Adequate Encryption in the Cloud

Posted by: Collin Gaines

April 20, 2015

pad-lockPrivate cloud networks suffer some of the same privacy issues that public cloud networks are battling. Not all private cloud networks are “on-premise,” many utilize companies such as Amazon, to provide them with the technology to operate their network. Data is still traveling over the internet but in-house technology professionals manage the control of the network. Encrypting data in-house does provide many benefits in that companies may enjoy the use of a cloud without worrying about third party attacks.

Those who use cloud computing must understand that they may compromise security and relinquish absolute control of their data, when turning over privileged information to third-parties such as cloud storage providers. Under current law, third-parties may voluntarily provide government officials with client sensitive documents and the “law has always been slow to catch up with technological advances .” Therefore, people using electronic digital communication devices such as laptops, computers, Smartphone’s and cell phones have security vulnerabilities regarding essential personal information. For example, the world wide web has become prone to hacking and scamming incidents, which has resulted in high levels of privacy invasions. Continue reading


Google’s Antitrust Battle

Posted by: Sam Knecht

April 20, 2015

google_416x416The European Union recently served Google with an official antitrust complaint, alleging Google is a trust that “had abused its market dominance by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping service over that of its rivals.” It is also separately investigating accusations that Google uses anticompetitive practices towards device manufacturers that use Google’s Android operating system. The complaint could lead to millions in fines for Google unless it proves otherwise or changes its operations.

The investigation of Google’s search tools has been mainly focused on determining if the company prioritizes its own products, ranking them ahead of others in searches. Given that Google used in about ninety percent of web searches in Europe, this is a heavy accusation. The committee is also focused on whether Google made it difficult for marketers to switch to competitors. Continue reading

Bitcoin Faces Increased Federal and State Regulation

Posted by Sam Knecht

April 20, 2015

bitcoin2Bitcoin, a digital crypto-currency, operates on a decentralized network that was designed to promote anonymity and avoid government regulation. Promoters of Bitcoin say it can improve global financial inclusion, allowing those without access to other financial services, or those living in countries with fluctuating fiat currency, a means of security via cyberspace. Advocates also say Bitcoin allows consumers a means of increased privacy, allowing them to control information about themselves financially and otherwise while participating in the global economy. However, the digital capital is facing increasing regulation on both federal and state levels that is likely to greatly decrease this anonymity in the future.

In 2013, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued guidance saying that it would treat transmitters of Bitcoin the same as it does transmitters of other money. Businesses that exchange Bitcoin are now required to register with FinCEN and keep records of transactions. FinCEN regulates companies under the Bank Secrecy Act, a set of regulations that includes Patriot Act laws and requires money transmitters to record personal information about its customers. Certain kinds of financial transactions must also be reported. Continue reading

The Rising Jurisdictional Problem of International Companies

Posted by: Michael Avila

April 20, 2015

InternetAs access to the Internet has grown to include almost half of the world’s population in its user base, the chances of websites and the companies owning them running awry of laws not inside that of its home country have grown much larger and more concerning. Google has had many conflicts with China in the recent years due to China’s censorship laws, and as recently as 2014 Google’s gmail service had its access blocked in mainland China. As companies like Google grow and begin having a more substantial presence in countries outside of the U.S. they will likely have to learn how to bow to pressure and possibly fragment their services in order to comply with the laws of local jurisdictions. Continue reading

Can Privacy Survive?

Posted by: Michael Avila

April 20, 2015

town-sign-83730_640One of the largest concerns of the American Citizen is the question of the right to privacy. With the shroud of the Patriot Act hanging over every action that Americans take and the growing influence of websites like Facebook and Twitter that encourage people to share the details of their everyday lives the question of whether or not privacy is dying out is a valid one. While the law and technology seem to be decreasing the ability of the average person to maintain the level of privacy that they could have expected even fifteen years ago, it still seems important to maintain this right in the face of these growing concerns. Continue reading

Is the Archive Button Sending the Wrong Message?

Posted by Collin Gaines

April 20, 2015


In 2007, Google rolled out the “archive and next” shortcut in Gmail “to help improve the speed and convenience of managing email.” Merriam-Webster definition of archive is “to collect and store materials (such as recordings, documents, or computer files) so that they can be found and used when they are needed.” Therefore, the average person would conceivably believe that once emails are archived they are stored for backup purposes only.

Accordingly, when a message in Gmail is “archived” the message is removed from the inbox tab but not deleted or removed entirely. By archiving the messages, users perceive that their inbox is void of such messages but the emails are indeed still in storage and can be easily retrieved. Interestingly, it is possible to “archive” messages that have been read and unread messages as well. Users may retrieve messages by accessing the “All Mail” tab, or if someone responds to an archived message. Because archived messages seem as though they have been deleted and can only be retrieved in limited inboxes or responses, not only is Google’s “archive” label likely to confuse the a person of average sensibilities but it may also confuse someone who is familiar with the Stored Communications Act. Continue reading

Protecting Innovation

Posted by: Michael Avila

April 20, 2015

Page_37_Digest_of_United_States_automobile_patents_from_1789_to_July_1,_1899_closeupArticle I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution provides Congress with the power “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their writings and discoveries”. Through this statement the legitimacy of copyright and patent law was born, and the rights of these innovators were protected and codified under Title 35 of the United States Code. Recently the rash of so called “Patent Trolls” has reached epidemic levels has threatened this system and put many such innovators on the defensive as evidenced by Apple’s claim that they had been the target of over one hundred Patent Trolls in the three years preceding 2014. Continue reading

If Privacy Were an Species, It Would Be an Endangered One

Posted by: Macaulay Christian

April 20, 2015


town-sign-83730_640If you were to swipe the lock screen on your smartphone, yours, like almost everyone else, would contain a variety of apps, and at least one of those apps would be a social media account, one you use frequently…why else would it be on your phone? Perhaps you’re documenting your life, one selfie at a time with Snapchat, or maybe mean tweeting celebrities with Twitter, stalking classmates on Facebook, or casually swiping people’s faces one direction or another on Tinder. Regardless of why you are on social media or what you do on it, the digital world many of us have grown up in, seems to harken us, collectively, back to a time when there weren’t these walls of solitude erected between me and you. For all of the ways in which computers and the Internet have revolutionized the lives of most of the planet’s seven billion inhabitants, perhaps the most striking, or, certainly the most controversial, seems to be the ever increasingly publicity of the average person’s life for all to see, comment, like, and share.

It is curious to think that a hallmark of human civilization’s technological progression is having an effect on the social and personal relationships of individual people, reverting, in a sense, the nature of those relationships to a status the hasn’t existed for more than a century. It is an interesting line of thought, one put forward by Vint Cerf, who characterized privacy as something of an “anomaly”. Continue reading