Cyber Round Up: Talking Google, NSA, FISA, a false cyber attack alarm, and more

  • According to the New York Times, agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) and certain international counterparts have found a way to pull identifying information, such as gender, age, and location, from smartphone users when they open and utilize their phone’s applications.
  • The subtitle in a recent Economist article says it all: “With a string of deals the internet giant[, Google,] has positioned itself to become a big inventor, and reinventor, of hardware.”  Examples include Google’s recent acquisition of Nest Labs, maker of thermostats and smoke detectors, and a big move into hardware illustrated by a $12.5 billion bid for Motorola Mobility.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that, last week, several federal court websites were shut down.  Initially, the issues were attributed to a cyber attack; but, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now announced it was just a technical glitch.
  • You may remember the case of Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, the Texas college student from Saudi Arabia who was convicted in 2012 of attempted bomb-making and planning to target various individuals at the Cotton Bowl.  Recently, on appeal, his attorneys argued that the trial court improperly denied Aldawsari’s motion to suppress evidence that was gathered pursuant to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court order.  As Just Security reports, the Fifth Circuit disagreed and affirmed the appellant’s conviction and life sentence.  Here’s the full opinion from the Fifth Circuit.
  • The NYT also noted in a report from last week that Russia intends to extend its asylum assistance to Snowden beyond August, as previously indicated.
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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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