By Robert Epstein |
In Washington, there are two ways to quickly determine whether a piece of legislation is balanced and fair: One is when the concessions in a bill reach a tipping-point and become poison pills for all parties. The other is when the measure has both wide-ranging bipartisan and industry support. CISPA—the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act—falls comfortably in the latter category.
Passed out of the House Intelligence Committee with an overwhelming vote of 17-1, it is refreshing to see that common sense measures in our country—at least in matters of national security—can still be bipartisan. This legislation, authored by the Intelligence Committee's Republican chairman, Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, and the panel's Ranking democrat, Maryland Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, goes out of its way to protect not only our country, but our privacy, as well.
Among other things, the bill sets a sound precedent for future collaboration by ensuring that any proprietary information volunteered to security agencies will not be compromised and that the private data it is afforded—all of which is offered voluntarily—will not be inappropriately searched or utilized. CISPA does not contains "kill switches," mandates, or sanctions—it sets up the means for responsible data collaboration between the public and private sector in secure environments to the benefit of all parties.
More than anything, though, CISPA gives us the tools and resources needed to defend ourselves in cyberspace, which has become the invisible battleground of the 21st century—a battleground where America's adversaries are working to not only sabotage our critical infrastructure, but steal one of our greatest resources: our ideas and ingenuity.
As Chairman Rogers said at a recent policy breakfast hosted by the Ripon Society, "There are two companies left in America—those that have been hacked and know it, and those that have been hacked and don't know it."
CISPA is a good first step toward protecting American companies and individuals from this threat, and is something both Republicans and Democrats should support.
About James K. Conzelman President & CEO of The Ripon Society.
Mike Rogers Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence