Why State and Local Law Enforcement Should Be Part of the MLAT Reform Process

H. Bryan Cunningham by Bryan Cunningham, Cunningham Levy LLP
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MLATs are formal agreements between countries establishing procedures for requesting evidence stored outside the requesting country’s jurisdiction. Historically, in many time-sensitive cases, law enforcement agencies officials exchanged information informally and private companies cooperated without formal legal process. But with increasing overseas attention to privacy rights and concerns about secret, unilateral data collection by national governments against other countries’ citizens, companies increasingly are refusing to cooperate informally and governments are retaliating for unfair “spying” on their citizens. State and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) should care about this problem not only because of its potential impact on the general ability of the U.S. to take down international terror and other criminal organizations, but because, in our increasingly interconnected world, what once could have been treated largely as “local” cases, such as cyber fraud and child pornography now require retrieval of evidence from overseas, and even basic crimes without any obvious cyber component will require evidence stored overseas.

Alibaba And The Cognitive Dissonance Of American Data Policy

Paul Rosenzweig by Paul Rosenzweig, The Chertoff Group
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The issue is put in stark relief by the recent announcement from Alibaba, the Chinese technology company that plans to open up a new data center in Silicon Valley. From a business perspective, the decision makes perfect sense. The center will allow Alibaba to expand one of its product lines — cloud services for businesses — into the American market. It portends an effort by Alibaba to go head-to-head with other cloud service providers, like Amazon, that lease computing systems to businesses. Where, before, Alibaba’s clientele was almost exclusively Chinese, the new data center is part of an effort to become more multinational. And that will give American law enforcement heartburn. Because if they don’t want to be intellectual hypocrites, they are going to be obliged to acknowledge that Alibaba’s entry into the American market also means that the Chinese government will have direct access to American data – because the U.S. government says the exact same thing about American companies operating in China. And that can’t be a comfortable conclusion. The most notable example of this legal theory is a case pending in New York. In December 2013, Microsoft, received a warrant issued by a magistrate in the Southern District of New York that ordered the company to turn over information relating to a user whose data was stored at the company’s Dublin, Ireland, data center.

Much-needed bipartisan privacy reform: Support LEADS

Julie AndersonKaren Evans by Julie Anderson, AG Strategy Group
Karen Evans, KE&T Partners
Monday, March 23, 2015

In Washington, legislation with support from both sides of the aisle is hard to come by – particularly when it comes to technology, as we've seen with the net neutrality debate. But technology also brings people together, Republicans and Democrats alike. From the perspective of two appointees who have served in different presidential administrations, we don't see eye-to-eye on every issue. But we do share common ground in our support of the Law Enforcement Access to Stored Data Abroad (LEADS) Act. Our bipartisan support is a testament to its importance. The LEADS Act is a reasonable and bipartisan approach to reforming outdated laws; enacting the legislation will preserve the balance between privacy and security while updating the rules that govern digital trade. We'd like to highlight why this legislation is vital to law enforcement activities and individual privacy.

A Message from Parents: Advertising and Education Do Not Mix

Jeff Gould by Jeff Gould, SafeGov.org
Monday, March 23, 2015

A new survey by privacy advocate SafeGov of parents in a large American city confirms what most sensible people already believed: parents want corporate-sponsored advertising out of our schools. After spending much of the past two years asking parents in a dozen foreign countries how they feel about online privacy and advertising in their children’s schools, SafeGov decided it was time to do a deep dive on this subject back home in the United States. They looked for a city with a progressive school district committed to bringing technology into the classroom. They chose Boston. The underlying insight of the project is that while the boom in classroom use of Internet apps based on technology originally designed for consumers has been largely beneficial for students, it has also led to a potentially dangerous confusion of business models. The power of Internet apps comes from their ability not only to deliver content quickly and efficiently to vast numbers of users, but also to track how those users interact with the content.

Surveillance Law in Dire Need of Reform: The Promise of the LEADS Act

Daniel J. Solove by Daniel Solove, TeachPrivacy
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The law regulating government surveillance and information gathering is in dire need of reform. This law, which consists of the Fourth Amendment and several statutes, was created largely in the 1970s and 1980s and has become woefully outdated. The result is that law enforcement officials and intelligence agencies can readily find ways to sidestep oversight and protections when engaging in surveillance and data collection.

The Security of Internet-Connected Things

Scott Andersen by Scott Andersen, CGI
Monday, March 16, 2015

The Internet of Things (IoT) is all the rage right now. Virtually every other blog is introducing a variation of the concept or a new collection within the Internet of Things. From the industrial Internet of Things to the Internet of Big Brother, the concepts continue to expand. All of this is based on the connection fabric provided by the Internet. Organizations can connect to a sensor remotely with any an internet connected device. What in the end is a sensor? Well a sensor can be any remote device. It could be monitoring a lathe on the production floor or could be monitoring the temperature inside a freezer. The sensor could be an external security camera or it could be the water level of a river. Any IoT sensor has two characteristics. It produces information (data) and it is connection to the Internet. The value of the sensor is getting the information to the user quickly. The risk is the information is broadcast by a device over the Internet (or any number of locations on your company network).

LEADS Act is logical path toward much-needed ECPA reform

Karen Evans by Karen Evans, KE&T Partners
Friday, March 13, 2015

With little fanfare, this bipartisan bill was recently reintroduced by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) last month (a companion bill was also introduced in the House). The bill will help achieve several important outcomes. LEADS will improve data privacy protections for U.S. citizens and residents while strengthening law enforcement cooperation with other nations. The bill also preserves the essential balance between security and privacy. At the same time, it will signal to our foreign partners that we are serious about improving law enforcement cooperation with them. In these times, such improvements are vital to ensuring effective functioning of our law enforcement agencies while maintaining the privacy rights of our citizens.

Warrants Should Be Required For Email Access

Bradley Shear by Bradley Shear, Law Office of Bradley S. Shear
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Last week, I attended the International Association of Privacy Professional’s Washington DC conference and I was impressed with the topics that were discussed. The keynotes by journalist Glenn Greenwald and Harvard Professor Michael Sandel were top notch and so were all of the sessions that I attended. One panel that I found interesting was titled, “Search Warrants vs. Privacy Laws: Can They Live Together”. The session was moderated by Professor Peter Swire of Georgia Tech and included Bruce Brown, the Executive Director of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press; Nuala O’Connor, President of the Center for Democracy and Technology; and Andrew Pincus a partner at the international law firm of Mayer Brown.

Email Privacy, Overseas Jurisdiction, and the 114th Congress

Paul Rosenzweig by Paul Rosenzweig, The Chertoff Group
Friday, March 06, 2015

Everything old is new again. Two years ago, I wrote about a bipartisan effort (in which I was and still am participating) to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. That effort, sadly, went nowhere. I am, however, happy to report that progress is being made to revive that effort in the 114th Congress. This year two separate but related bills are being considered in the House and Senate that bear on these issues.

Tango and Digital Striptease

Professor Fernando Tomeo by Professor Fernando Tomeo, Buenos Aires University
Thursday, March 05, 2015

Just as the Argentine Tango is a classic, like a good steak or a Patagonian landscape, the striptease of personal data has now become fashionable in Argentina with what we may call the “selfie compulsion”. Adults and children are posting vast numbers of selfies on such popular sites as Facebook (over 24 million users in Argentina), Instagram (also very popular) and the messaging service WhatsApp. But in many of these selfies the authors choose to leave only their hats on!