From the assembly lines of Detroit to the steel mills of Pittsburgh to the oil fields of Houston, our country has been built by an entrepreneurial spirit and thirst for innovation. And despite our recent economic challenges, that spirit is alive and well. Here in Maryland, for example, our growing life sciences sector has generated one-third of all job gains over the last 10 years. It's now supporting more than $9.6 billion in salaries for Maryland families and contributes nearly $500 million to incomes and sales tax revenues each year.
The 500 bioscience companies in Maryland are developing ground-breaking therapies for diseases like
For decades, countries like
Currently, the U.S government can identify malicious computer code that could be an incoming cyber attack on a government or corporate network. But the law won't allow us to share this information with private companies so that they can protect themselves.
That's why House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, and I have crafted the Cyber Intelligence and Sharing Protection Act (H.R. 3523), which the House overwhelmingly passed this month in a bipartisan vote. This common-sense bill will simply allow the federal government and American companies to share suspicious computer code. Despite recent media reports, the bill does not authorize the government to monitor your computer use or read your email, Tweets or
I fought for strong privacy protections throughout the legislative process. We made significant progress in this area through an amendment package that passed the House and was supported by civil liberties advocates and the administration. Privacy protections will only be strengthened as the bill moves to the Senate. I am confident that the House and Senate can work together to pass a bill that will serve our national security while also protecting privacy so the president can sign it into law.
As we work to improve the bill, it's important to keep in mind the significant threat that cyber attacks pose to our safety in addition to our economy. We know terrorist groups such as al-Qaidawould like to hack into the lifesaving systems that protect our water supply, power the electric grid and operate the air traffic control system. Our intelligence leaders — including Homeland Security Secretary
Of course, we also need cybersecurity to protect our economic interests, such as the ones under way at the labs of the