Blogs

Has the Third-Party Doctrine Overstayed Its Welcome?

On October 2, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States began their 2017-2018 term, once again operating at full capacity with nine justices after the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch earlier this year. The Court certainly needs all its strength as it sits down to a docket addressing freedom of religion, the definition of

Tesla Takes On Franchise Dealerships In Motor City

United States Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody recently ordered two Michigan lawmakers to turn over to Tesla Motors communications with “nonlegislative third parties” in Tesla Motors Inc. v. Johnson, et al. Tesla issued subpoenas for the two members of the Michigan legislature to turn over any emails and all other communications with third parties during the

The Fight Over The Open Internet Rules: Empire Strikes Back?

On September 28, 2017, AT&T, the cable industry group NCTA, and CenturyLink filed separate appeals to take the fight over the Obama-era net neutrality rules, the 2015 Open Internet Order, to the United States Supreme Court. Previously, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals fully upheld the 2015 Open Internet Order last year. The D.C. Circuit

Is the DOJ Targeting Anti-Trump Facebook Accounts?

The United States government wants access to information contained within the Facebook accounts of “potentially thousands of Facebook users” that are associated with individuals who are not supporters of the Trump administration. They have requested warrants to search three Facebook accounts. The warrants arise out of arrests of individuals that took place during the inauguration

Income Tax at a Fork in the Blockchain

Hardly a day goes by without hearing about “the next big thing.” For years, a repeat contender for that elusive, ethereal title has been Bitcoin. Whether Bitcoin really is the groundbreaking technology of tomorrow remains to be seen. However, Bitcoin and its progeny are already raising important issues for everyone’s favorite government agency: the Internal

Sharing passwords? A Supreme Court Decision Soon Could Have Meaningful Consequences

In its new term, the Supreme Court could decide if someone who uses a work computer or takes social media data without authorization can be found guilty of breaking a federal law.   The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which addresses computer hacking, broadly criminalizes intrusion into computer systems. The CFAA imposes criminal penalties on

Solar Fraud? SolarCity Settles with the Feds Over Tax Fraud Investigation

On Friday, September 22, powerhouse solar company SolarCity entered into a $29.5 million settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to end its joint investigation with the Treasury Department into allegations of SolarCity’s financial misrepresentations related to its participation in an economic stimulus program following the 2008 recession. From 2009 through 2016, a program under

So Sweet, So What?: Ninth Circuit Denies SSB Warning and Scientific Research

Some people like starting off their morning with a cup of coffee; later in the day, they may transition to sweetened waters or energy drinks, or maybe pair dinner with a soda, and then finally unwind with a cup of tea before bed. What many people do not realize is that the calories go down

Can Government Lawsuits against Requesters of Public Records be Written Off as “Frivolous Litigation?”

Just how far will state agencies go to prevent disclosure of public records? The latest technique adopted by governments have been to file suit against those submitting a public record request. Indeed, these agencies would rather see requesters in court, than accept or deny their requests. Generally, the lawsuits identify requesters as defendants, and assert