On November 20, 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Davis held that a defendant in a criminal case cannot be compelled to disclose a password protecting an encrypted computer under the so-called foregone conclusion exception to the doctrine of self-incrimination in the Fifth…
Knick v. Scott Township Re-opens Federal Courts to Property Owners
In June 2019, the US Supreme Court held in Knick v. Township of Scott, 588 US ____(2019), that property owners alleging 5th Amendment “Takings” by state and local governments can once again directly pursue claims against a state entity, such as municipality, in federal court.
Government May Compel Disclosure of Encryption Passwords in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued another troubling, computer-related opinion in late November 2017. Commonwealth v. Davis holds that the Pennsylvania government can compel an individual to disclose a computer password for an encrypted computer. Commonwealth v. Davis, 2017 PA Super 376 (Nov. 30,…
What is Zoning in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code (often referred to as “the MPC”) defines the legal requirements of zoning. While addressing the legal requirements, the MPC does not do a great job of explaining what zoning is. In simplest terms, zoning helps protect your property value…
Attorney Shannon Brown Presents at ShmooCon 2014
Attorney Shannon Brown presented Technology Law Issues for Security Professionals at ShmooCon 2014. The presentation provided
an overview of “what is the law?” from a legal perspective and
the basics of legal interpretation.
Emphasis was placed on understanding what the “the law” really means in a legal sense.
Attorney Brown Presenting at ShmooCon 2014
Attorney Shannon Brown will present Technology Law Issues for Security Professionals at ShmooCon 2014. The talk will generally discuss emerging and current legal issues for security researchers including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), Stored Communications Act (SCA), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and state Computer Crimes Code. attend the talk at 10:00AM on Saturday, January 18, 2014.
Federal Appellate Court Affirms Warrant Required for GPS Tracking
UPDATE: Government attorneys continue to press for warrantless searches in GPS cases and significant, and unconstitutional, expansion of the so-called Good Faith Doctrine. On December 12, 2013, a majority of the Third Circuit agreed to re-hear the matter en banc and vacated the earlier, October 22, 2013, opinion. The information below still deals with the vacated opinion.
Warrant Necessary to Obtain Cell Phone Tracking Data
The New Jersey Supreme Court held that government agents must obtain a warrant, supported by probable cause and issued by a neutral judicial authority, before obtaining cell phone tracking data (unless exceptional, exigent circumstances apply). State vs. Earls, A-53-11 (N.J. Sup. Ct., Jul. 18, 2013)(slip opinion).
Send in the Drones—Flying in the Face of Danger?
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS—the current, official FAA designation), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones. All describe remote-controlled aerial vehicles of various configurations and various sizes. Current FAA regulations and FAA guidance prohibit the commercial use of UASs without a FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate–Experimental Category (SAC-EC). Considerable controversy surrounds the use of drones and privacy, financial liability, regulatory authority, and Constitutional issues remain.
Pennsylvania Case Addresses Authenticating Text Messages
On 16 September 2011, the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Comm. v. Koch, 2011 PA Super 201 (Sept. 16, 2011) (slip-opinion) re-emphasized
“authentication of electronic communications, like documents, requires more than mere confirmation that the number or address belonged to a particular person. Circumstantial evidence, which tends to corroborate the identity of the sender, is required.”
Greenhouse Gas Regulation (CO2), Local Land Use Authority, and 42 USC 7431
Synopsis Student Note exploring a potential limitation (42 USC 7431) on the preemption of local land use regulations by federal greenhouse gas regulations (CO2). The Note argues that federal law might not preempt, per se, regulations by local authorities related to global warming because 1) land use…