Sullivan & Cromwell Discusses D.C. Circuit Ruling Invalidating CFPB Structure

On October 11, 2016, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) is “unconstitutionally structured” because its authority is vested in a single appointee who can be removed by the President only for cause.  To remedy this constitutional flaw, the Court severed the unconstitutional “for-cause” provision in the legislation (Dodd-Frank) that created the CFPB.  “As a result, the CFPB now will operate as an executive agency.  The President of the United States now has the power to supervise and direct the Director of the CFPB, and may … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses The Cybersecurity Act of 2015

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. The Act, arguably the most significant piece of federal cyber-related legislation enacted to date, establishes a mechanism for cybersecurity information sharing among private‑sector and federal government entities. It also provides safe harbors from liability for private entities that share cybersecurity information in accordance with certain procedures, and it authorizes various entities, including outside the federal government, to monitor certain information systems and operate defensive measures for cybersecurity purposes. The Act also contains provisions designed to bolster cybersecurity protections at federal agencies, assess the federal government’s cybersecurity … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses SEC Guidance on Approach to Forum Selection in Contested Actions

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement has issued guidelines explaining the factors it will consider in determining whether to bring enforcement actions as administrative or judicial proceedings. The SEC recently has been criticized for its increased use of administrative proceedings to resolve novel applications of the securities laws. In the newly issued guidance, the Division identified a non-exhaustive list of four factors that the Division may consider in determining the proper forum for an enforcement action, but the Division also made clear that the circumstances of each particular case will ultimately govern where the case is brought. The Division reiterated its … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses President Obama’s Executive Order Authorizing Sanctions for Malicious Cyber Activities

On April 1st, President Obama issued an Executive Order authorizing sanctions against persons found to have engaged in or supported significant malicious cyber activities. Under the order, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to designate and impose sanctions on individuals and entities that are responsible for or complicit in certain cyber-related activities that pose a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, economic health, or financial stability of the United States. The Executive Order focuses in particular on cyber activities that harm or compromise critical infrastructure, disrupt computers or computer networks, or misappropriate funds, information, or trade secrets. … Read more