Articles by Mark Rasch


March 14, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert 

Julian Assange has offered to help make your product more secure. Julian Assange has offered to make you a felon. 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has released information about the CIA’s “Vault 7” Swiss Army knife toolkit for rooting and hacking into computers, phones, routers, networks, and IoT devices. These include a wealth of theoretical, known, and “zero day” vulnerabilities and exploits – many of which have been floating around in the research community, but some of which are genuinely new. 


March 4, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

The New York Times recently reported that ride sharing service Uber used a tactic – approved by their lawyers – called “greyballing” – to thwart efforts by law and code enforcement agencies from catching Uber drivers and the company operating in prohibited areas.

Without commenting on the legality of the particular service itself, the case raises the question of the extent to which private entities may use fraud, deception, traps, snares, big data and data surveillance (you know, the techniques used by cops) in furtherance of their own business objectives. 


March 3, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

Once again the United States Supreme Court steps into the thicket of how and when the States may regulate the content and actions of users or social media. In oral arguments on February 27, the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of a North Carolina law that prohibited the use of Facebook or other social media sites by registered sex offenders. The case presents the issue of whether social media and similar websites are essentially necessities in public life.


February 28, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

It has been reported that Presidential spokesperson Sean Spicer called an emergency meeting of his staff to hunt for leaks.  At that meeting, reportedly approved by and supervised by White House counsel, Spicer demanded that the staffers produce their cell phones (government and personal) for examination to determine whether or not they were the leakers, and also to advice the staffers that the use of so-called “read and destroy” features (such as the messaging app “confide”) likely violate the provisions of the Presidential Records Act.


February 27, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

Earlier, I wrote about the efforts by the Bentonville, Arkansas police department to compel Amazon to produce – by search warrant issued by an Arkansas judge – the contents of conversations that either the perpetrator or victim of a murder might have had in the presence of an Amazon Echo. 


February 23, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

It sounds like a classic law school exam question.  A border patrol agent in the United States, without adequate provocation or justification, fires a shot across the Mexican border, hitting an innocent Mexican teenager in the head – killing him.  

Does the family of the deceased have any recourse in the US courts, specifically under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments through the unjustified use of deadly physical force?  That’s what the Supreme Court will decide after oral argument on February 21, in a case called Hernandez v. Mesa


February 1, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

When Walter Ackerman sent an email from his AOL account to someone else, it never arrived.  It never arrived because AOL’s computers examined the contents of the email, using an MD5 hash function, and determined that one of the attachments’ electronic signature matched that of suspected child pornography contained in a database maintained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  AOL scanned the contents of Ackerman’s emails using an automated procedure, and then turned the results over to the Justice Department for prosecution. 


January 31, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

President Trump is slated to issue two Executive Orders this week which may relate to the ability of the nation to defend itself (and its critical infrastructure) from potential cyberattacks.  The first is the President’s Executive order on cybersecurity.  The second is the Executive Order on Regulatio.  It may be that these orders work contrary to each other in practice.  We will have to wait and see.


January 30, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

A recent report has indicated that police have subpoenaed records from Amazon to get the cloud stored audio files from an Amazon Echo to help solve a murder case. This points out a disturbing trend in privacy.  

It’s not that the government is surveilling us.  It’s that we are surveilling ourselves in newer and more intimate ways, and in ways that fail to take into account all of the unintended consequences of data collection and analytics. 


January 6, 2017

By Mark Rasch
Attorney and Cybersecurity Expert

For the Internet of Things (IoT) to be useful, some sensing device has to collect data, and transmit that data over the Internet (typically) to a cloud server (typically) that will store and analyze that data and allow the user to see that data, and/or use the data to effect some change in the device or user behavior.  That’s a simplified and over broad description of the IoT. 


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