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Mr. MAFFEI. I thank the gentlelady from Arizona for offering this amendment.
Mr. Chair, I rise today to speak in support of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. I opposed the PATRIOT Act because many of its elements I did feel violated civil liberties and allowed things like profiling and abusive wiretapping; and while I don't think this was an easy decision, I do feel that this is certainly a different case.
Every day international agents, terrorists, and criminal organizations attack the public and private networks of the United States, as we speak. They disrupt services, attack newspapers and banks, infiltrate government agencies. They can steal intellectual property, and most alarmingly, they access private information of millions of citizens.
We've already seen state actors like the People's Republic of China pursue widespread data theft from American computer networks. Intelligence experts believe that rogue nations like Iran and even independent groups like WikiLeaks are pursuing very aggressive measures to hack into our Nation's power grid, our air traffic control systems, and individuals' personal financial records and other sorts of records across the country; and I do believe we should be very concerned. So while I do have some concern that the U.S. Government may access our private information in the cybersphere, I am more concerned that the Chinese Government will access our private information. This is a clear and present danger.
This bill does have protections that strictly prohibit the Federal Government from using or retaining any information other than for cyber threat purposes. And it remains illegal, after this bill is passed, for a company to share its information, except for cybersecurity reasons. This amendment will help to further enforce that.
We must recognize that cybersecurity threats are real and constantly changing. This bill is an important measure that allows private companies to share the cyber threat information with the Federal Government to help protect critical networks and infrastructure from attack.
I support this bill. It is an important step in our United States security strategy to protect our country from emerging cyber threats at home and abroad. And I support this amendment.
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