OPINION: MICROSOFT WINS, GOOGLE LOSES, AND CONFUSION REIGNS ON LAWS SURROUNDING LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CLOUD COMPUTING

By: Alan Wehler, Senior Associate

Over the past year, U.S. courts have grappled with important legal questions surrounding how U.S. law enforcement gains access to data stored in the cloud. On February 3rd U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter issued a decision ordering Google to comply with two Federal search warrants compelling the company to turn over customer email data stored outside of the United States. This decision contradicts a July 2016 decision by the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals on a similar case involving Microsoft, a decision that court declined to re-hear only a week before Judge Rueter’s decision. Both cases concern Federal search warrants issued under the authorities of the Stored Communications Act (SCA), a 1986 law that dictates how the government is able to obtain access to “stored wire and electronic communications and transaction records.” As one might expect, the law hasn’t held up particularly well over the past thirty years of technological change. Congress didn’t anticipate the invention of cloud computing technologies and never envisioned the complicated, transnational data storage and transit systems technology companies have created to serve their customers.

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What We Are Seeing with Recent DDoS Attacks and Immediate Measures to Consider

By: Adam Isles, Principal and David London, Director

A major distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack occurred last Friday, October 21, disrupting Internet communications throughout parts of the United States in several waves.

When a DDoS attack occurs, it leverages a large volume of compromised, or poorly configured devices, to flood a victim with unsolicited Internet traffic. The attack overwhelms the targeted system and results in degraded or discontinued service availability.

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