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Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Chairman, today the Internet and new technologies are shaping a world that we could scarcely have imagined even 10 years ago. It's giving Americans an easy way to build friendships, build business, and participate in democracy, all with the click of a button.

But because so much of our daily lives are invested in cyberspace, it only takes one more click to put our personal identities, our economic stability, and our national security at risk. The threat of a cyber attack on our country is real, and our response must always balance our security with our liberties. That has always been the case in the history of America, the balance between liberty and security.

There can be absolutely no doubt or delay in shoring up our Nation's cybersecurity. We must take clear, responsible, effective action to enhance the security of the American people.

I want to commend Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger, working together in a bipartisan way, for their leadership on this issue and their efforts to craft and try to improve this legislation. I want to thank Chairman McCaul and Ranking Member Thompson on the Homeland Security Committee for their energetic leadership on this subject as well. I thank both committees for recognizing the jurisdiction of the other committee.

I had hoped that today we would be addressing some major concerns of Members of Congress and the White House by improving the legislation's protections of personal information. With all of the respect in the world for the work of our chairs and ranking members on this, and it has been considerable. You have standing on this issue that is recognized and respected. I am disappointed, however, that we did not address some of the concerns, as I mentioned, of the White House about personal information.

Unfortunately, this bill offers no policies, did not allow any amendments--and I don't put that to you, no amendments--and no real solutions that adequately uphold an American's right to privacy.

For one thing, in promoting the sharing of cyber threat information, the bill does not require the private sector to minimize irrelevant personally identifiable information from what it shares with the government, or other private matters. They can just ship the whole kit and caboodle. We are saying minimize what is relevant to our national security; the rest is none of the government's business.

The bill continues to offer overly broad liability protections and immunities to the businesses that could violate our liberties rather than offering more targeted liabilities to ensure that the private sector only shares appropriate information.

We thought there might be a way to get this done by amendment--I'm sure that it would enjoy bipartisan support--but the Rules Committee did not allow that amendment to come forward.

Most importantly, the bill fails to critically address the greatest weakness in our cybersecurity: our Nation's infrastructure. Too many of our country's systems, both physical and virtual, are still exposed to an increasing number of intrusions and attacks.

Now, as a longtime former member of the Intelligence Committee, I know that infrastructure is not your jurisdiction, so in your original bill you couldn't go to that place. But now the Rules Committee could have allowed, with the cooperation of the Homeland Security Committee, us to go into infrastructure.

If we're truly going to secure a reliable and resilient cyberspace that reflects our country's values, we must target our clearest vulnerabilities, while preserving a space that promotes the innovation, expression, and security of the American people.

The world we live in and the threats our country faces can change with just one click. While we should never let Americans doubt our vigilance, our preparation, our effectiveness, we must never let us compromise their civil liberties.

If we fail to meet the standard of security, we always do more harm than good.

I, myself, am personally going to vote "no'' on this legislation but, in doing so, salute the chairs and ranking members of the committees for taking us way down the road on this issue. It's just that crucial balance between security and liberty that I do not think has been struck in that bill. So, for my own part, it will not have my support.


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