The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Russia's Successful Search for Deterrence on the Cheap

Episode 246 of the Cyberlaw Podcast


Brazen Russian intrusions into the US electricity grid lead our episode. I ask Matthew Heiman and Nick Weaver whether Russia intended for us to know about their intrusions (duh, yes!) and how we should respond to the implicit threat to leave Americans freezing in the dark. Their answers and mine show creativity if not exactly sobriety.

In what may be good news about emerging European sobriety, Google gets a favorable opinion from the advocate general to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the question of whether to extend Europe's "right to be forgotten" censorship regime to benighted Americans, and Turks, and Russians, and Chinese. Most of those countries would be glad to impose their censorship regime on Europeans, consideration of which may be enough to overcome the America Derangement Syndrome the ECJ has displayed in earlier tech privacy cases.

DHS was right, and EFF was wrong. That's the lesson Maury Shenk, Nick, and I derive from the latest drone crisis at Gatwick Airport. In response, the UK is seeking police powers that DHS recently obtained – over EFF's bitter opposition.

Matthew unpacks the Fourth Circuit ruling that a politician cannot block constituents on her official Facebook page because it has become a public forum.

Nick explains how the Hal Martin Saga keeps getting weirder – and we try on the full aluminum foil hat to explain how the whole thing could have been orchestrated by the GRU to turn Kaspersky Lab into a hero.

Ron Wyden and Motherboard combined to get mobile phone companies to stop selling location data to third parties. I wonder whether we'll regret the result. Nobody else does.

Happy New Year from Big Brother: Vietnam takes a leaf from the EU and Chinese playbooks, threatening Facebook with fines for allowing prohibited posts and failing to localize data.

For comic relief, we cover the cybersecurity misadventures of "El Chapo." Nick Weaver sums up the lesson: bespoke security is almost always bad security. Oh, and never use a phone provided by a paranoid boss.

We close with a quick review of how China has misused the Great Firewall to launch cyberattacks and what Silicon Valley (or the rest of us) can do in response.

Download the 246th Episode (mp3).

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