In episode 129, Alan Cohn and I dive deep on the Government Oversight committee’s predictably depressing and unpredictably entertaining report on the OPM hack. Highlights: Cheeky Chinese hackers registering their control sites to superhero alter egos like Tony Stark. And poor, patriotic Cytech finds an intruder during a sales demo, rushes to provide support without a contract, and ends up not just stiffed but accused of contributing to a violation of the Antideficiency Act. The overmatched OPM security team launches a desperate operation Big Bang to oust one team of hackers, while another is safely ensconced in the network, biding its time before exfiltrating all of OPM's data.
And for those who’ve complained that we never talk about cybertax law, a feast: Steptoe’s premier international tax partner (and head of the firm), Phil West, explains everything you need to know about the fight between Apple and the EU over Ireland’s tax regime for the company. I profess to be shocked to discover that Brussels is doing, well, what Brussels usually does -- screw US companies for the crime of being American and better at tech than the EU.
Alan and I talk about one more PlayPen decision, United States v. Torres. It may be the last word on the subject, in part because it’s so sensible (holding: the FBI did perform a search, it had a warrant and probable cause, the warrant didn’t conform to Rule 41, but so what? No suppression) and in part because the Supreme Court has agreed to change the Rule. I confidently predict that Sen. Wyden’s effort to stop the rule change will come to nothing, as it should.