Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter, along with more than 75 companies and cyber security experts, sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, asking him to reject government proposals that would grant law enforcement access to their user’s encrypted data. The letter said that providing law enforcement access to their user’s data will leave them vulnerable to attacks and compromise their products, and asked Obama to reject proposals to force a “back door” into their operating systems. The efforts from several major tech companies to make data more secure precedes the open letter. They also requested that the White House focus on creating policies that advocate strong encryption technology and thus cyber security, human rights and economic growth. Law enforcement does not seem to agree however. Google and Apple were criticized for making their smartphone encryption too difficult for law enforcement to crack, and one official doesn’t understand why businesses market devices to purposefully allow users to escape the law’s reach.

Article via Mashable, 19 May 2015

Photo: Campaigning with a smile (Barack Obama in Austin #3) via Jack Thielepape/jmtimages [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


On Wednesday, April 29, the US Department of Justice released guidance titled “Best Practices for Victim Response and Reporting of Cyber Incidents.” The guidance outlines steps companies should take before, during, and after an incident, and includes a summary checklist. The guidance also states the Justice Department’s positions on the legal permissibility of a number of monitoring techniques and the impermissibility of many forms of so-called “hacking back.”


[Guidelines are here .]

Source: Department of Justice issues best practices guidance on cyber incidents (WilmerHale, 1 May 2015) via MIRLN (miscellaneous IT related law news)

Photo: Washington DC – Federal Triangle: Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building via Wally Gobetz [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

Having lived in Korea for the past 2 and a half years, I can say that I love this place. It is an amazing culture and a truly amazing country. It also helps that I am an internet junkie, and the service here is unbelievable. I pay 41,000 won per month (around $39.00) for 100mb internet service with no contract. This is truly a place where connectivity is king.

However, I have consistently had one major issue, and that is with online shopping and banking. When I want to go to my bank website, I have to download at least 5 security programs, including keylogging pretection software. These are all designed to keep you safe, and your information secure. Funny, that the only time my information was compromised was when it had nothing to do with e-commerce. These programs also degrade the performance of your computer.

One of the biggest issues I have is that most online shopping websites use ActiveX security from Microsoft. ActiveX is outdated, and really only works well with Internet Explorer. While I have nothing against IE, I do have issue with this,as it inherently limits browser choice. In fact, until about 2 years ago, my (soon-to-be) wife thought Internet Explorer WAS the Internet…

After searching, I found out that Korea passed a law in 1999 to protect consumers that required the use of ActiveX security. I see serious issues with laws such as these, and that is due to the inherent difference in pace between law and technology. The world has moved beyond ActiveX, and South Korea is for once, lagging behind, and this is due to enshrining ActiveX into law. However this will be changing soon.

This April, after months of rumors, the Government has finally announced plans to fix things!! This is wonderful news, however I fear that it has come too late in the game. I wonder if this had any effect on ticket sales for the Incheon Asian games(I had to have my wife order them, because the payment system was exclusively in Korean)?

All I can say is that I am glad that things are moving in the right direction, and that Korean consumers will finally have a choice in browsers.

CIJT: Do you think that it is beneficial to enshrine specific technologies into law? Any ideas on how to have law keep pace with technology?


Source article: BusinessKorea

Photo: ClipDealer GmbH

FCC decides that it will no longer enforce the Zapple doctrine – killing the last remnant of the Fairness Doctrine (Broadcast Law Blog, 8 May 2014) – The Zapple Doctrine was an outgrowth of the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine. The Zapple Doctrine required that broadcast stations that give air time to the supporters of one candidate in an election give time to the supporters of competing candidates as well. Even though the Fairness Doctrine has been defunct for years, having had various manifestations of the Doctrine declared unconstitutional either by the Courts or the FCC, Zapple apparently lived on, or at least a death certificate had never been issued (see, for instance, our articles mentioning the continued life support of the Doctrine, here and here ). Thus stations had to be concerned about giving air time to supporters of political candidates for fear of having to provide a similar amount of time to those supporting competing candidates. Apparently, that uncertainty has now been resolved, as in two just released cases, the FCC”s Media Bureau has declared that Zapple, like the rest of the Fairness Doctrine, is dead. The cases just decided (available here and here ) both involved the recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, where complaints were filed against the renewals of two radio stations, complaining that those stations did not provide equal opportunities to supporters of Walker’s recall opponent even though station hosts provided on-air support for Walker. The FCC rejected those complaints, declaring: Given the fact that the Zapple Doctrine was based on an interpretation of the fairness doctrine, which has no current legal effect, we conclude that the Zapple Doctrine similarly has no current legal effect.

Provided by MIRLN.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles.

Here’s how Twitter might challenge the NSA’s gag order (Washington Post, 10 Feb 2014; interview with Eugene Volokh) – The United States government limits how much companies can disclose about their cooperation with surveillance by the National Security Agency and other federal agencies. Government officials have insisted that Internet companies such as Google and Microsoft report the number of surveillance requests only in broad numeric ranges. In a Thursday blog post, Twitter wrote that it was unsatisfied with this arrangement, and was “considering legal options we may have to seek to defend our First Amendment rights.” The company argues that it has a right to disclose specific details about the extent of its participation in U.S. surveillance programs. Would such a legal challenge succeed? To find out, I asked Eugene Volokh, a prominent First Amendment scholar at the University of California-Los Angeles. His blog, the Volokh Conspiracy , is hosted by the Washington Post. We spoke by phone on Friday. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity * * *

Provided by MIRLN.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/phanlop88.