March 2016

Nuala O'Connor & Stewart Baker
Nuala O’Connor & Stewart Baker

It’s an extended news roundup with plenty of debate between me and Nuala O’Connor, the President and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).  We debate whether and how CDT should pay more attention to Chinese technology abuses and examine the EU ministers’ long list of privacy measures to be rolled back and security measures to be beefed up in the wake of the Brussels and Paris Daesh attacks.
Continue Reading

Adam SegalWhat kind of internet world order does China want, and will it succeed?  That’s the question we ask Adam Segal, Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relation and author of The Hacked World Order.  We review China’s surprising success at getting tech companies to help it build an authoritarian Internet – the technological equivalent of persuading Jello to nail itself to the wall.  Meanwhile, every nation, it seems, is busy reasserting sovereignty over cyberspace.  Except the United States.  Which raises the question whether other countries will decide to assert sovereignty over our cyberspace.  We’re the Syria of cyberspace!

Continue Reading

Podcast 106In bonus episode 106, Stewart and Alan interview Phil Reitinger, former DHS Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Sony Corporation CISO and current Director of the new Global Cyber Alliance, making up for the famous “lost episode” that Stewart and Alan recorded with Phil on the sidelines of the RSA Conference (“The best interview

Doing our best to avoid turning this into the Applelaw podcast, episode 105 begins with Maury Shenk unpacking the new US-EU Privacy Shield details.  His take: more hassles for companies accused of noncompliance, more detailed privacy disclosures and compliance obligations for most members, and a modicum of pain for the intelligence community, but it’s still basically the same framework as the Safe Harbor.
Continue Reading

Live from RSA, it’s episode 104, with special guest Jim Lewis, CSIS’s renowned cybersecurity expert and Steptoe’s own Alan Cohn.  We do an extended news roundup before an RSA audience that yields several good questions for the panel.  We had invited Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel, to participate, but he didn’t show.  So we felt no constraint as we alternately criticized and mocked Apple’s legal arguments for not providing assistance to the FBI in gaining access to the San Bernardino terrorist’s phone.  We review the bidding on encryption on Capitol Hill and observe that the anti-regulatory forces have lost ground as a result of the fight Apple has picked. That leads into a discussion of China’s backdoors into the iPhone and Baidu’s role in compromising users of its products. 
Continue Reading

Due to technical difficulties, the interview for the 103rd episode will be released as a separate post next week.   In the news roundup, we explore Apple’s brief against providing additional assistance to the FBI in its investigation of the San Bernardino killings.  Michael Vatis finds good and bad in the brief – some entirely