Cybersecurity has become one of the major areas of focus for policymakers at every level of government, and the term “cybersecurity” now commonly incorporates issues related to cybersecurity, data security and digital privacy, as well as new advancements in technology, access to high-speed internet, the Internet of Things and “smart” devices generally. Survey respondents listed “Cybersecurity” as one of their leading policy priorities for the ABA to advocate upon during the 118th Congress, which was not surprising due to the public’s increasing concern over this topic.
Enhancing the ability of the public and private sector to prevent and detect cyber-attacks has long been a core mission and concern of the ABA. For example, the ABA has long recognized that we must prioritize enhancing the protection of computer systems used by lawyers, and this vigilance must extend to other critical sectors as well.
Additionally, the ABA has policy supporting the “objectives of a privacy protection policy relating to the acquisition, maintenance, use and disclosure of personal records” that can be advanced by statutory obligations which create and define the “uses and disclosures that will be made of recorded information about an individual.” Most recently, the ABA adopted a resolution regarding the appropriate uses of Artificial Intelligence that also seeks to balance the need to protect intellectual property rights.
We will continue to closely monitor this issue and engage with Members of Congress and senior staff as they work to further advance the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, (ADPPA) that received overwhelming bipartisan and bicameral support in the previous Congress. We will also review any other measures introduced in Congress or administrative regulatory initiatives related to cybersecurity, and continue championing efforts to prevent unauthorized intrusions into the computer systems and networks used by law firms and members of the legal profession in the practice of law.
Fortunately, cybersecurity issues in Congress have been largely bipartisan in both the House and Senate, with both political parties recognizing the need to keep pace with growing threats from abroad and acknowledging the need for updated laws that reflect the modern era. The 117th Congress enacted several bills which are designed to enhance cyber-security including legislation to support domestic manufacturing of semiconductors. They also passed S. 2520, the State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act, which would expand opportunities for collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments on cybersecurity.