Archive for the ‘The legal/governance side’ Category

A new goldmine: making official data public could spur lots of innovation


Government data


18 May 2013 – After a Soviet missile shot down a South Korean airliner that strayed into Russian airspace in 1983, President Ronald Reagan made America’s military satellite-navigation system, GPS, available to the world. Entrepreneurs pounced. Car-navigation, precision farming and 3m American jobs now depend on GPS. Official weather data are also public and avidly used by everyone from insurers to ice-cream sellers.

But this is not enough. On May 9th Barack Obama ordered that all data created or collected by America’s federal government must be made available free to the public, unless this would violate privacy, confidentiality or security. “Open and machine-readable”, the president said, is “the new default for government information.”

This is a big bang for big data, and will spur a frenzy of activity. Pollution numbers will affect property prices. Restaurant reviews will mention official sanitation ratings. Data from tollbooths could be used to determine prices for nearby billboards. Combining data from multiple sources will yield fresh insights. For example, correlating school data with transport information and tax returns may show that academic performance

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In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings a new hero emerges: technology

Got him

By:  Gregory P. Bufithis, Founder & CEO

22 April 2013 – In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings we saw a new hero emerge: technology. The fast responses of medical professionals already onsite likely saved numerous lives. Furthermore, those runners that finished the race and then continued on to donate blood at the local hospital should be praised as well. The human element, no doubt, played a vital role in minimizing casualties and helping people get medical attention quickly.

But as we read and analyzed the situation, saw what law enforcement and public officials were doing, we saw the new tools at their disposal, all from technology.

According to numerous media sources reporting on the Boston Marathon bomb attack, the FBI collected more than 10 terabytes of video and mobile phone data.  Within hours of obtaining identifications of the Boston marathon bombing suspects, police obtained search warrants and extensive digital records from mobile phone networks and social media and e-mail providers.  The data included call logs collected by cellphone towers along the marathon route and surveillance footage collected by … Read more

E-Discovery Concerns Must Be Addressed Before Moving Data to the Cloud


Cartoon about cloud computing

11 April 2013 – If you begin with the following assumption:

As businesses move more applications and data to cloud services, those businesses inevitably are going to find themselves in litigation with the need to retrieve electronically stored information (ESI) from the cloud to comply with their e-discovery obligations.”

….then it makes a lot of sense to make sure that you do not forget about e-discovery when you are considering moving your company’s data to the cloud environment.

In what our staff believes to be one of the better postings on this important risk mitigation topic, they would like to bring your attention to a recent article, written by Jay Yurkiw, and  posted on the Technology Law Source blog, which clearly presents some great tips on how businesses can better manage their e-discovery risks —whether they are just considering a move to the cloud or even if they have already made that move.

For more click here.… Read more

Cloud Forensics with F-Response

Cloud computing forensics


9 April 2013 – Like many great inventions, the idea behind F-Response is so simple and elegant it is hard not to punish yourself for not thinking of it. Using the iSCSI protocol to provide read-only mounting of remote devices opens up a wealth of options for those of us working in geographically dispersed environments. I have used it for everything from remote imaging to fast forensic triage to live memory analysis. F-Response is vendor-neutral and tool independent, essentially opening up a network pipe to remote devices and allowing the freedom of using nearly any tool in your kit. The product is so good, I really wouldn’t blame them for just sitting back and counting their money. Luckily, counting money gets boring fast, so instead the folks at F-Response have kept innovating and adding value. Their latest additions are new “Connector” tools: Database, Cloud, and Email.

Now is the time to start planning how to acquire forensic copies of all that data your organization is pushing to cloud providers. Hopefully you already have established agreements and processes in place … Read more

Don’t Forget About E-Discovery When Moving To The Cloud

eDiscovery Cloud Computing 150 x 112


9 April 2013 – As businesses move more applications and data to cloud services (e.g., Google Apps for Business,, Amazon S3, etc.), they inevitably are going to find themselves in litigation with the need to retrieve electronically stored information (ESI) from the cloud to comply with their e-discovery obligations. While the risks of e-discovery likely will not keep any businesses away from public cloud services altogether, businesses at least should plan for how they are going to meet the demands of e-discovery in the cloud when litigation arises.

Following are some tips on how businesses can manage their e-discovery risks if they are considering a move to a cloud or if they have already made the move:

For more click here.… Read more

What are data protection regulators looking for in cloud computing contracts?

8 January 2013 – The recent rise of cloud computing – both for businesses and at consumer level – is providing a decent challenge for the regulators tasked with applying established data protection principles to this new and fast-developing industry.

Until last year there had been little guidance at UK or EU level. However, in July 2012 the Article 29 Working Party – the independent advisory body made up of data protection regulators from across the EU member states – released its Opinion on Cloud Computing (05/2012). This was closely followed by guidance from the UK regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO’s Guidance on the Use of Cloud Computing was published in September 2012.

The working party and ICO have attempted to provide workable and commercial solutions for both cloud suppliers and their customers. Both regulators have concluded that data protection legislation should not be a bar to using cloud services, but that certain measures must be put in place, mainly by the customer, to ensure compliance with the data protection principles at each stage of the cloud … Read more

Amazon cloud entry in Australia poses legal concerns to business; attempt to avoid the U.S. Patriot Act?

13 November 2012 – E-commerce giant Amazon’s plans to offer data and computer hosting services through Australian data centres from this week will not indemnify customers from legal action in the United States, legal experts have warned.  Amazon’s hosting division will today announce plans to offer public cloud services – computers and hard drives that companies can lease for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a similarly capable machine – for the first time within Australian borders.

The move has been touted as a “game changer” for high-risk sectors like finance and government, which are traditionally kept from storing critical data outside of Australia. The introduction of Amazon-hosted services in Australia is thought to have been spurred by those concerns, providing local companies with the ability to store data in local facilities rather than data centres in the US, Singapore or Europe.

But lawyers told The Australian Financial Review the move will not immunise local companies from subpoenas issued by US courts or regulators. “The fact that Amazon holds data in Australia makes no difference to its obligation to … Read more

How The Feds Drive Cloud Innovation

12 November 2012 – The coolest cloud computing application in the world — and in our solar system — comes from NASA. The space agency is using commercial cloud services to process the digital images being transmitted to Earth from the Curiosity rover as it searches for signs of life on Mars.

Those images, taken by 17 cameras mounted to the six-wheel, SUV-like rover, are an incredible scientific trove, stored and managed by Amazon Web Services. The most recent images show the rover’s robotic arm taking the first scoops of Martian soil for analysis. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is using a variety of Amazon services — EC2, S3, SimpleDB, Route 53, CloudFront, Relational Database Service, Simple Workflow, CloudFormation, Elastic Load Balancing–to make this happen. And the images are available not just to NASA scientists, but to you and me as well. “The public gets access as soon as we have access,” says Khawaja Shams, manager of data services at JPL.

For more from InformationWeek click here.

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Big Data in Law: Cloud Challenge, Analytics Opportunity

31 October 2012 –  The legal profession may have begun on Mount Sinai, where Moses delivered The Ten Commandments. But today, it’s heading into the cloud, where the privacy and security of big data are dramatically changing the legal landscape—especially internationally.

A good illustration came recently, when European Union regulators ordered Google to bolster its privacy policy. The EU put the search giant on notice, saying it must alter the way it discloses and uses personal information collected over the Internet. It also voiced concern that Google may be gathering more data than it really needs.

These days, such stories are as numerous as iPhones on the subway. From Google to Facebook, the Internet pantheon is under siege from regulators worldwide, who fear that what little remains of personal privacy may soon be gone.

For more from Forbes magazine click here.… Read more

A Big Data Road Map for Government

3 October 2012 – No entity produces, gathers and stores more data than the American government. So the challenges and opportunities of so-called Big Data loom large for the many agencies and departments of the United States government.

The Obama administration acknowledged that reality last spring when it announced a major research initiative in Big Data computing in government, with funding commitments that totaled $200 million.  Research is one step, but to really harness the Big Data opportunity there needs to be a proliferation of useful projects across government. The goal, of course, is to find insights and make better decisions using data from traditional databases as well as from the fast-growing new sources of digital data, including the Web, biological and industrial sensors, video, e-mail and social network communications.
A road map for rolling out Big Data projects in government is being released on Wednesday, “Demystifying Big Data: A Practical Guide to Transforming the Business of Government.” The report was produced by the TechAmerica Foundation, a nonprofit education organization, in consultation with technology experts in the White House, Internal … Read more