Chairman Mike Rogers Statement
Chairman Mike Rogers Statement
Opening Statement on the House Floor
“Never a problem have I seen, when it comes to our national security, Madame Chair, that we are just not prepared to handle. In just the last few years, nation states like China have stolen enough intellectual property from just defense contractors, that would be equivalent to 50 times the print collection of the US Library of Congress.
“We have nation states who are literally stealing jobs and our future. We also have countries that are engaged in activities and have capabilities that have the ability to break networks, computer networks. Which means you can’t just reboot. It means your system is literally broken. Those kinds of disruptions can be catastrophic when you think about the financial sector, or the energy sector, or our command and control elements for all our national security apparatus.
“This is as serious a problem as I have seen. So last year my partner, Dutch Ruppersberger, the vice chairman and ranking member of the intelligence committee, we agreed that this was a significant enough problem to the future prosperity of America that we better do something about it. We needed to stop the Chinese government from stealing our stuff. We needed to stop the Russians from what they are doing to our networks and people’s personal information, data, and resources. We needed to prepare for countries like Iran and North Korea so that they don’t do something catastrophic to our networks here in America and cause us real harm to real people.
“So in a bipartisan way we set out to do something very, very, very narrow. When the government spies overseas, it collects malware, viruses, software that is dangerous to our computers. It means they can either steal our stuff, the personal information off of your computer, or they can steal the secrets that make your business viable, the kinds of secrets that give people jobs. So wouldn’t it be great if we could take that source code, that software and share it with the private sector so that they could put it on their private systems like they do every single day to try to protect networks and have that added advantage of that extra coverage from that malicious source code?
“The good news is this happens every day. If you have Norton or McAfee of Symantec or any other anti-virus protection on your computer, it has patches of information that they know is really bad stuff. And every time you turn your computer on, it updates and tries to protect your computer, your personal information. That’s all this is is adding to that patchwork some zeros and some ones that we know is malicious code that is either going to steal your information or break your computer, or something worse. That’s all this bill is. It draws a very fine line between the government and the private sector. It is all voluntary. There are no new mandates. There is no government surveillance, none, not any in this bill. It just says if we know we have this source code, shouldn’t we be obligated to give it so it doesn’t do something bad to the companies and individuals in America. That is all this bill does.
“We have worked collaboratively with hundreds of companies, privacy groups, civil libertarians; we have worked with government folks. We have had hundreds and hundreds of meetings for over a year. We have kept this bill open in an unprecedented, transparent way to try to meet the needs of privacy concerns, civil libertarian concerns, civil liberties concerns. We wanted to make sure that this was a bill that people understood exactly what we are trying to do, how simple it is and how crucial it is to the future defense of this great nation.
“You know, without our ideas, without our innovation that countries like China are stealing every single day; we will cease to be a great nation. They are slowly and silently and quickly stealing the value and prosperity of America.
“One credit card company said that they get attacked for your personal information 300,000 times a day, one company. We have a company that can show you that stolen intellectual property, one particular company estimated 20,000 manufacturing jobs that they lost for Americans that were good paying jobs because countries like China stole their intellectual property and illegally competed against them in the market place.
“This is as bad a problem, Madame Speaker, as I have seen, and I think you will hear throughout the day this has been a responsible debate, it has been a responsible negotiation to get to privacy concerns and to our ability to protect your information on your computer through these series of zeros and ones, the binary code on our computers.
“Again, I want to thank my Ranking Member for his partnership and his work. He has been exceptional to work with on something that we both agree, and we agreed in a bipartisan fashion, was a danger to the future prosperity of America. And with that I would reserve the balance of my time. “