Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Mikhaila Fogel
Friday, November 30, 2018, 2:27 PM

The hotel chain Marriott International disclosed a massive breach of its reservation system, which may have affect up to 500 million guests, reports the Washington Post. Hackers, active since 2014, stole names, email addresses, passport numbers and payment information. The New York and Pennsylvania state attorneys general have opened investigations into the breach. This is the second-largest data breach in history as measured by number of victims, after the 2013 breach at Yahoo, which affected 3 billion uses.

Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer, reportedly discussed the possibility of giving Russian President Vladimir Putin the $50 million penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow, according to Buzzfeed News. The report came the same day as Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about, among other things, the duration of the now-defunct project.

The G-20 Summit began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday and diplomats are already concerned that conflict over the Paris climate accord and the World Trade Organization will prevent agreement on a post-summit communique, says the Post.

New guidance issued by the Office of the Special Counsel, an independent agency which enforces the Hatch Act and not connected to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, prohibits federal employees from discussing the “resistance” against Trump, according to the New York Times.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Thursday morning, Matthew Kahn shared the criminal information and plea deal of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress regarding Trump Tower Moscow. Mikhaila Fogel shared a special edition of the Lawfare Podcast in which Anthony Cormier, Susan Hennessey, Paul Rosenzweig and Benjamin Wittes discuss the plea.

Fogel, Quinta Jurecic, Kahn and Benjamin Wittes analyzed the criminal information and the questions about collusion it still leaves unanswered.

Daniel Weitzner announced a new series of essays on Lawfare that will discuss view presented at the Crypto 2018 Workshop on Encryption and Surveillance.

In the first such essay, Ian Levy and Crispin Robinson. both technical directors of cybersecurity programs at the British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarter (GCHQ), outlined ways to enable a majority of the necessary lawful access without compromising democratic values.

In the second Crypto essay, Josh Benaloh, a senior cryptographer at Microsoft Research, argued that there may be no responsible encryption back-doors for law enforcement.

Andrew Burt and Dan Greer announced their addition to the Aegis Paper Series, “Flat Light: Data Protection for the Disoriented, From Policy to Practice,” in which they analyze the current state of information security.

Kahn shared a motion from former FBI director James Comey to quash a congressional subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee for closed-door testimony on how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server and the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

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