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 →

STLR Link Roundup – March 3, 2017

JP Morgan’s New Contract Processing Software Since June, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been using a computing program called COIN, for Contract Intelligence, to interpret their commercial loan agreements. This program will replace 360,000 hours of work by lawyers and loan officers each year. This comes as part of the company’s push to enhance their technological capacity, driven by COO Matt Zames and CIO Dana Deasy. JPMorgan is investing $9.6 billion in its tech budget, Continue Reading →

Bitcoins for the Masses – Public Investment Opportunities Await Approval from SEC

Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, continues to move towards the mainstream. From ATMs in Manhattan bodegas, to Overstock.com, slowly bitcoins are appearing in our daily lives. Ever since Bitcoin launched, speculators have been able to buy and hold this cryptocurrency in search of profit from changes in its value over time. Using a variety of online services or software applications, technologically sophisticated individuals can easily convert bitcoins to US dollars (or other currencies) Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 24, 2017

Snapchat Goes Public Earlier this month, Snap Inc. filed the necessary disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission to take the social media giant, Snapchat, public.  The tech company is estimated to raise $3 billion in its initial public offering—an important indication for the value and viability of other technology and social media startups.  The IPO is expected to happen later next week.  The market valuation of the company is expected to be somewhere between Continue Reading →

A New Era for Privacy & Data Protection

On October 27, 2016, just days before a presidential election, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed new broadband consumer privacy rules.  The new rules were passed with a 3-2 vote—straight on party lines, with all the Democrats voting for the rules and the two Republicans voting against.  Now, however, the Republican commissioners have a majority and the new privacy rules could very well be overturned.  The new rules require internet service providers to obtain permission Continue Reading →

Open Source Software and Standards Development Organizations: Symbiotic Functions in the Innovation Equation

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest contributor David J. Kappos, a current partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and former Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Before heading up the USPTO, Mr. Kappos was a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel (focusing on IP issues) for IBM. Two groups—industry standards development organizations (SDOs) and the open source software (OSS) community—have contributed enormously to the breathtaking technological achievements of recent Continue Reading →