Heinrich Statement On Cybersecurity Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today after voting to approve S.754, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 74 to 21. The House of Representatives passed similar legislation earlier this year that must be reconciled with the Senate bill before final legislation goes to the President.

Senator Heinrich successfully amended the bill to require that the attorney general determine a specific limitation on how long cyber information can be retained; to require the Attorney General to develop guidance regarding the types of information considered to be cyber threat indicators, and the types of personal information generally considered unrelated to such a threat; and successfully lobbied for the removal of a newly created exception to the Freedom of Information Act that would have reduced government transparency and openness.

"Cybersecurity is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation. The future of warfare is moving further away from the battlefield and closer to the devices and the networks everyday citizens depend on. We can all agree that we must do more to prepare and protect ourselves from malicious cyber actors.

"This bill is the result of pragmatism and compromise and its passage is an indication of what's possible when we move beyond partisan politics and put the needs of the American people first.

"Our ability to defend our nation against cyber-attacks requires a comprehensive approach that involves not only the federal government, but also industry. I am especially proud that research institutions, including our national labs, military installations and universities in New Mexico, will continue playing a critical role in our nation's cyber security.

"While we work to strengthen our nation's ability to protect critical infrastructure and respond to cyber attacks, we must also always preserve the right of citizens to be free from unwarranted interference in their lives, which the framers understood as vital to American liberties. I will continue to push for reforms that the American people want and deserve to keep our country both safe and free."