Emerging Markets Law

New House Cyber Bill

The House has passed legislation that encourages sharing of cyber threat information by removing barriers to disclosure.  Under the new bill, companies that share information about incursions would be shielded from antitrust liability for talking to competitors, for example.  The bill also would require that data be anonymized before disclosure to the government, which should protect them from complaints about NSA-style spying.

The bill is one of several new stimuli to public-private sharing of cyber threat info.  The idea is to secure industries from within, and to leverage their internal information for national security purposes.  Several sensitive industries do this already, voluntarily.  The goal is to create an environment of cooperation among other industries, rather than compulsory disclosure under shifting technology norms.

The House bill, H.R. 1560, is criticized by both industry (for not going far enough in terms of standards) and consumer groups (for intruding on civil liberties).  It will have to pass the Senate and the President's desk to become law, and is one of several pending pieces of cyber legislation that would have to do so.  Thus, its fate is not clear; but it is the first bill to pass a full house of Congress on the subject, and it is a bellwether for the likely fact of Congressional action on cyber matters.

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