The Active Cyber Defense Act Congress Considers Authorizing Companies to Use Offensive Measures
November 9, 2017
Cyberattacks have increased in scope and severity over the past few years, including the widespread WannaCry ransomware attacks and the Equifax breach in which the personal data of over 140 million people may have been stolen.
Due to the increasing number of breaches and the difficulties that law enforcement faces in responding to these events in a timely manner, a bill has been proposed in the U.S. Congress that seeks to empower private actors to use cyber defensive measures outside the boundaries of their networks. Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) introduced the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act (the “Act”) to protect from criminal prosecution companies who use certain countermeasures against cyber intrusions. Whether or not this legislation is ultimately adopted, it highlights some of the unique difficulties in effectively addressing cybercrime and the ongoing efforts by the government to enlist the aid of the private sector.
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