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The V&E Report
Insights in Government Enforcement and Investigations

Governments Are Feeding on Facebook Data: Report Shows Recent Rise in Official Requests for User Information

For the period between January and June 2019, Facebook received 128,617 requests for user data from various government entities—16% above the 110,634 requests in the period between July and December 2018.1 This uptick was described in Facebook’s latest transparency report (the “Report”), which provides information about government data requests.2

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Data Without Borders: The U.S. and UK Sign CLOUD Act Agreement Making it Easier to Gather Electronic Evidence

The United States and the United Kingdom recently entered the first ever CLOUD Act Agreement, which aims to streamline the process by which either government can collect electronic evidence located in the other country. Under the agreement, designated authorities from the U.S. and UK will be able to issue orders for the collection of electronic data directly to covered providers in the other country.

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Amazon Pitches Facial “Rekognition” Law to Feds

On Wednesday, September 25, at a surprise appearance after a product event in Seattle, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that the company’s public policy team is drafting proposed regulations for facial recognition technology, with plans to share them with the federal government. The move comes several months after Amazon publicly proposed ethical guidelines around the use of facial recognition technology, in an effort to nudge national legislative efforts on the topic.

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Not So Cryptic: AG Barr Adamant That “Warrant-Proof Encryption” Poses Threat to Public Safety

In a keynote address at the International Conference on Cyber Security on Tuesday, July 23, Attorney General Barr clearly articulated the DOJ’s position that “‘warrant-proof’ encryption poses a grave threat to public safety by extinguishing the ability of law enforcement to obtain evidence essential to detecting and investigating crimes.”1 Barr outlined the ways in which criminals — including drug traffickers, human traffickers, terrorists, and gangs — use encrypted messaging technology to further criminal enterprises, and he criticized technology companies for failing to work with law enforcement “to preserve lawful access” to suspects’ encrypted devices and messages, even when police have a valid search warrant.2

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  • 23
  • May
  • 2019

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Minority Report: San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Tech Over Potential Bias, Privacy Concerns

Privacy advocates in the Bay Area have cause for celebration after San Francisco became the first municipality in the United States to pass an ordinance barring the city’s use of facial recognition technology because of the “propensity [of] facial recognition technology [to] endanger civil rights and civil liberties” and “exacerbate racial injustice.”

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  • 15
  • May
  • 2019

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Federal Cybersecurity Regulations Pose New FCA Risk to Defense Contractors

Defense contractors who falsely claim that they are compliant with federal cybersecurity acquisition regulations may face liability under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) in light of a recent decision from the Eastern District of California. The case, United States ex rel. Markus v. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.,1 demonstrates the substantial liability risk that defense contractors face as they struggle to meet the government’s cybersecurity standards.

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