Will EU deem Google, Facebook and Twitter part of critical infrastructure?

Loek Essers and Peter Sayer, IDG News Service ,  Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pressure is mounting in the European Union to subject companies including Google, Twitter, eBay and Facebook to the same critical IT infrastructure security requirements as banks or energy networks. EU lawmakers want providers of essential services in industries including banking, health care, transport and energy to protect their networks from hackers, and to disclose data breaches to the authorities.

Law enforcment turning to Microsoft's cloud to keep their files secure: only service to comply with FBI's CJIS policy

Kellogg Brengel, WinBeta,  Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Microsoft is hoping that governments will rely on them for their cloud based needs as the technology company posted an article today detailing how Microsoft Azure Government is the "only hyper-scale cloud platform that is contractually committed to meeting the FBI’s [Criminal Justice Information Services security policy] requirements." Law enforcement agencies across the US might soon be looking to use Microsoft's Azure Government platform as the International Associate of Chiefs of Police, the largest organization of police leaders in the US, updated their guidelines to recommend that all cloud based storage of criminal justice information should comply with these very FBI's CJIS requirements.

Eight EU nations urge caution on Internet regulation

Julia Fioretti, Reuters,  Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Eight European Union nations including Britain, Ireland and Poland on Tuesday urged caution with regulating the Internet, as Brussels prepares a sweeping review of the behaviour of web giants that could see them subjected to new rules. In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, who will this week chair a meeting of the EU's 28 heads of state, the leaders of Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Czech Republic and the Netherlands, said the EU should only regulate "where there is clear evidence to do so."

European Officials Push Telecom Regulating for Tech

Mark Scott, New York Times Bits,  Wednesday, June 24, 2015

For regulators here, the divide between European telecom companies and American tech companies is fast eroding. Those blurring lines have moved European officials to argue for regulating many tech companies’ under the same strict rules that govern telecom and cable operators, a decision that could have broad implications for the tech companies.

Is Google Trying To Become A One-Stop Shop For Everything Online?

Jayson DeMers, Forbes,  Tuesday, June 23, 2015

For more than a decade, online marketers have joked that Google is trying to take over the world. Now, it looks like they might actually do it—the online world, at least. Based on some of the recent moves we’ve seen Google making, it appears that the search engine giant is extending its boundaries further than ever before, offering new functionality and new capabilities that improve online user experience, but also eclipse the functions of many of its competitors and contemporaries.

Why the OPM Data Breach is Unlike Any Other

Nuala O’Connor, Center for Democracy & Technology,  Tuesday, June 23, 2015

...a breach of this magnitude should call into question how we define harm and the types of remediation available to individuals. Credit monitoring and identity-theft resources may have little utility for those whose data was breached, especially when the information that was taken goes beyond credit card numbers and into detailed dossiers of about individuals. How does one put the cat back in the bag when the records breached contain information such as past drug use, lie-detector tests you failed, or extramarital affairs? This is information routinely collected about candidates for top-secret clearance and it includes information about friends, relatives, and former employers connected to the individuals that were affected. Those individuals aren’t given any recourse whatsoever. Current structures just do not give adequate recourse in relation to the real harm and impact on lives.

EU Demands Major Changes to Google’s Search Rankings

Tom Fairless, Wall Street Journal,  Monday, June 22, 2015

The European Union has demanded sweeping changes to the way Google Inc. ranks rival comparison-shopping services in its general search results and warned that the company could be fined for alleged past violations of EU antitrust law, according to a formal charge sheet that was sent to the U.S. search giant in April, three people familiar with the matter said. The charge sheet, which runs more than 100 pages, calls on Google to use the “same underlying processes and methods” when presenting rival shopping-comparison services on its search page, the people said. That demand for equal treatment of competitors goes far beyond Google’s own proposal last year to settle the concerns of the European Commission, the EU’s top antitrust authority, that Google skews search results in favor of its own specialist search services, like Google Shopping.

Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks

Andrew Fishman and Morgan Marquis-Boire, The Intercept,  Monday, June 22, 2015

The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The spy agencies have reverse engineered software products, sometimes under questionable legal authority, and monitored web and email traffic in order to discreetly thwart anti-virus software and obtain intelligence from companies about security software and users of such software.

Revealed: How DOJ Gagged Google over Surveillance of WikiLeaks Volunteer

Ryan Gallagher, The Intercept,  Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks. Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum (pictured above), a developer for the Tor online anonymity project who has worked with WikiLeaks as a volunteer. The order also gagged Google, preventing it from notifying Appelbaum that his records had been provided to the government. The Justice Department argued in the case that Appelbaum had “no reasonable expectation of privacy” over his email records under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Rather than seeking a search warrant that would require it to show probable cause that he had committed a crime, the government instead sought and received an order to obtain the data under a lesser standard, requiring only “reasonable grounds” to believe that the records were “relevant and material” to an ongoing criminal investigation.

Measuring MLAT

H. Bryan Cunningham by Bryan Cunningham, Cunningham Levy LLP
Friday, June 19, 2015

Measuring a problem is a first step to solving it. Many, myself included, have identified problems with the “Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty” (MLAT) system used by one country to retrieve admissible criminal evidence stored in another. Based on formal international agreements, a country needing evidence (the “requesting country”) under the control of another country (the “responding country”) transmits a written request to the responding country on behalf of state or federal prosecutors in the requesting country. The responding country reviews the request and, if so inclined, secures the evidence under its own laws and, finally, transmits the evidence back to the requesting country. Anecdotal evidence, including the experience of state and federal prosecutors in the United States, suggests that the MLAT process can be slow and cumbersome.