Blockchain in the U.S. Regulatory Setting: Evidentiary Use in Vermont, Delaware, and Elsewhere

Joanna Diane Caytas* I. Introduction In February 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery faced a conundrum: following settlement of a shareholder action after a contested merger, shareholders representing 49,164,415 shares claimed settlement proceeds, but the class contained only 36,793,758 shares.[1] By definition, holders of over 12 million of these shares must have lacked entitlement to settlement disbursements, yet all claimant shareholders presented valid evidence of ownership. Investigation by class attorneys failed to establish the “current” Continue Reading →

Is the New IPR Investment Strategy Bust?

An October 2016 report estimates the number of hedge funds at a staggering 11,000, managing an aggregate of $3 trillion or more. Each firm seeks ways to make a profit for investors and managers through a variety of ways – including conventional methods like identifying certain market-influencing events, mispriced stocks, and betting that share prices will either rise or fall. Dallas-based Hayman Capital is one such firm, led by billionaire investor J. Kyle Bass. According Continue Reading →

I Am My Own Man: The Ownership of Genetic Material

Our knowledge of DNA continues to expand and, by extension, so does our ability to manipulate it. Recently, researchers have created a viable organism with a chromosome incorporating pairs of synthetic bases. [1] Others have engineered an organism containing only the genes necessary for life. [2] In addition to advancing our understanding of the life sciences, which may indirectly enhance human welfare, working with genes also has direct applications to human health: for example, genetic Continue Reading →

The Tensions of Antipsychotic Drugs with the Sixth Amendment

In Sell v. United States, the Supreme Court tackled the legal standard for determining when the government can administer antipsychotic drugs to a mentally ill criminal detainee without permission solely to render that defendant competent to stand trial.[1] In part, the court required that involuntary medication must be necessary to further important state interests and that administering the drugs is medically appropriate.[2] The Sell requirements were a response to the incredible risks that antipsychotics present Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 31, 2017

Congress Repeals FCC Privacy Rules  On March 28, house lawmakers voted to overturn an Obama-era privacy rule* that required telecommunications firms to get customers’ permission to market their app and web-browsing history to third parties. Following the House’s decision, the White House issued its support for the bill. The reversal of the rule was considered a major win for broadband providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, because they are expected to take advantage of the Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 24, 2017

Blog Follow-Up – SEC Rejects Bitcoin ETF Recently STLR published a blog post about the SEC’s forthcoming decision on whether to approve a necessary rule change to allow public trading of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. On March 10, the SEC rejected the rule change. The SEC cited concerns about the lack of regulation of the Bitcoin market and the lack of a “surveillance-sharing agreement” which could help weed out fraud or manipulation. The value of Continue Reading →

Vault 7: The Concern Over Vulnerability Disclosure

On March 7, 2017, whistleblower website Wikileaks began releasing a series of classified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents, now called the “Vault 7 Leaks.”[1] Some of these documents shed light on the CIA’s surveillance capabilities, including the ability to hack into electronic devices, like smartphones and televisions. For many, this brought back memories of Edward Snowden’s release of National Security Agency (NSA) documents, which exposed the NSA’s mass collection of metadata from phone conversations around Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 17, 2017

Intel’s Acquisition of Automotive Tech Company On Monday, Intel announced a $15.3 billion agreement to buy Mobileye, an Israel-based technology company that specializes in digital vision technology for advanced driver assistance systems. The deal is one of the most expensive acquisitions in the technology industry in recent decades, and the second-largest acquisition for Intel. Although Intel chips are already in several vehicle models and autonomous test vehicles, this strategic alliance between Intel and Mobileye will Continue Reading →

Uber/Under: Will Greyball amount to a gamble Uber couldn’t afford?

Uber Technologies Inc. (Uber), the popular ground transportation technology company, has had a controversial start to 2017. Its latest crisis involves an Uber-developed “tool” coined “Greyball” which was ostensibly designed to “den[y] ride requests to users who are violating [Uber’s] terms of service”, according to the company.[1] In reality, Uber deployed the Greyball program, at least in part, to thwart and evade local law enforcement officials and Uber’s regulators with the intent of avoiding costly Continue Reading →

Are Electronic Voting Machines and Cyber Secure Elections Compatible?

Approximately 70% of Americans live in counties that employ either optically scanned paper ballots or electronic voting with a verifiable paper trail (a printed paper record of the vote).[1] These are fairly safe methods of casting and counting votes, because both methods are verifiable. Challenges with ensuring cyber security and electoral integrity arise when counties use electronic voting machines without verifiable paper trails, as for example many counties in Pennsylvania do.[2]  Employing an electronic voting Continue Reading →