The Schrems Decision: How the End of Safe Harbor Affects Your FCPA Compliance Plan

Like a needle to a balloon, the Schrems decision has drastically altered the data privacy landscape. Who is affected? Everyone – consumers, corporations, employees. But who needs to take action? Any company with offices in the European Union and the United States, any European company that outsources work to the United States (do you know where your cloud is?), and any company that sends information from the EU to the United States. Continue Reading

The Trans Pacific Partnership and the Auto Industry: Will Six Thousand Pages Pave the Way for Increased Exports?

The Open Road: Approaching the TPP

Summarizing the behemoth 12-nation TPP agreement in a few-hundred word blog is a task beyond the reach of a practicing attorney . . . assuming he wants to continue practicing. In this article we will examine automobiles, an area of particular interest to two big economies in the TPP, the United States and Japan. Continue Reading

Iran Nuclear Deal Clears Senate Obstacle, But Will “Snap-Back” Bite?

On Thursday, September 10, 2015, U.S. Senate Democrats cleared a hurdle for the proposed Iran nuclear agreement by blocking a Senate resolution that would have rejected the deal. The result, in which Senate Republicans mustered 58 of the 60 votes needed to break a Democratic filibuster, cleared a major hurdle on the way to implementing the historic agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. As we reported here on July 14, 2015, the United States and the international community agreed in the JCPOA to lift certain sanctions in exchange for Iran’s ceasing its nuclear weapon program. The agreement is the result of negotiations among Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the United States, the UK, China, France, Russia, and the EU). The U.S. Congress was given 60 days to debate the agreement, but President Obama has promised to veto any resolution rejecting the agreement. Now that the Senate resolution has failed, the U.S. House of Representatives is pursuing more creative options, including a potential lawsuit against the President, according to the Washington Post. Continue Reading

Keep Your Frenemies Close: Proposed China Sanctions and the Price of Escalation

On August 30, 2015, the Washington Post broke a story that the Obama administration is developing a package of economic sanctions that will target Chinese companies and individuals who have benefitted from cybertheft. The new sanctions would come at a time when commerce between the two countries is thriving, but political relations are strained. Continue Reading

The Baby and the Bathwater: The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Intrusion and Surveillance Software Export Licensing Proposal

If you are not aware, please take note that the July 20, 2015 deadline is fast approaching for comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) proposed rule on the export control of certain intrusion and surveillance related software.  The proposed rule, which addresses changes to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR), is designed to align with agreements made in the December 2013 Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, a multilateral export control regime with 41 participating states committed to promoting transparency and responsibility in cross-border transfers of arms and dual-use goods and technologies.  The wide-reaching rule proposes adding new controls in Category 4 of the EAR’s Commerce Control List (CCL) intended to address “intrusion software” used by hackers and other cybercriminals.  The difficulty is that, in the way the proposed rule is worded (and explained), it also subjects network penetration testing products, the type that use “intrusion software” to identify cyber-vulnerabilities, to the same export licensing requirements.  That is to say, the manner in which the controlled intrusion software would be defined includes the good as well as the bad, and – could have a chilling effect on beneficial research and development of defensive software. Continue Reading

Implementation Day: Do the Rules Let You Play in the New Ballgame for Business in Iran?

After a twelve-year standoff that saw the United States and Europe ratchet up sanctions pressure on Iran, a diplomatic breakthrough has been reached. But robust trade between Iran and the West will not arise immediately, since the end of sanctions is a long way away. Continue Reading

A Break From the Past: Historic Deal with Iran Marks A New Day in U.S.-Iran Relations

Today, President Obama announced a landmark agreement with Iran designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifting sanctions that have retarded the country’s development for the decades since the revolution. The agreement is the result of 20 tough months of negotiations among Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the United States, the UK, China, France, Russia, and the EU). As far as we are aware, this is the first time in over forty years that nonproliferation diplomacy has resulted in an enforceable agreement not to develop nuclear weapons. The last four entrants to the nuclear club (India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea) were not likewise persuaded to cease their development of nuclear weapons. Their nuclear detonation tests in 1974, 1979, 1998, and 2006 respectively signaled the end of negotiations in each case. Continue Reading

Government Contracting Abroad: Beware Compliance Risks

On June 16, 2015, IAP Worldwide Services Inc., a private defense and government contracting company, agreed to pay $7.1 million to settle criminal charges of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) related to bribing Kuwaiti government officials to secure a Kuwaiti government contract.  On the same day, James Michael Rama, IAP’s Former Vice President of Special Projects and Programs also pleaded guilty to FCPA charges.  For U.S. government contractors, the opportunities to provide services and expertise to foreign governments are lucrative, but this enforcement action also highlights the risks associated with obtaining such contracts. Continue Reading

New EU Rules on Disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Owners

On June 5, new EU’s anti-money laundering (AML) rules, namely the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“4AMLD”) and a new Regulation on the information accompanying transfer of funds were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  Together, this legislation represents the revised EU framework on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. Member States have until June 26, 2017 to transpose the requirements of the 4AMLD into national law.  Continue Reading

America Turns A Page: Cuba Removed From U.S. List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

The United States officially removed Cuba from its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism on May 29, 2015, according to an announcement by the U.S. State Department via Twitter. The change takes effect immediately, according to the accompanying press release from the State Department. Cuba had been listed since 1982. Continue Reading