ONCD Aims to Incentivize Secure Coding Practices to Protect All Software Users

March 27, 2024

Today, the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) hosted law professors and think tank experts at the White House for A Legal Symposium on Software Liability. The Administration’s National Cybersecurity Strategy (NCS) supports the development of a software liability regime that incentivizes greater investment in secure coding, including by developing an adaptable safe harbor framework.

As a first step, ONCD tracked the development of legal approaches to a software liability framework spearheaded by law professors inspired by the NCS. ONCD convened these professors at the Symposium, where they gathered input from their colleagues in academia and the think tank community to refine their ideas.

During the event, Director Coker, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies Anne Neuberger, and Maya Song, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Attorney General, delivered opening remarks. Director Coker emphasized that as a next step, ONCD will engage industry and other key stakeholders to understand the practicalities and policy implications of the legal approaches discussed at the Symposium.

Following the keynote remarks, attendees discussed the advantages and complexities of each approach, with a view towards the ability to operationalize, enforce, and keep up-to-date on a standard of care and potential approaches to a safe harbor for software developers who engage in very strong cybersecurity practices. The attendees also discussed ways to limit liability disclaimers routinely included in software license agreements. 

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