Our guest for episode 63 of the Cyberlaw Podcast is Alan Cohn, former Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Planning, Analysis & Risk in the DHS Office of Policy and a recent addition at Steptoe. Alan brings to bear nearly a decade of experience at DHS to measure the Department’s growth. He explains how it has undertaken and largely delivered a new civilian cybersecurity infrastructure. And, while Congress dithers, it has begun to build an information sharing network quite independent of the legislative incentives now on offer. Alan also offers his insights into emerging technologies and the risks they may pose, including drones, sensors, and cryptocurrencies.
In the news roundup, the consensus story of the week is the return of Jason Weinstein from a five-week absence, only some of it justified by family vacation and other worthwhile endeavors. In second place is the concerted European attack on Google and the rest of the US tech sector. Michael Vatis and I mull over a high-ranking European official’s astonishing gaffe in admitting the truth behind the effort – that it’s an attempt to regulate US technology until European industry can compete. Good luck with that.
In the House, Doug Kantor reminds us, it’s cyberweek, so the data breach law has immediately collapsed into such uncertainty that its Dem sponsor even voted to keep it in committee. The bill has gone back to the shop for repairs to its bipartisan credentials, and the Obama administration, which says it supports a bill, seems to be keeping its distance from the messy business of actually legislating.
Meanwhile, Jason explains why cops are paying ransom to cybercrooks to get their data decrypted, Michael tells us a district court has given life to class action Google Wallet privacy claims under a sweeping theory, and I note that Julian Assange’s Wikileaks has hit a new low in offering a searchable database of stolen Sony email messages. Finally, the SEC’s Mary Jo White is taking heat for standing in the way of ECPA amendments, and the Chinese technological autarky movement seems to be alive and well, with a little help from US companies.