David Levine's blog

Reviewing The Trade Secret Short Film "The Company Man: Protecting America's Secrets" (FBI 2015)

The FBI produced a short film in July 2015 about an Chinese-backed attempted trade secret theft prosecution that actually occurred. Somehow I missed it; perhaps I was focusing on opposing the just-signed Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which was merely fledgling legislation a year ago. Having been referred to this film today, I'd planned to watch it under a doctor's supervision (for fear of blood pressure issues) this weekend. Instead, it beckoned me like the latest episode of Veep, so I watched it this afternoon. I was not disappointed.

Professors' Letter in Opposition to the "Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act" (S. 754)

Today, 21 cyberlaw and/or cybersecurity professors and researchers joined a letter calling for the Senate to reject the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act ("CISA"). Endorsing the concerns raised in an April 2015 technologists' letter, the signatories identify the fundamental problem with CISA, namely, that it will achieve little to address the real cybersecurity challenges facing US industry.

Trade Secrecy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Secret Lawmaking Meets Criminalization

Trade secrecy, arguably the most active but least understood and studied of intellectual property's doctrines, is on the rise. Over the past two years, there has been increased legislative activity in this space -- the most since the revision of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in 1985. Most prominently, it has been the subject of an alarming report out of the White House documenting increasing risk to US corporations from state-sponsored cyberespionage.

Professors’ Letter in Opposition to the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014” (S. 2267) and the “Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014” (H.R. 5233)

Sharon Sandeen at Hamline Law and I have authored the attached letter dated August 26, 2014 and signed by 31 United States legal academics to the Congressional sponsors of the "Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014" ("DTSA") and the "Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014" ("TSPA") (collectively, "the Acts.")

Net Neutrality and the First Amendment Rights of Users of Government-Run Networks

Yesterday my Elon Law colleague Enrique Armijo, who writes about the application of the First Amendment to new technologies, filed a comment in the FCC's net neutrality proceeding. As CIS blog readers know, the FCC has shown interest in using its preemption authority to remove barriers to municipalities establishing their own broadband services to compete with private ISPs.

Putting the Public’s Interest Back Into the “Public Interest”

What’s your definition of the “public interest” when it comes to law and lawmaking?  Is it a unitary concept, where we consider the good of society as a whole?  If so, you might think that the public’s interest is in a “public interest” which encompasses “cross-cutting issues” that transcend narrow considerations and allows debate about and among competing interests.  On the other hand, do you view the “public interest” more narrowly?  If so, you might view the public’s interest as served by placing “public interest” in a box separate from other interests, like environmental, labor or intel

Bad news from the world of fracking and, even more importantly, corporate control of information

A few days ago, the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) industry was able to successfully lobby (via Halliburton) to weaken North Carolina's proposed fracking information access rules. The result could be that trade secrets – that information that is commercially valuable because it is not publicly known -- will be difficult to access not only for the public, but even for the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, charged with writing and enforcing the regulations for fracking.

Hearsay Culture to Celebrate Show #200

As I've recently mentioned on a few shows, despite my reservations about not making the show "about me," Show #200 will be guest host Denise Howell's, of This Week in Law, interview with me. So that there's no confusion, I'm not giving in to rank narcissism; rather, because several guests and listeners suggested that this would be a good way to celebrate this anniversary, I went along -- and I'm glad that I did!


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