Daines: Privacy and Security Both Matter in Cyber Reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines today underscored the importance of enhancing America’s cybersecurity infrastructure while striking the right balance between protecting Americans from borderless cyber criminals and protecting Americans’ privacy.

Daines made the following remarks on the Senate floor this morning:

“As I like to say, there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those who know they have been hacked.

“This was recently seen at J.P Morgan Chase.

“Last summer, the company suffered a cyber attack that involved the theft of contact information for about 76 million households.

“In the aftermath, J.P. Morgan Chase is expected to double its budget for cyber security efforts this year.

“The case with J.P Morgan is not unique, nor a simple, cautionary tale for other major companies.

“In the last few months, we’ve seen one of the largest cyber attacks on our nation’s technology infrastructure and other major cyber breaches affect our financial and transportation sector.

“And in the midst of these attacks, we see radical Islamic terrorists infiltrating American social media networks to recruit Americans to join them as jihadists overseas.

“We must work to address these challenges.

“Our response must be measured and thoughtful—not only about immediate threats to our cyber infrastructure, but also to the long-term affects on our national security and constitutional freedoms.

“As we are seeing with the European Union— after years of debate, the EU is currently working on policies to ensure their citizens are notified of cyber breaches within 72 hours and that victims of these attacks are notified without undue delay.

“That is the type of response we need in the United States, and much like the notification reforms I’ve worked for in Congress.

“On a near-daily basis, we see headlines in our major newspapers that underscore the absolute importance of creating a concrete timeline for implementing timely notification standards.

“I spent more than twelve years working in the technology sector, and I know firsthand the power that big data holds.

“I also know the risks when that data is compromised.

“It is unacceptable that any American is left in the dark when their personally identifiable information may have been breached.

“That’s why I’ve been fighting to strengthen notification requirements and ensure the American people know when their personal information is compromised.

“When I was running customer service operations at RightNow Technologies and looking out for customers, when we had a problem, our policy was that we notified our customers as soon as we were aware of the problem – maybe not always understanding the magnitude of the problems, but we believed we owed it to our customers to get back to them.

“The customers, the consumers of this country should be served in a similar way.

“But as the Senate prepares to consider cyber security reforms, we also need to strike the right balance between protecting our cyber security infrastructure and the personal information of Americans, while also protecting the constitutional rights and liberty of the American people.

“We must protect our nation’s security while also preserving our civil liberties.

“We must remain vigilant – and we must ensure that we have robust and transparent debate about cyber protections and what reforms must be implemented to protect Americans’ civil liberties.

“We see some of those protections in the legislation I have cosponsored – spearheaded by Senators Mike Lee and Patrick Leahy.

“The ‘Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act of 2015’ modernizes our nation’s electronic privacy laws and bring protections against warrantless searches into harmony with the technological realities of the 21st century.

“The protections currently on the books may have been robust in 1986 when the ECPA was written, but they do not adequately defend our citizens against the mass data storage that currently exists.

“This bill ensures that the federal government gives our law enforcement officials the tools they need, while ensuring that Montanans aren’t subjected to invasive and unwarranted searches.

“Privacy and security both matter. I believe we can find a balance that protects both.

“I urge my colleagues to join me in finding reforms that stop cyber criminals from infiltrating our security networks and also preserve the privacy that Montanans and Americans hold dear.”