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The PT Law Blog

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

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Monday, 31 October 2016 15:39

By: Arthur M. Freyre

The state of Florida dodged a major hurricane earlier this month. With the impending danger of potentially disastrous weather, the State of Florida initiated its emergency response plan. While the state was preparing for Matthew, Floridians were advised to have their hurricane plans ready, including getting shutters ready in preparation for any potential landfall by Hurricane Matthew. If it had made landfall in South Florida, the damage would have been catastrophic. Thankfully, it did not. 

Being prepared for a hurricane or other pending weather phenomena is similar to being prepared for a cybersecurity breach. The damage caused by either one is similar in that the damage would be immense and it would take time to rebuild-whether it is a physical building or your company’s reputation.

Read more... [Cybersecurity Awareness Month]

What is Your Company's Foreign Policy

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By: Arthur M. Freyre

Company Foreign Policy Banner

During the mid-2000’s the city of Miami, as well as the United States as a whole, suffered one of the worst recessions since World War II. The downshift in economic growth was in part due to the foreclosures of many commercial and residential properties across the nation. In Miami-Dade, however the annual rate of growth for the economy was 3.5% from 2001 through 2005[1], much higher than the 2.8% across the nation. One of the major contributing elements to the regions economic growth came from the international trade sector, which grew from $65.9 billion in 2005 to $106.85 billion in 2015[2].

During that time, the international trade sector proved to be a vital component to the growth of the economy. One of many factors that fueled such positive growth was the number of small businesses that expanded into the international market.

Read more... [What is Your Company's Foreign Policy]

Data Security and Presidential Campaigns (PART II)

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016 14:05

By: Arthur M. Freyre


The 2016 Presidential Election may have inadvertently made data protection a campaign issue. Last month’s release of DNC emails by WikiLeaks not only caused embarrassment, but also the resignation of the DNC chair. The entire ordeal could have been prevented or controlled had the DNC paid attention to the warnings issued long before the breach. Last November, the Online Trust Alliance released a report on assessing the safety of presidential campaigns. The report, which focused on site security, consumer protection, and privacy, gave many campaigns failing grades for their lack of implementing a data privacy policy. Many additional warnings from computer security consultants hired by the DNC were issued last fall after a two-month review was conducted. The results found several flaws from out-of-date firewalls to a lack of advanced malware detection technology on computers.

Read more... [Data Security and Presidential Campaigns (PART II)]

Going Dark, Going Forward - An Encryption Update

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 16:06

By: Arthur M. Freyre

The House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee issued a report on the state of the encryption debate this past month, prior to the House leaving for recess. The report called, “Going Dark, Going Forward” provides the reader with an overview concerning the encryption debate that has been going on not only here in the U.S., but in other countries. 

Read more... [Going Dark, Going Forward - An Encryption Update]

FAA Issues Final Rule on Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 13:39

By: Cara Di Silvio

The Federal Aviation Administration issued new rules for non-hobbyist small-unmanned aircraft (“UAS”) operators on June 21. The regulations cover a variety of issues regarding commercial drone use, and ultimately make it easier for businesses to utilize the rapidly expanding technology. Up until now, industries have relied on interpretations of policy statements from the FAA, and required specific exemption for operation.

Read more... [FAA Issues Final Rule on Unmanned Aircraft Systems]

The FAA Reauthorization Act 2016: The Future of Drone Regulations

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 17:55

By: Cara Di Silvio

UnknownOn April 19, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016 passed in the Senate, by a vote of 95-3. Originally the bill was introduced as S.2658 and later merged with H.R.636, an unrelated House bill. The legislation reauthorizes the FAA through 2017 and, ultimately, reinforces the FAA’s authority over drone regulation.

So far this year, over 40 state legislatures have debated bills related to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS); however, the FAA Reauthorization Act, makes clear that no state can enact laws related to UAS “design, manufacture, testing, licensing, registration, certification, operation, or maintenance of an unmanned aircraft system, including airspace, altitude, flight paths, equipment or technology requirements, purpose of operations, and pilot, operator, and observer qualifications, training, and certification.” The recreational drone safety provisions passed in April remain similar to those in the Consumer Drone Safety Act introduced in 2015. 

Read more... [The FAA Reauthorization Act 2016: The Future of Drone Regulations]

The Drone Debate

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 13:48

By: Cara Di Silvio


Recently, there has been a steady increase in news coverage of anything and everything drone. Headlines claiming an overlap in regulations and questions of necessity of legislation have sparked an interest among consumers, civilians and government-related communities alike.

The debate over airspace control has been brought up on the Senate floor as lawmakers look into the scope of consumer drone regulation. However Congress has decided to postpone any decision on FAA Reauthorization proposals until later this summer. Unmanned aircraft technology and consumer use has evolved immensely over a short span of time. These infinitely fast changes have reached a point in regulatory law, in which guidelines are now necessary as we are faced with safety and privacy concerns.

With estimates of nearly 400,000 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) registered with the FAA since December of last year, it seems that lawmakers are now going to have to address the situation head on.1

Read more... [The Drone Debate]

The Elephant in the Room: Accountability and Consequences in Obtaining Encrypted Data

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Monday, 04 April 2016 14:56

By: Arthur M. Freyre

The House Judiciary Committee, prior to the Easter recess, announced that they are forming a working group to further investigate encryption issues and the challenges they may pose on law enforcement’s ability to protect the American people. The formation of this group is an encouraging start in finding an adequate balance between innovation and security but how they will go about addressing the encryption debate is one that needs to be seen. This latest move by the House Committee follows not only the FBI-Apple debate but also the introduction of various bills to State legislations that would require all smartphones manufactured and sold to be decryptable.   

Read more... [The Elephant in the Room: Accountability and Consequences in Obtaining Encrypted Data]

Apple vs. FBI

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 18:22

By. Arthur M. Freyre

Apple v FBI

The debate over encryption took an interesting turn this past week. The federal government obtained a warrant directing Apple to assist in obtaining information from the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. In response, on Monday, Apple has urged the government to withdraw its court order.

The problem at hand is that the iPhone has an auto erase program. The auto erase program will be activated after ten unsuccessful attempts to access the iPhone. No one knows if the program has been activated or not. However, in an abundance of caution the government filed a petition ordering Apple to assist the government. The court agreed with the government’s position and issued the order.

Read more... [Apple vs. FBI]

Regulatory Humility

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Monday, 01 February 2016 16:00

By: Arthur M. Freyre 


The widespread use of encryption technology was one of the major topics trending in technological discussions for 2015. Encryption technology allows a user to protect confidential conversations or information on designated computers by disguising the information into code. This technology safeguards protected data from external parties by making it very difficult for a person to access information, if they do not have an encryption key.

Without an encryption key, those that attempt to access these files without authorization, or hackers, see illegible characters and gibberish on their computer screen. An encryption key utilizes a program that allows the user not only to conceal their information, but also allows authorized access to view protected files. Companies are beginning to use encryption technology as a standard defense against hackers because of this advantage.

Read more... [Regulatory Humility]
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