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Where does the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) turn when it needs business enterprise data stored on the cloud for a criminal investigation? According to a recent DOJ memo, the default rule is now turn to the business enterprise first and the cloud only if necessary: “prosecutors should seek data directly from the enterprise, if practical, and if doing so will not compromise the investigation.” The DOJ addressed the issues that arise when enterprises (“companies,…
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Connecticut has announced the creation of a Connecticut Cyber Task Force (“CCTF”) in partnership with the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Homeland Security, IRS, Connecticut State Police, and 11 local police departments from throughout Connecticut as well as other federal authorities. The CCTF’s initial focus will be twofold: (1) to “target criminal activity on the dark web, notably the illicit acquisition and distribution of fentanyl and other dangerous…
This morning, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an initiative aimed at “examining and strengthening forensic science.” Presumably, the initiative will impact how the DOJ approaches digital forensic evidence in criminal prosecutions. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein made the announcement at the International Association for Identification’s (IAI) conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The IAI has a standing committee devoted to digital evidence. The DOJ noted in its announcement that it is “fully committed to…
The warrant that led to the arrest of a husband for the alleged murder of his wife weaves a web of electronic evidence. Based in large part on Fitbit fitness tracker data, Connecticut authorities have charged Richard Dabate with the murder of his wife, Connie. He also faces charges of tampering with evidence and making false statements. The warrant is a fascinating read. The prosecution claims that Mr. Dabate’s interview with police following his wife’s…
Earlier this month, Axon, the company formerly known as Taser, announced that it will offer a one year free trial of its body cameras and cloud storage to every police department in the United States. While controversy about the use of body cameras is making the news now, controversy about cloud storage for the data captured by those cameras will impact police and prosecutions for years to come. One third of U.S. law enforcement agencies…
It has been almost a year since the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) took effect. Since Forbes Magazine called the DTSA the “Biggest IP Development in Years,” we thought it might be helpful to take a look at how often litigants have chosen to use the DTSA in federal cases this past year. Let’s turn to the numbers. Looking at dockets for the First and Second Circuits, since May 2016, we located only…
The Connecticut State Police have taken the lead in training police dogs skilled in the art of detecting hidden data. As more and more crimes involve electronic evidence, criminal enforcement agencies throughout the country are recognizing the need to find that evidence quickly. Data detecting dogs help do this by sniffing out chemicals associated with DVD’s, USB drives, hard drives, SD cards, and micro SD cards. The Connecticut State Police started the program in 2012,…
New additions to the FBI’s Cyber’s Most Wanted List show “the line between ordinary criminal hackers and potential national security threats is increasingly blurry,” according to Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin. The FBI is offering a $100,000 award for information leading to the arrest of two Syrian nationals, suspected of committing dozens of cyber-attacks, including extortion, against U.S. government agencies and private companies. Firas Dardar and Ahmad Agha are suspected of being…
We’ve all heard of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, but fewer people know that the FBI has a special most wanted list just for computer criminals.  The FBI’s “Cyber’s Most Wanted” list features the FBI’s most wanted computer criminals on the run today. The current list consists of 20 men, all charged with some type of federal cyber-related crime.  Each entry reads like a computer crime spy novel.  The charges include computer hacking, trade secrets…
Last week, a federal judge sentenced Yijia Zhang, a computer systems manager, to 31 months in federal prison for transferring thousands of his employer’s electronic files to European storage sites.  The case highlights the potential power of an overlooked clause of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. The prosecution was under the “Unauthorized Damage to a Protected Computer” clause of the CFAA, which creates criminal liability for “[w]hoever. . .…