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Public Statements

Cybersecurity and the Constitution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCLINTOCK. Madam Speaker, the House has been considering H.R. 624, the so-called CISPA bill.

Although its sponsors assure us that a person's Internet data would be stripped of personal identification, this bill then allows this data to be used to prosecute certain Federal crimes. Well, how could they do it? It turns out the Federal Government, having stumbled upon this evidence, can then seek a warrant to obtain that personally identifying information.

That makes it the functional equivalent of the ``writs of assistance'' used by the English Crown in colonial times. It is antithetical to the Fourth Amendment, which requires that, before the government can invade your privacy, it must first present a court with reasonable cause to believe you have committed a crime. This bill effectively allows the government to search through your personal records indiscriminantly and then use that information to form the basis of a prosecution.

Cybersecurity is an important national security issue, but it does not trump the Bill of Rights or the American freedoms that our Constitution protects.

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