Erin Andrews’ Privacy Lawsuit and its Possible Effect on Hotel Policy

erinandrewsBy Joe Davison

On March 7th, 2016, a jury awarded $55 million to Erin Andrews, a famous sports reporter and cohost of the popular show Dancing With The Stars, in an invasion of privacy lawsuit. In 2008, Michael David Barrett, a convicted stalker, secretly videotaped Andrews through the peephole in her hotel room door at a Marriot hotel in Nashville. Barrett had conned a hotel employee into confirming Andrews’ hotel reservation and asked to reserve the adjoining room. After filming Andrews while she was undressing, Barrett posted the video online. Continue reading

Dangerous Fantasies and Everyday “Hacking”: The Second Circuit Decides on Criminal Liability for Employees’ Online Behaviors

handcuffs-computer-600x400.pngBy Julie Liu

It is generally understood that certain online behaviors can lead to trouble in the employer-employee context. Many of us are familiar with stories of people who were fired or denied jobs after posting incendiary selfies, offensive messages, or rants about work on social media. While risking one’s employment status is enough to worry about, being criminalized for online behaviors is an entirely different possibility. Up until last week, one case has led second circuit courts to wrestle with defining the criminal liability associated with two particular online behaviors: the violation of workplace policies on computer use, and “thoughtcrime,” specifically the online posting of fantastical statements. Continue reading

New StingRay Policies for both Washington State and the Department of Justice

news-police-stingrayBy Matthew McCoy

Both the State of Washington and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) have recently issued new policies regarding law enforcement’s use of cell site simulators. Colloquially known as StingRays, cell site simulators spoof cell towers and trick mobile devices in close proximity to the simulator into connecting with it and unveiling their unique location information. While it is possible to initiate more sophisticated attacks, such as deception and logging of message contents, the DOJ asserts in its new policy that its Stingrays are not configured with such capabilities in accordance with the pen register and trap and trace definitions in 18 U.S.C. §3127(3).

Previous use of StingRays, unveiled by research by privacy advocates, show that both federal, state, and local law enforcement entities have been previously approved under traditional pen register/trap and trace orders. While the DOJ argues that obtaining authorization pursuant to the Pen Register Statute is appropriate for these devices, critics say pen registers, which record the numbers dialed to and from a phone, are different than cell site simulator technology, which record a phone’s location and manipulate how a phone connects with its cellular network. Continue reading