FCC Seen Facing Court Challenge In New Posture as Cybersecurity Cop

From: Bloomberg/BNA

By Alexei Alexis

Nov. 26 — The Federal Communications Commission’s recent entry into the world of “ad hoc” cybersecurity enforcement—that is, without supporting regulations or settled statutory authority—reflects a significant shift in the agency’s thinking that might eventually get challenged in court, industry attorneys told Bloomberg BNA.

At issue is a case in which the FCC, for the first time and without any prior warning, took the position that carriers are required under Section 201 of the Communications Act to employ “reasonable” data security practices and to notify consumers in the event of a breach.

“This is an unprecedented action by the commission,” said Steve Augustino, a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. “I think the approach will be challenged in the future.”

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