The U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) has unsealed an indictment accusing nine Iranian nationals of engaging in a “massive and brazen cyber assault” against at least 176 universities, 47 private companies and 7 government agencies and non-governmental organizations, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). According to the DOJ, the nationals worked for Mabna Institute, an Iranian-based company, as “hackers for hire,” stealing login credentials and other sensitive information to sell within Iran and for the benefit of the Iranian government. Continue Reading DOJ Accuses Iranian Nationals of “Brazen Cyber Assault” on Universities and Government Agencies

On March 14, 2018, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced insider trading charges against a former chief information officer (“CIO”) of a business unit of Equifax, Inc. According to prosecutors, the CIO exercised options and sold his shares after he learned of a cybersecurity breach and before that breach was publicly announced. Equifax has indicated that approximately 147.9 million consumers had personal information that was compromised. Continue Reading Insider Trading Charges Brought Against CIO for Post-Breach Trading

On June 5, 2017, an Illinois federal court ordered satellite television provider Dish Network LLC (“Dish”) to pay a record $280 million in civil penalties for violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and state law. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Dish initiated, or caused a telemarketer to initiate, outbound telephone calls to phone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry, in violation of the TSR. The complaint further alleged that Dish violated the TSR’s prohibition on abandoned calls and assisted and facilitated telemarketers when it knew or consciously avoided knowing that telemarketers were breaking the law. Continue Reading Federal Court Imposes Record Fine on TV Provider for Do Not Call Violations

On March 17, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Upromise, Inc., (“Upromise”) agreed to pay $500,000 to settle allegations (the “Settlement”) that it violated the terms of a 2012 consent order (the “2012 Order”) that required Upromise to provide notice to consumers regarding its data collection and use practices, and obtain third-party audits. Continue Reading FTC Announces Settlement Over Alleged Consent Order Violation

On November 1, 2016, the FTC announced that a group of entities known as the Consumer Education Group (“CEG”) settled FTC charges that, between late 2013 and 2015, it made millions of telemarketing calls, including pre-recorded robocalls, to consumers on the national Do Not Call (“DNC”) Registry, in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”). Continue Reading FTC Announces Settlement Over Illegal Telemarketing Calls

On July 26, 2016, the White House unveiled Presidential Policy Directive PPD-41 (“PPD-41”), Subject: United States Cyber Incident Coordination, which sets forth principles for federal responses to cyber incidents approved by the National Security Council (“NCS”). Coming on the heels of several high-profile federal breaches, including the Office of Personnel Management’s loss of security clearance information and the hack of over 700,000 IRS accounts, PPD-41 is a component of President Obama’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan. PPD-41 first focuses on incident response to cyber attacks on government assets, but also outlines federal incident responses to cyber attacks on certain critical infrastructure within the private sector. Continue Reading White House Releases New Policy on Federal Cyber Incident Response

On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) jointly issued final guidance on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (“CISA”). Enacted in December 2015, CISA includes a variety of measures designed to strengthen private and public sector cybersecurity. In particular, CISA provides protections from civil liability, regulatory action and disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and other open government laws for “cyber threat indicators” (“CTI”) and “defensive measures” (“DM”) that are shared: (1) among businesses or (2) between businesses and the government through a DHS web portal. Congress passed CISA in order to increase the sharing of cybersecurity information among businesses and between businesses and the government, and to improve the quality and quantity of timely, actionable cybersecurity intelligence in the hands of the private sector and government information security professionals. Continue Reading DHS and DOJ Issue Final Guidance on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015

Recently, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals announced that it will enter into several settlements and plead guilty to two misdemeanors in connection with alleged violations of HIPAA, drug marketing regulations and securities laws. The criminal charges stem from the company’s marketing of a cholesterol drug called Juxtapid. Aegerion allegedly failed to comply with risk evaluation and management strategies and marketed Juxtapid (which is labeled with a warning about liver toxicity) without proper directions for use.  Continue Reading Pharmaceutical Company to Plead Guilty and Settle Drug Marketing Charges

On February 29, 2016, the European Commission issued the legal texts that will implement the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. These texts include a draft adequacy decision from the European Commission, Frequently Asked Questions and a Communication summarizing the steps that have been taken in the last few years to restore trust in transatlantic data flows.

The agreement in support of the new EU-U.S. transatlantic data transfer framework, known as the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, was reached on February 2, 2016, between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission. Once adopted, the adequacy decision will establish that the safeguards provided when transferring personal data pursuant to the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield are equivalent to the EU data protection standards. In addition, the European Commission has stated that the new framework reflects the requirements that were set forth by the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) in the recent Schrems decision. Continue Reading European Commission Presents EU-U.S. Privacy Shield