House approves Intelligence Committee’s cyber information-sharing legislation

HPSCI 112In a strong, bipartisan 307-116 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R. 1560). House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, Ranking Member Adam Schiff, NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Westmoreland, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Himes issued the following statements on the bill’s passage:

Chairman Nunes: “As shown by the recent series of debilitating cyberattacks on U.S. companies, America’s digital networks must urgently be secured. Americans need to know they can use their credit cards or buy health insurance without fearing that their personal information will be stolen by cyber-thieves or exploited by hostile foreign powers. This bipartisan bill takes strong action to defend our networks against these threats, and I commend the House for approving these vital measures.”

Ranking Member Schiff: “Congress today took an important step forward in the fight against devastating cyber attacks on American businesses by passing a bipartisan cyber information sharing bill with strong privacy protections. Businesses across the country are being cyber-attacked billions of times a day, and it is costing American workers and companies billions of dollars in stolen research and development, intellectual property and life savings. These threats also jeopardize critical infrastructure — both public and private.  Our bill will ensure that we have the tools to address these attacks by enabling voluntary information sharing of cyber threats between and among the private and public sectors.  It’s my hope that this bill will be taken up quickly by the Senate, and that we can continue to make important improvements to the bill as it makes its way to the President’s desk.”

Chairman Westmoreland: “Empowering American businesses with the ability to work together and fight back against hackers and cyberterrorists is invaluable to our nation’s daily battle against terrorism. The Protecting Cyber Networks Act is critical to safeguarding our personal information from terrorists and thieves while also protecting our homeland from devastating cyberattacks. Cyberterrorism is the new battlefield, and adapting to this warfare is crucial to eliminating these threats. With the government and private sector working together, we can ensure that America remains on the offense against future cyberattacks.”

Ranking Member Himes: “The repeated cyber-attacks against companies like Anthem, Target and Home Depot, and the national security threat posed by criminals and hostile nation-states, have made it clear that Congress must act to improve our cybersecurity. Today’s strong bipartisan vote to approve this legislation is an important step in better protecting Americans’ personal information and our networks. In my work on the Intelligence Committee, I have worked hard to ensure that this legislation strikes the right balance between protecting our nation’s security and the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens. This bill requires multiple scrubs of private personal information, a real sign of progress on this front. I will continue to advocate for strong privacy safeguards to be included in comprehensive cybersecurity legislation this year.”

For more information on the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, click here.

Source: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence