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Public Statements

Amash Proposal to Protect Privacy Passes House

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Location: Washington, DC

A proposal by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) that protects Americans' library lists, gun records, and tax returns from government snooping passed the House this afternoon with a unanimous 415-0 vote.

Amash's amendment to the House cybersecurity bill prevents the federal government from using sensitive personal records that it obtains from private companies. The amendment prohibits the government from accessing library circulation records, library patron lists, book sales records, book customer lists, firearms sales records, tax return records, educational records, and medical records.

"The government shouldn't be allowed to spy on the books Americans read or the guns they buy," said Amash. "We can't sacrifice core civil liberties in the name of cybersecurity."

The underlying bill gives private companies a complete waiver from all state and federal criminal and civil liability if they choose to share with the government "cyber threat information"--a term that is defined broadly. The government then may use that information for purposes beyond cybersecurity. Although Amash's amendment improved the bill, Amash voted against final passage of the bill because of its broad waiver of state and federal privacy laws, among other reason


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