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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, April 1, 2015

Obama declares national emergency in wake of cyber attacks, issues Executive Order

By Stephanie K. Mann, J.D.

In wake of the increasing prevalence and severity of malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from outside of the United States and which constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to national security, foreign policy, and economy, President Barack Obama has declared a national emergency.

Under the Executive Order:

  1. All property and interests in property that are in the United States or that hereafter come within the United States are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in to: (i) any person determined to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located outside the United States; or (ii) any person determined to be responsible for or complicit in the receipt or use for commercial or competitive advantage or private financial gain.

  2. Donations to any person whose property and interest in property are blocked are strictly prohibited.

  3. The prohibitions include but are not limited to: the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

  4. The entry of any persons, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, determined to have engaged in cyber attacks against the United States is suspended as allowing such persons entry into the country would be detrimental to its interests.

  5. Any transaction that evades or avoids, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions is prohibited.

Definitions. For the purposes of the EO: (a) "person" means an individual or entity; (b) "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; (c) "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States; (d) "critical infrastructure sector" means any of the designated critical infrastructure sectors identified in Presidential Policy Directive 21; and (e) "misappropriation" includes any taking or obtaining by improper means, without permission or consent, or under false pretenses.

Notice and enforcement. In response to the instantaneous nature of the ability to transfer funds or assets, Obama has ordered that no prior notice is needed prior to a listing or determination made for those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the EO.

Finally, the President gave the Secretary of the Treasury, Attorney General, and the Secretary of State the authority to take any necessary actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, to carry out the purposes of the executive order.

ABA support. Following the President’s announcement, the American Bankers Association released a statement saying, “The executive order issued today sends a strong signal to cybercriminals and foreign entities that America is committed to fighting this increasing threat. U.S. businesses are committed to working with the government to help protect our critical infrastructure and the economic security of our country.” The trade association has vowed to continue working with the White House to protect the banking industry and their consumers.

Companies: American Bankers Association

MainStory: TopStory FinancialStability IdentityTheft Privacy

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