Cyber Round Up: DOJ Pushes for Increased Hacking Abilities; Google Appeals Turkish YouTube Blackout; Microsoft Ends “Snooping” Practices

  • The DOJ is advocating for less stringent standards to obtain warrants to hack the computers of criminal suspects, the Wall Street Journal Blog reports.  “The Justice Department effort is raising questions among some technology advocates, who say the government should focus on fixing the holes in computer software that allow such hacking rather than exploiting them.”  DOJ investigators, however, say increased flexibility is necessary in this regard “especially when multiple computers are involved or the government doesn’t know where the suspect’s computer is physically located[,]”  according to WSJ.
  • Shortly after the Turkish government blocked citizen access to Twitter, officials made a similar play against YouTube, according to AP reports.  (Here’s the link to the “Cyber Round Up” on the initial social media block). Again, these actions came just days before crucial local elections were held, the results of which have still not been released.  (Although, as the WSJ reports, “[O]ne thing is clear: the secularist opposition suffered a walloping by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, failing to capitalize on corruption allegations, bans on social media and ongoing dissent.”)  WSJ also reports that Google, Inc. has appealed the YouTube blackout in the Turkish courts.
  • A perspective piece by columnist Hiawatha Bray published in the Boston Globe argues that, although we may seem doomed to become a “surveillance state,” “by combining anonymizing technology with tougher legal limits on access to location data, each of us might be able to preserve a cocoon of location privacy.”  As an interesting side note, this piece reveals the results of location data research that shows, “if you track someone’s cellphone-usage patterns over a three-month period, you could probably predict where this person will be with an accuracy of 93 percent.”
  • Wired reports that the cyber attack on Target, Neiman Marcus, and others just months ago has resulted in a class action lawsuit that calls into question whether third-party companies responsible for certifying the security of credit card-accepting entities, like Target, should be held liable in the event of a breach.
  • A New York Times blog reports that Microsoft recently announced an end to its policy permitting “snooping” on private customer communications during the course of an investigation into stolen property.  Here’s the announcement by Microsoft general counsel, Brad Smith.
  • According to K&L Gates’ “European Regulatory Watch,” the outcome of a current debate over whether to overhaul the privacy protection framework in place in the EU “could shape the future of the digital economy, particularly with privacy and cyber sovereignty becoming key talking points in transatlantic diplomacy since the Snowden/NSA case.”

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Authors

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. 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. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. 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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