Month: November 2012

Will Congress Finally Update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act?

A New York Times article todaydiscussed the division of the Federal courts as to whether and when the retrieval of data from a cell phone requires a search warrant or merely a subpoena. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/technology/legality-of-warrantless-cellphone-searches-goes-to-courts-and-legislatures.html?hpw&_r=0) That issue is really interesting – and is squarely on topic of my talk to the Information Technology Law Association’s Bangalore conference in February 2012, “Government Access Through Private Conduits: The New Face of Policing.” I’d be happy to send a copy of the PPT. At the heart of the issue is the Electronic Communications Privacy of 1986. The original intent of the ECPA was to be a forward-looking statute which provided important privacy protections to subscribers of then-emerging wireless and Internet services. However, since it was enacted in 1986 – arguably a long time ago, digitally speaking – the ECPA’s privacy standards have not been updated. In the 25 years since the ECPA was enacted, there have been fundamental changes in communications technology, including: 1. Email, now saved indefinitely, with unlimited storage potential, mostly stored on computers of service providers. 2. Mobile location technology, which is constantly streamed from cell phones and tablets, is stored in easily accessible logs, and can be intercepted either in real time reviewed over long periods of time. 3. Cloud computing, which puts sensitive data on a third party’s computers where it is convenient to access. 4. Social networking,...

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Time Out Taken

I have been on hiatus – took a time out – for 4 months while campaigning for Bedford, New York, Town Justice,a part-time position. Now that the campaign is over – I won by a 61% to 39% margin, I am again thinking about the intersection of IT law, privacy and data security, and hope that you find what I have to say interesting enough to...

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