May 232015

Reuters reports:

A popular mobile web browser from a company that Alibaba paid more than $1 billion for last year leaks sensitive user data and is a privacy risk, a Canadian technology research group said on Thursday.

Citizen Lab said Chinese and English-language versions of UC Browser, developed by UCWeb Inc, made easily available to third parties personally identifiable information like location, search details and mobile subscriber and device numbers.

Read more on FirstPost.

May 232015
 May 23, 2015  Business, Court, Laws No Responses »

Jacob Hathorn and Robert Helfand of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt write:

Enacted in 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227  (TCPA), inaugurated the era of “junk fax” class actions, in which recipients of mass fax advertisements may pursue statutory damages of $500 per class member. Insurers responded by adding terms to liability policies that expressly exclude coverage for claims under the TCPA. But the dialectic of coverage litigation is ineluctable, and plaintiffs began asserting, in effect, that the TCPA was irrelevant—because junk faxes allegedly violated state consumer fraud statutes or common law rules.  Class action complaints invoked these alternative theories, and insureds sought coverage for those claims.  Earlier this month, in Emcasco Ins. Co. v. CE Design, Ltd., No. 14-6064 (10th Cir. May 4, 2015), the assertion was rejected (or, at least, sublated).  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit joined a number of jurisdictions in ruling that the statutory exclusion applies to all claims that arise, even indirectly, from an act that violates the TCPA.

Read more on JDSupra.

May 232015

Ben Jacobs, Sabrina Siddiqui, and Spencer Ackerman report:

For the second time in less than a year, US senators rejected a bill to abolish the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of American phone records.

By a vote of 57-42, the USA Freedom Act failed on Friday to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to advance in the Senate after hours of procedural manoeuvering lasted into the wee hours Saturday morning.

The result left the Senate due to reconvene on May 31, just hours before a wellspring of broad NSA and FBI domestic spying powers will expire at midnight.

Read more on The Guardian.

May 222015
 May 22, 2015  Featured News, Govt, U.S. No Responses »

Mario Trujillo reports:

The Justice Department on Friday released guidelines that would explicitly bar the agency from using drones solely to monitor activity protected by the First Amendment, like peaceful protests.

The department issued five pages of policy guidelines dealing with privacy and civil liberties protections when conducting drone flights. It also outlined transparency requirements.

Read more on The Hill.