May 25, 2022

Ransomware and Sanctions in the Time of War

Since 2020, the number and sophistication of ransomware attacks has spiked, largely perpetuated by organized criminal groups in Russia and Eastern Europe. Against this backdrop lies the U.S. government’s position on economic sanctions implemented by the U.S. Department of the Treasury – which have escalated since Russia’s attack on Ukraine – prohibiting U.S. persons from making payments directly or indirectly to any individual, entity, group or country that is the target of such sanctions. In this guest article, Greenberg Traurig shareholders Jena Valdetero, Kara Bombach and Kyle Freeny discuss today’s most prevalent types of ransomware attacks, considerations for whether to make the ransom payment, FinCEN and OFAC’s ransomware guidance, and the U.S. government’s mitigation efforts. See “Ten Tips to Prepare for and Navigate Ransomware Decisions” (Jan. 12, 2022).

TV Privacy: Will the TV Industry Agree to Standardize Consent on Screen?

The TV industry’s many disparate stakeholders have started discussions to harmonize consent and privacy measures. Fortunate to escape the heavy upheaval that has hit web and mobile privacy, TV streaming and hardware companies want to craft standard and trustworthy privacy controls, hoping to avoid mass annoyance over privacy and pacify regulators eager to enforce new laws. This article, the second in a series explaining challenges for TV privacy, looks behind the screen at the stakes for standardization and the possibility of a global TV opt-out, and describes animation and other ideas to improve TV consent. Part one detailed how the fluid shifts in viewers’ watching behavior – with varying locations, devices and couchmates – hinders a usable TV consent process. See “Ad Industry’s Third-Party Data Use Grew Despite Impending Cookie Shutdown” (Feb. 23, 2022).

Crypto Attorneys to SEC: Talk to Us

Frustration with the SEC when it comes to cryptocurrency is high, according to industry attorneys at the recent New York City Bar White Collar Crime Institute. The panelists, who also included the new head of the DOJ’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team and the former CFTC Enforcement Director, weighed the effects of President Biden’s digital assets Executive Order and addressed challenges companies face when cooperating with the government. Despite growing legitimacy and acceptance of cryptocurrencies, several attorneys on the panel outlined a fragmented regulatory framework in the U.S., which, they argued, may hinder the country’s competitiveness in the global digital assets marketplace. See “The Evolving Crypto Regulatory Climate” (May 11, 2022).

Sidley Welcomes Cyber Duo in Washington, D.C.

David Lashway and John Woods have joined Sidley’s privacy and cybersecurity practice as partners in Washington, D.C. Both attorneys join from Baker McKenzie, where they led its global cybersecurity practice group for more than 10 years. For insight from Lashway, see “Minimizing Class Action Risk in Breach Response” (Jun. 8, 2016). For insight from Sidley, see our two-part series on evaluating privacy and cybersecurity risks in emerging technology transactions: “Artificial Intelligence and EdTech” (Aug. 4, 2021); and “Biometrics, Fintech and Cryptocurrency” (Aug. 11, 2021).