February 02, 2018

MONTH-IN-BRIEF: Internet Law & Cyber-Security

Juliet Moringiello, Sara Beth A.R. Kohut


Victims Reimbursed for Fraudulent Technical Support Service Offerings

By Sherri Marie Carr, The S.M. Carr Law Firm, Ltd. Co.

The Federal Trade Commission's Operation Tech Trap initiative secured settlements with Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and multiple defendants, consisting of both individuals and businesses, based on allegations that the defendants fraudulently claimed to be Apple, Microsoft, and other companies, and then pretended that victims needed to purchase their technical support offerings through pop-ups and Internet advertisements.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania agreed with Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and the FTC that the victims should be reimbursed, in part, with money held by a court-ordered receiver, since defendants obtained it “through fraud and other improper means.” The terms of the settlement require defendants to pay over $550,000, forfeit over $1 million held by a court-ordered receiver, and to cease any attempts to market “technical support services.”

How Does the FTC Stay Current with Technology?

By Heidi Kuffel, Esq., Skarzynski Black LLC

Given that technology substantially impacts virtually all industries, the FTC must stay informed on technological advancements and their impacts. But how does the FTC stay current? According to a post by the FTC’s acting chief technologist, the FTC has numerous internal resources to support its consumer protection and competition efforts, including researchers and investigators in its dedicated Office of Technology Research, Tech Lab, and Bureau of Economics. The FTC also consults with outside experts and other government agencies on technological issues.

Digital Currency

The FTC—the Policing Agency over Internet Service Providers

By Sherri Marie Carr, The S.M. Carr Law Firm, Ltd. Co.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shared a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 11, 2017. The MOU outlined how both agencies would collaboratively address “online consumer protection efforts following the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.” That order-also known as the repeal of Net Neutrality—was voted in favor of by the FCC on December 14, 2017. The order designates the FTC as the appropriate policing agency over ISP conduct, which includes ensuring that providers abide by promises they give to consumers, and requires “broadband Internet access service providers” to disclose their commercial terms of service, performance, and network management practices.

Juliet Moringiello

Commonwealth Professor of Business Law, Widener University Commonwealth Law School

Juliet Moringiello is the Commonwealth Professor of Business Law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, PA, where she teaches Property, Bankruptcy, Secured Transactions, Sales, and a seminar on Cities in Crisis. She earned her B.S.F.S. at Georgetown University, her J.D. at Fordham University School of Law, and her LL.M in Legal Education at Temple University School of Law. Professor Moringiello is Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Business Law Section, a Uniform Law Commissioner for Pennsylvania, and a member of the American Law Institute. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers and has held several leadership positions in the American Bar Association Business Law Section.

Sara Beth A.R. Kohut

Co-Chair; Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Data Protection Group; Young Conaway

Sara Beth’s practice focuses on advising legal representatives for future claimants in connection with asbestos mass tort insolvency matters and settlement trusts. She has also represented national and local businesses in cases involving intellectual property, corporate and commercial issues in the federal and state courts in Delaware. Sara Beth has advised clients on strategies for protecting intellectual property rights and complying with obligations governing the privacy and security of sensitive data. She currently co-chairs Young Conaway’s Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Data Protection group.