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April 25, 2012

Rep. Thompson to Offer Bipartisan CISPA Amendments to Fix Fatal Flaws

April 25, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statements regarding missing privacy safeguards and the lack of critical infrastructure protection in legislation slated for consideration during 'Cyber Week'. Ranking Member Thompson will be testifying this afternoon before the House Rules Committee in support of three amendments to CISPA (H.R. 3523) that address these issues. Two of the amendments are bipartisan.

Echoing concerns expressed by Ranking Member Thompson and others, today, the Obama Administration announced its opposition to the bill in its current form and announced the recommendation to veto it if it were presented to the President.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement regarding missing robust privacy protections: Although there have been minor changes 'around the edges' of CISPA to address privacy protections, fundamental flaws remain. The American people need to clearly and transparently understand what is at stake. The bill, at this point, has too much ambiguity and broadness regarding who will have access to information about regular Americans' Internet activity and how such personal information can be used.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement regarding the lack of critical infrastructure protection in 'Cyber Week' and the demise of the PRECISE Act (H.R. 3674): The Republican Leadership is incorrect when it suggests that the Committee on Homeland Security was left behind during 'Cyber Week' because Committee Members could not reach bipartisan agreement on cybersecurity. All Committee Democrats were, in fact, ready and willing to vote in favor of legislation authored by Rep. Lungren to protect our nation's 18 critical infrastructure sectors – such as water facilities and chemical plants – from cyber attack. Unfortunately, by the time this bill was considered by our Committee last week, Republican Leadership had forced Committee Republicans to strip it down to a shell bill that did nothing to protect critical infrastructure. Interestingly, after Committee Republicans held their noses and reported the watered-down version to the House, it is not being considered this week.

This spectacle leaves me and many others wondering whether the Republican Leadership ever wanted to forward legislation that would protect critical infrastructure with even a crumb of regulation. We must not forget that every Member of Congress has some form of critical infrastructure in their districts and urgent action is demanded to protect it.

Links to Amendments and other information:

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978