Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns with the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.
Protection from constant cyber attacks is critical to our national and economic security. Cyber threats from nations, such as China, as well as individuals and groups are rapidly growing. I believe it is critical that the public and private sectors work together to protect against these unauthorized attacks aimed at stealing personal and government information, while at the same time ensuring that the Constitutional civil liberties and privacy of Americans are protected.
On April 26, 2012, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act by a bipartisan vote of 248 to 168. This bill would establish procedures allowing our intelligence community to share cyber threat information with American companies that have been inspected and vetted. I certainly understand your concerns with regard to privacy issues and government accountability and you should know that these are not issues I take lightly. However, I am pleased that because concerns such as yours were raised, the final version of this bill that I supported included several provisions to limit the federal government's power. It is important to emphasize that this bill does not give the federal government the authority to monitor or access private sector networks. The government will not be able to stop access to particular websites, require companies to provide any information, censor or remove content. Additionally, this bill will sunset after five years from the date of enactment. This guarantees Congress will be able to reevaluate, debate potential concerns, address issues, and make any necessary reforms to the law before it's extended.
I believe this bill strikes the proper balance of protecting Americans' constitutional right to privacy and holding the federal government accountable, while allowing U.S. businesses to better protect their networks and private customer information from cyber attacks.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on matters of importance to you.
Member of Congress