Our guest for Episode 16 of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast is Alex Joel, and he gets plenty of tough questions: Is it a violation of the new Obama administration policy directive for the intelligence community to look for evidence that Vladimir Putin is gay?  How did DNI Clapper manage to make his fateful misrepresentation to Congress?  Why did the Administration snark on HPSCI’s 215 reform bill, and will it compound the error by producing its own bill?  What exactly does the DNI’s Civil Liberties Protection Officer do?  Alex Joel manages to navigate these questions with grace, and even to answer some of them.

In the news roundup, NSA finally has a decent week, as Edward Snowden makes himself look like a patsy or an accomplice in Putin’s propaganda show and the Bloomberg story that NSA exploited the Heartbleed vulnerability steadily loses altitude and believers.

The SEC releases thoughtful and detailed set of cybersecurity questions for its examiners to use in dealing with the private sector — the first regulatory use of the NIST cybersecurity framework and a likely bellwether for other financial regulators.

US magistrate Facciola extends his fifteen minutes of fame by calling for an amicus brief on cell-site data.  Kentucky comes in 47th in the race to adopt state breach notice laws.  And the Weev walks free — for now — without making any of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act law that his defenders hoped.

We tackle the implications of giving first amendment protection to censored search results.  Will the first amendment eventually be used by foreign governments to keep Americans from learning things that are already hidden from Russian or Chinese nationals?

And in bitcoin news, a more plausible candidate for Satoshi Nakamoto has emerged, even as Mt. Gox begins the corporate equivalent of looking for nickels under the couch cushions.

Download the sixteenth episode (mp3).