Press Releases

Washington—Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on confronting cyber attacks:

“Yesterday’s announcement that a cyber attack compromised the personal data of 4 million federal employees is just the latest in a series of massive breaches. Add to that attacks against companies like Sony, Target and Home Depot, numerous health care companies, banks around the world and multiple government agencies including the Department of Defense and you begin to see how far-reaching this problem is.

“Recent media reports have shed light on NSA efforts to identify, track and thwart cyber attacks originating in foreign countries. These programs are not intended to go after Americans or small-scale cyber theft. They are targeted at foreign governments, terrorist groups and overseas criminal syndicates that commit sweeping attacks on U.S. networks, stealing data from millions of Americans and costing our economy trillions of dollars.

“Congress must take action.

“First, we need a strong data breach notification law requiring that consumers be notified when their information has been stolen. Congress has debated legislation to do this since 2003, when I first introduced a bill. The time to act is now.

“Second, we need legislation to permit the sharing of cyber threat information not only between companies but also between companies and the government, as well as provide liability protection to promote such sharing. The ability to easily and quickly share cyber attack information, along with ways to counter attacks, is a key method to stop them from happening in the first place.

“The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bill I introduced with Senator Burr, was approved in March by the Senate Intelligence Committee on a 14-1 vote. It would permit this vital information sharing while protecting individual privacy and civil liberties and providing companies with liability protection. I believe this bill should come before the full Senate as soon as we finish with the defense authorization bill.

“It’s impossible to overstate this threat: Trillions of dollars, the private data of every single American, even the security of critical infrastructure like our power grid, nuclear plants and drinking water are all at risk. I believe we can protect the privacy of Americans and at the same time put in place powerful safeguards and tools to prevent these cyber attacks from abroad. We need to act quickly.”