U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said a bill passed by the Select Committee on Intelligence would be the nation’s “counterpunch” against cybercriminals who steal intellectual property online.

“For years, the United States has been taking punches from cybercriminals across the globe intent on stealing intellectual property — essentially our ideas — and Americans in manufacturing states like Maine are paying the price,” King said in a prepared statement. “This bill is our counterpunch.”

King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, urged Congress to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which was approved by the committee on a 12-3 vote Tuesday.

He said the fight against cybercrime will require citizen help and he pointed to incentives in the bill that would allow U.S. companies to more rapidly respond with shared information to cyberthreats.

According to King’s staff, the legislation removes legal barriers for companies to share, receive and use cyberthreat information and cyberdefensive measures on a voluntary basis.

The bill also provides liability protection for the sharing of information for cybersecurity purposes and provides protections to ensure that sharing of information does not allow for privacy intrusions.

“Specifically, the bill requires companies to remove personally identifiable information from cyberthreat information before sharing,” according to a news release from King’s office.

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