Monday, August 21, 2017

Reads like the plot for a comedy.
Paul Sperry reports:
Federal authorities are investigating whether sensitive data was stolen from congressional offices by several Pakistani-American tech staffers and sold to Pakistani or Russian intelligence, knowledgeable sources say.
What started out 16 months ago as a scandal involving the alleged theft of computer equipment from Congress has turned into a national-security investigation involving FBI surveillance of the suspects.
Read more on NY Post.
[From the article: 
When the suspected IT workers couldn’t produce the missing invoiced equipment, sources say, they were removed from working on the computer network in early February.
During the probe, investigators found valuable government data that is believed to have been taken from the network and placed on offsite servers, setting off more alarms.  Some 80 offices were potentially compromised.
   For more than a decade, Awan, his wife, two relatives and a friend worked for 30 House Democrats.
   The Democrats who hired the five suspects apparently did a poor job vetting them.
   Most had relatively little IT experience.  Yet they hauled in a combined $4 million-plus over the past decade.  One, a former McDonald’s worker, was suddenly making as much as a chief of staff.
   Awan had access to Wasserman Schultz’s e-mails at both Congress and the DNC, where he had been given the password to her iPad.  After DNC e-mails and research files were stolen during the presidential election, Wasserman Schultz reportedly refused to turn over the server to the FBI and instead called in a private firm to investigate and ID the hackers.  The firm blamed the Russian government, while admitting, “We don’t have hard evidence.”  The corrupted DNC server, held in storage, still has not been examined by the FBI.

Dealing with hacking anywhere?   
Alex Berengaut of Covington & Burling analyzes some of the legal issues raised by the indictment of Marcus Hutchins (@malwaretechblog) for allegedly creating and conspiring to sell malware known as the Kronos banking trojan.  He writes, in part:
Since Hutchins’ indictment, commentators have questioned whether the creation and selling of malware—without actually using the malware—violates the two statutes under which Hutchins was charged: the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Wiretap Act.[1]  It is likely that these issues will be litigated as the case unfolds.
But there is another question raised by the indictment: whether it violates Hutchins’ constitutional rights to charge him for his alleged conduct under any statute in this country.  Several circuits—including the Seventh Circuit, where Hutchins’ case will be heard—have recognized that the federal government cannot charge anyone, anywhere in the world irrespective of their connections to the United States.[2]  As the Second Circuit has put it, “[i]n order to apply extraterritorially a federal criminal statute to a defendant consistently with due process, there must be a sufficient nexus between the defendant and the United States so that such application would not be arbitrary and fundamentally unfair.”[3]
Read more on Covington & Burling Inside Privacy.

Perspective.  Why AI is finding a home in businesses? 
CenturyLink Using AI to Boost Sales Efficiency
   Working with a company called Conversica Inc. and its AI agent named Angie, CenturyLink Inc. can much more quickly work through the thousands of sales leads generated each month through a variety of sources to focus on the ones that can most quickly and effectively become sales and generate revenue.  Conversica's software-as-a-service AI offering has been so successful that for every $1 CenturyLink spends on the service, it generates $20 in revenue, according to a video you can watch here.
   Angie also gets smarter, Gerber says.  "What we call AI is actually a bunch of AIs and some real intelligence too," he comments.  "There is an AI that can interpret what is the best message to send, another focused on how to generate the best response, an AI that actually reads it [and interprets it], another AI that measures intent, and another that says what is the right way to respond."  

How would Martha Steward get her insider stick tips today? 
Guide to Social Media and Securities Laws
by on
Jay Baris and Bradley Berman, MOFO Jumpstarter, August 14, 2017.
“The growing use of social media has created challenges for federal securities regulators, who must enforce antifraud rules that were written at a time when the prevailing technology was the newspaper.  This Guide summarizes how regulation has evolved in the face of the growing use of social media.  Our guide discusses the principal areas of focus for SEC-reporting companies, registered investment advisers, registered investment companies, and registered broker-dealers that use social media.  Read our Guide to Social Media and the Securities Laws.”

Something to inspire my students.
40 Under 40

(Related).  Even better?
35 Innovators Under 35

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