Mark Rasch

Cyber Law Editor

Security Current


Gotta Book – Supreme Court Rules that Generic Words Coupled With Domain Suffix May Have Trademark Protection

Posted on: 30 Jun 2020

On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court held  that the company Booking.com could hold a valid federal trademark in the name “Booking.com” even though the term “booking” is a generic term for making a reservation. The case recognizes that the addition of a domain suffix like .com can transform something generic into something descriptive. The case is…

POST Haste – NYC Proposes Law to Require NYPD Disclose ALL Surveillance Techniques

Posted on: 26 Jun 2020

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? In the wake of allegations that the Customs and Border Patrol was running surveillance drones over protest sites in Minnesota and other places, and that government agencies were collecting cell phone data about those who attended BLM protests, that law enforcement agencies are arresting people based on faulty facial recognition algorithm, or that police are…

What A Tulsa BLM Protesters Arrest Tells Us About Computer Crime

Posted on: 22 Jun 2020

This is not a political rant. I promise. Tulsa teacher Shelia Buck was arrested outside the President’s rally after campaign officials saw that she was wearing a t-shirt that said “I Can’t Breathe” and had her kicked out of a secure zone outside the rally and arrested for “trespassing” and charged with “obstruction,” despite having…

Qualified Impunity – Federal Appeals Court Rules

Posted on: 18 Jun 2020

No Constitutional Right to Information Privacy from Police Disclosure of Sexual Assault Victim Information to the Press On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the issue of “qualified immunity” of law enforcement officers for alleged misconduct, leaving in place the doctrine that says that even when police commit egregious misconduct,…

Federal Court Rules that Location Privacy Rights Depend on Technology Used to Invade It

Posted on: 18 Jun 2020

Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your whereabouts outside such that the government needs to get a search warrant to invade it? Magic 8 ball says — situation unclear, ask again later. While the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a warrant issued by a judge is necessary to install a GPS…

The Department of Justice is Going After Tech Platforms With Threats of Criminal Prosecution and Removal of Immunity if they DO and if they DON’T Block Speech the Government Doesn’t Like

Posted on: 18 Jun 2020

On June 17, the Department of Justice released its proposed guidelines for making social media entities and carriers liable for the contents of what third parties post on their sites. The proposal would make these providers liable for not censoring content, and liable if they do. The proposal would make social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok,…

When Tech Giants Commit Cyber Crimes; eBay’s Campaign of Threats and Harassment Leads to Criminal Charges in Boston

Posted on: 17 Jun 2020

For $12.98 (or best offer) you can buy live adult hissing Madagascar cockroaches on eBay. For 15.95 you can buy a bloody pig mask. Forty bucks gets you a funeral wreath. $38 bucks gets you a preserved fetal pig. Or you can save the money, and just write negative articles about the San Jose online…

Zooming [In]Security

Posted on: 07 Jun 2020

With the COVID-19 Pandemic (remember the COVID-19 Pandemic?) workers were forced to find other means of communicating — including Zoom meetings. While there were a spate of high-profile security issues with respect to Zoom, including open and shared meetings, Zoombombing, sharing data with Facebook, and deliberately routing communications through China and the like, the principal…

Scraping By – California Court Limits Use of Computer Crime Statute for High Volume Scraping

Posted on: 27 Apr 2020

When you “access” a website, what are you authorized to do? And how would you know what is “authorized?” The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 USC 1030 makes it a crime to “access” a “computer” “without authorization,” and further makes it a crime to “exceed authorization” to access a computer. Courts and computer…

No Good Deed… Apple 2FA Case Dismissed by California Federal Court

Posted on: 10 Apr 2020

A few years ago, Apple began pushing “two-factor” authentication on its users.  Through an update in the Operating System, they began to require those who wanted to download and install software to, in addition to providing a password, use a separate out-of-band authentication mechanism. While such 2FA systems are not perfect, and those which rely…