July 23, 2019

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When the U.S. Government Declares Companies Cyber-Insecure, We Should All Pay Attention

The U.S. Government is increasingly taking the initiative to alert companies to the cybersecurity risks of certain foreign corporations. Whether by issuing binding directives on agencies, passing laws or promulgating regulations that include prohibitions on the use of these companies’ products – including by government contractors, the Government is becoming less reluctant to interfere in the private market in favor of warning American companies of the cybersecurity dangers out there.

As we have mentioned in two prior posts, the Administration began this initiative some time ago. As we discuss in a longer post, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act imposes new restrictions on procurements for certain telecommunications equipment or services from certain Chinese companies, including Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company.

Putting it Into Practice: Lawyers and cybersecurity professionals should continue to pay attention to the Government’s various statements and prohibitions about foreign companies and their risks to cybersecurity. Government contractors should study the NDAA’s provisions. The Government does not take these steps lightly, and it carries great weight. It not only affects the standards that companies are held to; it sometimes outright prohibits the use of certain companies’ products. And there is more to come: Reportedly, President Trump will soon issue a new Executive Order on this subject.

Copyright © 2019, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

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About this Author

Jonathan E. Meyer, Sheppard Mullin, International Trade Lawyer, Encryption Technology Attorney
Partner

Jon Meyer is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

Mr. Meyer was most recently Deputy General Counsel at the United States Department of Homeland Security, where he advised the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, General Counsel, Chief of Staff and other senior leaders on law and policy issues, such as cyber security, airline security, high technology, drones, immigration reform, encryption, and intelligence law. He also oversaw all litigation at DHS,...

202-747-1920
Townsend Bourne, Government Affairs Attorney, Sheppard Mullin Law FIrm
Associate

Ms. Bourne's practice focuses on Government Contracts law and litigation. Her experience includes complex litigation in connection with the False Claims Act, bid protest actions both challenging and defending agency decisions on contract awards before the Government Accountability Office and Court of Federal Claims, claims litigation before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, investigating and preparing contractor claims, and conducting internal investigations. 

Ms. Bourne advises clients on a wide variety of matters relating to government contracts, including contract administration, procurement integrity, the FAR Mandatory Disclosure Rule, and GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program.  In addition to her practice, Ms. Bourne writes frequently on legal and regulatory developments affecting the Government Contracts industry.

202-469-4917
Bryce Chadwick, Government Contracts, Attorney, Sheppard Mullin, law firm
Associate

Bryce Chadwick is a member of Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade at Sheppard Mullin. Bryce provides a full range of legal services to clients that do business with governmental entities. He advises clients on complying with complex government regulations and defends them in the event of litigation. He specializes in handling government contract disputes, bid protests, claims and defending individuals and corporations in a wide range of administrative, civil and criminal proceedings, including fraud investigations and whistle blower lawsuits....

202-747-2329