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08/05/2021
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Judges are increasingly sending companies' forensic reports to data breach lawsuit plaintiffs. Facebook clashes with an NYU observatory over the study of misinformation. And a Biden administration official explains its position on banning ransomware payments. This is CyberScoop for Aug. 5, 2021.

Three is a trend: How courts are forcing production of data breach forensic reports

Last month, yet another judge ordered a defendant in a data breach suit to hand over an internal forensic report on the incident to the plaintiffs. It's the third time that's happened in the past year, and a trend that could offer consumers rare insights into how their data got exposed. Capital One, the law firm Clark Hill and the Rutter's convenience store chain all resisted delivering the documents during discovery, and defendants could start refashioning how they approach data breach investigations out of fear they'll be required to give them up in court. Tim Starks dives deeper.


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Facebook angers researchers — again

Facebook shut down the accounts of researchers at New York University’s Ad Observatory who were studying misinformation, saying the team of experts had violated the company’s policies on automated collection of user data. The researchers argue that the social media giant shut down their access because their research, which has focused on misleading political advertisements and vaccine misinformation, has drawn negative attention to the company. The move by Facebook has received swift criticism from other researchers, journalists and lawmakers who question the platform’s refusal to be transparent about content with political and social influence. Tonya Riley explains.


To ban ransomware payments or not?

The Biden administration backed away from the idea of banning ransomware payments after meetings with the private sector and cybersecurity experts, says Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology. “We heard loud and clear from many that the state of resilience is inadequate, and as such, if we banned ransom payments we would essentially drive even more of that activity underground and lose insight into it that will enable us to disrupt it,” Neuberger said at an Aspen Security Forum event Wednesday. Neuberger said the administration is focused on other means of disruption such as gaining better transparency into the virtual currency exchanged by victims and hackers. Tonya has more.


Broker's dilemma

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined by Senate colleagues Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., filed an amendment that would prevent the $1 trillion infrastructure package from mandating that individuals developing blockchain technology collect cryptocurrency user information. The cryptocurrency industry has wielded its lobbying power to narrow down the provision, which is designed to make sure cryptocurrency brokers are paying taxes. Privacy advocates praised the amendment but added that Congress shouldn’t be weighing in on such a complicated issue in a massive infrastructure package. Next stop will be a floor vote. Tonya has this one, too.


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