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As I wrote almost a year ago, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) is a stifling force on informational security and individual rights. Just yesterday, in the case of Van Buren v. United States, the Supreme Court agreed with that assessment in limiting the scope of what constitutes “unauthorized access.” Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a surprise choice to write the majority opinion, which I will discuss, writes that the intention of unauthorize access within the statue is to prohibit “information one is not allowed to obtain.” To read otherwise would result in absurd scenarios such as being able to…


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The word hack has come to take on new meaning since the advent of the Internet. Once used to connote a violent often illegal attempt to gain access to a physical or digital space, the word hack has evolved to incorporate several positive connotations. Hack-ers locate and disarm computer bugs and viruses. Lifestyle hacks purport to improve our everyday efficiency and make us as individuals happier. Hack-tivists use digital town squares to spread messages of social change, including promoting free speech, human rights, and freedom of information among other political and social agendas. Yet our system of laws has yet…


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Forgive me if this sounds like the beginning of a rant by the fictitious Richard Hendricks, CEO of Pied Piper, from HBO’s Silicon Valley. It has been a year since the last episode of the series aired, but Hendricks’ mantra rings more pressing than ever, “We need a new internet.” The sense of community, support, free flow of ideas, and privacy that existed in the early days of the internet have been replaced with loneliness, vitriol, fear mongering, and intrusive data collection. The internet is broken, and no patch or retrofit will repair it. We need to start from the…


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A few weeks ago, I wrote about the EARN IT Act, and how the bill aims to put an end to end-to-end encryption. That article can be found here. The EARN IT Act presents a host of problems, which the bill’s drafters have attempted to weed out through various revisions. By making internet companies de facto agents of the Federal Government any child sexual abuse material (CSAM) collected by these companies would be impermissible as evidence in any court proceeding. The Fourth Amendment sets strict standards on the government sponsored search and seizure of private individuals. EARN IT does not…


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Hospital workers are applauded daily when leaving for and returning from shifts. Neighbors trade groceries, toilet paper, and other essentials. And the words “stay safe” and “take care” have never carried as much import as they have over the last several months. The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought about a deep sense of camaraderie. It has also brought about deep mistrust, as governments blame one another for the spread of the disease, neighbors report one another for failing to socially distance, and citizens take to the streets to protest lock-downs. …


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With the media attention centered on the global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and its impacts on health and the economy, one could be forgiven for thinking that the halls of government are solely focused on fighting this pandemic. On March 5, as Coronavirus was beginning its rapid assault across the United States, Attorney General William Barr announced a joint initiative along with Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to fight online child sexual exploitation. As part of this initiative, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Snap, and Roblox have agreed to adopt 11 voluntary principles aimed at combating online exploitation…


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As the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to show some signs of slowing, many are now asking: when will we be able to return to normal? The reality is likely never. Habits formed during crisis are not easily shed when the immediate risk abates. So, if you started bicycling to work, growing your own fruits and vegetables, and reading more frequently these habits are likely to continue. If you are more wary of strangers, find yourself hording items, and disinfecting surfaces more often these habits are not going to be easy to break. Perhaps, the biggest shift in habits caused…


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As Coronavirus (COVID-19) is continuing its rapid spread among vast swaths of the global population, governments are asking a modern question: Can cellphone location data help slow the tide of this deadly virus? In fact, this isn’t a modern question at all, but an ancient question with a modern twist. During the Renaissance in Italy, travelers between regions were forced to carry health passes testifying that they came from regions free of plague. The word quarantine derives from the Venetian word for 40 days, the isolation period required of ships during this period.

While there is a strong clamoring for…


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Telecommuting has proliferated in recent weeks as governments have raced to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) by forcing employers to send non-essential workers home. While the advent of cloud computing has made working from home easier and more secure than it has ever been, not all businesses are similarly situated in handling the security demands of having an all remote or mostly remote workforce.

Small businesses, who have by and large been slow to adapt to the wave of new cloud technologies, are facing the greatest logistical and security hurdles to the rise in telecommuting. How do small businesses…

Adam G.

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Professional | Attorney | CIPP/US, CIPP/E, & CIPM | Proponent of a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

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