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Mr. QUAYLE. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak in favor of this bipartisan amendment that I'm offering along with Congresswoman Eshoo, Congressman Thompson, and Congressman Broun.
H.R. 3523 is designed to increase the sharing of government intelligence and cyberthreats with the private sector and allow private sector companies to share threat information on a voluntary basis. The bill is consistent with our founding principles and our Constitution. Indeed, as the nature of the threats facing our Nation change, I believe this legislation is vital to protecting our country.
Every day our military intelligence communities work to counter traditional threats like nuclear and biological weapons in order to prevent a catastrophic attack on U.S. soil, but today's security threats are becoming less traditional. Four nations have chosen cyberspace as an area of particular vulnerability for America and are targeting critical military and economic cyberinfrastructure.
Admiral Mike Mullen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lists cyberattacks as one of the top threats facing the United States. Secretary of Defense and former CIA Director Leon Panetta warned that the next Pearl Harbor we confront could very well be a cyberattack that cripples our power systems, our grid, our security systems, our financial systems, our governmental systems.
This legislation not only protects our national security and intellectual property, it also provides private and public entities to voluntarily work with the government to protect every individual's personal information from nation-state actors like China, Russia, and Iran, who are determined to use cyberattacks to steal from us and weaken us.
This bipartisan amendment will further solidify protecting the homeland from foreign nation-states wishing to do us harm, while protecting civil liberties.
This amendment significantly narrows the bill's current limitation of the Federal Government's use of cyberthreat information that is voluntarily shared by the private sector. Specifically, this amendment strictly limits the Federal Government's use of voluntarily shared cyberthreat information to the following five purposes: cybersecurity purposes; investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes; protection of individuals from danger of death or serious bodily harm; and protection of minors from child pornography, any risk of sexual exploitation, and serious threats to the physical safety of a minor; finally, protection of the national security of the United States.
If the government violates the use limitation, the bill provides for government liability for actual damages, costs, and attorney fees in Federal court. These provisions together ensure that information cannot be shared with the government or used under this bill unless there's a direct tie to cybersecurity.
Cyberterrorists work fast, so Congress needs to work faster to protect America. Enabling information-sharing between the government and private sector is the quickest and easiest way to prevent a cyberattack on our Nation. Our amendment ensures we can accomplish this goal while also protecting the privacy of all Americans, and I urge my colleagues to support it.
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