Bitcoin’s Myth of Anonymity and the Rise of Other “Anonymous” Cryptocurrencies

Introduction Many cryptocurrencies tout their “anonymous” qualities and lure users with general promises of untraceable transactions. Users of cryptocurrencies seek anonymity, not necessarily because they want to deal in illegal activity (although there are plenty of criminals turning to digital currencies to hide transactions) but because they desire privacy and security in knowing that they control the release of their personal data and spending history. Bitcoin has gained the most traction as a digital currency Continue Reading →

Reflections on Recent SEC Enforcement Actions against ICOs

  In 2017, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) raised approximately $4 billion of capital worldwide. ICOs are a digital asset fundraising mechanism where issuers sell to investors digital tokens or coins that are supported by the blockchain technology, and investors make the payment using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies or fiat currency. ICOs, by their nature, are exposed to high risks, including fraud and cyberattack, making investor protection an eminent concern. In 2018, the Securities and Exchange Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Recent Proposals for Comprehensive Privacy Reform

Introduction Google searches for the term “privacy” reached new highs over the past month. The ascension of privacy issues in the national consciousness comes as no surprise considering recent revelations of Cambridge Analytica’s data scandals, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony before Congress, and prospects of increased regulation on privacy and data. The concern over privacy is not new. The phrase, “If you’re not paying for it, you are the product,” and similar analogues have Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup-April 21, 2018

California Federal Judge Certifies Privacy Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook  On Monday, Judge Donato of the Northern District of California certified a class action suit against Facebook under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The class is comprised of all Illinois Facebook users for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011, through Facebook’s “Tag Suggestions” program. Through “Tag Suggestions,” Facebook scans uploaded photographs, identifies faces in photographs, and then Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 13, 2018

Oracle and Google Dispute Has Implications for Copyright Law On March 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit handed down a decision in a suit between Oracle and Google. The three judge panel overruled a jury verdict from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California which found that Google had a fair use defense to their unauthorized use of Oracle’s Java application programming interface packages (API Continue Reading →

Understanding Blockchain-Enabled Distributed (P2P) Energy Trading

This article aims not to discuss the recent frenetic price changes in cryptocurrencies, but to rather take a closer look at one of the proposed facets of the Blockchain revolution: Blockchain-Enabled Distributed Energy Trading (or Blockchain-Enabled P2P Energy Trading). This supposed revolution posits that Blockchain enables retail users to trade energy with each other effectively, the economic incentives of which will prompt retail users to produce their own electricity with renewable means, and thus, reduce Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 7, 2018

Technology Stocks Lose Billions Amid Fears of Increased Regulation and Trade Wars The so-called FAANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet – continued to fall this week amid growing fears of increased regulation, trade wars, and social backlash. Since the Nasdaq Composite’s March 12 peak, the FAANG stocks have lost a total of $397 billion. FAANG stocks are the five most popular tech stocks in the market and are frequently grouped Continue Reading →

Up in the CLOUD: What the New Congressional Act Means for Data Security

Until this past week, Microsoft looked as though they would receive an unfavorable ruling from the Supreme Court. In 2013, the U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant for the emails of individuals they were investigating as drug dealers, but the technology giant refused to hand them over on the grounds that the information in question was hosted on a server in Ireland and warrants are only applicable in the United States. The Court was likely Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 31, 2018

AI Accountability A driverless car operated by Uber recently killed a pedestrian when the test driver failed to intervene.  Last week, a person was also killed while Tesla’s autopilot was active. Questions of accountability as driverless cars become more prevalent have rocked the autonomous vehicle community, however the dangers associated with them may be overstated, especially compared to the safety of human drivers. Several ideas have been proposed throughout the years, however it’s possible that Continue Reading →

Shining a Light on the New Solar Tariffs

On January 22nd, 2018 President Donald Trump authorized tariffs on solar cell and module imports beginning at 30 percent and gradually reducing to 15 percent over four years. These tariffs took effect on February 7th. The United States solar industry including its lead trade group, the Solar Energy Industries Association, and senators on both sides of the aisle fervently fought against the decision due to the impact on jobs and the potential for retaliation. The Continue Reading →