Government to Relinquish DNS Oversight: The NTIA will allow the IANA functions contract to expire on October 1st, transferring control of DNS to ICANN and signaling an end to US management of ICANN’s administrative activities; however, the government will retain control over .mil and .gov.
Pakistan’s Rigid Security Reform: Pakistan’s National Assembly passed the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015, a law that gives the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority broad power over citizen’s use of mobile devices and internet activity by including vague and sweeping language to define illegal activities and providing for harsh penalties.
Oracle Unleashes New Data Source: Oracle revealed a new cloud database that includes 400 million business users and one million addressable US companies, the largest forum of audience data geared specifically toward brands that conduct business using “programmatic and data-driven B2B marketing techniques,” but large data quantities face accuracy issues at lower levels.
Real Change to US Surveillance Rules? The Defense Department issued the first update to its domestic surveillance rules in 30 years; changes include redefining the point at which US personal records are deemed “collected” and requiring the NSA to obtain FISA warrants for nonconsensual physical searches inside the US and collection of targeted US personal data outside the US, but the language reveals loopholes and exceptions to allow for NSA targeting and surveillance.
Information Security and Cyberthreats
Origins of NSA Hack Unclear: A group called the Shadow Brokers posted a cache of files containing sophisticated hacking tools and malware used by cyber hackers linked to the NSA under the name Equation Group; while it remains unclear whether the NSA itself was hacked or whether the leak was an internal error, many suspect Russia is behind the cache’s release.
Company Liable for User Copyright: A federal judge found internet provider Cox Communications liable for its customers’ illegal music and movie downloads, despite DMCA’s safe harbor provision that protects companies from their users’ piracy, and ordered Cox to pay $25 million in damages to music rights company BMG.
Free Expression and Censorship
Facebook Censors Significant Video: Facebook banned a Hong Kong politician from the site for a “terms of service violation” after he uploaded a video of him confronting two men in a car that had been following him for a month and who identified their ties to the Chinese Communist Party; Facebook restored the video after the story received media attention.
Improve Security During the Hack: While deterring hackers from obtaining and disclosing information through data center perimeter security is important, a more realistic focus may be on reducing the amount of “dwell time,” the period during which hackers can remain inside an infiltrated network; attackers require time to move around a network and access multiple systems to gather large amounts of data, and a shorter dwell time would limit this movement and lead to more hacking failures.
On the Lighter Side
Meal of the Future? A recent robotic showcase included a demo of a sushi-making robot, created to demonstrate the accuracy and dexterity of a pair of robotic arms.
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, CLIP
N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
Editorial Fellow, CLIP
Victoria J.A. Loeb