Executive Briefing March 9, 2018


Supreme court coverage continues with analysis about the Microsoft vs. DOJ case.  An update on the CLOUD Act and how to move the bill in Congress is also included.

Bloomberg Rep. Collins Tries to Add Data Access Bill to Spending Measure

Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins is trying to attach a measure that would create a mechanism for U.S. law enforcement to access to data stored in other countries to an omnibus spending bill. Collins told Bloomberg Environment March 7 that he is trying to attach his entire bill ( H.R. 4943) to a prospective fiscal year 2018 omnibus “as is.”


  • “Whether SCOTUS will rule on this matter or punt the issue to Congress to amend the SCA has yet to be seen, but this case is definitely cause for concern. Oddly, the entire case may be rendered moot if Congress passes The Cloud Act… With this Congress, I remain skeptical of passage in its current form, but it’s a start and, well, hope springs eternal.”

– Tom Kulik, partner, Scheef & Stone LLP

  • “These technological quagmires show how government is decades behind modernity, but there are signs that this trend is reversing. Recently, a bipartisan coalition of Senators introduced the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, which would create a framework for law enforcement to partner with our allies in cross-border investigations. This bill has already won the support of the public and private sector, with endorsements coming from the White House, 10 Downing, and Silicon Valley.”

 – Alex Keeney, freelance writer

  • “[Congressional leaders are close to] allowing the court to determine legislative intent on extra-territorial push. If we allow that to happen, then we could lose from a privacy and private standpoint. We could lose some of those protections, which the bill actually has in it. We need to get this settled and law enforcement is in complete support of what we’re trying to do.”

– Rep. Doug Collins


LA Times This bill would make it easier for businesses to keep data breaches under wraps

This week, a congressional hearing was held on a draft bill aimed at creating a national standard for breach notifications. It’s a dubious piece of legislation for a number of reasons, not least that it would exclude Equifax and other credit agencies from its requirements. No less troubling, it would exempt all banks and financial institutions, and would require notification by retailers and other businesses only if they believe there’s “a reasonable risk that the breach of data security has resulted in identity theft, fraud or economic loss” to consumers.

The Hill Senators Make New Push to Improve Election Cybersecurity

The coming week could bring movement on legislation aimed at securing U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that she and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) are planning to introduce an amendment to a bill reauthorizing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would help states modernize their election systems.


Tech Crunch Facebook had ‘a negative role’ in politics says co-founder Chris Hughes

“Facebook has played at times a negative role in the political discourse,” according to Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard roommate Chris Hughes. “The algorithms are not neutral,” he said today at a Bloomberg Beta event promoting his new book Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn. Mentioning “the filter bubbles” and “the Russia stuff,” Hughes says, “The first step is recognizing the responsibility that the platform has.”

Bloomberg South by Southwest Festival Goes From Tech Back-Slapping to Brooding Introspection

The South by Southwest festival is normally a celebration of technology and a frenzied search for the hottest new startup. This year’s event will be dominated by somber assessments of the industry’s impact on society… While discussions about tech ethics are a perennial favorite, the topic has taken on fresh urgency and is the focus of more than a dozen panels. Revelations around the use of Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and YouTube to spread misinformation, influence the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and recruit terrorists have prompted closer scrutiny of social networks and their responsibility to police content on their sites.

NYT New Foils for the Right: Google and Facebook

Conservatives are zeroing in on a new enemy in the political culture wars: Big Tech.

Arguing that Silicon Valley is stifling their speech and suppressing right-wing content, publishers and provocateurs on the right are eyeing a public-relations battle against online giants like Google and Facebook, the same platforms they once relied on to build a national movement.

In a sign of escalation, Peter Schweizer, a right-wing journalist known for his investigations into Hillary Clinton, plans to release a new film focusing on technology companies and their role in filtering the news.

Tech Crunch European Union plans to tax tech giants on local revenue

After months of speculation, France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire announced in an interview with the JDD that Europe’s new tax model for tech giants is happening. The plan will be unveiled in the next few weeks. Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook have all faced different issues when it comes to tax optimizations. They’ve been routing their revenue through Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and other countries with a low corporate tax. Sometimes the money ends up in Bermuda or the tiny island of Jersey.


BSA | The Software Alliance

  • Press release on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: BSA applauded “the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Chile today by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The agreement’s e-commerce chapter creates the first binding multilateral rules in a trade agreement on cross-border data flows, restrictions on data localization, and protecting source code disclosure, among others.” (BSA PRESS RELEASE – BSA Praises Digital Trade Chapter in Newly Signed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, March 8, 2018)
  • Report on cloud computing: BSA released a new report which is “the newest version of the only global report to rank countries’ preparedness for the adoption and growth of cloud computing services.” Moreover, “By examining the legal and regulatory framework of 24 countries, the Scorecard aims to provide a platform for discussion between policymakers and cloud service providers.” (BSA REPORT – 2018 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, March 6, 2018) (Additional: Press Release)

The Heritage Foundation

  • Blog post on NAFTA: Visiting fellow David R. Shedd noted, “Withdrawing from NAFTA not only would result in an increased body count, it would shut down the administration’s broader hemispheric agenda. Specifically, there would be no fewer than five negative outcomes if NAFTA is terminated by the Trump administration.” Moreover, he added that “A full-court press is needed to place our collective efforts behind an enhanced NAFTA agreement. A withdrawal from the treaty will place the U.S. at a significant disadvantage throughout the region in all efforts to build cooperation.” (INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY – Renegotiating NAFTA Trade Deal: A U.S. National Security Necessity, By David R. Shedd, March 5, 2018)

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

  • Statement on RAY BAUM’s Act: Vice president of government affairs Andy Halataei applauded the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 4986 or the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act of 2018 (RAY BAUM’S Act) stating that, “As companies around the globe race to develop and deploy fifth generation wireless connectivity, it is vital that additional licensed and unlicensed spectrum is available to meet these demands.” He added, “Spectrum is the lifeblood of modern infrastructure and without it, we will not fully realize the vast benefits of emerging technologies.” (ITI STATEMNT – Tech Industry Supports RAY BAUM’s Act, March 6, 2018)

The Internet Association

  • Statement on RAY BAUM’s Act: “The internet industry supports the FCC reauthorization bill, appropriately renamed RAY BAUM’S Act in honor of the late committee staff director and spectrum champion Ray Baum. The reauthorization enables a properly functioning agency and includes spectrum provisions that allow for greater deployment of broadband,” CEO and President Michael Beckerman stated. “The internet sector believes in maximizing internet access through any means, including wireline and wireless connections as well as licensed and unlicensed spectrum.” (INTERNET ASSOCIATION STATEMENT – Statement on RAY BAUM’s Act of 2018, March 6, 2018)


  • “Now is the time [to act before a] terrorist attack or other emergency threat pushes Congress to enact an ill-conceived encryption backdoor mandate that is not justified either by actual law enforcement needs or by technological study.”

– Charles Duan, Arthur Rizer, Zach Graves, and Mike Godwin, The R Street Institute

  • “It’s no longer a question of whether our economy will be hurt by the warrantless surveillance act — it already has — but how much damage it will do. The issue here is not that the United States is implementing laws to help protect its citizens — it’s that the continued secrecy surrounding its tactics, and the concerns of an abuse of power, leads to distrust among our foreign partners. When there’s distrust, there’s usually a fallout. And when that occurs, the ones who suffer most are, ironically, the very citizens this law purports to protect.”

 – David Gorodyansky, CEO and co-founder, AnchorFree

  • “I think that nobody — nobody in law enforcement — should be looking at American’s information without first getting a warrant. That’s what I fought for, and we’re very close to winning that battle, and getting the bill and getting reform for FISA, but we didn’t quite get there.”

– Sen. Rand Paul