Category

National Security

09 October 2018

Highlighting the Chinese Cybersecurity Law

Former Department of Homeland Security Chief Privacy Officer Hugo Teufel III and Sidley’s Edward McNicholas addressed a packed room on Chinese Cybersecurity Law at the 2018 Privacy + Security Forum hosted at George Washington University.  The timely presentation highlighted how, with significant attention in the past few years focused on the GDPR, many have not fully appreciated the significant policy and legal developments coming out of Beijing.  In particular, China has been creating a materially different approach to cybersecurity which serves the central purpose of defending the Chinese notion of cyber sovereignty.  Much uncertainty remains about the newly-effective laws and regulations, but it is clear that foreign technology and other companies operating in China should rapidly focus on its significant restrictions on outbound data transfer, the expansive definitions of “important data”, as well as reviews of network equipment security. Their presentation is available here.

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05 October 2018

White House and Pentagon Announce New Cyber Strategies

The Trump Administration continued to put its stamp on federal cybersecurity policy last week, as the White House issued its National Cyber Strategy while the Pentagon announced the Department of Defense Cyber Strategy.  The former document is a helpful step forward that continues and advances the cyber policies the Trump Administration inherited from the Obama and Bush Administrations, while the Pentagon’s release primarily focused on the Strategy’s endorsement of “Defense Forward,” which was taken as a signal the United States would be adopting a more aggressive operational posture in the future.  Data Matters readers will want to study both strategies, as each contains interesting insights into how the Trump Administration envisions the development of the cybersecurity ecosystem and see the public and private sectors working together to mitigate cyber risks.  (more…)

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25 June 2018

A Flurry of Recent Cybersecurity Activity from the Trump Administration

Soon after he took office, President Trump issued Executive Order (EO) 13800, Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure.  Given that the President spent much of his campaign and early Presidency trying to distance his Administration from that of his predecessor, commentators noted a surprising amount of continuity between Trump’s cybersecurity EO and the Obama Administration’s approach to cybersecurity.  A focus on critical infrastructure and transparency from publicly traded companies that control it; an emphasis on the public and private sectors working together; reliance on standards promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology; a focus on protecting the Federal Government’s networks, including by taking steps toward using shared infrastructure such as the cloud – EO 13800 builds on existing policies and initiatives in each of these areas and others.    (more…)

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29 May 2018

Amid Growing Threats, White House Dismantles Top Cybersecurity Post

On May 15, 2018, various media outlets reported that the Trump administration decided to eliminate the position of White House Cybersecurity Coordinator. According to reports, John Bolton, appointed as National Security Adviser effective April 2018, had been instrumental in the decision that the position was no longer necessary based on the reasoning that the role was already addressed by other members of President Trump’s national security staff. The administration’s decision was met with sharp criticism, including from Democrats in Congress such as U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) who called the move “mindboggling” and cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier, who called it “a spectacularly bad idea.”

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15 May 2018

DFAR Cybersecurity FAQs Provide Practical Guidance Highlighting Expansive Scope of Contractor Requirements

For defense contractors, January 1, 2018 brought with it not only a new year, but also a new era – an era in which contractors must comply with the entire set of more detailed cybersecurity requirements under Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012.  As we have flagged before on Data Matters, this DFRAS provision applies to all Department of Defense (DOD) contracts (except for those involving commercial, off-the-shelf items) and places a number of substantial obligations on contractors, including that they comply with the security requirements in National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171, “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations,” and report certain cyber incidents to DOD. (more…)

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04 April 2018

Sidley’s Fourth Annual Privacy and Cybersecurity Roundtable

Sidley hosted the firm’s fourth annual Privacy and Cybersecurity Roundtable in the DC office on Monday, March 26, 2018.

Following an introduction by Sidley partner Alan Raul,  Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor, and Helen Dixon, Data Protection Commissioner for Ireland, discussed the EU General Data Protection Regulation which will go into effect on May 25, 2018. Both Helen Dixon and Giovanni Buttarelli shared their insights on preparation for, and life after May 25. Following their remarks, Sidley Partner and Privacy practice Co-Leader, Ed McNicholas (D.C.) moderated a lively discussion that included Cam Kerry, Senior Counsel (D.C./Boston) and new Sidley Partner, Wim Nauwelaerts (Brussels). (more…)

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07 March 2018

Congressional Movement on Cybersecurity in a Bill to Reauthorize the Homeland Security Act of 2002

On March 7, 2018, the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved a new version of a bill (SB 2825) reauthorizing the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and including key cybersecurity provisions affecting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The bill is considered a critical piece of legislation that many expect will need to pass before the Congressional recess in August 2018.  It already passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2017, and will now be considered by the full Senate.   (more…)

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22 January 2018

Movement on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

Following months of intense debate, an attempted filibuster, and close votes in both the House and Senate, Congress last week finally extended Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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18 December 2017

DFARS Cyber Compliance And Potential For FCA Risk

*This article first appeared in Law360 on December 18, 2017.

For well over a year, defense contractors have had New Year’s Eve 2017 circled on their calendars, and not because they love the “auld lang syne” and a good glass of champagne. (Or at least not only for those reasons.) Dec. 31, 2017, is the deadline for when covered contractors must comply with the U.S. Department of Defense’s new Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) cybersecurity requirements. This holiday season contractors are thus making their lists and checking them twice in order to ensure that they will be compliant by the end of the year. And this intense focus is well warranted. The DOD is deeply committed to protecting its information, and the requirements are an important step in that regard.

But for all of the focus on Dec. 31, contractors must also remember that the focus on compliance must remain into the New Year — and beyond. New technologies will emerge. Contractors will buy new systems and hire new employees. And all the while, internal security teams will be trying to stay a step ahead of hackers and “white hat” security researchers. In short, despite contractors’ best efforts, gaps may be identified at any time. Moreover, these gaps may carry with them real consequences — not only the possibility of contract termination, but also the risk of costly and disruptive False Claims Act investigations and lawsuits, with the specter of treble damages, and the possibility of suspension and debarment, lurking. It is thus crucial that contractors continue to be vigilant about the regulations, and take steps to enable them to demonstrate their vigilance and compliance, in order to best position themselves to avoid liability.

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01 August 2017

CJEU Rules on EU-Canadian Passenger Name Record Agreement; Data Retention Possible; Detailed Court Scrutiny to Ensure Proportionality

On 26 July 2017, the Court of Justice of the EU (“Court”) issued its Opinion on the proposed EU-Canada Agreement on the transfer and processing of Passenger Name Record data (“PNR Data”).  The opinion, issued by the Court’s Grand Chamber, confirms that the Court accepts the necessity of processing large amounts of personal data to protect against terrorism in general.  However, in order to ensure compliance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (“the Charter”), the Court will scrutinize the details of any EU legislative act to ensure that no data are retained or accessed without a clear link to the underlying justification of combating terrorism. (more…)

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