National Security Lawyer
In the United States, threats to national security are not tolerated. Individuals, companies, and transactions that are viewed as potential threats are targeted swiftly, aggressively, and with the full authority of federal law. At our National Security practice, lawyers and former agents are available to assist with all national security compliance matters.
Protecting the security of the United States, its citizens, and its businesses is the chief purpose of our country’s law enforcement and military operations. Threats to national security are not tolerated, and the response to these threats is – and always will be – uncompromising.
For U.S. citizens and businesses, this is a good thing. We must rely on our government to protect us, and we need to feel confident that our borders (both physical and electronic) are secure. However, it can present some practical challenges as well. For companies that engage in business that has national security implications, the aspects of national security compliance can be substantial, and the risks of non-compliance can be severe.
For foreign nationals and businesses that present risks to U.S. national security (or that are perceived as such), the risks are also substantial. There are numerous federal laws that proscribe all manner of national security threats, and extradition treaties allow federal authorities to prosecute foreign nationals in the U.S. courts. While this is necessary, it presents the risk of extreme deprivation for those charged with national security crimes.
About Our National Security Law Firm
About Our National Security Law Firm
Oberheiden P.C. is a national security and federal compliance law firm that represents individuals and companies in national security matters. Our Cybercrime and National Security division team is comprised of former U.S. Attorneys, Senior Trial Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and high-ranking agents with the DOJ, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other agencies. We have extensive experience counseling clients with regard to compliance in multiple areas related to national security issues, and we have successfully represented the U.S. government, individuals, and businesses in investigations and trials involving substantial national security issues.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Compliance
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits individuals and companies from engaging in transactions with foreign privately-owned and sovereign entities that involve bribery and other corrupt practices. As amended in 1998, the FCPA also applies to foreign nationals and foreign companies that attempt to conduct or facilitate corrupt payments in the United States.
Recently, the DOJ has begun using the FCPA as a tool to target individuals and companies that present national security threats – both in the U.S. and abroad. Our national security attorneys advise U.S.-based, foreign, and multinational corporations on all aspects of FCPA compliance, and we represent clients in federal investigations involving alleged FCPA violations in the United States and overseas.
Importers and exporters in various industries can find themselves confronted with issues in the realm of national security, requiring experienced national security defense counsel. From exporting (or re-exporting) proprietary data and technology to importing chemicals and components that can be used to engineer bioweapons or other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the range of transactions that can trigger federal scrutiny runs the gamut. Frequently, however, seemingly mundane and ordinary imports and exports can garner federal authorities’ attention as well.
We represent domestic and foreign entities with respect to all aspects of import/export compliance. Our national security lawyers also provide defense representation for matters involving the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other agencies.
Embargoes and Other Foreign Trade Restrictions
The U.S. government restricts (and, in many cases, prohibits) trade with individuals and entities in various foreign countries. In many cases, these restrictions are tied to concerns about state-sponsored terrorism and other potential threats to U.S. national security. For example, OFAC routinely designates foreign entities as specially designated nationals (SDNs), and it does so without providing notice to the SDN or any domestic businesses doing business with the specially designated national. This frequently leads to unanticipated investigations, and corporations, financial institutions, and other entities must respond to these investigations carefully in order to mitigate the risk of substantial penalties.
Issues involving various other embargoes and trade restrictions can lead to compliance needs, federal investigations, and federal charges as well. At Oberheiden P.C., our national security lawyers help our clients avoid the severe consequences of violating foreign trade restrictions in circumstances that raise national security concerns.
Under the Exon-Florio Amendment to the Defense Production Act and the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA), foreign investments in U.S. businesses will frequently be subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) with an eye toward national security considerations. Investments originating from certain foreign nations are particularly likely to garner federal scrutiny, as are investments in assets such as innovative technologies and critical infrastructure. Concerns of corruption, economic espionage, and other illicit and furtive influences can also lead to DOJ, FBI, and other federal agency investigations as well.
Companies with defense, construction, technology, and other critical government contracts are at high risk of being targeted by foreign agents operating on behalf of businesses, governments, and terrorist organizations. These companies must make cybersecurity and compliance with national security policies top priorities, and they must be prepared to respond immediately in the event of a threat or breach.
Foreign nationals and foreign companies that seek to corruptly influence federal government contractors and that conduct economic espionage can face severe penalties, as can government contractors that engage in corrupt practices (or fail to take appropriate measures to prevent them). In addition to presenting government contractors with regard to all aspects of compliance, we also provide defense representation for national security matters arising out of government contracts.
At the federal level, anti-cybercrime enforcement and national security often go hand-in-hand. Recently, the Department of Justice and FBI have placed particular emphasis on targeting economic espionage and corrupt foreign influences from China; however, the Department of Justice, FBI, and other agencies in federal law enforcement are also well aware that cybercrime presents national security risks on a global scale. Our national security attorneys encompasses the representation of U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, and domestic and international businesses in all matters arising out of the anti-cybercrime government enforcement efforts.
Direct and Immediate Threats to National Security
We also represent clients in matters that involve direct and immediate threats to national security. With a team that consists of highly-experienced former federal prosecutors and high-ranking federal agents and a practice that is national in scope, we are able to immediately step in to represent clients that are at risk for prosecution by the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s office due to allegations related to national security. If you or your company is being targeted, it is imperative that you engage with a national security law firm right away.
Are you accused of a federal crime?
Don't delay. Learn about your rights.
Call Dr. Nick Oberheiden now!888-680-1745
Examples of the Types of National Security Matters We Handle
Within these areas, we handle all types of compliance and defense matters. This includes the following, all of which are viewed as having potential national security implications by the U.S. government:
- Foreign investments in U.S. companies and foreign acquisitions of ownership interests of U.S. companies (which may be subject to review by CFIUS).
- Transactions and other business dealings that implicate U.S. trade embargoes (including transactions involving SDNs and blocked assets) enforced by OFAC, the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and other agencies.
- International trade involving weapons, arms, munitions, and other defense products and services, which fall within the purview of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the DDTC.
- Other controlled imports and exports (including, but not limited to, software code, fuels, and alternative energy sources, and aviation and space technologies) governed by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by BIS.
- Government contracts with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Defense (DOS), National Security Agency (NSA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other federal agencies.
- Cybersecurity threats, including hacking, data and intellectual property (IP) theft, cyber attacks, and economic espionage.
- Malign foreign influences seeking to interfere with U.S. elections and other aspects of the United States’ sovereign democratic government processes.
- Bribery, blackmail, and other forms of corruption intended to facilitate access to U.S. government computer systems, government data and systems managed by private contractors, secret and proprietary corporate data, and other systems and data with potential national security implications.
Regardless of your specific needs, our Cybercrime and National Security Lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and resources required to represent you effectively. To discuss your (or your company’s) situation in confidence, request a free initial consultation now.
FAQs: What U.S. Company Executives Need to Know About National Security Compliance
What are the national security system (NSS) requirements for government contractors?
The national security system (NSS) requirements establish minimum standards for government contractors’ IT systems and data security protocols. Government contractors must comply with the NSS requirements for any systems that involve: (i) intelligence activities, (ii) cryptologic activities related to national security, (iii) command and control of military forces, (iv) requirement that is an integral part of a weapon(s) system, (v) critical assets for fulfilling military or intelligence missions, or (vi) areas designated as classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy by an Executive Order or Congressional act.
Does exporting products or data overseas require national security compliance?
Exporting products overseas can have a variety of national security implications. The same is true of exporting sensitive data to many foreign countries. Depending on the nature of the product or data a company is seeking to export, it may need to comply with various federal laws and regulations, and its exporting activities may be subject to the oversight of OFAC, DDTC, BIS, CBP, and other federal agencies.
How can I determine if an embargo or other trade restriction applies?
Determining whether an embargo or other trade restriction applies to a particular entity or transaction isn’t necessarily an easy process. Companies must work with their counsel to review OFAC’s SDN list and potentially a variety of other sources as well. But, while determining whether an embargo or other trade restriction applies isn’t easy, it is extremely important, as attempting to do business with a blocked entity or foreign national can lead to asset seizures, federal investigations, and other consequences.
What transactions require CFIUS review?
Under amendments to CFIUS’s Rules adopted in 2020, transactions that require CFIUS review generally fall into two broad categories: (i) controlling transactions and (ii) covered investments. In both cases, CFIUS review is only triggered if the transaction or investment involves a “critical technology,” which is determined based on the applicable set of federal export regulations (i.e., EAR or ITAR).
Controlling transactions are those that involve a majority stake or other controlling interest in a U.S. company that designs, produces, or manufactures critical technologies. Covered investments are those that do not involve controlling ownership interests, but that nonetheless afford oversight or decision-making authority to a foreign entity.
How long does CFIUS approval take?
The duration of a CFIUS review is determined by various factors, including the nature of the critical technology involved and the complexity of the transaction at issue. While some CFIUS reviews can take as little as 15 days, in many cases companies should expect to wait 90 days or longer. Engaging outside law firms experienced in working with CFIUS can help to expedite the process in many cases.
Can companies face penalties for compromising national security?
Yes, companies can face a variety of federal penalties for compromising national security. This includes penalties that are administrative, civil, or criminal in nature. From the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007, several federal laws establish corporate compliance obligations in the national security realm, and some of these laws (i.e., the FCPA) include provisions for civil and criminal investigations and criminal enforcement.
Can company executives face prosecution for compromising national security?
Yes, in addition to pursuing enforcement actions and criminal investigations and prosecution at the corporate level, federal authorities can (and do) pursue charges against company executives, board members, and other individuals when warranted. In these cases, not only can targeted individuals face substantial fines; but, in criminal cases, federal imprisonment can be on the table as well.
Does making a foreign investment compromise national security?
There are no restrictions for foreign ownership or occupation of property. The national security issues come with foreign ownership of US business and investments, especially those involving officials of foreign governments.
Are there safeguards in place against these potential threats?
One industry that requires special attention and safeguards is defense contractors. One of the safeguards for defense contractors and their procedures is the National Industrial Security Program, which takes precautions to make sure the defense contractor keeps the information they’re privy to through their security clearances confidential. Another safeguard is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows for the national intelligence community and national security agencies to use electronic surveillance for matters of national security.
Speak With a National Security Attorney Today at Oberheiden P.C.
To request a free initial consultation with a member of our National Security Law Team, call us at 888-680-1745 or send us your contact information online. Members of our team are standing by to speak with prospective clients 24/7.