Mark Rasch

Cyber Law Editor

Security Current


Google is Turning Your Emails Over to the Feds

Posted on: 08 Aug 2014

How would you feel if your email provider were routinely reading your e-mails, looking for illegal content, and then turning over the contents of your e-mail to law enforcement agencies anywhere in the world? Well, guess what. They are. Right now, though only to a somewhat limited extent, but enough so that the U.S. government…

Facebook’s New Privacy Policy on Messenger Service Exceedingly Broad

Posted on: 03 Aug 2014

In Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” John Cleese and Eric Idle show up at Terry Gilliam’s house to remove his liver as part of an organ donation program. When Gilliam objects noting “I’m still using it” the interlopers pull out his liver donation card, which permits the extraction.  When Gilliam protests that the card notes…

Privacy is NOT Binary

Posted on: 11 Jul 2014

Earlier today I walked into my local library.  A sign on the door proudly announced that there were video cameras in use for the patron’s protection. I have a problem with that. Actually, I don’t have a problem with video cameras for patron’s protection.  So if someone is assaulted, robbed, or worse I want there to be…

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!!

Posted on: 08 Jul 2014

Imagine the son of a Member of Congress sitting on the beach in the Caribbean, when strange looking men in suits approach him. And not bathing suits. The men, officials of the FSB – Russian intelligence and law enforcement, grab the kid, put him in a car, then a boat, then a plane and ferry him…

How the Cops Are Killing the Cloud

Posted on: 29 Jun 2014

What privacy rights do people have for data in the cloud – and more importantly, how can they assert them? A recent case out of New York answers that question as “very little” and “you can’t.” That’s bad for the Cloud, bad for social networking sites, bad for business, and bad for privacy.  In the long…

Court Rules You can be Compelled to Hand Over Decryption Key

Posted on: 28 Jun 2014

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial waded into the Stygian waters of the interplay between technology and the Fifth Amendment – determining for the first time whether a person could be compelled to provide the government with the decryption key protecting the privacy of documents contained on their computer. Under the specific circumstances of…

Supreme Court Rules that Police Need Warrant to Search Cell Phones Data

Posted on: 25 Jun 2014

In a stunning unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled against the government finding that police generally need a warrant to search the data contents of a cell phone after they have arrested a suspect. The decision was important because it recognized, in several ways, how technology can impact the rights of privacy, the…

Your Car and the Internet of Things

Posted on: 04 Jun 2014

My 14 year-old-car finally died, so I bit the bullet and bought a new one – with bells and whistles.  The new car has keyless entry, keyless start, integrates with my phone, contacts, traffic., weather, Facebook, etc.  My old one had a rickety old GPS that was OK for getting home. But all the new bells…

Nothing to Hide

Posted on: 22 May 2014

When faced with government demands for privacy related information, many citizens exclaim, “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about.” That’s why people aren’t generally up in arms about things like automated license plate readers, facial recognition, or even surveillance drones for law enforcement. “If you have nothing to hide you…

Paying for Privacy

Posted on: 19 May 2014

What would YOU do for a Klondike bar? Would you be willing to tell Unilever (the parent company that makes Klondike) your sexual orientation, political preferences, the fact that you are having an affair with your next door neighbor, and provide your financial records, healthcare records, viewing habits, and other personal information?  I mean, it’s…