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Navigating the Cloud's Data Security and Legal Hazards

The Legal Intelligencer recently published my article, “Cloud Control: Data Security Hazards and How to Avoid Them,” in their 2017 Cybersecurity Supplement. The article looks at what businesses need to be thinking about in terms of cybersecurity and compliance issues associated with cloud computing - a model that has largely been embraced by the business world as the rule rather than the exception.

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Liability for What Goes on Behind Closed Doors: Sex Trafficking and the Hospitality Industry's Privacy Tightrope

Earlier this month, the Philadelphia hotel, Roosevelt Inn, its corporate parents, its New York management company, and an individual owner/manager of the hotel, were sued for allegedly allowing trafficking of sex involving a minor to take place on the hotel's premises. The case - the first of its kind invoking Pennsylvania's recently-amended human trafficking law - raises an abundance of difficult legal and ethical questions regarding hotels' legal responsibilities for and obligations concerning their guests' conduct, and how to meet those responsibilities while also respecting guests' privacy.

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Employment Taxes: A Look at Changing Enforcement Patterns

Roughly seventy percent of the federal government's revenues come from employment taxes, including FICA and income taxes withheld from employees' wages. Consequently, threats to that source are taken quite seriously. All employers need to be aware of the significant changes in employment tax enforcement that have increased the risks faced by the non-compliant.

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New York Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations: A Predictor of Things to Come for the Finance and Insurance Industries

The proposed regulations would be the most prescriptive data security requirements yet to be imposed. They would require all covered financial institutions and insurers to establish and maintain cybersecurity programs and policies addressing a list of minimum requirements, "to the extent applicable to the Covered Entity's operations."

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Government Contests Assertion of Attorney-Client Privilege in Assessing Cooperation

However else one characterizes 2016, it was a very good year for the government's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) profit center. Twenty-seven companies paid about $2.48 billion to resolve FCPA cases, a record. Although the incoming Administration may shift priorities, there exists considerable institutional momentum behind continued FCPA enforcement. In that light, it's worth taking a look back at one of the last FCPA cases of 2016.

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Talk Is Cheap: The Misuse of 'Speaking' Indictments

I recently discussed the government's use of 'speaking' indictments and practical defense responses to them in ALM's November 2016 Business Crimes Bulletin. In white collar fraud, public corruption and other high-profile cases, DOJ prosecutors often go well beyond the Fed.R.Crim.P. 7(c)(1) notice requirement of a "plain, concise, and definite written statement of the essential facts" and draft thick indictments advocating the government's narrative...

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False Claims Act Update: The First Wave of Materiality Decisions Post-Escobar

In our earlier post, we discussed the U.S. Supreme Court's implied false certification decision of Universal Health Services Inc. v. Escobar, in which the Court rejected a bright-line rule on the False Claims Act's (FCA) materiality standard and adopted a fact-specific standard that is being litigated on a case-by-case basis. We've now seen about a dozen FCA decisions on motions to dismiss or for summary judgment informed by the Court's opinion in Escobar.

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Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Law, Health Care Providers, and Enforcement

With other members of our Firm's Regulated Cannabis Group, I recently co-authored an article for the Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals, and Health Care Supplement of The Legal Intelligencer. We examined Pennsylvania's April 2016 medical marijuana law from four essential legal standpoints - professional liability, health care law, employment law, and enforcement - and the related implications for health care providers in the state.

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FCC Commissioner Seeks Investigation of Wi-Fi Hotspot Limitations at Presidential Debate

At Monday's presidential debate, host Hofstra University ruffled feathers by reportedly moving to prevent journalists, attempting to file stories from the scene, from relying on their own wireless hotspots to get online. The move was seen by some as an effort to force reporters to use the venue's wireless service, said to cost $200, and caught the attention of the FCC. If correct, these factors may distinguish the Hofstra scenario from prior FCC enforcement actions, sufficiently to avoid an enforcement proceeding.

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The Lambis Case and the Future of 'Stingray' Evidence

I recently examined for Law360 a federal court decision in U.S. v. Lambis that marked the first time a federal judge has suppressed evidence secured from a cell-site simulator, or "Stingray" device. These devices mimic cell towers for surveillance purposes and can locate a cell phone. The case and decision are part of the larger story of mounting attempts to constrain law enforcement's use of Stingrays and similar devices, the use of which remained largely unknown by the public as recently as 2011.

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