Criminal Law Science, Computers & Technology

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Aftermath of the Yahoo Breach: M&A Risk and Cybersecurity

In the midst of its acquisition by Verizon Communications Inc., Yahoo Inc. disclosed what looks like one of the largest reported thefts of user information in U.S. history. Yahoo has confirmed that a “state-sponsored”...more

Bitcoin Again Held to Be “Funds” for Federal Money Transmitting Purposes

Murgio decision reflects a growing judicial consensus around the application of money transmitting laws to Bitcoin exchangers. On September 19, 2016, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan of the Southern District of New...more

Employee’s Wife Pleads Guilty to Charges After He Stole Patient Information

The Manhattan District Attorney announced this week that a former employee of Lenox Hill Hospital’s wife plead guilty to grand larceny, identity theft in the first degree, and criminal possession of stolen property after her...more

Using VPN Technology in the UAE: Awareness and Action

There has been much discussion in the media regarding the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), triggered by the recently announced Federal Law No. (12) of 2016 (the Amendment), which...more

Former IRS Employee Reports to Prison for Identity Theft and Fraud

Nakeisha Hall was sentenced in federal district court in August to serve nine years and two months in prison after she plead guilty for crimes she committed while working for the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service. Instead of...more

Espionage and Export Controls: The iPhone Hack Highlights The New World of Warfare

Last week, researchers at Citizen Lab uncovered sophisticated new spyware that allowed hackers to take complete control of anyone’s iPhone, turning the phone into a pocket-spy to intercept communications, track movements and...more

Virtual Currencies: Court Rules that Selling Bitcoin Is Not Money Transmitting and Selling Bitcoin to Criminals Is Not a Crime

The ruling is an outlier driven by its unique facts and is unlikely to change the general regulatory landscape for Bitcoin businesses. In State of Florida v. Espinoza, a trial court in Miami recently dismissed all...more

Litigation Alert: The Sixth Circuit Expands Potential Federal Wiretap Act Liability for Developers and Sellers of Cloud-Based...

Last week, the Sixth Circuit expanded potential liability for violations of the Federal Wiretap Act for manufacturers of devices that can be used for wiretapping, like monitoring software, in reversing the dismissal of a...more

When It Absolutely, Positively Has to Be Indicted Overnight: How to Prevent Future Debacles Like the FedEx Prosecution

Against the backdrop of years of unprecedented monetary penalties imposed through DOJ civil settlements and deferred prosecution agreements with financial institutions embroiled in the 2008 financial meltdown, the DOJ came...more

Sharing of Passwords Under Certain Circumstances Unlawful

Many companies have experienced the departure of an employee and the elimination of that former employees access to the company’s computers and networks. In the recent case of USA v. Nosal, D.C. No. 3:08-cr-00237-EMC-1 (July...more

Florida Court: Bitcoin Isn’t “Money”, and Selling It Isn’t “Transmission”

A Florida criminal court has exonerated a defendant charged with violating state money transmission and money laundering laws. In Florida v. Espinoza, the State of Florida charged Michell Abner Espinoza with one count...more

Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team. Here are some of the...more

When Is Using a Computer a Crime? Rehearing Sought on Ninth Circuit’s “Distressingly Unclear” Answer

Facebook recently won a landmark victory in the Ninth Circuit against a company that accessed Facebook’s computers to help users manage their social network accounts. Now the company, Power Ventures, Inc., says that the...more

DEA Rejects Petitions Seeking to Reschedule Marijuana

The long-awaited decision maintains the illegal status of marijuana under federal law. On August 12, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), despite much speculation to the contrary, published in the Federal Register its...more

Compilation of Public Data Can be Trade Secret

A recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision confirmed that data derived from a compilation of publicly available information can constitute a protectable trade secret, particularly when a proprietary process is used to...more

Sparks Fly in Ninth Circuit’s Nosal II Opinion

As many loyal TSW readers know, we’ve been watching the ongoing saga involving ex-Korn Ferry recruiter David Nosal wind its way through the courts since the early days of this blog. And last month, the highly anticipated...more

Congressional Report Finds FDIC Data Breach Response Obstructed Congressional Oversight

On July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (the “Science Committee”) released a report regarding its investigation of an October 2015 data breach and the subsequent response of...more

Baseball Hacking Scandal Leads To 4-Year Sentence And MLB Investigation

On Monday, July 18, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas sentenced former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa to nearly four years in prison for the hacking of the Houston Astros’...more

Ninth Circuit Provides Clarification Concerning the Definition of Trade Secret

On July 5, 2016, in United States v. Nosal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the definition of “trade secret,” finding that data derived from a compilation of publicly available information can constitute a...more

Legal Alert: New York’s New BSA/AML Rule Imposes Monitoring, Filtering and Certification Requirements

On June 30, 2016, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) adopted a new anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering (AML) regulation (Final Rule) that builds on federal anti-money laundering requirements to address...more

Florida Judge Rules Bitcoin is not Money

On July 25, a Florida Circuit Court judge dismissed state criminal charges against a defendant who attempted to sell bitcoins for $30,000 in cash on the ground that bitcoins are not money. Defendant Michell Abner Espinoza...more

Ninth Circuit Interprets “Without Authorization” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

When we last left David Nosal, he had escaped liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after convincing some of his former colleagues at executive search firm Korn/Ferry to use their log-in credentials to download...more

Another Jury Acquits in One of the First Few Prosecutions of Health Care Executives Following DOJ’s Yates Memo

Last month, we reported on a Massachusetts federal court jury’s decision to acquit the former CEO of Warner Chilcott in one of the first prosecutions of a health care executive following the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”)...more

Second Circuit Eases Tension Between U.S. Discovery Requirements and EU Privacy Laws

Microsoft scored an important victory when the Second Circuit ruled that the government is not authorized to issue warrants for customer data stored overseas. In re Warrant to Search a Certain E-mail Account Controlled &...more

Taking a Walk Back to a Kinder, Gentler Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

We don’t usually talk about four-year-old court decisions in the first instance here. But the Ninth Circuit has issued a pair of noteworthy opinions interpreting the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the last few weeks. And...more

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