Paris Attacks Reignite Calls for Legally Mandated Encryption Backdoors

Only weeks ago, the Obama administration had decided that it would not pursue legislation requiring companies to build “backdoors” in their encryption allowing government access to encrypted data. However, the recent terrorist attacks in Paris may affect their stance going forward and have already influenced the debate on encryption. Soon after the attacks occurred, many quickly blamed encryption for enabling the attack’s organizers to plan in secrecy. Despite the fact that there is no evidence Continue Reading →

WikiLeaks Reveals the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Expansion of International Copyright Law

WikiLeaks Publishes TPP IP Chapter As the Trans-Pacific Partnership or “TPP” moves closer to becoming a reality , leaked documents of the international trade agreement published by WikiLeaks have sparked concerns that the treaty’s re-envisioning of intellectual property rights could prove detrimental to citizens of signatory nations. The latest version of TPP’s intellectual property chapter, hosted on WikiLeaks servers,[1] details a series of sweeping modifications to the international status quo in regards to copyrights as well as Continue Reading →

Cookies and Data Privacy

Recent developments in data privacy On October 6, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a landmark decision that invalidated the Safe Harbor Framework. The Framework had allowed U.S. companies, from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to tech firms like Microsoft, to move personal data such as user and employee data back and forth across the Atlantic. The potential ramifications of the ECJ’s ruling are troubling and real. Many U.S. companies that leverage data analytics for business or Continue Reading →

ACLU’s Latest Challenge to Government Mass Surveillance: Wikimedia et al. v. NSA

The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that runs Wikipedia, filed suit against the NSA to stop Upstream surveillance because mass surveillance violates the privacy necessary for the free exchange of knowledge in the Wikimedia community. Plaintiffs also include the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other advocacy organizations whose activities are affected by NSA mass surveillance due to violations of privacy rights. Upstream surveillance is the NSA’s surveillance of the Internet traffic through the Internet Continue Reading →

Social Media and the Discovery Process

We are using an increasing number of mediums to communicate today, and with this advent in technology, lawyers must likewise learn the new rules associated with discovery and social media – or adapt and stretch the old rules. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and others are all new platforms for sharing and obtaining information, some of which may be used in litigation. Given the relative novelty of these channels, the discovery process for them is still Continue Reading →

The Legal Response to Revenge Porn

It is not uncommon for couples to break up on less than stellar terms. There is quite a difference, however, between deleting an ex’s phone number and posting nude pictures or videos of him or her on the Internet in order to cause embarrassment or fallout with friends and family. This phenomenon, known as revenge porn, has increasingly received attention from the nation’s lawmakers and pro bono attorneys. This attention culminated in October of 2013, Continue Reading →

City of Los Angeles v. Patel – Facial Challenges to Privacy Statutes and Why They Are Essential to Developing a Body of Statutory Law to Govern Privacy

On October 20, 2014 the Supreme Court decided to hear the case City of Los Angeles v. Patel. [1] The case involves a local ordinance, which requires operators of hotels to keep records of their guests, and to provide them to the police if requested without any judicial oversight.[2] The Ninth Circuit held that the statute was invalid because it did not satisfy the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness requirements in all circumstances.[3] As presented to the Continue Reading →

The Conflict in Electronic Medical Records

As physicians and hospitals increasingly move away from physical record-keeping to electronic health record (EHR) systems, the push and pull between the need for healthcare privacy/security on one hand, and the necessity of sharing healthcare information on the other, continues to grow as well. One example of how this problem plays out is that moving sensitive healthcare information to the cloud makes it easier to share and access patient information, but it also makes it Continue Reading →

Use of Athletes as Science Experiments: Are We Next?

John Calipari, University of Kentucky basketball coach, is a renowned and often controversial figure. He is also one of the first coaches to implement the use of heart-rate monitors during team practices to push his players beyond their comfort zones into complete physical exhaustion. Not only do the heart-rate monitors measure players’ exertion rates, but they also keep track of caloric burn. While the original purpose of these devices was to measure player exhaustion and Continue Reading →

Personal Data Encryption and its Legal Implications

Under the regime of Apple’s iOS 7 operating system, a law enforcement agency seeking access to a passcode-protected iPhone would send the phone, along with a valid search warrant, to Apple, who would then be obligated to bypass the passcode using a built-in “backdoor.” Thus, providing the law enforcement agency with the relevant information found in the phone. When iPhone users upgrade to the recently released iOS 8 (or purchase an iPhone 6 or 6 Continue Reading →