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Public Statements

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARTON. Mr. Chair, when this same bill or bill similar to it was on the House floor last year, I had to reluctantly rise in opposition to it because it was my opinion that the privacy protections in the bill were not sufficient to protect the privacy of the American people. I think that surprised a lot of people that I was not for the bill.

After the bill failed to move in the Senate, I went to Chairman Rogers and I told him that I supported the underlying intent of the bill and I was hopeful that, if the bill came back up in this session, he and myself and our staffs could work together to improve the privacy protections. He promised then that he would do it, and Chairman Rogers and his staff have been men and women of their word. The result is a bill that was reported out of the Intelligence Committee on a bipartisan basis with much stronger privacy protections.

When I went to the Rules Committee, Chairman Rogers supported that this amendment I'm about to offer should be made in order, and it has been. And if this amendment is accepted--and I'm told that the chairman and the ranking member are going to support it, as I'm not aware of any organized opposition to it--it is going to be my intent to vote for the bill.

We obviously have a cyber threat that faces the American people, and Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger have talked about that in some detail earlier in this debate. We want to combat that threat. But in doing it, we do not want to eliminate or weaken the privacy protections of the American people that we represent in this body.

So what my amendment does is make sure that any information that is collected is going to be used simply for the purpose of protecting against cyber threats. It's a very short amendment. It adds a new section to the bill, section 4. Here I will read the amendment since it's in clear English and very short.

Nothing in this act or the amendments made by this act shall be construed to provide new or alter any existing authority for an entity to sell personal information of a consumer to another entity for marketing purposes.

What this does, Mr. Chair, is simply nail down the fact that when we find information that might be necessary to protect against a cyber threat, that's all it's going to be used for. It can't be used for any other purpose.

As I said earlier, Chairman Rogers has worked very closely with myself, and his staff has worked with my staff. Congressman Markey of Massachusetts, who is the cochairman of the Privacy Caucus, strongly supports this amendment.

Again, I think it was unanimously accepted at the Rules Committee. I'm aware of no opposition, so I hope that we can adopt the amendment.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.


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