if these are issues that they can get over, that this should have substantive debate. Remember, this very narrow bill took 1 year--1 year--of work and negotiation and discussions to get it to where we are today.

So, I would encourage that maybe more thought ought to be put in it, and I would look forward to working with both gentleman as they introduce and work their bills through the Homeland Security Committee, as I think would be appropriate.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Madam Chair, I strongly encourage the support of this amendment. It's a simple amendment we negotiated. It is clarifying language again on FOIA.

With that, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from California (Mr. Issa).


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Thank you, Mr. Quayle.

Again, this is an amendment worked out with Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Quayle, and myself. Ms. Eshoo is also on the amendment.

This is in consultation with all of the privacy groups and the civil liberty groups. We wanted to make sure that the intent matched the language. And we think this is a limiting amendment on what it can be used for, which is very narrow, is very specific; and we think this enhances already good privacy protections in the bill, and I strongly support it and would encourage the House to strongly support the bipartisan amendment.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Madam Chair, I just want to rise in strong support of this amendment. I appreciate Mr. Mulvaney's working with the committee.

This is a limiting amendment, and I think it, again, is in response to making sure that the intent of the bill meets the language of the bill, and this is well done to continue to protect privacy and civil liberties of all Americans and still allow for the government to share malicious source code with the private sector.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I want to thank the gentleman from Arizona for working with us. This, again, was a negotiated amendment. The gentleman approached us with concerns to make sure that the IG report adequately reflected and allowed us to perform the adequate oversight. This amendment does that. I appreciate his work and effort, and I think this strengthens the bill and continues to provide the oversight and protection of civil liberties and privacy for all Americans.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. This is an important amendment, and again, I think it alleviates some of the concerns. They were misguided, but this locks it down, makes it very tight and makes it very clear on the limiting of this information, which is the intent of this bill. So I think this amendment addresses the privacy and civil liberties advocates' claims that the liability protection in the bill with respect to the use of cybersecurity systems could be read to be broader than the activities authorized by the legislation.

As I said, that was not true, certainly not the intent. This amendment makes that very clear in the bill that that would not be its purpose, and it is a limiting amendment. I strongly support this amendment. It is a bipartisan amendment as well.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I want to thank the distinguished former chairman and member, Mr. Goodlatte, for his commonsense amendment. Again, this is working to make sure that this bill is restricted for both information use, privacy, and civil liberties, and why the coalition, I argue, continues to grow because of the good work of folks like Mr. Goodlatte. It's bipartisan in nature, and I would strongly urge the body's support for the Goodlatte amendment.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I yield myself 1 1/2 minutes.

If you thought it was good for the businesses to require Facebook to give them your passwords, you'll love this. If not, you should go apoplectic. I think that's an awful practice on Facebook. This is worse. I want to read just from the law. Notwithstanding any other provision, it allows them to:

acquire, intercept, retain, use, and disclose communications and other system traffic that are transiting to and from or are stored on the Federal systems and to deploy countermeasures with regard to such communications and system traffic for cybersecurity purposes.

This is dangerous. It's dangerous. For the very narrow bill that has been misrepresented from what we do, this is Big Brother on steroids. We cannot allow this to happen. This would be the government tracking communications or your medical records from the veterans' association. It would track your IRS forms coming in and out of the Federal Government. This is exactly what scares people about trying to get into the business of making sure we protect our networks, but we can't do it by trampling on privacy and civil liberties.

This is awful. I am just shocked, after all of this debate and all of this discussion on our very narrow bill, that my friends would come up with something that wholesale monitors the Internet and gets all of the information which we've fought so hard to protect on behalf of average Americans.

I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Westmoreland).


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I appreciate the gentlelady's effort. Again, we were pretty careful in this year-long process of trying to find a very narrow solution because of all of the challenges that come with trying to get a piece of legislation across the House to the Senate to the President's desk.

I argue that the Homeland Security Committee should engage in a critical infrastructure debate. Here's the problem: it's not defined for the purposes of this bill. So we don't know what that means. We've been very careful to separate the government from the private sector. There is no government involvement in the private sector networks. It is just information, malicious source code-sharing. That's it.

This, we're not sure where it goes. Many in industry believe that they're talking about the backbone of the Internet. Are they talking about the backbone of the Internet? We don't know. It's not well defined. That would mean, then, that the government for the first time gets into the backbone of the Internet. I think that's a horrible, terrible idea.

So I don't think that's what the gentlelady intends, but the problem is that's not what the language says.

I look forward to working with the gentlelady as she works through those issues on Homeland Security because these are hard. They are tricky. Sometimes a word will get you in trouble, as we have found along the path here, and as it should. We should be really careful about how we're doing this.

So I would encourage the gentlelady to work with us. I know Mr. Ruppersberger, since we've been through this, we can provide some help along the way, and we look forward to the product that you all work on that is geared toward the infrastructure piece. Again, this was never intended to solve all the problems. It was intended to be a very narrow first step to say, Hey, if your house is being robbed, we want to tell you before the robber gets there. That's all this bill does. It tells if your computer is going to get hacked and your personal information stolen, we want you to have the malicious code so you can protect yourself. That's all this bill does.

So we get a little nervous when it starts crossing that divide that we've established between the government and the private sector. You start crossing that divide, we think you can get into some serious trouble in a hurry without very clearly defined language and definition.

Unfortunately, I have to oppose the amendment, but I look forward to working with the gentlelady on a very important issue, infrastructure protection, as the Homeland Security does its work.


Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Today, 300,000 times somebody will be trying to get into our credit card companies--300,000 times, one company. In just the last few years, just in defense contractors, foreign nation-states have stolen more intellectual property, which will end up protecting this country, equivalent to 50 times the print collection of our U.S. Library of Congress. Anonymous is attacking businesses, and today attacked Wall Street because they're anti-capitalists. There are people out there today who are literally robbing the future of America for our jobs, our prosperity, and our economic prowess in the world; and they're doing it by design.

A year ago, we set out to try to do something small. If we have some bad software--some bad, malicious virus information--shouldn't we be obligated to share that with the private sector so they can protect themselves? Absolutely.

If we don't do this, a nation-state like China has geared up its military and intelligence services for the very purpose of economically wounding the United States--by draining our intellectual property dry. They have done it by stealing pesticide formulas. They have done it by stealing pharmaceutical formulas. They have done it by stealing intellectual property when it relates to military hardware and then have copied it, and it has cost us a tremendous amount of more money to have had to go back and redesign it.

So we can play games. We can do silly things. This amendment actually does nothing to protect a person's private password at home. Nothing. Not one thing. But it is serving to try to obfuscate and maybe send it back to committee and come back.

This has been a bipartisan bill, and I can't tell you how disappointing this amendment is to me. I have worked with Mr. Ruppersberger and the members of this committee. I have worked with the privacy groups. We've worked with civil libertarians. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us. By the way, this does nothing, or this would have been thrown at us, too. You know why? Because it doesn't do anything. I get it. Sounds great. You're going to run out and do some bad things with it.

But this is our Nation's defense. This is the last bastion of things we need to do to protect this country. We've done it since 9/11. We did Homeland Security. We've done the Patriot Act. We've done other things that this body and the other body and the President of the United States signed to protect this country, as our Constitution tells us to do for the common defense of this great Nation.

I will tell you something. We can have this debate. We can talk about a bill that does absolutely nothing to protect someone's private password at home, or we can get about the business of trying to give the private sector just a little bit of information to protect people's private information in the comfort of their homes, so that we can protect this Nation from a catastrophic attack.

The director of the national security didn't say ``maybe,'' didn't say, ``could happen.'' They said it will happen.

This is the one small thing we get to do to prepare for a whole bunch of folks out there that want to bring this Nation down.

We ought to stand together today in a bipartisan way. We ought to reject all of the confusion and obfuscation and all of the things that they're saying about this bill that just are not true. We ought to stand here and say, We respected the fact that you kept the government stuff government, and the private stuff private, and you're not mixing it up, and you're not surveilling. You're doing none of those things. You're just sharing some pretty bad information so that they can apply it to their patches that happen on your computer every single day, thousands of times a day, to try to keep viruses off your computer, and that's it.

We've spent a lot of time today trying to go in a different direction. People are upset that there aren't things in the bill. Okay. I mean, the Buffett rule isn't in the bill. I don't think that ought to get a veto threat either.

This is where we are. This is that first small threat.

I'm going to ask all of you to join us today. Reject this red herring, this obfuscation, and stand with America. They need it. There are 3 million businesses with all of the associations telling us, Please, give us that classified secret malware information that your government has so we can protect the people we have as customers and clients. They're begging for it because they're getting killed every single day. It's happening right this second.

This is our chance to stand up. This was a bipartisan effort. If you really believe in bipartisanship, if you believe that's the future of this Chamber, and that's the dignity of the very Founding Fathers that gave it to us, then today is the day to prove it.

Reject this amendment, stand for America. Support this bill.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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