Communications & Media Criminal Law

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DOJ Folds Criminal Case Against Federal Express

In another set back last week, after a contentious criminal prosecution, the government dismissed its criminal charges against Federal Express. DOJ indicted Federal Express for drug trafficking relating to shipping of illegal...more

Controversy looms over ECPA amendment in wake of Orlando terrorist attack

After the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, early this month, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) has been discussed quite a bit. The ECPA, a law which took effect in 1986, limits the government’s access to...more

Court Upholds Prison for Flea Market Owner for Counterfeiting by Tenants

As trademark and copyright counterfeiting and piracy has grown, courts have become more willing to grant meaningful relief to rights owners and to penalize counterfeiters and those who facilitate their illicit activities. ...more

North Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down Cyberbullying Statute On Free Speech Grounds

In State v. Bishop (June 10, 2016), the Supreme Court of North Carolina reversed a unanimous panel of the Court of Appeals and struck down the state’s cyberbullying statute, N.C.G.S. § 14-458.1 as unconstitutional....more

Cybersecurity News and Notes – June 2016

In Case You Missed It: US and EU officials signed on to the so-called “Privacy Umbrella” deal last week. The agreement is designed to protect the personal data of EU citizens when it is transferred to the US for law...more

How can we use technology to secure & enable a speak-up culture? [Video]

The following is an interview with Sylvain Mansotte, Co-Founder & CEO, Whispli. RB: Sylvain, thanks for this interview. Perhaps you can tell us a little about your background? SM: Thank you, Richard. I am originally...more

Fourth Circuit Says Law Enforcement Doesn’t Need a Warrant to Figure out Where You Are

Like many people, Aaron Graham and Eric Jordan carried cell phones around in 2011. Unlike most people, Graham and Jordan were convicted of crimes arising from their participation in a series of armed robberies in that period,...more

Privacy Tip #37 – Beware of fake USB drives and phone chargers

USB drives and phone chargers are expensive. Hackers know that. One way hackers are gaining access to get into computers to steal data is by planting USB drives and phone chargers in public areas, hoping someone will pick it...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 253-Loren Steffy reflects on the Enron, the trials of Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling and... [Video]

In this episode, I visit with Loren Steffy who covered the Enron trial for the Houston Chronicle. He reflects on the lasting impact of the Enron scandal and how it continues to resonate today. ...more

Sentencing of Keys, Responsible for 2010 LA Times Data Breach, Should Remind Companies to Fortify Cybersecurity and Plan Response...

A federal judge in California recently sentenced a former employee of KTXL Fox40, a Tribune Company-owned television station, to two years in prison for three felony convictions relating to his assistance to the “hacktivist”...more

U.S. Supreme Court Proposes Change to Rules Applicable to Searches of Electronic Data

The United States Supreme Court — which establishes rules of civil and criminal procedure, subject to the objection of Congress — has proposed a significant amendment to the rules applicable to searches of electronic data...more

You Be the Judge: The Dispute Between Apple and The FBI/DOJ

Under the Constitution, the federal courts are courts of “limited jurisdiction,” which essentially means that, in the absence of a specifically delineated judicial power provided under the Constitution or federal law, the...more

Are Changes in Store for the Stored Communications Act?

Last week saw action on two fronts regarding the Stored Communications Act (SCA) – the US federal statute regulating government searches of online accounts in criminal investigations. In Congress, a proposal to reform the SCA...more

How to Avoid or Respond to Wire Transfer Fraud

Businesses are increasingly falling victim to wire fraud scams – sometimes referred to as “man-in-the-email” or “business email compromise” scams. Although there are multiple variants, a common situation involves an attacker...more

DOJ Takes On Tribal Lending: Inside The Indictments

In recent months, the attention of the tribal lending industry has focused on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s emerging role in regulating short-term loans from sovereign tribal nations, but a new and even more...more

Media lawyers: Böhmermann could become a case for the Constitutional Court

What is satire, what is a criminal offence? With his Erdogan poem, Jan Böhmermann is walking a very fine line. For legal professionals, the case raises issues that may need to be clarified by the Supreme Court....more

Body-Worn Cameras, the Prosecutor, and the Question of Public Access

BB&K attorney Gary Schons examines police body cameras from a variety of angles for the California District Attorneys Association’s Prosecutor’s Brief. The use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officials and what...more

FDA and Amarin Pharma Reach Milestone Settlement Allowing Off-Label Drug Promotion

A milestone Settlement Agreement was reached March 8, 2016 between the Food and Drug Administration and Amarin Pharma, Inc. that expressly allows Amarin to promote its drug product, Vascepa®, for unapproved – i.e.,...more

Amarin and FDA Reach Settlement Agreement in Off-Label Speech/First Amendment Case

On March 8, 2016, Amarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Amarin”) and the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA” or the “Agency”) reached a settlement agreement in a closely followed case involving Amarin’s First Amendment rights to...more

Apple vs. FBI- What’s Really at Stake?

The Apple vs. FBi case has sparked fireworks in recent days and for good reason. The FBI is relying on a 227-year-old statute called the All Writs Act to support its request for Apple to hack the San Bernadino iPhone that...more

VimpelCom's Global FCPA Settlement - A Multinational Resolution

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands (OM) announced a coordinated criminal and civil Foreign Corrupt Practices Act...more

FBI v Apple: Using a 1789 Law in a 21st Century Privacy Fight

Earlier this week Apple CEO Tim Cook announced to Apple customers that the company would oppose a federal court order (the “Order”) issued on February 16, 2016 that the company believes “threatens the security of our...more

Federal Court Orders Apple to Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s Phone

Apple must help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif. assault in December, a federal magistrate judge ruled this week. The ruling handed the government an important victory in an...more

VimpelCom Ltd. Agrees to Pay $795M and Accept a Three-Year Corporate Monitor to Resolve Massive Bribery Scheme in Uzbekistan

On February 18, 2016, Amsterdam-based VimpelCom Ltd., the world’s sixth-largest telecommunications company, and its wholly owned Uzbek subsidiary, Unitel LLC, entered into agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice...more

Blame Flows Downhill: All the Way to Sales Clerks

What if a store clerk sells a product that, unbeknownst to him, is illegal? Can the clerk be convicted of a crime, despite not knowing the product was illegal and not intending to sell an illegal product? On January 14,...more

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