OPM spared lawsuits over massive breach

The plaintiffs lacked standing, Judge Amy Jackson ruled, because they could not prove that their information was “disclosed” within the meaning of the Privacy Act — as opposed to merely stolen — and because they failed to “show that their claimed injuries were the result of the agency’s failures.”

KeyPoint — the contractor whose login credentials provided an entry point for the suspected Chinese hackers — was ruled to be protected by government contractor immunity.

Even as she dismissed the case, though, Jackson acknowledged that jurisprudence in data breach matters might someday evolve to the point where a defendant like OPM could be liable. “It may well be that the Supreme Court or the [federal appeals court in Washington] will someday announce that given the potential for harm inherent in any cyberattack, breach victims automatically have standing even if the harm has yet to materialize, and even if the purpose behind the breach and the nature of any future harm have yet to be discerned,” Jackson wrote. “But that has not happened yet, and the Court is not empowered to expand the limits of its own authority, so it cannot find that plaintiffs have standing based on this record.”

HAPPY WEDNESDAY and welcome to Morning Cybersecurity! Yes. An octopus CITY. Your MC host’s paranoia about robots taking over the planet is well-established by now, perhaps as much as his octopus love. If it comes down to robot vs. octopus for domination of the Earth, I choose octopus. Send your thoughts, feedback and especially tips to tstarks@politico.com and be sure to follow @timstarks, @POLITICOPro and @MorningCybersec. Full team info below.

HUNTSMAN: RUSSIA HACKED US — President Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Russia on Tuesday said there was “no question” that Moscow meddled in the 2016 U.S. election. “There is no question — underline, no question — that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. election last year and Moscow continues to meddle in the democratic processes of our friends and allies,” the nominee, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Huntsman later noted that the Director of National Intelligence and the heads of the CIA, the FBI and the NSA had all “come together in unison behind their findings” on Russia’s interference campaign that eventually became an effort to put Trump in the Oval Office. “I think that expresses where the facts are, with respect to Russia’s involvement in our election,” he added.



Continue reading…