Elections & Politics Communications & Media Privacy

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Elections & Politics issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Another Bill to Expand the Wire Act: Bad Law Clothed in a Lie

This past week’s focus on the presence of the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the South Carolina capitol (and elsewhere) brought back to the fore the specter of “states’ rights” – the seemingly high-minded excuse...more

Significant Amendments to COPPA Proposed in Do Not Track Kids Act

Reigniting their previous bipartisan attempts to amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and add greater privacy protections for children and younger teens, U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe...more

Trendsetter or Outlier? Oregon Adds New Twist to Password Protection Laws

Since early 2012, 21 states have enacted some form of "password protection" law. Although these laws vary substantially by state, their common thread is the intention to restrict employers' ability to access content in...more

CFAA and SCA Do Not Prohibit Creation Of A Fake Facebook Page

The defendants in a case pending in Chicago federal court were accused of contravening Facebook’s terms of use by accessing its computers in order to create a phony page and then using it to ridicule someone. In Bittman v....more

U.S.A. Freedom Act passed into law

On June 4, 2015, President Obama and his administration signed into law the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which “reform[s] the authorities of the Federal Government to require the production of certain business records, conduct...more

Connecticut Restricts Employer Access to Personal Social Media, E-mail and Online Retail Accounts of Employees and Applicants

On May 19, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute restricting an employer’s ability to gain access to social media, e-mail and other personal online accounts of employees and job...more

Future Unclear For NSA’s Bulk Telephone Metadata Collection Program

Fast approaching is the June 1 expiration of certain provisions of the Patriot Act, including § 215 (codified as 50 U.S.C § 1861), which is the basis for the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk telephone metadata collection...more

Senators Urge FCC “Not to Weaken” the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

A group of ten democratic senators led by Senator Edward Markey joined in a letter to the FCC urging it “not to weaken the privacy protections” contained in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) preventing most...more

Wake-Up Call: Second Circuit Declares NSA’s Mass Telephone Surveillance Program Illegal; Defers Injunction While Congress Ponders...

Whatever your opinion of Edward Snowden, the shockwaves from his leaks of classified material continue to roil all three branches of the federal government. The latest wave broke last week when the United States Court of...more

Virginia & Montana Pass Employee Social Media Privacy Acts

Employers in Virginia and Montana that want to connect with their employees online may now have to wait for their employees to “like” them first, thanks to a pair of bills recently enacted. On March 23, Virginia Governor...more

Student Privacy In Online Educational Services

The commercial use of data mined by providers of online educational services, such as Internet homework portals, digital grade books for teachers, and student e-mail programs, continues to be a hot topic on numerous fronts. ...more

House Passes Cybersecurity Information Sharing Bills

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the House passed H.R. 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, sponsored by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), with Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) as lead cosponsor. ...more

Virginia first state to create cyber sharing organization

While the federal government grapples with multiple pieces of legislation aimed at sharing information on cyber threats, it is not surprising that states will now get into the fray....more

House Passes New Cybersecurity Legislation Amidst Growing Pressure from Industry

The House of Representatives passed the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R.1560) (“PCNA”) yesterday, amidst growing pressure from industry to enact legislation that would help companies harden key infrastructure and respond...more

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Speaks about Cybersecurity at RSA Conference

As cyber week continues in Washington, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler traveled to the west coast to speak about cybersecurity at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. Wheeler noted that the FCC has...more

Russia Bulletin - April 2015

Russia is in the midst of strategically overhauling its economy, seeking to modernize its business methods, “de-offshore” business interests and impose stricter constraints on foreign investors and multinationals operating...more

Are Regulatory Fears Impeding Industry Cyber Sharing?

They say that no good deed goes unpunished. And when it comes to cyber sharing, industry leaders are concerned that their only “reward” for helping the government identify and respond to cyberthreats may be a stiff rebuke...more

Congress Turns to Cyber and Data Breach Legislation

After five years of trying and failing, over the next several weeks Congress may finally make meaningful progress on cybersecurity and data breach legislation. This week the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the House...more

California Senator Introduces Bill To Protect Privacy Of Mobile Device Users' GPS Data

A bill introduced in the California Senate by Senator Mark Leno is designed to help consumers make more informed decisions about their privacy when installing new smartphone or tablet apps that track their location using GPS....more

Federal student privacy law in flux

In recent months, the White House and members of Congress have called for an overhaul of the forty-year old Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) ((20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), which safeguards the...more

Polsinelli Podcast - Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Consequences for Corporations [Video]

Does your company use automated prerecorded messages to communicate with clients and targets? Since the evolution of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), there have been changes and potentially crushing consequences...more

White House Releases Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center Fact Sheet

On February 25, the White House issued a fact sheet regarding the establishment of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), which outlines the purpose, authority, organizational structure, and how the CTIIC...more

FCC Adopts Net Neutrality Rules, Reclassifies Broadband Access under Title II

After nearly 4 million public comments, and months of vigorous public, industry, and Congressional debate, the FCC, by a 3-2 vote, approved revised net neutrality rules to “protect the Open Internet.” As expected by the...more

Cybersecurity Issues Receiving Attention at Highest Level in the U.S.

The Obama Administration could not be more clear that cybersecurity issues will continue to receive priority attention at the highest levels of government. ...more

NIST, White House Continue Efforts to Enhance Cybersecurity Awareness and Protections

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the White House continue efforts to improve private sector security and increase sharing of information about potential cybersecurity threats. ...more

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