Rep. Miller: Cybersecurity Measure Protects American Privacy

Apr 18, 2013 Issues: Defense and Homeland Security, Economy and Jobs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today made the following statement in support of H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013.  This measure addresses the urgent needs to uphold our nation’s privacy laws and help American businesses and jobs and ensure the openness of the internet.  This bipartisan, balanced bill provides strong protections for privacy and civil liberties, while enabling effective cyber-threat sharing.  H.R. 624 passed the House of Representative by a vote of 288 to 127.  Miller said:

“We are living in an ever-changing world, a cyber world that has brought a tremendous amount of improvements in the way we connect, share information with one another and go about our daily lives.  The other side of these advancements is that innovative American companies working to build a better future are constantly under attack from state actors such as China, Russia, North Korea or Iran whose goal is the theft of intellectual property, the very ideas to build our world, and are using that stolen information to compete in the global marketplace.  The end result is not just the theft of ideas, but the destruction of American jobs. 

“Every day our financial sector is under attack from similar state actors seeking to harm our economy and steal the personal information of all Americans.  Additionally, our system of power distribution and other critical infrastructure is at risk of a devastating attack that could cripple our society.  Unfortunately, current law does not allow these companies to voluntarily work with the federal government to help shield themselves, their ideas, their customers’ personal information and our infrastructure from attack.  For these reasons and many others, we must act to uphold the constitutional responsibility of the federal government to provide for our common defense.

“The measure passed today in the House takes strong action to address the threats we are facing while also putting the privacy rights at the forefront.  We must continually work together to protect our nation and economy from the threats posed by these attackers.  Today we took an important step forward.”

Note: H.R. 624 enables cyber threat sharing within the private sector of a very limited category- cyber threat - information and, on a purely voluntary basis, with the government, all while providing strong protections for privacy and civil liberties.  The government does not force the private sector to share, only encourages the private sector to “anonymize” or “minimize” the information it voluntarily shares with the government, and H.R. 624 explicitly authorizes and encourages the government to create procedures to protect privacy and civil liberties.