By Wiley Cason
In response to the repeal of Federal Net Neutrality rules, Washington State’s governor and attorney general have both argued that state-level regulations may still prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating amongst data offered on their networks.
By Alex Bullock
Next month, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will hold their annual shareholders’ meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders’ meeting is a spectacle unlike any other, bringing investors from around the country (if not the world) to middle America for a weekend of free swag and corporate governance. Along with a 5k run, a movie screening, and endless corporate partner booths, the shareholders will take formal corporate action to vote to elect directors, to give an advisory vote on executive compensation plans, and to act on shareholder proposals, among other things. Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders’ meeting is a significant event; indeed, I myself have thought about buying stock in the company just to see what their shareholder meeting is like in person. Continue reading
By Jeff Bess
Legalization of recreational cannabis in four states and Washington, D.C.—and potentially another twelve states by the end of 2016—has brought a host of challenges and opportunities for those looking to capitalize on this newly legitimized industry. From a business perspective, the opportunities are clear: legal sales in Washington state alone netted the state $70 million in tax revenue and several times that amount in gross sales during the first year. What is often less easily appreciated, however, is the challenge cannabis retailers face in complying with complicated, sometimes onerous, state regulations. For example, Washington has instituted “seed to sale” tracking of all cannabis plants, which requires retailers to manage inventory and record sales of otherwise-identical products by plant number. Retailers must then submit all of this information to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. Added to the obvious logistical challenge of tracking hundreds of thousands of individual plants are the severe consequences of non-compliance, which can result in revocation of a retailer’s license and forced closure.
So, what can the conscientious, law-abiding cannabis retailer do to ensure compliance–without resorting to tedious and error-prone manual recordation? Continue reading
By 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
By Cheryl Lee
Marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, Oregon, and Washington, while medical marijuana has been legalized in 23 states and the District of Columbia. About a dozen more states are expected to legalize marijuana in some form in the coming years. Industry experts expect annual marijuana sales revenues in Washington and Colorado to hit $2.5 billion by 2015. To help capture this revenue opportunity, many marijuana business owners are exploring Internet advertising. Indeed, the home delivery of marijuana is currently advertised on the Internet through various websites.
But marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and current federal laws make it illegal to advertise the sale of illegal drugs. Violations of those laws can be expensive. In 2011, Google agreed to pay a $500 million settlement to avoid federal prosecution for accepting illegal advertisements from Canadian online pharmacies. Due to these legal restrictions, online giants like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Twitter have internal policy strictly banning marijuana ads. Continue reading