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National Security Update: Department of Commerce Releases Interim Final Rule to Implement the Information and Communications Technology Supply Chain Executive Order

January 22, 2021, Covington Alert

On January 19, 2021, the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) published an Interim Final Rule to implement provisions of Executive Order 13873, “Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain” (May 15, 2019) (the “ICTS Order”).  Unless suspended by the Biden Administration, the Rule will go into effect 60 days from the publication, on March 20, 2021. The Interim Final Rule represents yet another action arising from the ongoing concern across the U.S. Government that foreign adversaries may be able to expropriate U.S. technologies, intellectual property, or sensitive Government or commercial information, and implement or exploit vulnerabilities in information and communications technology or services.  It follows on the heels of other notable efforts, including the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, which altered the jurisdiction and authorities of CFIUS, and the prohibitions on “use” of certain covered telecommunications equipment and services under Section 889 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.

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