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Public Statements

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MULVANEY. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Chair, I appreciate the opportunity to rise today to speak in favor to this amendment to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. CISPA is fundamentally based on the authority granted to Congress in article I of the Constitution and article IV of the Constitution, specifically to provide for the common defense and to protect the Nation against invasion--in fact, the only affirmative duty that this government is obligated to meet under the terms of our Constitution.

This bill protects our Nation from foreign cyberthreats through the voluntary sharing of cyberthreat information. It is important for Members to understand this bill allows for only voluntary sharing of information on cybersecurity threats to the United States between the government and the private sector.

It includes no mandates to the private sector. It contains no new spending and strictly limits how the government can use the information that is voluntarily provided by the private sector. The amendment that I've offered with Mr. Dicks today goes one step further to protect the private information of American citizens. It explicitly prohibits the Federal Government from retaining or using the information for purposes other than specifically specified or set forth in the legislation.

Let's make it clear. The government cannot keep or use the shared information to see if you failed to pay your taxes. The government cannot use this information to read your emails. The government cannot use this information to track your credit card purchases or look at the Web sites that you've been visiting. Under our amendment, the Federal Government cannot use retained information unless it was directly related to a cyber or national security threat.

Finally, this bipartisan amendment requires--requires--the Federal Government to notify any private sector entity that shares information with the government if that information is not, in fact, cyberthreat information so that it doesn't happen again, and the government must delete that information.

The privacy of American citizens is simply too important to dismiss. Our amendment narrows the scope of the bill to ensure personal information is protected and that we are focusing on the true threat--advanced, foreign state-sponsored cyberattacks against America and its private entities.

With that, I would yield such time as he may consume to the chairman.


Mr. MULVANEY. This amendment, ladies and gentlemen, is fairly simple and straightforward, but it bears discussion for a few moments. It requires the bill to expire of its own terms within 5 years. It's what we call in this business a sunset clause. And by its own terms, if the bill is passed, it will automatically cease to be, cease to be enforceable after 5 years unless this body acts affirmatively to renew it.

Generally, I think this is good policy with most things that we do in Washington, D.C. In fact, several people say that one of the biggest difficulties we have in this town is that we simply create laws all the time and they never go away. So generally speaking, I think sunset clauses are to be admired and to be encouraged.

Even more so is the case, however, when we deal with situations where we have concerns regarding individual liberties. We've worked very, very hard to make this bill a good bill. It is an excellent bill. I'm proud to be a cosponsor of this bill.

But every single time that we start moving into the realm where the government action starts to bump up against individual liberties, it's a good idea to take a pause after this certain amount of time, in this case 5 years, and look our hands over, look over the actual implementation of the bill and make sure that we did exactly what we thought that we were going to do.

Finally, I think in a case when we're dealing with technology, which moves so very rapidly--in fact, we've written this bill as well as we possibly could to try and deal with unanticipated development in technology--but when you're dealing with technology that moves so rapidly and changes so quickly, I think it's important, after a certain period of time, again, here, 5 years, to step back, look our hands over and make sure that things worked exactly as we thought they would.

So, for that reason, Madam Chairman, I ask that this amendment be considered and be approved.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.


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