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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]

A Valuable Lesson From the OPM Breach

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Thursday, 03 December 2015 20:56

By: Arthur M. Freyre

National Journal recently posted an article titled, “OPM Just Now Figured Out How Much Data It Owns”. The article states that the months after its system was breached, the Office of Personnel Management was able to conduct an inventory of the information that the agency had in its network. Although, it is easy to say that this is an example of a bad management, the fact is that many companies do not know what information they have stored in their computers, or even the content of the stored information.

Read more... [A Valuable Lesson From the OPM Breach]

Data Security and Presidential Campaigns

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Thursday, 12 November 2015 16:55

By Arthur M. Freyre

The 2016 presidential campaign will be kicking into high gear in the upcoming months. As the primaries begin in earnest in Iowa and New Hampshire, you can expect emails and phone call solicitations asking not only for your time, but also your money. But have you ever wondered how safe is the information you are providing a campaign online?

Read more... [Data Security and Presidential Campaigns]

Can Cuba Afford to Pay?

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International Claims
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 19:02

By Mauricio Tamargo

There are Certain Cuba policy advocates and lobbyists in Washington, DC that are in a hurry to normalize trade relations with Cuba. One of the things that we keep hearing repeatedly from these people is that American certified claimants need to settle for pennies on the dollar because Cuba does not have the money to pay. 

Well, that is just not true and those who keep repeating that misinformation are undercutting our State Department’s negotiating team who are trying to get the best deal they can for the American claimants. Here are a few facts which give us a good indication of Cuba’s ability to pay the $8 billion debt represented by the 5,913 certified claims.

Read more... [Can Cuba Afford to Pay?]

Cyber Security Month

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Monday, 05 October 2015 13:09

By: Arthur M. Freyre

The White House issued a proclamation setting aside October as Cyber Security month. How businesses and governments protect personal information affects all of us. As we depend on technology such as smart phones and laptops, the data that you transmit will become vulnerable to hackers, if you are not proactive.

Read more... [Cyber Security Month]

Congressman Jeff Duncan Urges US Delegation to UN to Uphold US Sovereign Law

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International Claims
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 18:30

By: Cara E. Di Silvio

Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Chairman Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) urged Ambassaador Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, to defend U.S. sovereignty and interests at the United Nations with respect to an upcoming vote on Cuba:

"the U.S. delegation to the United Nations may abdicate its sovereign responsibility to uphold and defend U.S. interests as enshrined in U.S. law by abstaining, instead of voting against, on a resolution demanding the end of U.S.-Cuba embargo as outlined in the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (Libertad/Helms-Burton)."

Read more... [Congressman Jeff Duncan Urges US Delegation to UN to Uphold US Sovereign Law]

Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015

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Privacy, Data Protection and Security
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:19

By: Arthur M. Freyre

This past week Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) released a draft version of the Data Security and Breach Notification Act aimed at protecting consumers in regards to personal information collection. The bill will be subject to a congressional hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Please note that since the legislation is still in its preliminary form, changes to this bill can be expected until it has been formalized and sent to the committee for a vote. The official document and current review status can be found on the Congressional Website.

Similar to our previous post on the White House’s bill, Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, this article will provide an overview of the act by addressing the following topics:

Read more... [Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015]

CLIENT ALERT — United States Government Publishes A List of Goods and Services that May Be Imported to the United States from Cuban “Cuentapropistas”

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Trade Security
Friday, 13 February 2015 11:51

CLIENT ALERT — United States Government Publishes A List of Goods and Services that May Be Imported to the United States from Cuban “Cuentapropistas”

Special Compliance Challenges in Store for Persons Subject to U.S. Law

By Jason I. Poblete

(Washington, DC) On Friday, February 13 the State Department released additional new regulations designed to create “new opportunities for Cuba’s nascent private sector” by allowing the import to the United States of products and services from Cubans not working directly for the government or a government agency. The import list addition to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (“CACR”), 31 C.F.R. § 515 come less than a month after the Treasury and Commerce Departments issued new regulations on January 16 that made it easier for Americans to travel and spend money in Cuba. 

Read more... [CLIENT ALERT — United States Government Publishes A List of Goods and Services that May Be Imported to the United States from Cuban “Cuentapropistas”]
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