Data Law Insights

Data Law Insights

Legal insights on navigating privacy, data protection, cybersecurity, information governance, and e-discovery

Category Archives: Criminal Law

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Privacy & Cybersecurity Weekly News Update – Week of July 17

Posted in Accessibility, Criminal Law, Cybersecurity / Data Security, Privacy
DOJ Proposes Workaround to Microsoft Ruling; United States Joins Irish Facebook Case; St. Louis Cardinals Scouting Director Sentenced to 46 Months; EU’s Advocate General Okays National Data Retention Laws; Data Protection Authority of Hamburg Becomes “Completely Independent”; 9th Circuit Suggests Password Sharing is a Federal Crime DOJ Seeks Legislative Circumvention of 2nd Circuit’s Microsoft Ruling… Continue Reading

2nd Circuit: Government Cannot Force Companies to Hand Over Communications Data Stored Overseas

Posted in Accessibility, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Information Management, Privacy, Transnational Discovery
The Second Circuit today issued a much-anticipated ruling holding that U.S. firms are not required to turn over user data stored overseas, even in the face of a government warrant.  This decision arose from Microsoft’s December 2014 appeal of a civil contempt ruling against the tech giant for refusing to turn over the personal data… Continue Reading

Digital Privacy and E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation

Posted in Accessibility, Cloud Computing, Cooperation/Meet & Confer, Criminal Law, Cybersecurity / Data Security, Ethics, Government Agencies, Information Management, Preservation, Privacy, Privilege/Rule 502, Public Sectors, Rules, Sanctions, Social Media, Spoliation
In conjunction with the 2015 American Bar Association annual State of Criminal Justice publication, Louisa Marion and I have published a new chapter on “Digital Privacy and E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation.” The article provides an in-depth look at many of the current and cutting edge issues raised by digital privacy and e-discovery… Continue Reading

President Obama Announces Major Cyber and Privacy Legislation

Posted in Criminal Law, Cybersecurity / Data Security, Data Breach, Government Agencies, Government Regulations & FISMA, Information Management, Privacy
President Obama recently proposed several new laws reflecting the administration’s increased focus on privacy and cyber issues. The proposals seek to create a consistent national data breach notification law (to replace the current patchwork of 47 state laws), to encourage cyber threat information sharing, and to update cybercrime enforcement. Although Immediate reactions to the proposed… Continue Reading

Recent Conviction Illustrates How Obscure Federal Statute Can Be Used to Criminally Prosecute Those Who Design and Sell Devices and Apps Capable of Surreptitious Monitoring

Posted in Criminal Law, Cybersecurity / Data Security, Ethics, Government Agencies, Privacy
In an obscure case that could have broad implications, a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced the Danish CEO of two overseas technology companies to time served and a fine of $500,000 for the advertisement and sale of a mobile application capable of surreptitiously monitoring communications and other information on a mobile device.… Continue Reading

Federal judge lifts stay of warrant requiring Microsoft to turn over data stored on server located overseas

Posted in Cloud Computing, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy, Transnational Discovery
Last week, in In re Warrant to Search a Certain E-mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corp., a federal judge lifted the stay of execution of an order requiring Microsoft to turn over content stored on a Microsoft server located in Ireland.  While this development is largely procedural, we have previously discussed the potential… Continue Reading

Federal Judge Orders Microsoft to give US Prosecutors customer emails stored on an overseas server

Posted in Cloud Computing, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy, Transnational Discovery
A federal judge in the Southern District of New York upheld a magistrate judge’s decision that requires Microsoft to turn over to federal prosecutor customer email content stored in an overseas Microsoft data center. Ruling from the bench, Chief Judge Loretta Preska concluded that Microsoft must comply with a U.S. search warrant for customer emails,… Continue Reading

Riley: A New Realm of Digital Privacy

Posted in Cloud Computing, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy
Recently, Louisa Marion and I analyzed the Supreme Court’s far-reaching decision in Riley v. California, 573 U.S. __ (2014), and its implications going forward. In Riley, Chief Justice Roberts concluded that today’s cell phones (which the Court called “minicomputers”) are fundamentally different than physical containers: their storage capacity is virtually unlimited; they contain a broad… Continue Reading

Groundbreaking Ruling By the Supreme Court Finds for Digital Privacy

Posted in Cloud Computing, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy
In an unexpectedly sweeping opinion, a nearly united Supreme Court today recognized the fourth amendment’s protection for digital privacy. Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion in Riley v. California is grounded on the Founders’ abhorrence of general warrants and unparticularized intrusions into our private lives. It highlights the pervasiveness of cell-phone (“minicomputer”) use, as well as the volume… Continue Reading

Hot Topics in Criminal E-Discovery

Posted in Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy, Rules, Sanctions, Spoliation
As part of Crowell’s “Data Law Trends & Developments:  E-Discovery, Privacy, Cyber-Security & Information Governance,” Steve Byers and I examined the hottest topics in E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation.  Our report begins on page 15, and explores recent trends in this rapidly expanding field and forecasts potential developments with Federal Rule of Evidence… Continue Reading

Fresh Look at E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation

Posted in Accessibility, Cloud Computing, Cooperation/Meet & Confer, Criminal Law, Cybersecurity / Data Security, Ethics, Government Agencies, Preservation, Privacy, Privilege/Rule 502, Public Sectors, Rules, Sanctions, Social Media, Spoliation
In conjunction with the 2014 American Bar Association annual State of Criminal Justice publication, Louisa Marion and I have published a new chapter on “E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation.” The article provides an in-depth look at many of the current and cutting edge issues raised by e-discovery in this context, including the search… Continue Reading

Crowell & Moring Releases “Data Law Trends & Developments” and Announces Expanded “Data Law Insights” Blog

Posted in Accessibility, Admissibility, Cloud Computing, Cooperation/Meet & Confer, Criminal Law, Cybersecurity / Data Security, Data Breach, Ethics, Government Agencies, Government Contracting, Government Regulations & FISMA, Information Management, Preservation, Privacy, Privilege/Rule 502, Proportionality, Public Sectors, Rules, Sanctions, Social Media, Spoliation, Technology Assisted Review, Transnational Discovery
We are pleased to announce the publication of a report titled “Data Law Trends & Developments: E-Discovery, Privacy, Cyber-Security & Information Governance.” The report explores recent trends and anticipated future developments on critical issues related to the intersection of technology and the law, which affect a wide range of companies and industries. In addition, the… Continue Reading

Court Holds That U.S. Government Can Seize Email Data Stored Overseas and Questions Applicability of Fourth Amendment to “Information Communicated Through the Internet”

Posted in Cloud Computing, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy, Transnational Discovery
In a remarkable decision addressing the reach of search warrants aimed at personal data stored by a third party in the cloud, a court ruled last week that an internet service provider (“ISP”) can be compelled to produce personal information located outside of the U.S. The decision by Magistrate Judge James Francis (S.D.N.Y.) denied Microsoft… Continue Reading

Bloomberg Terminal: How Financial Services Firms Need to Adapt to Regulators’ Favorite New Source of Electronic Evidence

Posted in Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Information Management, Social Media
Emails often provide key evidence in conspiracy-related investigations and subsequent litigation. More recently, social media and text messages have provided additional evidence for such matters. In response, most companies have enacted policies to educate their employees about using these communication mediums. However, recent antitrust investigations and federal lawsuits in the financial services industry are utilizing… Continue Reading

Department Of Justice Reminds Us Again: Don’t Delete That Electronic Evidence

Posted in Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Spoliation
Last week, the Department of Justice announced that Kazuaki Fujitani, a former Denso Corporation executive, agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice charges in connection with an Antitrust Division price fixing investigation. Fujitani agreed to serve one year and one day in U.S. prison for destruction and concealment of records and documents under 18… Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Privacy Interests and Fourth Amendment Protections Apply to Warrantless Smart Phone / Cell Phone Searches Incident to Arrest

Posted in Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy
Last Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to weigh in on whether law enforcement officers need a warrant to search the contents of a smart/cell phone seized during a lawful arrest (see Washington Post and Wall Street Journal Articles).  As I’ve previously written, this issue, which has deeply divided federal and state courts, highlights the tension between individual… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Conviction for Theft of Computer Code Under Federal Criminal Trade Secrets Statutes

Posted in Criminal Law, Cybersecurity / Data Security, Privacy
Last week, in United States v. Agrawal, the Second Circuit upheld a jury’s 2010 conviction of a former Société Générale trader under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) and the National Stolen Property Act (NSPA). The three-judge panel unanimously affirmed the NSPA conviction, but split on whether the EEA conviction could stand in light of the… Continue Reading

Free BNA Webinar on ESI in Federal and State Criminal Actions

Posted in Admissibility, Cloud Computing, Cooperation/Meet & Confer, Criminal Law, Ethics, Government Agencies, Preservation, Privacy, Rules, Sanctions, Social Media, Spoliation
On Wednesday August 14, 2013, I will be participating in a free BNA webinar exploring the constitutional and practical dimensions of ESI in federal and state criminal actions. I will be speaking with an experienced group of panelists, including Hon. Craig B. Shaffer, United States Magistrate Judge, District of Colorado; Roy Altman, Assistant United States… Continue Reading

Divided Fifth Circuit Rules That Government May Obtain Cell Phone Location Information Without A Warrant

Posted in Criminal Law, Privacy
In a departure from the recent position staked out by the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit ruled yesterday in In Re: Application Of The United States Of America For Historical Cell Site Data, Case No. 11-20884, that a warrant is not required for the government to obtain cell site information, which effectively allows… Continue Reading

Spoliation of ESI Charged as Criminal Offense Under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Posted in Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Preservation, Sanctions, Spoliation
In a prior post, I wrote about a criminal trade secrets theft case in which spoliation in related civil litigation was charged as obstruction of justice. I noted that “[t]he prospect of criminal charges for spoliation in civil litigation raises the stakes for civil litigants, particularly where a parallel criminal investigation is a possibility .… Continue Reading

Borderline Privacy: Electronic Border Searches after Cotterman

Posted in Cloud Computing, Criminal Law, Cybersecurity / Data Security, Government Agencies, Privacy
In the Summer issue of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Magazine, I write about the Ninth Circuit’s watershed en banc ruling in United States v. Cotterman, 709 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 2013), that border agents must have “reasonable suspicion” before conducting forensic searches of laptops at the US border. The decision will likely present… Continue Reading

New Look at E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Proceedings

Posted in Admissibility, Cloud Computing, Cooperation/Meet & Confer, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Preservation, Privacy, Rules, Sanctions, Social Media, Spoliation
In conjunction with the 2013 American Bar Association annual State of Criminal Justice, I have published a new article on “E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation.” The article provides an in-depth look at many of the current and cutting edge issues raised by e-discovery in this context, including the search and seizure of ESI,… Continue Reading

Music Lyrics Posted to Facebook Results in Criminal Charge: A Trend in the Legal Issues Surrounding Social Media Use

Posted in Admissibility, Cloud Computing, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy, Social Media
We commonly see news stories about law enforcement using social media to investigate, arrest or prosecute criminal defendants. Some of these cases are starting to raise interesting constitutional issues. One such case relates to Cameron D’Ambrosio, a high school senior who was arrested last month for “communicating terrorist threats” through music lyrics that were posted… Continue Reading

Search Warrants and the ECPA – Why the Government May Be Reading Your E-Mails Without Your Knowledge

Posted in Cloud Computing, Criminal Law, Government Agencies, Privacy
When journalist James Rosen became a suspect in a federal investigation into the leak of classified information, his personal emails were searched and seized by the government. He had no knowledge of this, however, because the warrant applications were filed under seal and the court permitted the government to delay providing notice to him. Although… Continue Reading