Cyber Roundup (4/27): CISPA (dead?), DARPA’s cyberweapon framework, court prohibits gov hackback, and more . . .

Here’s a quick survey of recent cybernews . . .


I’m really interested in this, so I’ve got to give it top billing.

Paul Rosenzweig wrote for Lawfare on how a Magistrate Judge denied “a government application for a search warrant in which the government proposed to install surreptitious software on the target computer (putatively owned and operated by the criminal suspect).”  Mr. Rosenzweig’s last thought made me smile:

So here’s an interesting and ironic thought  — maybe one of the reasons we need to authorize private sector hack back is because the Federal government can’t do it!


Orin Kerr picked up the same story for The Volokh Conspiracy, framing the issue as a question over “the legal standards for the government to search a hacker’s remote computer to determine the hacker’s identity and location.”  The article is rather lengthy and quite good, so rather than summarize it I’ll just direct you there.  Here’s the opinion, by the way.


Via a US News article written by Jason Koebler, the ACLU is claiming CISPA is dead because the Senate has decided to shelve the bill and draft separate legislation.  The article quoted a committee rep:

“We’re not taking [CISPA] up,” the committee representative says. “Staff and senators are divvying up the issues and the key provisions everyone agrees would need to be handled if we’re going to strengthen cybersecurity. They’ll be drafting separate bills.”

So we won’t get CISPA, but we’ll probably get an unsatisfying/weak bill that pisses the ACLU and EFF off just the same?  As The Atlantic’s Adam Clark Estes says, “CISPA Is Dead, Long Live CISPA.”

Oh, and according to The Hill’s Jennifer Martinez, Anonymous (or people calling themselves Anonymous, who really knows) threatened Rep. Ruppersberger and everyone else who worked on CISPA for their support of CISPA.

Along similar lines, Ellen Nakashima wrote for The Washington Post on how the “White House has backed away from its push for mandatory cybersecurity standards in favor of an approach that would combine voluntary measures with incentives for companies to comply with them.”

It’s hard not to get really cynical about the death of CISPA and the threats this country faces.  I still see parallels between cybersecurity legislation and the pre 9/11 Wall.


Via a Wall Street Journal article by Paul Mozur and Josh Chin, Mandiant reports that “there has been no change in the large number of Chinese attacks on U.S. companies it has observed” since the release of Mandiant’s bombshell report.  However, there has been one notable change:

The only change, [Richard Bejtlich, Mandiant’s CSO] said, has been a noticeable drop in cyber attacks from Unit 61398, a group within the People’s Liberation Army that Mandiant has accused of attempting to hack nearly 150 victims over seven years. In the report, Mandiant said the group’s facilities were located in Shanghai’s Pudong district.

And it fills me with great pleasure to relay the Chinese government’s reaction to the recent Verizon report: “groundless accusations of any country are unprofessional and irresponsible.”

I could write these reactions by now.


Nextgov’s Adam Pasick reports that Huawei can’t take it anymore and is bailing on the U.S. 


Finally, Matthew Cox wrote for DoD Buzz on DARPA’s new framework for developing cyber weapons.  According to the director of DARPA, “[DARPA is] building a future in which our warfighers can use cyber tools as tactical weapons that are fully integrated in the kinetic fight.”

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Untitled Document
Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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