Heck Applauds Passage of Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
CISPA protects homeland, economy, privacy
Heck: "We have produced a bill that upholds Constitutional rights to privacy while providing the private sector with the necessary means to defend itself against cyber attackers"
WASHINGTON - As American businesses and computer systems continue to be targeted by cyber attacks that cost us jobs and put individuals' privacy at risk, Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV-03), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, today applauded House passage of H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). This bill would allow the federal government to share classified cyber threat intelligence with private sector entities to help protect consumers. American intelligence agencies possess information related to cyber attacks but under current law are prohibited from sharing that information with private companies. As a result of repeated and costly attacks, private sector companies requested that they be able to access this classified information to better protect their systems and their customer's privacy. CISPA, which passed the Intelligence Committee by a vote of 17-1, was drafted using input from the private sector and civil liberty groups and by building upon the success of an existing intelligence sharing pilot program within the Department of Defense.
"Before private sector companies and computer networks can be totally secure, they must have the information necessary to identify the threats they are facing," Rep. Heck said. "This bill will allow the government to provide classified cyber threat intelligence to private sector companies so that they can protect sensitive information and their customers' privacy against malicious cyber attacks. Southern Nevada is full of appealing targets for cyber attackers and I believe we must give those companies the means to defend themselves."
Rep. Heck spoke on the House floor to urge his colleagues to support the legislation he co-sponsored as a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. To see a video of his remarks, click here.
H.R. 3523 would:
* Help private sector businesses defend themselves from attacks by nation-states by allowing the government to provide intelligence information needed to protect their networks and their customers’ privacy.
* Keep the federal government’s hands off the Internet, and does not allow the government to stop access to particular websites, or to censor or require private companies to remove content.
* Protect Americans’ privacy by prohibiting Washington from forcing private companies to hand over information while encouraging companies to “anonymize” information voluntarily shared with others.
Clark County is home to the SuperNap information core, which according to its website is, "the world's largest and most powerful data center and technology ecosystem." If hit by a cyber attack, such a facility, and the companies they serve as clients, would suffer a catastrophic loss of sensitive business data and individual's private information.
Nellis Air Force Base would also be a target for cyber attacks as it is home to critical military information.
For a listing of private sector companies and groups that support CISPA, click here.
To read a copy of the bill, click here.