School Boy's Tricks: Reasonable Cybersecurity and the Panic of Law Creation

19 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2015  

David S. Levine

Elon University School of Law; Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University; Stanford University - Center for Internet and Society

Date Written: December 1, 2015

Abstract

This article discusses trade secrecy's "reasonable efforts" standard as applied in the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and more broadly in the context of cybersecurity. Moreover, it identifies a panic condition in law creation that often results in poorly-vetted law. It argues that the United States should reconsider whether it wants to treat today's sophisticated foreign cyberespionage the same way as we have treated yesterday's "school boy’s trick." Due to the fact that trade secrets cease to exist once they are publicly disclosed, it is better that trade secret information never be wrongful acquired, disclosed, or used in the first place. Therefore, U.S. industry would do well to focus its efforts on improved cybersecurity to prevent or contain trade secret losses, rather than litigation around the damage arising from its loss.

Keywords: trade secrets, innovation, cyberespionage, cybersecurity, intellectual property, reasonable efforts

JEL Classification: K1, L68, C8

Suggested Citation

Levine, David S., School Boy's Tricks: Reasonable Cybersecurity and the Panic of Law Creation (December 1, 2015). Washington and Lee Law Review Online, Vol. 72, No. 2, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2699770

David S. Levine (Contact Author)

Elon University School of Law ( email )

201 N. Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States

HOME PAGE: http://hearsayculture.com

Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University ( email )

C231A E-Quad
Olden St.
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States

Stanford University - Center for Internet and Society

Palo Alto, CA 94305-8610
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blogs/levine/

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