EU-US Privacy Shield: Still Awaiting Certainty

Privacy activists across Europe raised their data protection banner following the announcement by EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová on Tuesday 2 February 2016 that a political agreement had been reached between the EU and the US on a new framework for handling transatlantic data flows. This does not bode well, especially because the exact content of the new agreement which will replace the “Safe Harbour” mechanism is still unknown. We will expand on the indications provided by the Commissioner on some of the negotiated protection mechanisms. More importantly, we will highlight the risks that over 4.000 companies, mainly US tech companies, still face and the measures they should put in place to ensure compliance with EU data protection rules. Continue Reading

US and EU Iran Sanctions Lifted: How to Proceed in the Aviation Sector?

On January 16, 2016, the United States and the EU lifted certain sanctions against Iran in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed among Iran, China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. January 16, 2016 was the day on which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified that Iran had met certain milestones set forth in the JCPOA toward dismantling the military aspects of its nuclear program. On the same day, the United States and the EU announced the lifting of sanctions consistent with the announcement of Implementation Day. Continue Reading

Airplanes, Pistachios, and a New Burger Joint in Tehran: What Changes for the United States Under Lighter Iran Sanctions

On January 16, 2016, two NFL playoff games and a historic revision of U.S. foreign policy took place. Many of us enjoyed the first two (did you see that last-second touchdown pass?!) but did not pay close attention as the United States lifted many of its secondary sanctions against Iran. Even those normally attentive to sanctions news had already heard (including by reading and excitedly discussing this blog) that things were not going to change that much for U.S. persons. Continue Reading

When Voluntary Self-Disclosure Isn’t so Voluntary: SEC Says Self-Disclose or Forfeit Non-Prosecution and Deferred Prosecution

You may have heard of the Yates Memorandum, which sets forth current Justice Department policy on corporate cooperation with criminal investigations. But the Securities and Exchange Commission has just announced another significant policy change, which hasn’t garnered the same attention: self-disclose or forfeit access to key favorable case dispositions. Continue Reading

Selling Aircraft to Iran: Are Clear Skies or Turbulence Ahead for Exporters

Introduction

The announcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has caused enthusiasm in the aviation sector for the envisaged lifting of sanctions against Iran. Continue Reading

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

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