Mark Rasch

Cyber Law Editor

Security Current


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…

Further Reflections on the NSA Bulk Data Collection

Posted on: 09 Jan 2014

I have already written about how a federal judge in New York ruled that the NSA’s collection of the telephone toll records on every call made is constitutional because, the court opined, all of these records could become relevant in a terrorism case.  If any relevant document exists, all documents helpful in finding that document…

A Vote in Favor of Making it Tough for Cops to Do Their Jobs

Posted on: 09 Jan 2014

Earlier in this space I wrote about the fact that, despite reports to the contrary, possession of marijuana is NOT legal in Colorado – it is still a federal crime. We have a lot of laws in this county – most of them at the state level.  So, for example in Colorado, it’s illegal for…

Once More Into the (Data) Breach – House GOP Proposes Obamacare Breach Bill

Posted on: 08 Jan 2014

As if we don’t have enough to worry about, Nextgov.com has reported that the first order of business for House Republicans is to introduce legislation mandating that the HHS CMS disclose all “data breaches” involving the healthcare exchanges. According to the article, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wants to remove any discretion HHS has in…

More Legal Gaps in SDNY NSA Bulk Data Collection Decision

Posted on: 06 Jan 2014

A further review of the decision of the Southern District of New York approving the NSA’s bulk data collection of all telephone metadata shows huge legal gaps which can now be used not only by the intelligence community, but by prosecutors and other litigants in the future.  Just a few to focus on here. Collection…