November 30, 2013

Our Mini-Theme: Cyber-Crime, -Cars, and -Coins: Hot Topics in Cyberlaw

Jonathan T. Rubens

The Cyberspace Law Committee (CLC) is getting ready yet again for its annual Cyberspace Law Institute and Winter Working Meeting. This year, we will meet January 30–February 1, 2014, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver, Colorado, where we will have an opportunity to meet with some of the many cyberlawyers and technology professionals in the Denver–Boulder area. This vibrant technology community, once noted for its roots in the data storage and telecommunications industry, now encompassing innovators, entrepreneurs, and lawyers involved in many areas, is one of the regions where lawyers and business leaders are confronting rapidly evolving cyberlaw issues every day. With this mini-theme, we offer a series of articles on a variety of rapidly-evolving cyberlaw topics, which we will explore further at the January conference as part of our cyberlaw agenda. The range and depth of CLC’s membership is reflected in the topics covered in this mini-theme, which was curated by Professor Sarah Jane Hughes.

First, Mark Mermelstein and Mona Amer continue the Committee’s examination of criminal prosecutions of cyber-wrongs, in “From Victim to Victor: Corporate Crime in the Internet Era.”

Continuing a look at new forms of cyber-attack, Cheryl and Richard Balough focus on new venues where our cyber-assets may be vulnerable, and the ways the law addresses the various liability that may arise, in “Cyberterrorism on Wheels: Are Today’s Cars Vulnerable to Attack?”

Next, Steve Middlebrook focuses on cybersecurity, government monitoring of payments devices, and how the Department of Homeland Security exercises its authority over cross-border funds movements at our borders. His piece is titled “What’s in Your Wallet? Could it be the Department of Homeland Security?”

Turning to data issues stemming from consumer financial transactions, and how third parties use that data, Veronica McGregor’s piece addresses “Big Data and Consumer Financial Information.”

Next, looking at how the world of finance is not only spreading online but is rapidly spreading into new kinds of currency, Denis Rice provides a summary and analysis of the rapidly growing reach of the most talked-about of the new virtual currencies, bitcoins, in “The Past and Future of Bitcoins in Worldwide Commerce.”

Ted Claypoole tackles a a growing category of cyber-business, those technologies that use human brain power to run devices, and considers the potential privacy and other legal regulatory implications they present. His contribution is titled “Regulating the Brainspray Revolution.”

Our series of cyberlaw topics concludes with a useful survey of some of the still-unresolved copyright law issues raised by the growth in digital transmission of music and video. In “Revisiting the Public Performance Right in the Battle over Broadcast,” Professor Jon Garon melds his considerable knowledge of copyright law with his past experience as a professional musician.

Join us in Denver in early 2014 for a high-powered, two-day conference that will delve deeper into a host of cyberlaw topics. Attendees will also be able to hear presentations on cybersecurity and the cloud, issues raised by the proliferation of conflicts between efforts to redress defamatory speech online and the need to preserve civil liberties on the Internet, further looks at the widespread growth of virtual currency, more issues in online payments, a further look at privacy issues in the new big data businesses and in the deployment of geo-location technologies, and the most significant cyberlaw cases of 2013. We will also roll up our sleeves and jump into interactive roundtables on a variety of cyberlaw topics, and will devote the second part of the conference to break-out sessions on many of the writing and presentation projects of the Committee's subcommittees and task forces. All these are open sessions and provide a terrific opportunity to those new to the Committee, the Section, or the ABA to get involved in some of the most significant and most current topics of the day involving the applicability of the rule of law to the ever-changing world of business and technology.

Additional Resources

For other materials on this topic, please refer to the following.

Business Law Today 

Developments in Cyberspace Law (Mini-theme)
November 2012 

Topics in Cyberspace Law (Mini-theme)
December 2011

Jonathan T. Rubens