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Justice Won't Challenge Cyber Data-Sharing Proposal

The Justice Department said Friday it currently has no reason to challenge a proposed cyber intelligence data-sharing platform on antitrust grounds.

The Obama Administration is on the record supporting more cyber-threat information sharing among companies and with the government.

Cyberpoint, which supplies security services to private companies and the government, proposes to offer a data-sharing platform, TruSTAR, that will improve on legacy info-sharing systems while complying with Justice and Federal Trade Commission antitrust policies regarding cybersecurity information sharing.

Assistant attorney general Bill Baer, who heads the antitrust division, said: “The antitrust laws are not an impediment to legitimate private-sector initiatives to share specific information about cyber incidents and mitigation techniques in order to defend against cyber attacks.” TruSTAR appears to fall into that category.

He said TruStar is unlikely to facilitate price coordination of other anticompetitive conduct. Justice pointed to the fact that incident reports could be submitted with "complete anonymity," members can anonymously collaborate on responses to cyberthreats, and all participants have to agree not to share "competitively sensitive" information.

Justice may be OK with the proposal, but reserves the right to challenge if it does produce anticompetitive effects.