D.C. Circuit Sets Dangerous Precedent by Immunizing Foreign Governments that Commit Cyber Attacks Against U.S. Companies and Citizens

Pratt's Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report

PUBLISHED ON: October 3, 2017

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The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision that substantially curtailed the ability of American companies and citizens to sue public entities, such as foreign governments, that perpetrate harmful cyberattacks here in the United States. This decision was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The authors of this article discuss the decision, which immunizes foreign governments from liability under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act even when the foreign government specifically directs its cyberattacks against U.S. companies, residents, and citizens, as long as the intent to commit the crime occurred abroad.