Cisco Welcomes The House Passage of the Email Privacy Act

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The House of Representatives unanimously passed the Email Privacy Act, a bill that would reform ECPA ( Electronic Communications Privacy Act) were it to become law on Monday evening.

What is the ECPA and why does it need to be reformed?

In the beginning, ECPA protected Americans’ e-mail from warrantless surveillance — despite ECPA allowing the government to access e-mail without a court warrant if it was six months or older and stored on a third-party’s server. The tech world now refers to these servers as “the cloud,” and others just think of Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook and Gmail.

ECPA was adopted at a time when e-mail, for example, wasn’t stored on servers for a long time. Instead, e-mail was held there briefly before recipients downloaded it to their inbox on software running on their own computer.

During the Reagan administration, e-mail more than six months old was assumed abandoned, and that’s why the law allowed the government to get it without a warrant. At the time, there wasn’t much of any e-mail for the authorities to acquire because a consumer’s hard drive — not the cloud — hosted their inbox.

Source: Aging ‘Privacy’ Law Leaves Cloud E-Mail Open to Cops

 

Now with the Email Privacy Act passed it should help to reform the most outdated elements of the ECPA.

In particular, it would newly require government agencies to obtain a warrant before seizing a criminal suspect’s online communications that are more than 180 days old. Under the ECPA’s existing logic, those older communications are considered abandoned, and thus not subject to a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Source: Passing the Email Privacy Act Has Never Been More Urgent

Basically

The legislation would require authorities such as the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission to obtain a search warrant to access emails, data in cloud storage and other digital communications more than 180 days old.[4][5]

Under current law—the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986—authorities can obtain such data by issuing an administrative subpoena to an Internet service provider, without the need to obtain judicial approval.[4][5][6] The Congressional Research Service reported in 2015 that: “In recent years, ECPA has faced increased criticism from both the tech and privacy communities that it has outlived its usefulness in the digital era and does not provide adequate privacy safeguards for individuals’ electronic communications. In light of these concerns, various reform bills have been introduced in the past several Congresses…”[7]

The Email Privacy Act would codify as federal law the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in United States v. Warshak (2010). In that case, the Sixth Circuit held that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that the government obtain a warrant before accessing emails stored online (e.g., in the cloud).[6][8][9] The Warshak ruling currently applies only to the Sixth Circuit; the Email Privacy Act would extend its rule nationwide.[6][8]

Source: Wikiepedia Email Privacy Act

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Cisco is firmly behind the Email Privacy Act and has stated publicly that they have

..long supported updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to better protect customer data and communications stored with third-party providers against unwarranted searches and seizures. We, therefore, applaud the unanimous voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387) introduced by Representatives Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Jared Polis (D-CO).

This bipartisan legislation would require the government to obtain a probable cause warrant before demanding access to customer data in the cloud. We firmly believe that data stored in the cloud must receive equivalent legal protections against search and seizure to those accorded physical papers and electronic data stored on premises.

Source: Cisco Applauds Unanimous House Vote Passing Email Privacy Act

Today the house took a major step forward. Technology has made incredible advances over the years and it was about time the privacy laws catch up.

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Cisco’s Conrad Clemson on how to empower networks

Cisco’s Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company’s Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading’s Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he’s bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. “If you think about where we’re going… whether it’s a mobile application, or a video application, or quite frankly a VPN application… it’s a service. I think what you’re going to see from us is making those services more and more ubiquitous and being a much stronger horizontal play for our service providers,” Clemson said in the interview.

Source: Cisco’s Clemson on Mobile Cloud Videocisco-conrad-clemson.png

What Big Tech Companies Can Teach Your Business About Going Green

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A new Greenpeace report explains why Apple gets an ‘A’ for its clean energy efforts while Netflix gets an ‘F.’

Messaging, sharing photos, streaming videos — can you even recall what life was like before the internet? Those days are long gone, and today the internet is the backbone of the modern economy.

All of this connectivity comes at a price, however.

The amount of energy it takes to manufacture and power our devices and data centers accounts for nearly 7 percent of global electricity, explains environmental organization Greenpeace in its recently released “Clicking Clean” report.

Greenpeace has been measuring energy consumption and performance in the IT sector since 2009.

In its new report, the organization issued letter grades to major tech companies based on their green efforts. Big players Google, Facebook and Apple each received an overall grade of “A.”

The scores are based on five categories: energy transparency, renewable energy commitment and siting policy, energy efficiency and mitigation, renewable procurement and advocacy. Apple and Facebook both earned all As and a B in advocacy, and Google received all As and a B in energy transparency.

Unfortunately, a number of major tech players have yet to demonstrate similar efforts.

A high number of Ds and Fs were reported among video streaming companies including Netflix, HBO, Hulu and Vimeo. (YouTube, which is part of Google, received an A.) Video streaming generated 63 percent of global internet traffic in 2015, and Greenpeace expects that share to increase to 80 percent by 2020.

Netflix, which earned a D overall, accounts for one-third of internet traffic in North America.

Because the company provides no regular data regarding its energy consumption, energy sources or greenhouse gas emissions, it scored an F in transparency. In the past, Netflix has claimed that streaming its videos is “more energy efficient than breathing,” but Greenpeace identified room for improvement.

Because of their size, the tech companies mentioned above have the power to sway others in the industry to go green, and these efforts also factored into their overall grades. Although smaller businesses don’t wield the same influence, here are three lessons they can learn from the tech giants about transitioning to renewable energy.

Transparency

Facebook and Apple lead the industry in transparency, providing easy-to-access information about their facilities and their consumption. By releasing this data to the public, they’re holding themselves accountable. Not all companies are big enough, or have a large enough budget, to invest millions of dollars in green energy, but transparency indicates that a company takes the issue seriously.

Goal-setting

Transitioning to renewable energy won’t happen overnight. After pledging to become 100 percent renewable, Facebook broke down its commitment into smaller, actionable goals. The company set the goal of being 25 percent renewable by 2015 — and 50 percent by 2018.

Google took a similar approach, although before getting started, the company clearly articulated its own set of principles and criteria for renewable energy. It created a plan for executing its goals.

Partnerships

A key to transitioning to renewable energy is partnering with companies or clients who also commit to this green effort. In some cases, that may mean drafting guidelines and company policies require production plants, data centers or any other partners to use or be moving toward renewable energy usage.

Source: What Big Tech Companies Can Teach Your Business About Going Green