With a virtual stroke of the pen on 1st February, 2018 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit brought a new reality to the world of Internet Service Providers. In the watershed 37-page decision in BMG Rights Management v. Cox Communications case, the court held that providers of internet access can indeed be held “contributorily liable” for infringement of copyrights by their service subscribers. And with Cox facing a judgment of $25 million, the obligations were indeed real and the consequence of ignoring them was severe.
On December 20, 2016, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Encryption Working Group released its Year-End Report. Although, the topic invites politics and rhetoric by its nature, and its conclusions of more “exploration” are certainly appropriate, the report also falls short in several areas.
Wireless infrastructure networks are constantly evolving. Often mobile service providers must maintain multiple generations in order to support new and legacy services. Unfortunately we don’t see this getting any easier anytime soon with the emergence of VoLTE and 5G on the horizon.
It seems a fortuitous coincidence with the publication now occurring of the eWarrant Technical Standard ETSI TS103120, that a kind of legal landmark is occurring on December 1st in the U.S.
Almost every day, the press carries some latest assertion by Apple or assorted self-proclaimed encryption experts that smartphone devices must be unalterably encrypted. A virtual army of bloggers and lobbying groups have joined the fray to ramp up anti-government paranoia and convince users and the public that highly encrypted smartphones are good for the world. Never mind that the capability primarily benefits terrorists and criminals.
Earlier this week on 9 November at a public location outside Washington DC, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security sponsored Initial Public Meeting was held for establishing Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) Standards. After some initial speeches by DHS officials, the contractor host of the meeting described the efforts and sought to gather information and ideas from the approximately 50+ attendees.
The highlight of the meeting was the approval and publication of TS 103 120: Handover Interface 1: Interface for Warrant Information. This specification defines how law enforcement and other agencies can electronically submit Warrant and Tasking information to Communication Service Providers (CSP). The focus is primarily on LI but leaves room for future extensions to support lawful orders for Retained Data (RD) requests.