Mark Rasch

Cyber Law Editor

Security Current


The Internet and Ebola

Posted on: 29 Oct 2014

When Doctor Craig Spencer returned from West Africa to New York, having treated Ebola patients while wearing protective gear and being asymptomatic and non-infectious, he engaged in a rigorous course of self-assessment for symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Dr. Spencer also did things like go to the popular High Line for coffee, travel…

Gone Catfishing: Police, Subterfuge and the Internet

Posted on: 29 Oct 2014

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Cops lie.  They are allowed to.  In the course of conducting investigations, they can go undercover, pretend to be other people, lie, cheat, steal and even inject spyware into people’s computers. They can (and have) set up fake Facebook pages in the names of real people,…

Is the FBI Really “Going Dark?”

Posted on: 24 Oct 2014

FBI Director Comey complained about the problem of people, “going dark,” in a speech before the Brookings Institution on October 16, 2014. He explained, “the law hasn’t kept pace with technology, and this disconnect has created a significant public safety problem. We call it ‘Going Dark,’ and what it means is this: Those charged with protecting our people…

In (Partial) Defense of the Comey Plan

Posted on: 23 Oct 2014

A terrorist assaults the Canadian Parliament, and is shot dead.  Police, fearing a Mumbai-style mass attack, seize the gunman’s cell phone to look for contacts, communications, text messages, or other information from which they could determine whether the attack is that of a lone gunman, or part of a more concerted attack. The phone is…

FBI Doubles Down on Apple Encryption

Posted on: 20 Oct 2014

The FBI really hates data security and privacy.  I mean HATES it. In a speech before the Brookings Institution last week, FBI Director Jim Comey called for a “legislative or regulatory fix” to the “problem” that third-party custodians of records, or providers of hardware or software make their products or services secure for their customers.  Of…

Your Bank is Listening and Recording

Posted on: 13 Oct 2014

“This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes.”  We have all heard this missive whenever we call an 800 number, or any big company.  But when we “consent” to having our voice “recorded,” what exactly have we consented to? A recent article by the Associated Press shows how banks, credit card companies and others…

Fakebook Crimes

Posted on: 08 Oct 2014

Sondra Prince of Watertown, New York was a social media queen.  She had a Facebook page with pictures of herself splayed out on a brand new BMW.  She displayed her personal information, including pictures of her children, her license plate number, and some at least sexually suggestive photographs. This was a silly thing for Prince…

Gag Me With a Court Order: Twitter Suing

Posted on: 08 Oct 2014

Online social media site Twitter recently sued the U.S. government to allow the site to protect the privacy of its users.  Generally, you see the U.S. government through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sues online providers and others for not complying with their privacy policies, or for releasing consumer information without their knowledge or consent. In this case,…

The StealthGenie Spyware Indictment and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Posted on: 01 Oct 2014

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. When Ferris Bueller took his famous “Day Off,” he entrusted his best friend Cameron’s father’s 1961 Ferrari 250GT California (“less than 100 made”) to parking lot attendant Richard Edson.  When they returned to the parking lot,…

Apple the Choice of Pedophiles? Law Enforcement Just Doesn’t Get It.

Posted on: 29 Sep 2014

Law enforcement’s response to the announcement by Apple (and later Google’s Android) that it would be encrypting by default the contents of users’ phones was met with predictable outrage by some representatives of the law enforcement community.  This outrage is fundamentally misplaced, and shows just how “out of the loop” the law enforcement and intelligence…