NIS Directive Consultation: Help Formulate the SCL Response

SCL Chair Mark O’Conor calls for involvement from SCL members in the consultation on implementation of the NIS Directive

Traditionally, August has been the silly season where legal news is thin on the ground and for a while we thought we would have to satisfy ourselves with the public spat between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg regarding the future of AI.

However, this year August saw the Government make announcements concerning two fundamental pieces of tech law legislation that would have been easy to miss if you've been away. Firstly, was a 'statement of intent' to introduce a new Data Protection Bill followed a day later by publication of a consultation on how to implement the EU Network & Information Services (NIS) Directive.

Now it may be that these announcements slipped out in August because they concern what are, in reality, EU initiatives that must be implemented before we Brexit, and that might not be a look the Government wants at the moment. Or it may just be that time is running out (which of course it is). Whatever the reason, one consequence is that we have only until 30 September to formulate SCL’s response to the NIS consultation.

This is an important initiative, regardless of its origin. The Directive requires the Government to answer awkward questions of who are essential service providers, what duties can be imposed on them and how the legislation will function post Brexit. Many of those we advise in utilities and banking and beyond could be affected by the Directive.

So of course we should do what we can to ensure that the resulting legislation is both fit for purpose and proportionate so that our clients and the wider public can be confident in the new regime.  Being an informed voice is one of the many reasons that the SCL exists.

Specifically, the Government is seeking views on:

  • the essential services the Directive needs to cover
  • penalties
  • the competent authorities to regulate and audit specific sectors
  • security measures imposed
  • timelines for incident reporting, and
  • how this affects Digital Service Providers.

Consultation responses are at the heart of SCL’s mission to inform and educate so I’d urge any member with a view on cybersecurity and who is in London on 13 September to join us at DLA Piper to formulate our response. Stewart James will chair the session and is acting as our rapporteur so please come along to ensure that our response encompasses our expertise.

I look forward to seeing you there but if you cannot make it then send in any written comments as soon as possible to the SCL team who will collate them for discussion. This is your chance to contribute so please do make the most of it.

Published: 2017-09-05T16:00:00

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