DOJ Announces Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced recently that it is launching a Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, which will use the DOJ’s expertise in civil fraud enforcement, government procurement, and cybersecurity to bring claims against government contractors who fail to follow required cybersecurity standards, such as those who fail to report cybersecurity breaches.

In announcing this Initiative, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said, “We are announcing today that we will use our civil enforcement tools to pursue companies, those who are government contractors who receive federal funds, when they fail to follow required cybersecurity standards—because we know that puts all of us at risk.” The Initiative will be led by the Fraud Section of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch.  It will use the False Claims Act as a tool to hold accountable those who put U.S. information or systems at risk by knowingly providing deficient cybersecurity products or services, knowingly misrepresenting their cybersecurity practices or protocols, or knowingly violating obligations to monitor and report cybersecurity incidents and breaches.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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