Cybersecurity for Small-to-Midsize Businesses: Where to Begin?

For SMBs that have that nagging sense they should be doing something about cybersecurity (or more generally, information security), but don’t know where to begin, this blog post suggest three free publicly available resources: the FTC’s Start with Security, NIST’s Small Business Cybersecurity—The Fundamentals and GCA’s Small Business Cybersecurity Toolkit.

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Christopher Van de Verg
Three Big Issues Congress Must Resolve to Enable Passage of Data Privacy & Security Legislation

With last week’s data privacy hearings before the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee and House Consumer Protection & Commerce Subcommittee now in the rear-view mirror, the outlines of the debate are coming into sharper focus. Moving forward, three big issues will dominate Congress’ deliberations on data privacy and social media regulation.

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FCC Defends Net Neutrality Repeal Before D.C. Circuit

The FCC came under fire Friday morning before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit while defending its 2018 order, Restoring Internet Freedom, which repealed the agency’s 2015 Net Neutrality Order, thereby removing regulatory restrictions on Internet content blocking, throttling and paid prioritization by Internet service providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. Judge Patricia Millett hammered FCC counsel over the FCC’s re-classification of broadband Internet access service (e.gs., Xfinity, FIOS) as an “information service” under the federal Communications Act, paving the way for minimal or no  FCC regulation.

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Christopher Van de Verg
The Cybersecurity Dimension of Trade Secret Protection: DOJ Guidance

A requirement that companies take reasonable steps to protect their trade secrets is written into the legal definition of “trade secret.” The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which is the basis for most state trade secret laws, and the federal Economic Espionage Act (EEA), as amended by the 2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), require that firms take reasonable steps to protect trade secrets. Moreover, “a business or possessor of a potential trade secret must take some active steps to maintain its secrecy in order to enjoy presumptive trade secret status because once material has been publicly disclosed, it loses any status it ever had as a trade secret.”

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Christopher Van de Verg
Federal Circuit Denies Google's Petition for Rehearing En Banc in Oracle Software Copyright Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on August 28, 2014 issued a one-page order denying Google’s petition for rehearing en banc of the court’s earlier decision in favor of Oracle on the issue of “fair use” in the long-running legal battle between the two tech giants over Google’s copying of extensive Java-related software code owned by Oracle.

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Christopher Van de Verg
Process for Cybersecurity-Related "Buy Maryland Tax Credit (BMC)" Revealed

Cybersecurity buyers and sellers with a Maryland presence stand to gain from a new "Buy Maryland Cybersecurity (BMC)" program benefitting sales of cybersecurity goods and services. In its 2018 session in the spring, the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) created a new tax credit against the State income tax for qualified buyers who purchase cybersecurity technology or service from a cybersecurity business, to be administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce (MDOC).

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Maryland Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit Investor Application Window Now Open

eginning today, Maryland Department of Commerce is accepting applications from investors interesting in qualifying to receive a Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit (CIITC). If qualified, an investor may receive 33% of the amount of the investment (up to $250,000 per fiscal year) as a refundable credit against Maryland state income tax. In order to qualify, investors must submit an application showing, among other things, that the investment is to be made in a Qualified Maryland Cybersecurity Company (QMCC).

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Oracle II: Looking for Takeaways

Oracle II can be seen as a win for platform developers that aim to use open-source elements to entice a community of developers, but simultaneously maintain enough licensing restrictions to prevent a rival platform from reaping the benefits of the community’s development activity. True, Google forged ahead and usurped that community despite Oracle’s restrictions, but if the court’s opinion holds up, Oracle is in line for a big payday.

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