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MONDAY, JULY 18, 2016
VICTORY FOR MICROSOFT IN OVERSEAS DATA CASE
In an unexpected win for privacy advocates and tech firms, a federal appeals court in Manhattan said that the U.S. government cannot compel Microsoft and other companies to hand over customer emails stored on foreign servers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned a lower court’s ruling that Microsoft must turn over emails kept in Ireland for a suspect in a narcotics investigation. A Justice Department spokesman said the ruling undermines public safety, and suggested the Obama administration might appeal to the Supreme Court.

The surprise decision would seem to threaten a series of agreements the White House is negotiating with foreign governments that would allow them, for the first time, to serve U.S. companies with warrants for email searches and wiretaps as part of criminal and terrorism probes. The first such deal is being worked on with the UK and could be a model for agreements with other countries. (Reuters, NYT, WSJ, Wired)
Medical Records: On the dark web, records with an individual's name, birthdate, social security number, and medical history sell for as much as $60 apiece, whereas social security numbers are a mere $15, and stolen credit cards sell for just $1 to $3. (Fast Company)

Digital Afterlife: Neuroscientists are pondering whether it will be possible some time in the future to build an electronic duplicate of a someone’s brain that could be activated once that person dies to preserve their consciousness. (The Atlantic)

Tor Project: The non-profit group that promotes the use of software that helps internet users mask their online identities has replaced its board after allegations of sexual misconduct by a prominent employee. (NYT)
Military Hacker: A Chinese businessman who pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to break into the computer networks of major U.S. defense contractors was sentenced to nearly four years in prison. Su Bin was the first person to admit involvement in a Chinese cyberespionage campaign. Beijing denied involvement. (WaPo)

Stingrays: For the first time, a federal judge suppressed evidence obtained without a warrant by law enforcement using a surveillance device that can trick cell phones into revealing their locations. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan ruled that a defendant’s rights were violated when the DEA used a so-called stingray. (Reuters)
Privacy Watchdog: Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, is pushing back against the efforts of some of his colleagues to constrain the work of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Among other things, the bipartisan panel produced a high-profile report in 2014 calling for the shutdown of the NSA’s bulk surveillance program. (NYT)

Driverless Cars: The chairman of the U.S. Senate committee that oversees auto safety issues has asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk to brief the panel on the fatal May 7 crash involving its Autopilot software. (Reuters)

Revenge Porn: House lawmakers introduced long-stalled legislation--the Intimate Privacy Protection Act--that would make it a federal crime to share sexually explicit material of a person online without the subject’s consent. (Reuters)
AI: Silicon Valley investors are racing into robotics and artificial intelligence. The region now has at least 19 companies designing self-driving cars and trucks, up from a handful five years ago. There are also more than a half-dozen types of mobile robots, including robotic bellhops and aerial drones, being commercialized. In a related story, a McKinsey report says that manufacturing, food service, and retailing industries are the most susceptible to automation. (NYT, WSJ)

Insurance: European insurers like Allianz hope that cyber insurance will evolve into the fire insurance of the 21st century. But the market has been slow to take off in Europe with fewer than one in 10 firms having taken out a policy. (Reuters)

SoftBank: The Japanese telecommunications giant is buying UK-based chip designer ARM Holdings for more than $32 billion. The all-cash deal comes after SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son’s decision to take back the reins of the company’s investment strategy. (WSJ)
Japan: Home to more robots than any other country, Japan is aiming to build a “robot barrier-free society” in which humans and robot can “coexist and co-operate on a daily basis,” according to a government strategy document. (1843)

Saudi Arabia: The country’s $3.5 billion investment in Uber has irked some in Silicon Valley who say the deal represents a tacit endorsement of the Gulf kingdom’s conservative policies. (WSJ)

Taiwan: Taiwan investigators suspect two Russians used malware to withdraw more than $2 million from dozens of ATMs on the island. At least four major state-run financial institutions suspended cash withdrawals as a precaution. (Reuters)

Must Reads
A Camera on Every Cop: “Cop cams are inextricably tied to Taser, by far the dominant supplier, and the company will likely shape whatever the devices evolve into. For Taser, the cameras are more than just a new product category. Founded at one national moment of police angst, the company is using another such moment to transform from a manufacturer into a technology company. From a business perspective, body cameras are low-margin hunks of plastic designed to get police departments using the real moneymaker: Evidence.com, which provides the software and cloud services for managing all the footage the devices generate,” writes Karen Weise for Bloomberg.

When Yahoo Ruled the Valley: “Most, but not all, of the surfers have scattered across Silicon Valley and the world. The careers of some followed the arc of the tech world’s obsessions and idiosyncrasies over the last 20 years. Others took their stock windfalls and dropped out to pursue other passions. Taken together, the surfers, about 10 of whom are still in the building, embody the technological and cultural changes that transformed the valley and the world — and left Yahoo in the dust,” writes Vindu Goel in the New York Times.

SoftBank: Waiting for the Next Big Idea: “A major deal right now could position SoftBank to compete against top global tech firms such as Google, but critics warn it could also plunge the group into the same trap that has left so many Japanese names, from Toshiba to Sharp, looking globally irrelevant. SoftBank will be well positioned, analysts say, to thrive in the era of the internet of things, with a meaningful bet on robotics and artificial intelligence, an area Mr. Son is willing to ‘devote’ his life to. ” write Leo Lewis, Kana Inagaki, and Simon Mundy in the Financial Times.
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, KAREN J. GREENBERG, DIRECTOR, CENTER ON NATIONAL SECURITY, FORDHAM LAW SCHOOL
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