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House Intelligence chairman voices frustrations on CISPA

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The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the Edward Snowden leaks have dealt a further setback to attempts in Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 624) passed the House in April but has not received a vote in the Senate. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich), the House Intelligence chairman, said Oct. 23 that Snowden's revelations about National Security Agency surveillance damaged perceptions of the bill and raised concerns, which he said were undeserved, that it would allow more government access to personal information.

Rogers spoke at a panel discussion hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

"The biggest problem we had was not the technical aspects of it. It was the perception," he said. Rogers voiced frustration that CISPA's supporters hadn't been able to make a more compelling case for the bill.

"When you think of this threat--that we're going to allow our private sector, the next generation of innovation...to fly out the back door because we have a misperception about what we're trying to do in defense--shame on us," he said.

James Andrew Lewis, director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at CSIS, also lamented the lack of urgency around efforts to strengthen cybersecurity.

"It won't be another 9/11. I hate 'cyber 9/11.' I hate 'cyber Pearl Harbor'...I hate all those things. They're exaggerations. But we're in the same pattern. We can see the iceberg coming towards the ship, and we're saying, 'Ah, that's really interesting. Look at that big white thing,'" he said.

For more:
- go to the CSIS event webpage (webcast available)

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