Tag Archives: law enforcement

Italian DPA Issues Record Data Privacy Fine

By Luca Tosoni and Dan Cooper On 2 February 2017, the Italian DPA (“Garante”) imposed a record fine of 5,880,000 Euros on a UK company operating in Italy for its violation of the data privacy consent rules contained in Italian law.  This is the largest data privacy fine ever issued by a European data protection … Continue Reading

CJEU Confirms That National Data Retention Laws May Only Be Adopted Where “Strictly Necessary”

By Joseph Jones, Phil Bradley-Schmieg and Gemma Nash On December 21, 2016 the Court of Justice of European Union (“CJEU”) issued its judgment in Joined Cases C-203/15 and C-698/15, Tele2 /Watson. The decision considered the legality of UK and Swedish laws permitting the generalized retention of communications metadata (for 6-12 months) for the purposes of … Continue Reading

European Parliament Approves EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement

Yesterday, the European Parliament voted to approve the EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement, a framework for the exchange of personal data for law-enforcement (including anti-terrorism) purposes between the EU and U.S.  As we previously explained, negotiations on this Agreement have been underway for quite some time, with the European Parliament first calling for it back in March … Continue Reading

California Requires a Warrant To Search Electronic Communications

On Thursday, October 8, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“CalECPA”), which requires law enforcement officials in California to obtain a warrant to access digital records, including emails and text messages. The new law was supported by privacy rights advocates and technology companies, many of which are pushing … Continue Reading

EU – US Umbrella Agreement about to be concluded: towards a transatlantic approach to data protection?

By Jean de Ruyt and Monika Kuschewsky According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, the EU and the US have finalized the EU-US Umbrella Agreement (for the press release, see here; a reportedly near-final draft of the agreement can be read here). This is a remarkable breakthrough after the first … Continue Reading

Looking at Police-Community Relations Through the Lens of Body-Worn Cameras

As protests have continued across the nation in the wake of back-to-back decisions by grand juries in Missouri and New York not to indict white police officers for their involvement in the deaths of unarmed black citizens, civil rights advocates, along with state leaders and the federal government, are exploring measures to better relationships between … Continue Reading

Justice Department Allows More Transparency on Government Demands for Customer Information in National Security Investigations

By Jim Garland, David Fagan, and Alex Berengaut On January 27, 2014, the Attorney General and Director of National Intelligence announced that the U.S. government will allow Internet companies and telecommunications providers to disclose more information about government demands for customer data in national security investigations.  The government’s new transparency policy addresses legal demands served … Continue Reading

New Statutes Proposed in the Wake of AP Spying Scandal

Recent news that the U.S. Justice Department obtained telephone records for two months covering more than 100 journalists working for the Associated Press has prompted lawmakers to propose new statutes meant to strengthen protections against the kinds of requests that our Jeff Kosseff described as “undermin[ing]” the “entire Fourth Estate.”… Continue Reading

Boston Marathon Bombings Spark Renewed Debate Over Surveillance

In the wake of the Boston marathon bombings and in response to the quick work of law enforcement officials who were significantly aided in their identification of the suspected bombers by videos from government- and privately owned surveillance cameras, there has been renewed public discussion regarding the privacy implications of the proliferation of security cameras. … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Affirms Stored Communications Act Immunity

A federal appellate court ruled last week that an Internet company was not liable for disclosing subscriber information pursuant to an invalid grand jury subpoena that appeared valid on its face. In December 2008, Yahoo! received two grand jury subpoenas from a Georgia state prosecutor, seeking the name, address, and other identifying information associated with a … Continue Reading

DOJ Supports Modernization of ECPA

A Justice Department official told a House panel this week that Congress should modernize the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a 1986 statute that creates rules governing access by law enforcement and other government agencies to user information stored with Internet communication service providers. In particular, the Justice Department recognizes that it no longer makes sense … Continue Reading

Court Rules that Police Use of Wi-Fi Tracking Software is Not a Fourth Amendment Search

Earlier this month, a federal judge held that the Fourth Amendment does not prevent the police from using tracking software to determine the location of a person who is tapping into an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. In 2010, a Pennsylvania state police officer began investigating distribution of child pornography over a peer-to-peer file-sharing network.  The officer … Continue Reading

UN Report Calls for Mandatory Data Retention

By Kurt Wimmer and Josephine Liu The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has released a report warning that terrorists are increasingly using the Internet to spread propaganda, recruit and train supporters, finance their activities, and plan terrorist attacks.  Besides providing an overview of the existing legal frameworks to address terrorists’ use of the … Continue Reading

Rep. Lofgren Introduces Legislation to Update ECPA

Last Friday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the ECPA 2.0 Act, H.R. 6529, which would strengthen the legal standards for law enforcement to gain access to electronic communications and location information.  The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is more than 25 years old and is widely seen as needing modernization to address changes in digital … Continue Reading

California Legislature Bans Warrantless Location Tracking

Last week, the California legislature passed one of the nation’s most restrictive bills governing law enforcement’s ability to access location information.  Under the California Location Privacy Act, state and local government agencies would be required to secure search warrants before obtaining historical or current location information for any electronic device.  The California bill would curtail … Continue Reading

Twitter to Appeal NY Ruling that It Must Hand over Occupy Protestor’s Tweets

Twitter has announced that it will appeal a New York state judge’s ruling that the company must hand over an Occupy Wall Street protestor’s tweets to the Manhattan district attorney.  The defendant was charged with disorderly conduct for his participation in a protest march in October 1, 2011.  Following that incident, the district attorney subpoenaed … Continue Reading

UK Government prepares new legislative proposal to modernise communications data monitoring law

On 1 April, 2012, the UK press reported that the UK Home Office is preparing to propose new legislative reform of the communications data monitoring law, in the Queen’s Speech in May.  The press reports, and the response from the Home Office on 3 April 2012, provided some further details on a programme that was … Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Attaching GPS Tracker to Suspect’s Car Constitutes Search For Purposes of Fourth Amendment

The federal government conducted a search for purposes of the Fourth Amendment when it attached a GPS tracking device to a suspect’s car and used the device to track the suspect’s movements for 28 days, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday. All nine justices voted to uphold the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals … Continue Reading
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