The Morning Risk Report: Obama Cyber Sanctions Strike Overseas Actors

April 3, 2015 – In The News
The Wall Street Journal: Risk & Compliance Journal

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in The Wall Street Journal: Risk & Compliance Journal article, “The Morning Risk Report: Obama Cyber Sanctions Strike Overseas Actors.” Full text can be found in the April 3, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against foreign nations and people who participate in cyberattacks against U.S. citizens, organizations or government agencies.

The White House’s description of the new sanctions program appears to give the administration power to target anyone accused of aiming at U.S. interests with a cyberattack, regardless of their location.

“In my mind, it looks really good on paper, but I don’t know exactly how it works in practice,” said Scott L. Vernick, a noted privacy attorney.

“It’s one thing to sanction an individual; it’s another to take on a government,” said Vernick, who noted he couldn’t see how the U.S. could use the sanctions authority without potentially alienating a country like China, which is a key U.S. trading partner.

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