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 →

Digital Afterlife and How to Tweet Post Mortem

Carrie Fisher passed away on December 27, 2016, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, after suffering a massive heart attack. Fisher, a famous actress best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, maintained a number of quite active social media accounts, primarily a twitter account with 1.25 million followers and a Facebook account with 523,845 Likes. Since her passing, no activity has been registered on these Continue Reading →

The FCC’s Latest Privacy Regulations: A New Stance on Private-Sector Protections?

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest contributor Ido Sivan Sevilla, a Ph.D Candidate in Public Policy & Information Security at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Mr. Sevilla earned his Master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and served as a Legislative Fellow for Congressman Ami Bera of California’s 7th Congressional District. Mr. Sevilla’s research focuses on cyber security in national defense and the public sector. Continue Reading →

Posting without Hosting: Implications of Russia’s Recent Removal of LinkedIn

If you had hoped to check out your career prospects on LinkedIn from Russia this past week, you might have been puzzled by the site’s failure to load. LinkedIn has been blocked following the Court of Appeal’s (for Moscow’s Taginsky District) recent decision that LinkedIn violates a Russian data protection law, Federal Law No. 242-FZ (“No. 242”), on two counts: not storing data about Russians on servers located in Russian territory; and processing information about Continue Reading →

The IPTV Transition: How will regulators and customers react to the impending changes?

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is a relatively new technology that promises to revolutionize the Television marketplace. Services like AT&T U-verse and Verizon FIOS promise to deliver television and Internet services to customers with increased access to Video-on-Demand (VOD) and increased Internet bandwidth. Unlike the recent digital TV transition initiated by the FCC and subject to several administrative orders and long-term delays,[i] transition to IPTV will be triggered by market factors. Most notably, customers’ preferences for Continue Reading →

Is Big Brother Listening? And Other Concerns.

What is Google Home? On November 4th, Google released Google Home, a smart speaker and entertainment hub, and competitor to Amazon’s Echo. Users can ask Google Home questions typically asked of a search engine (e.g., how long to boil an egg) or request actions typically enacted on a smartphone (e.g., setting a timer or calendar reminder). The more a user engages with one of these smart hubs, the more user data the device and its servers Continue Reading →

Ninth Circuit Panel Throttles FTC Enforcement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed a petition to appeal a Ninth Circuit decision that exempts telecom giant AT&T from enforcement action by the agency. The litigation dates back to October 2014, when divisions of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection brought an action against AT&T for its undisclosed speed throttling of “unlimited” data plan subscribers. AT&T landed a major blow in August 2016 when a Ninth Circuit panel determined that the FTC Act Continue Reading →

If You’re Going to Delete All My Facebook Posts, Then You Might As Well Do It Right

Judicial benchslap stories are juicy legal fodder, and this story was no different. Recently, the legal community eagerly gossiped about a federal judge that lashed out against a well-known New York law firm. The offense? Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York was infuriated that the firm had sent a mere junior associate instead of a partner to a hearing on two cases that “implicate[] international terrorism and the murder of innocent people Continue Reading →

Police Body Cameras and Public Records Requests: Another Privacy Frontier

Police departments around the country have been rolling out body-worn camera (“BWC”) programs among other efforts to address accountability and transparency concerns in police conduct. Police departments, legislatures, and community groups alike believe that BWC programs will provide benefits in many forms, including lowering the incidence of police violence, reducing civilian complaints against officers, and streamlining internal police investigations. Public opinion polls overwhelmingly support their use, and news outlets have been eager to report early Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup–March 25, 2016

Update on Apple & the FBI The case between Apple and the FBI has been getting a lot of attention lately, but things might be coming to an end soon. As everyone likely knows, this case has been about the FBI trying to compel Apple to help unlock an iPhone that was used by someone who murdered 14 and wounded 22 people in San Bernardino. On March 21st the Federal Bureau of Investigation filed a Continue Reading →