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The PT Law Blog

Microsoft vs. DOJ - Round 2

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Monday, 09 January 2017 15:48

By: Arthur M. Freyre

Tech Collage Row

Microsoft and the Department of Justice have had a few interesting court cases over the past twenty years, with the most famous being the anti-trust case involving the Internet provider, Netscape. This latest battle between the DOJ and Microsoft might become the most notorious. 

The case is known as the Microsoft Ireland case. The Microsoft Ireland case centers on the DOJ’s warrant to review emails in a customer’s account maintained by Microsoft pursuant to the Stored Communications Act (the “Act”).[i] The Stored Communications Act which was passed in 1986, made it illegal for one to access an electronic storage facility without the proper authorization.

Read more... [Microsoft vs. DOJ - Round 2]

Moving Forward

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016 17:46


"Will Castro's death begin Cuba's transition?"

By: Arthur M. Freyre

Castro FuneralThis is the question that many in the media and foreign policy establishments focused on this past weekend. As many are aware, Fidel Castro relinquished most of his power to his younger brother Raul in 2006 when he became ill. Raul has stated that he will not be running for re-election in 2018, passing power and control of Cuba to his son.

The incoming Trump Administration issued a press release on Saturday regarding the death of Cuba’s former leader. The statement gave a preview of what the Cuba policy may look like under the new administration incorporating many elements of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act.

Read more... [Moving Forward]

Next Congress May Expand CFIUS Jurisdiction

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Monday, 07 November 2016 19:02

CongressBuildingBy: Jason I. Poblete

Senior Members of Congress appear to be laying the groundwork for a much-needed regulatory update of a process used by the U.S. government to review of foreign investments in the United States in strategically important sectors such as defense as well as homeland security, especially in the case of U.S. ports. In a letter to the U.S. Comptroller General, sixteen (16) Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle asked that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) advise on the current effectiveness of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) review process as well as provide guidance on proposed updates under consideration by the Congress. The letter is appended at the end of this post.

By way of brief background, the CFIUS review process was created via Executive Order in 1975 by President Gerald Ford. The rules governing the interagency process have also been amended by the Congress various times as well as other Presidential executive orders. While not a tool of (pure) free-market thinking, the CFIUS review process is a necessary tool that can be used to protect strategically vital U.S. markets from unfair competition, espionage, among other things. The process involves nine federal agencies and is one of many safeguards used by Uncle Sam to protect U.S. national security and, in the late 2000s, homeland security.

Read more... [Next Congress May Expand CFIUS Jurisdiction]

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]
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