Tag Archives: Wiretap Act

Is The Hutchins Indictment Over Malware Unconstitutional?

By Alex Berengaut [This article also was published in Law360.] In May 2017, the “WannaCry” malware was used to launch a worldwide ransomware cyberattack. WannaCry encrypted files on victim computers and demanded a ransom payable in bitcoin to provide the encryption key. The attack was stopped when a British security researcher, Marcus Hutchins, accidentally discovered … Continue Reading

Court Refuses to Certify Gmail Class Action

The Northern District of California yesterday denied class certification to a group of plaintiffs suing Google over the company’s practice of scanning emails for advertising purposes in its Gmail service. Judge Lucy H. Koh held that individualized issues of consent would predominate over any common issues of law in the litigation, and denied Plaintiffs’ request to … Continue Reading

Court Tosses Claims Against Google and Others Based on Safari Hack

By Katherine Gasztonyi & Steve Satterfield Last week, Judge Robinson of the District of Delaware dismissed a multi-district lawsuit claiming that Google, Vibrant Media, Media Innovation Group, and WPP violated federal privacy and computer security laws by allegedly circumventing browser privacy settings in order to track users online. This lawsuit stems from a February 17, … Continue Reading

Court Denies Google’s Motion to Dismiss Gmail Wiretap Claims

In a decision issued last week that is being described by some as a “landmark,” Judge Koh of the Northern District of California denied a motion to dismiss a complaint filed against Google alleging that its Gmail service unlawfully intercepts the contents of emails sent by and to Gmail users.  The case involves Google’s longstanding … Continue Reading

Two New Decisions on the Wiretap Act and Secondary Liability

The last two weeks have brought two important decisions in the ongoing litigation over behavioral advertising firm NebuAd’s alleged use of a device to intercept data from ISP networks. Several ISPs allegedly permitted NebuAd to install an “appliance” on their networks in order to collect and analyze subscriber data for ad targeting purposes.  In lawsuits … Continue Reading

Court Holds Interception of Unsecured Wi-Fi Communications Does Not Violate the Wiretap Act

Late last month — in a decision that seems to have been largely overlooked in the privacy trade press — a federal judge in Illinois held [PDF] that the Wiretap Act did not prohibit the interception of communications sent over unsecured Wi-Fi networks provided by hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and other commercial entities.  The decision came … Continue Reading

New Holding That CIPA Not Preempted By Federal Wiretap Act

Adding to a growing body of decisions considering federal preemption of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”), Judge Chen of the Northern District of California held yesterday that there is no complete preemption, either express or implied, by the federal Wiretap Act.  As a result, Judge Chen granted plaintiff’s motion to remand one class … Continue Reading

Key Holdings in the In re iPhone Application Dismissal Order

By: Shel Abramson and Mali Friedman The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed with prejudice most claims asserted by consumer plaintiffs in In re iPhone Application Litigation, including causes of action under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), the Wiretap Act, and other federal and state laws.  Plaintiffs asserted that Apple … Continue Reading

Key Holdings in Google Street View Litigation: WiFi Not “Readily Accessible to the General Public” and ECPA Preempts State Wiretap Laws

The Northern District of California issued two key rulings last week in denying in part a motion to dismiss in In re Google Inc. Street View Electronic Communications Litigation, a consolidated action arising out of Google’s acknowledged interception of “payload data,” including emails, usernames, password, and other private data, from unencrypted home wireless networks using … Continue Reading
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