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Crime in the Suites An Analysis of Current Issues in White Collar Defense
A U.S. District Court in Colorado recently considered whether the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination extends to the compelled production of decrypted computer files. It is beyond dispute that the government may not force a suspect to provide an encryption password if the password would provide a necessary link in the chain of evidence leading to the suspect’s indictment. A much more difficult question is whether the government may force a suspect to use the password to produce decrypted computer files that contain incriminating evidence. In United States v. Fricosu, Judge Robert Blackburn held that the government can indeed force a suspect to use an encryption password if the testimony implicit in the use (i.e., the act of producing decrypted files) is already known to the government and/or the implicit testimony will not incriminate the suspect. The court ordered the defendant to produce decrypted files from her laptop because the government already knew (based on uncompelled testimony) that the files were on a computer that belonged to her and for which... Read more

On February 7, 2012, the D.C. Council voted 10-2 to repeal the city’s iGaming program, which would have made the District of Columbia the first U.S. jurisdiction to permit the playing of online poker for money. In April 2011, the District had become the first U.S. jurisdiction to enact a law that permitted online poker… Read More

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January 31, 2012

Private Suits Under FCPA — An Ill-Advised Idea

By: Ifrah Law

Late last year, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would amend the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to permit private suits against certain foreign companies and individuals. The bill, entitled the “Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act of 2011,” would significantly alter the landscape of FCPA enforcement, and not… Read More

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January 29, 2012

New York Mah Jong Ruling May Help Cause of Online Poker

By: Rachel Hirsch

Mah Jong, the ancient Chinese tile-based table game, can now count itself as a winner in the old debate of games of skill vs. games of chance, according to a New York state judge, who recently ruled that the game demands more than luck. On January 4, 2012, Criminal Court Judge John H. Wilson declared… Read More

Last November, we discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral argument in United States v. Jones, which posed the question of whether police need to obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s vehicle during a criminal investigation. We noted that in this case, 21st-century technology had come face to face with the… Read More

Contrary to our prediction, the Arkansas Supreme Court has vacated the conviction and sentencing of capital-murder defendant Erickson Dimas-Martinez and remanded the case for a new trial on grounds of juror misconduct. Although the decision is a definite victory for defendants, it may well invite a flood of appeals based on allegations of misconduct, regardless… Read More

In last week’s Megaupload indictment, the U.S. government has raised the debate over copyright infringement on the Web to a whole new level – treating the operators of one of the most popular sites on the Internet as if they were part of organized crime. On January 19, 2012, a federal grand jury in the… Read More

Organized online protests over two bills in Congress targeting online copyright infringement — the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) — seem to have crippled these bills’ progress and ended their chances of becoming law in their present form. We have previously written about the protests mounting… Read More

Arguably the most popular social media platform in the world, Facebook appears poised to expand its ever-growing empire into the online gaming industry. Rumors circulated in early December 2011 that Facebook was developing a platform for its United Kingdom users to gamble online for real money, perhaps even as soon as in the first quarter… Read More

From the Arab Spring to the Occupy Wall Street movement, 2011 was a year of protests. It was capped off with a little-covered (by traditional media) but important protest that will carry on into 2012. We’ll call it the “Pioneers Strike Back” movement of Internet entrepreneurs. The issue is a piece of controversial legislation pending… Read More

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