Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

DOJ/FTC Cybersecurity Antitrust Comments Good, Not Good Enough, Report Says

In April, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission teamed up to release a statement to businesses who might be worried about sharing cybersecurity information with competitors: The agencies wrote that they “do not believe that antitrust is – or should be – a roadblock to legitimate cybersecurity information sharing.”

A new report released today on the security of the electricity grid concludes that the statement was a good start to tackling one of the biggest impediments of business-to-business cyber threat info sharing. It just isn’t good enough.

“This is significant in part because of the reputability of the two organizations involved, and also because it directly addresses one of the biggest concerns many industries have about information sharing,” concludes the report by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

But, “A verbal statement simply does not have the force that legislation or even an executive order has, and that kind of definitive law is the only way to fully put liability concerns to bed. This is the common theme throughout all recent executive action: what is happening is positive, but it does not eliminate the need for comprehensive legislation.”

Businesses share the sentiment of the report — what DOJ and the FTC did was nice, but Congress still needs to get involved. Incidentally, cybersecurity is not the only issue on which the Internet and antitrust co-mingle in a sentence together.

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