Hold Software Developers Liable For Security Flaws, Says Senator

By on April 19, 2018

April 19, 2018

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says that subjecting the software industry to legal exposure for flaws in their products is one way to get the private sector to improve cybersecurity. Software makers routinely include lengthy user agreements with their products, and buried within them are statements that the developer can’t be sued. The courts have sided with the developers in civil suits, but that protection is rooted in case law, not in statute, and could be overturned by legislation or regulation. Lawmakers and regulators have generally accepted the theory that greater legal exposure could kill the inherently risky software industry. Warner is less sympathetic to that argument than many of his colleagues. “We need a cybersecurity doctrine, and that raises questions, including on software liability,” Warner said at a committee hearing on the Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe and election security. He believes a debate in Congress is long overdue on legal immunity for software, and he is trying to develop a framework for that discussion.
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Washington Examiner

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