President Biden Signs Sweeping Artificial Intelligence Executive Order

On October 30, 2023, President Joe Biden issued an executive order (EO or the Order) on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advance a coordinated, federal governmentwide approach toward the safe and responsible development of AI. It sets forth a wide range of federal regulatory principles and priorities, directs myriad federal agencies to promulgate standards and technical guidelines, and invokes statutory authority — the Defense Production Act — that has historically been the primary source of presidential authorities to commandeer or regulate private industry to support the national defense. The Order reflects the Biden administration’s desire to make AI more secure and to cement U.S. leadership in global AI policy ahead of other attempts to regulate AI — most notably in the European Union and United Kingdom and to respond to growing competition in AI development from China.

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New Export Controls on Advanced Computing and Semiconductor Manufacturing: Five Key Takeaways

On October 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published updated export controls on advanced computing items and semiconductor manufacturing equipment under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Specifically, BIS published two interim final rules that revise and expand on the restrictions implemented in the initial interim final rule issued on October 7, 2022 (October 7, 2022 rule).1

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Biden Administration Announces National Cybersecurity Strategy

On March 1, 2023, the Biden administration announced its long-awaited National Cybersecurity Strategy. The strategy is part of the administration’s efforts to bolster and modernize public and private responses to cybersecurity threats.

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Developments to Improve the Cybersecurity of Federal Government Agencies, Critical Infrastructure

Recently, several developments have been proposed or announced to help identify and mitigate cyber risk for United States critical infrastructure operators and software in an effort to further bolster the cybersecurity posture of the federal government. (more…)

U.S. Treasury Department Seeks Public Comment On Potential Federal Cyber Insurance Program

The U.S. Treasury Department is seeking public comment on the need and scope for a potential federal insurance response to catastrophic cyber incidents, akin to the one put in place for terrorism insurance after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

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U.S. FERC Proposes Revisions to Cybersecurity Incentives for Utilities

On September 22, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) regarding Incentives for Advanced Cybersecurity Investment, requesting comment on proposed revisions to regulations implementing the Federal Power Act (FPA). The revisions would provide incentive-based rate treatments for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce and the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce by utilities for certain voluntary cybersecurity investments. The NOPR was issued in response to a Congressional mandate set forth in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which directed FERC to establish cybersecurity incentives that would encourage investments by utilities in advanced cybersecurity technology and participation in cybersecurity threat information sharing programs. This NOPR replaces a prior cybersecurity incentives NOPR from December 2020.

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Blockchain Tracing: The U.S. Government’s Newest Tool to Combat Foreign Crime

On May 13, 2022, U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui of the District of Columbia took the unusual step of unsealing and issuing a Memorandum Opinion captioned “In Re: Criminal Complaint” to explain the court’s conclusion that probable cause existed to authorize a federal criminal complaint against an individual for transmitting over $10 million worth of bitcoin between the United States and an Office of Foreign Assets Control–sanctioned nation, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and defrauding the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.

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Data Matters: The Declaration for the Future of the Internet

On April 28, 2022, the White House announced, in partnership with 60 global partners, the launch of the Declaration for the Future of the Internet, also known as the “DFI.”

According to the White House briefing, the Declaration sets forth the shared principles regarding how parties should comport themselves with respect to the Internet, the digital ecosystem, and the digital economy. The Declaration affirms that the signatories are committed to defending the Internet, to governing it by a multi-stakeholder approach, and to promoting an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet for the world. The State Department’s newly formed Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy put out a nearly identical statement. (more…)

CISA: “We don’t stab the wounded.”

Jen Easterly, Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), repeatedly emphasizes CISA’s cooperative approach with the U.S. private sector. During her interview with Sidley’s Alan Raul on April 13, 2022, Easterly emphasized that CISA’s role was not to “name, blame, shame, or stab the wounded” victims of cybersecurity incidents. Instead, she described the Agency as a coequal partner with the private sector in securing U.S. infrastructure. CISA desires to partner with other agencies as well, operating as the “front door” to federal agency support and cyber security resources, she stated. During the Raul interview, she also provided insight into the Agency’s perspective on the newly enacted Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA). (more…)

Joyce Yeager

Knowledge Management Lawyer

jyeager@sidley.com

Alan Charles Raul

Washington, D.C., New York

araul@sidley.com

Understanding China’s Data Regulatory Regime: What Are Important Data? And Can They Be Transferred Outside Of China?

The concept of “important data” is a cornerstone of China’s data regulatory regime. The Cyber Security Law (2017) (the CSL) prohibits operators of critical information infrastructures (CIIs) from transferring their “important data” and personal information outside of China. The Data Security Law (2021) (the DSL) and some recent draft regulations indicate that the prohibition on exports of “important data” is likely to apply to all companies, whether CII operators or not.

Then, what are “important data”? (more…)