Cyber Round Up: Telecommunications Regulatory Power—FCC or FTC?; Tech Giants Lobby for Limits on Gov’t Surveillance; New Ransomware Virus has Reached U.S.

  • The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing last week where Foreign Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner, Maureen Ohlhausen argued for “the repeal of the communications common carrier exemption which would transfer regulatory power of telecommunications networks from the [FCC] to the FTC[,]” according to the ACLU.  This would significantly limit government privacy oversight.
  • The New York Times reports that eight leading tech companies are lobbying for new limits on government surveillance.  Their plan, presented in the form of a presentation and open letter in prominent national newspapers, is coupled with the companies’ continued efforts to change their technological structures in a way that works to thwart spying and boost security.
  • Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) has said that he plans to introduce legislation very soon that will boost consumer privacy protections through, for example, adding a warrant requirement to police investigations that desire cellphone location information from wireless providers, according to The New York Times.
  • The boom of increased security measures online, such as encrypted email and secure instant messaging, may not be as effective as the public thinks, reports the Associated Press.  Rather, the extra security steps are often of variable quality and can, instead, overwhelm computer systems without keeping out adversaries.
  • Finally, SF Gate reports that a new virus has emerged just in time for the holidays.  Cryptolocker, which originated in the UK and is now spreading through the US, is a ransomware virus that permits hackers to encrypt a computer’s files and demand the owner or user pay in bitcoins in order to undo the encryption.
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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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