Don’t #extend the #SAFETY Act to #cyber #incidents

Source: National Cyber Security News

Hardly a week goes by without a new revelation about some insidious hacking attempt or other cybersecurity incident. This drumbeat of frightful headlines, along with pressure from companies and constituents, rightfully has lawmakers rattled and looking for new ways to address our burgeoning cybersecurity crisis.

Last week, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., became the latest to suggest that “cyber incidents” should qualify for coverage under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act, a series of liability protections used to spur the growth of anti-terrorism technologies. However, the market for cybersecurity technologies is already too robust for this kind of market intervention to do anything but stifle the very innovation that it seeks to accelerate.

The SAFETY Act passed in the wake of 9/11 to assuage the fear that companies would not invest in beneficial anti-terrorism products and services because of liability concerns. The law allows entities to have anti-terrorism related technologies and procedures sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for evaluation. Those meeting certain standards are either “designated” or “certified” under the SAFETY Act for five years and given special liability protections if the DHS secretary designates an otherwise liability inducing event as an “act of terrorism.

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