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Public Statements

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


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

Mr. Chair, I appreciate the opportunity to rise today and speak in favor of my amendment to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. This is an example of the process working. A lot of folks have expressed concerns about the measure here, not only on the cyber intelligence side but as well the privacy and personal security side. I think this amendment and many others that we have seen today, and will see, are addressing that issue so we get the right balance between cybersecurity and individual liberties and freedoms, Fourth Amendment concerns.

The threat we face today in the cyber realm is nothing short of a serious threat to our national security. Nation-states like China and Russia are targeting the American government and the American private sector alike for cyber espionage, and potentially for cyber attack.

Chinese espionage targeting the American private sector to steal core research and development information--at the very heart of American innovations and jobs--represents an unprecedented threat to our very way of life.

While strongly supporting this legislation, I am pleased to have worked with Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger to further clarify that nothing in the legislation should be construed to be a surveillance program directed at American citizens.

The amendment is very concise yet extremely important. Titled the ``Limitation on Surveillance,'' it simply reads as follows:

Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the Department of Defense or the National Security Agency or any other element of the intelligence community to target a United States person for surveillance.

As we act to protect the United States from cyber attack by foreign countries and terrorist groups, we must ensure that our constitutional rights and privacy are maintained. The term ``United States person'' includes U.S. citizens and legal residents or legal visitors to the country, limiting the surveillance powers of this bill to foreign nationals and those entering the Nation illegally.

This amendment helps to strike the balance this measure strives for, granting our government the means to defend the Nation while, importantly, preventing any inappropriate use of these powers.

Again, I am pleased to support legislation that creates no new regulatory regime and does not create additional Federal bureaucracy or require significant additional spending.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. LaMALFA Mr. Chair, again, thank you to my colleagues. The ranking member from Maryland (Mr. Ruppersberger), I really appreciate your kind words and your strong support. To my colleague from Virginia, thank you for your kind words on the amendment as well. And to my colleague, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Rogers from Michigan, thank you for letting me offer this amendment here.

It does strike the balance I think we need with cybersecurity. The great threat to many of our institutions in this Nation is something that we do have to act upon, but also finding that balance with personal privacy that is so key to the elements of the founding of our Nation. I'm proud to be able to carry this amendment. I ask for your support, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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