Steptoe & Johnson LLP

  In the News Roundup, Nick Weaver and I offer very different assessments of Australia’s controversial encryption bill. Nick’s side of the argument is bolstered by Denise Howell, the original legal podcaster, with 445 weekly episodes of This Week in Law to her credit. Later in the program, I interview Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), who’s a force for cybersecurity both on the Homeland Security Committee and on the Armed Services subcommittee that…
Sanctions compliance considerations have always been important for cryptocurrency companies, but several recent US government actions suggest regulators are increasingly focused on the intersection between digital currencies and economic sanctions.  This increased focus highlights the importance of sanctions compliance for blockchain-related companies, particularly for those considered to be US persons. This intensified focus has been building for a number of months.  For example, in March of 2018, President Trump issued an Executive Order imposing certain…
The Legally Enforceable Obligation (LEO) concept is a construct of FERC that is used in one of FERC’s avoided cost pricing regulations, i.e., 18 CFR § 292.304(d)(2)(ii).  The date a LEO is formed is the date a QF is entitled to have its avoided cost rate determined, if it so elects.  Through the decades, state utility commissions have adopted a quite broad array of standards for when a QF has established a LEO with…
Sanctions compliance considerations have always been an important factor for cryptocurrency companies, but a number of recent US government actions suggest regulators are increasingly focused on the intersection between digital currencies and economic sanctions.   This intensified focus highlights the importance of sanctions compliance for blockchain-related companies, particularly for those considered US persons. This increased focus has been building for a number of months.  For example, in March of 2018, President Trump issued an Executive Order
On November 20, 2018, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a political agreement on the proposed EU framework for the screening of foreign direct investments (FDIs). The proposal, which was put forward by the Commission in September 2017, aims to protect key strategic industries and assets in Europe while maintaining the EU’s appeal to foreign investors. While other countries such as Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan and the US, as well as…
  This episode features an interview with Michael Tiffany, the co-founder and president of White Ops and a deep student of how to curtail adtech fraud. Michael explains the adtech business, how fraudsters take advantage of its structure, and what a coalition of law enforcement and tech companies did to wreck one of the most successful fraud networks, known as 3ve. You can read more about the take down in the joint White…
In an opinion Friday, Judge Ramos, concurring with other federal courts in Pennsylvania, California and Illinois, found that an Executive Order in July 2017 aimed at so-called “sanctuary cities” was unlawful.  The Executive Order conditioned certain federal funds for state and local government law enforcement-related programs (such as drug treatment or witness programs) on those governments cooperating in various specific ways with federal enforcement of immigration laws. Judge Ramos concluded (among other things) that the…
Today is the day: on Monday, December 3, the Geoblocking Regulation (the Regulation) starts applying to online businesses operating across several EU Member States. For those who feel like they need a refresher, below we provide an overview of what is in the Regulation – as well as what is not. The Regulation in a Nutshell The Regulation lays down rules relating to access to online interfaces, access to goods and services and non-discrimination for…
On 20 November 2018, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a political agreement on the proposed EU framework for screening of foreign direct investments (FDIs). The proposal, put forward by the Commission in September 2017, aims at protecting key strategic industries and assets in Europe whilst maintaining the EU’s appeal to foreign investors. While other countries such as Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan and the US, as well as 12 of…
  I propose this episode’s title as Baker’s Law of Evil Technology, something that explains Twitter’s dysfunctional woke-ness, Yahoo’s crappy security, and Uber’s deadly autonomous vehicles. Companies with lots of revenue can afford to offer a lot of stuff they don’t much care about, including protection of minority voices, security, and, um, not killing people. But as Uber’s travails show, all that can get tossed out the window when corporate survival is at stake.…