Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

FTC, Justice Dept. say antitrust laws shouldn’t block cyber threat disclosure

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After uneven disclosure of the Heartbleed bug had some companies already patching their Websites while others were left unprotected as the news broke, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a statement clarifying that appropriate sharing of cyber threat information should not sound antitrust alarms.

The joint-agency “Antitrust Guidelines for Collaborations Among Competitors” details the FTC and Justice Department's analytical framework for sharing information and underscores that “antitrust laws do not stand in the way of legitimate sharing of cyber security threat information,” in a comment attributed to FTC Chairwoman TK Ramirez.

Because the Heartbleed bug affected so many servers, companies couldn't rely on standard means of disclosure to spread the word to every company affected, which meant that some, like Facebook, got the news earlier than Amazon and others, before discovery of the bug was disclosed to the public.

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