I know. The title could be talking about pretty much any national strategy written in the last 15 years. And that’s the point. In the interview, Dr. Amy Zegart and I discuss the national cyber strategy and what’s wrong with it, besides all the bloviating. We also explore the culture clash between DOD and Silicon Valley (especially Google), and whether the right response to the Mueller report would be to conduct a thorough investigation into how the Intelligence Community and Justice handled the collusion allegations at the start of the Trump Administration. As a bonus, Amy answers this burning question: “If a banana republic is a country where losing an election means getting criminally investigated, what do you call a country where winning an election means getting criminally investigated?”
In the news roundup, we talk about the New Zealand massacre and whether six months from now it will feel as though we overreacted to distribution of the video of the attack. Along the way, we are amazed to discover that New Zealand actually still has a “Chief Censor.”
If you thought the Boeing 737MAX approval cast the FAA in a bad light, there’s some good news for that embattled agency: The FDA is even worse at dealing with software risks. Matthew Heiman and I talk about the agency’s unimpressive handling of a flaw that would let hackers control defibrillators implanted in patients.
Conservatives v. Silicon Valley. Apparently looking for Odd Couple of the Month coverage, Sen. Josh Hawley is sounding all Sen. Elizabeth Warren-y about Facebook and Silicon Valley. And Devin Nunes is renewing claims of social media bias against conservatives. Indeed, he’s putting his lawyers where his mouth is, suing Twitter and his fake Twitter Mom for defamation. It’s an uphill battle, but I would really love to read the internal Twitter emails about Nunes if his case gets to discovery. That's his best chance to show actual malice.
Matthew tells us that the latest European fine of $1.7 billion means that Google has been hit with $7.6 billion in EU fines since 2017 – mostly for “in the eye of the beholder” abuses of a dominant position.
Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov makes a guest appearance to read the tea leaves in the SCOTUS remand of a cy pres case without decision. Bottom line: The Court is likely to cut back on cy pres settlements, which may be good policy, but which also means trouble for defendants as well as the plaintiffs’ bar.
Matthew and I talk about the most fun caper involving North Korea in the last fifty years (since most of the other capers seemed to end in people dying). This time, the good guys got away after physically pwning the entire North Korean embassy in Spain. Spanish papers claim it was the CIA, but that’s what Spanish papers would say, isn't it? This time, though, I’d like to think it’s true.
And Matthew tells us how Egypt is taking advantage of the cover provided by Australia and New Zealand to tighten control of websites and social media accounts that pose a “threat to national security.”
As always, The Cyberlaw Podcast is open to feedback. Be sure to engage with @stewartbaker on Twitter. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions for topics or interviewees to CyberlawPodcast@steptoe.com. Remember: If your suggested guest appears on the show, we will send you a highly coveted Cyberlaw Podcast mug!
The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of the firm.