Cybersecurity 2021 – The Year in Preview: The FTC’s Enforcement Priorities

Editors’ Note:  This is the fourth in our fifth-annual end-of-year series examining important trends in data privacy and cybersecurity in the coming year.  Read our previous posts on Energy, Cannabis, and the GDPR.

As the Trump Administration ends, it is time to look forward to what may be on the horizon with regards to law enforcement at the FTC under the Biden Administration.… More

Cybersecurity 2021 – The Year in Preview: The GDPR’s New Transfer Landmines

Editors’ Note:  This is the third in our fifth-annual end-of-year series examining important trends in data privacy and cybersecurity in the coming year.  Read our previous posts on Energy and Cannabis.

A year ago, transferring data from Europe to the United States was inconvenient but manageable. Thousands of companies participated in the Privacy Shield, an agreement between the United States Department of Commerce and the European Commission where data importers certified that protected Europeans’ data at European levels.… More

Fifth Circuit Addresses Scope of “Use” Under Federal Identity Theft Statute

You may have forgotten that there is a federal criminal identity theft statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, which says:

Whoever, during and in relation to any felony violation enumerated in subsection (c), knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such felony, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2 years.

Section 1028A is not frequently invoked,… More

Cybersecurity 2021 – The Year in Preview: Emerging Issues in Cannabis and Privacy

Editors’ Note:  This is the second in our fifth-annual end-of-year series examining important trends in data privacy and cybersecurity in the coming year.  Read our previous post on Energy.

Though the final results of the 2020 presidential race took a few days to become clear, it was obvious by the morning of November 4 that cannabis legalization had run the table: from deep red Montana,… More

First Circuit Creates Exception to Massachusetts Wiretap Statute Based on First Amendment Rights, Allows Citizens and Press to Record Police Activity Without Permission

The First Circuit’s recent opinion in Project Veritas Action Fund v. Rollins, upheld a challenge to the Massachusetts anti-wiretap law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 99, carving out an exception for certain activity protected by the First Amendment.   The opinion begins:

Massachusetts, like other states concerned about the threat to privacy that commercially available electronic eavesdropping devices pose,… More

The SolarWinds Orion Hack: The Basics You Need to Know

By now, you have heard about the SolarWinds Orion hack. But what do you need to know about it?

First, if you want or need the technical details, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has them. In particular, on December 13, 2020, CISA released Emergency Directive 21-01: Mitigate SolarWinds Orion Code Compromise, ordering federal civilian executive branch departments and agencies to disconnect affected devices.… More

Supreme Court Considers Modern Applicability of TCPA’s Robocall Ban in Duguid v. Facebook

On December 8, 2020, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Duguid v. Facebook, a landmark case that will determine whether a consumer can sue a company for using automated technology to text or call that consumer at a phone number saved in the company’s system. At issue is the meaning of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and its prohibition on using autodialers to transmit communications to cell phones.… More

Cybersecurity 2021 – The Year in Preview: Ransomware, the Latest Threat to the Nation’s Energy Supply

Editors’ Note:  This is the first in our fifth-annual end-of-year series examining important trends in data privacy and cybersecurity in the coming year.  

The Growing Threat of Ransomware

According to media reports, ransomware attacks against the manufacturing industry have more than tripled compared with last year. This dramatic rise in cyberattacks poses serious concerns about the vulnerability of critical energy infrastructure serving the nation’s electric grid,… More

Proposed Amendments to HIPAA Regulations to “Empower Patients, Improve Coordinated Care, and Reduce Regulatory Burdens”

Nearly 20 years to the day after the first HIPAA privacy regulations were announced, HHS has posted proposed revisions to HIPAA, evidence that even after twenty years, HIPAA privacy remains a work in progress. These proposed revisions are styled by HHS OCR as an attempt “to support individuals’ engagement in their care, remove barriers to coordinated care, and reduce regulatory burdens on the health care industry.”… More

Webinar: State Control of Internet Access, Freedom of Press, and Atrocity Situations

Please join us for an event moderated by Foley Hoag partner Christina Hioureas on December 10, 2020 from 11:00am – 1:00pm.  Register here.

Over the past few years, some States have developed new methods both of limiting access to the internet, and of regulating online content that they deem problematic. These initiatives stand in stark contrast to recent decisions by international tribunals protecting the right to free expression,… More