The Cyberlaw Podcast: The Evil Dolphin Episode

By Stewart Baker
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 4:01 PM

The Cyberlaw Podcast kicks off a series exploring Section 702 – the half-US/half-foreign collection program that has proven effective against terrorists while also proving controversial with civil liberties groups. With the program due to expire on December 31, we’ll examine the surveillance controversies spawned by the program. Today, we look at the “upstream” collection program under section 702. We talk to , NSA’s Civil Liberties and Privacy and (whew!) Transparency Officer as well as of the Brennan Center for Justice.

In the news, is taking a beating both for a massive and serious and for a series of in its . Michael Vatis lays out the gory details.

Speaking of ugly, the climate for the online ad business is getting a lot worse, or so I predict, as of gets attention in .

Had enough? Nope. Now the is piling on, limiting employers' right to monitor employees. Maury Shenk explains the law; and I marvel at the court’s ability to take an obligation imposed on governments and turn it into a code of conduct for private employers.

But wait, it gets worse. says that a hacker who looks a lot like the Russian government has installed on the networks that directly control . I predict that the Trump administration will do, well, nothing, following an Obama administration tradition in grid hacking cases.

OK, it’s not the power grid, but would you really want hackers to be able to tell your Echo, “Alexa, send me two metric tons of garbanzo beans overnight?” Now, thanks to what I call , they can do exactly that – with you in the room. Quick, get all the Echos out of Marine World!

OK, here’s a bit of good news, or at least man-bites-dog news. Maury reports that the has sent Intel's $1.26 billion monopolization fine back to the European General Court. Any time a European court doesn’t reach out to arbitrarily smack a US tech company, it’s cause for wonder.

In other news, Michael reports that (and pretty cheaply) with the FTC and a batch of states for installing spyware on its laptops.

To follow up on last week’s podcast, has dumped Kaspersky software, so the mistrust virus is spreading from government to the private sector.

Finally, , not content with God mode, also invented Hell, a program that fooled Lyft drivers into chasing fake customers. Now Hell seems to have come for Uber, as it turns out the now-abandoned escapade might have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and is the subject of an SDNY/FBI probe.

. We are also on , and (available for Android and Google Chrome)!

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of the firm.