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 →

Safarigate: Benign Behavior or Malignant Breach?

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google has purposefully circumvented Safari’s privacy settings, allowing it to track the behavior of users on non-Google sites. These findings contradicted Google’s own instructions as to how users worried about privacy settings could avoid tracking. The report was based off of research at Stanford that had identified four different advertising companies who utilize known exceptions to Safari’s privacy feature that blocks third-party cookies. Naturally, the idea that Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 30, 2011

Online shopping sites celebrated their second annual Cyber Monday, with more than 75% of online retailers offering some sort of discount for making purchases on the Monday after Thanksgiving. This year’s Cyber Monday comes after shoppers set a record for online spending – racking up $816 million — on Black Friday. The next status conference for AT&T’s embattled T-Mobile merger proposal has been postponed until December 9, due to a scheduling conflict. AT&T and Deutsche Continue Reading →

STLR Link RoundUp – October 07, 2011

Tech visionary Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011. His name was listed on 317 Apple patents, including the Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Sprint is urging the FCC to quickly hold hearings to rule on whether the transfer of spectrum licenses from T-Mobile to AT&T serves the public interest. AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile is currently under review by the FCC after the US Justice Department sued to Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 5, 2011

Privacy rights advocates filed a letter with the FTC, asking the commission to investigate Facebook’s user tracking after log off and whether Facebook’s new Ticker and Timeline feature constitute unfair or deceptive business practices.   The United States signs the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement this Saturday, an accord targeting intellectual property piracy. Some academics argue, however, that ACTA requires Congressional approval. T-Mobile files amicus brief in the Northern California District Court, supporting Samsung in a patent dispute Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – September 26, 2011

The FCC has filed its finalized net neutrality rules, set to take effect on November 20. The rules will almost certainly face legal challenges from Verizon and MetroPCS over the extent of the FCC’s jurisdiction. David Ignatius writes on legal uncertainty and difficult questions facing the future “rules of war” for drone strikes. The debate has gotten fresh attention over last week’s report that the Obama administration’s legal team is split on the extent of Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 24, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: Authorities in San Mateo, California, contemplate filing criminal charges in connection with the sale of an Apple prototype (of a new iPhone), lost by and possibly stolen from an Apple software engineer and bought for $5,000 by the website Gizmodo.com, the New York Times reports. From the San Francisco Chronicle: citing a desire to help fight censorship, Google has launched a tool that discloses requests the company receives from Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 2, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: The Southern District of New York‘s decision in Association for Molecular Pathology and ACLU v. USPTO and Myriad (the “gene patents case”) handed down last Monday, has generated a lot of commentary this week. Here’s a selection: reports from Wired and On the Edges of Science and Law; IP Watchdog describes the ruling as “inane”; Patent Docs gives more detail on the patents at issue; Patently O thinks the Federal Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 19, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: The Department of State’s annual Human Rights Report turns the spotlight on internet freedom in China and Iran, from ZDNet Government. The US District Court in Delaware stays the patent litigations between Apple and Nokia, pending decisions by the International Trade Commission, says The Register. A California appeals court rules that cyberbullying threats are not protected free speech, reports Wired. Also from Wired, the Supreme Court agrees to review Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 5, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: Out-Law reports on a US District Court for the Northern District of California case that clarifies how damages for groundless claims of copyright infringement should be determined. Apple is suing HTC over infringement of its user interface patents, but it’s really Google it’s after, says IP Watchdog. RealNetworks drops its appeal against a ruling declaring that its DVD-copying software violated the DMCA – Wired reports. Is it the car Continue Reading →