September 08, 2020

Subcommittee News

Cloud & Enterprise Technology

The Cloud & Enterprise Technology Subcommittee will launch the new bar year with a new plan to engage Committee members remotely and more regularly over the course of the year. We want your time spent on Subcommittee activities to be relevant to what you are doing now. Toward that end, the Subcommittee will offer a series of regularly scheduled meetings, each focused on a cloud computing or enterprise technology topic.

Please let Candace Jones know if you are interested in one of the following Subcommittee roles or have a colleague you would like to recommend. Some roles can be filled on a rotation basis.

  • Planning group – solicit topics, plan call agenda, identify call leaders
  • Coordinator – maintain calendar, coordinate logistics with call leaders, interface with ABA on communications infrastructure
  • Reporters – capture call content, report/summarize for the Subcommittee, identify follow-up topics for future calls, articles, or programs

You are also welcome to propose discussion topics and to volunteer as a discussion leader. I will have more details at the Subcommittee meeting on September 22 at 10:00 a.m. CT.

Cyber Insurance Subcommittee

The Cyber Insurance Subcommittee is looking to develop articles and white papers to assist business attorneys and their clients in understanding cyber insurance and its role in enhancing cybersecurity in a remote office environment. Among the topics the sub-committee is currently considering are: (1) how to understand and assess the key features, definitions and exclusions in a cyber insurance policy; (2) a checklist of key cyber insurance policy terms and features; (3) issues that businesses should address when purchasing cyber insurance; and (4) addressing through cyber security and insurance the cyber threats facing attorneys and clients working in a remote environment.

Electronic Payments and Financial Services Subcommittee

The Electronic Payments and Financial Services Subcommittee’s meeting for the virtual annual meeting will focus on Economic Impact Payments: How Treasury Made 160 Million Payments in Two Months. Officials from the Treasury Department who implemented the Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) will discuss how the department distributed $270 billion in stimulus payments earlier this year, how special provisions in the CARES Act made it possible for Treasury to disburse these funds so quickly, and other legal issues associated with the EIPs. Joining us from the Treasury Department will be Ronda Kent, Chief Disbursing Officer and Assistant Commissioner for Payment Management; Natalie Diane, Senior Counsel; and Ellen Neubauer, Senior Counsel.

Internet Governance Task Force

The Internet Governance Task Force (IGTF, co-chaired by Prof. Mike Kelly and David Satola) hosted a CLE Program entitled, “Who Governs the Internet, and Why Should Business Lawyers Care?” on August 20, 2020 as part of the Business Law Basics series. The purpose of the session was to provide background to Business lawyers of some of the key technical issues involved in Internet Governance, and what is at stake in terms of the ongoing stability and security of the Internet arising from recent challenges by Russia and others at the UN to the current multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance.

Mike Kelly moderated the session which featured Samaneh Tajalizadehkhoob of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Mirja Kuehlewind of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Ms. Tajalizadehkhoob, Lead Security, Stability, & Resiliency Specialist at ICANN, provided an overview of ICANN’s role with respect to the Domain Name System (DNS), the root server system, IP addresses and its policy-setting role. Ms Kuehlwind, Chair of the Internet Architecture Board at IETF, provided an overview of IETFs organization and functions with respect to maintaining the standards that underly the Internet Protocols (IP) software that enables the Internet, and IETF’s modus operandi of “rough consensus and running code” approach. David Satola provided an historical overview of Internet Governance. A recording of the session is available here. The IGTF intends to hold a follow-up session dedicated to unpacking the attempts to introduce State-run control of the Internet by Russia and others.

Technology Transfer and Product Development Subcommittee

This week marks the launch of a new health and fitness wearable from one of the tech giants. This benign little gadget with an innocent name will allow you to track exercise and sleep, but better yet, it can track your emotional changes by listening to your tone of voice. And for those who aren’t too self-conscious, it can present your 3D body image with a body fat percentage. Companies are already clambering to collect this information to combine it with your health record. Not to worry, your data is protected by the manufacturer’s Terms of Use, which can change at any time. What could possibly go wrong? And while we’re on fitness wearables, researchers recently demonstrated that mildly tech-savvy users could use aggregated data made available by another fitness wearable provider to identify the location of secret military installations.

This seems like the perfect time for the great minds on the Cyberspace Law Committee to focus on the cutting-edge legal issues involved in technology transfer and product development. The rapid pivot in our society to remote work and online collaboration has escalated the development and use of technology tools such as video conferencing, connected wearables and telemedicine. We see new products appearing and regulatory agencies struggling to catch up. I would like to collaborate with others in the Cyberspace Law Committee concerning the identification and analysis of legal issues pertaining to the development and use of new technology products. These can span the range from data privacy and security to intellectual property protection, licensing, access to people with disabilities, cross-border technology transfer and many more. Please let Bill Denny know if this interests you and perhaps we can meet at the annual meeting to discuss where this should go.