David Turetsky Comments on Senate Passage of Cybersecurity Legislation

Akin Gump partner David Turetsky, co-head of the firm’s cybersecurity, privacy and data protection initiative, was quoted in the Washington Internet Daily article “Telecoms Seen Seeking Combination of House, Senate Cybersecurity Info-Sharing Provisions in Conference Bill” regarding cybersecurity legislation pending in Congress.

The Senate this week passed S-754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which now heads to a conference committee with HR-1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives in April. While there are some distinct differences between the two, particularly in how they would deal with the Department of Homeland Security’s role as the main civilian portal for cybersecurity information sharing, according to the article, Turetsky said the telecom industry is not likely to strongly favor one bill over the other

“I don't think it’s a one versus the other,” said Turetsky, a former Public Safety Bureau chief at the Federal Communications Commission. “The telecom industry in general strongly supported” S-754, with several industry groups doing so publicly during the months of negotiations preceding the Senate’s vote. He continued, “The goal was to get CISA through the Senate so it could be conferenced and the industry is supportive of passing legislation. Like everybody else, they want a good bill but they also just want a bill.”

Speaking to Bloomberg BNA for the article “Additional Hurdles Await Cybersecurity Legislation,” Turetsky observed that, among the differences between the two pieces of legislation, is deciding “where in the government information sharing can occur,” but the fundamental approach of the bills is the same: Incentivize more real-time voluntary cybersecurity threat information sharing among businesses and with the government in order to improve defenses and shorten the effective lifespan of certain threats. The bills would do this, he said, by providing businesses with liability protection around the information they share, which should be stripped of private content.

Overall, the legislation is expected to advance and Turetsky thinks President Obama “will have something he can sign in 2016.”