Mark Rasch

Cyber Law Editor

Security Current


Do Employees Have an Expectation of Privacy at Work

Posted on: 20 Mar 2014

Employees have no expectation of privacy at work, right?  And this is especially true for government employees working on government computers on government networks? Right? I mean, the log on banner expressly says that there is no expectation of privacy, and that the government – both as government, as law enforcement, and as employer can…

Through the Looking Glass

Posted on: 18 Mar 2014

In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” Humpty Dumpty tells Alice [the one of Alice in Wonderland], “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” Alice replies, “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things” to which Humpty replies,…

Attorney Client Privilege and the NSA

Posted on: 17 Feb 2014

The New York Times recently reported that the NSA, through intermediaries in Australia, was actively engaged in collecting communications between the Government of Indonesia and their U.S. law firm hired in connection with a trade dispute.  The case, and its logical consequences, raises the questions of whether or not there is anything left of the…

House of Cards

Posted on: 12 Feb 2014

Packets is packets, right?  Wrong. With the demise of the Net Neutrality standards, Internet providers are free to “prioritize” certain kinds of packets over others.  Now this is nothing new.  The TCP/IP protocols already prioritize packets based upon their nature, source and destination.  Latency is not much of a problem for e-mail, file transfer, or…

Die Data, Die

Posted on: 08 Feb 2014

On Facebook’s 10th Anniversary, many people posted short videos taken from their “life” on Facebook.  These included pictures, likes, favorites, etc. from their tenure as Facebook products – um, customers.  It made me realize how much information, and indeed how much trivial but potentially important information is stored on Facebook, and searchable (or subpoenable) about…

State of the [Cyber] Union

Posted on: 28 Jan 2014

On a bitter cold January day, the President of the United States appeared before a joint session of Congress to fulfill his Constitutional obligation to “from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The President…

How the NSA Revelations Can Be Good for US Cloud Providers

Posted on: 22 Jan 2014

Conventional wisdom is that the revelations about the NSA domestic and international surveillance programs are bad news for US security, privacy, cloud and other companies. The revelations include assertions (probably true) that the NSA placed back doors, Trojan horse programs, and other malware into a wide variety of hardware and software, cables, chips and other…

Nest, Google and the Third Party Doctrine

Posted on: 19 Jan 2014

With Google’s acquisition of technology company Nest, not only has Big Data met the Internet of Things, we have allowed the camel’s nose into the tent of privacy. The Supreme Court is all over the map when it comes to privacy, allowing for example the government to obtain intimate information about people with or without…

Good Words, Small Change — Obama on NSA Surveillance

Posted on: 17 Jan 2014

On January 17, 2014 President Obama came to the “Great Room” at the U.S. Department of Justice (for the first time) to announce his reforms to the NSA’s data collection programs in light of the revelations of massive data collection on innocent Americans made by Edward Snowden. While the President offered some limited reforms and…

Schrodinger’s Catnip Revisited – Part I – The Lawful NSA Metadata Program

Posted on: 16 Jan 2014

In 1935, Austrian physicist Edwin Schrodinger posited a thought experiment illustrating the duality of quantum entanglement.  In his thought experiment, illustrating nuclear decay, a cat placed in a box would be simultaneously dead and alive, and the only way to determine the current state of the cat was to open the box. The NSA’s metadata collection…