Latest Posts

New surveillance powers officially pass into law

Britain’s intelligence services have officially been given the “most extreme spying powers ever seen”.

The Investigatory Powers Act has now been given royal assent, meaning that those surveillance rules will pass into law. The bill was officially unveiled a year ago and passed through the House of Lords earlier this month, but the act of being signed off means that those powers now go into effect.

It adds new surveillance powers including rules that force internet providers to keep complete records of every website that all of their customers visit. Those will be available to a wide range of agencies, which includes the Department for Work and Pensions as well as the Food Standards Agency.

As well as those internet connection records, surveillance agencies will also be given new powers to force companies to help hack into phones, and to collect more information than ever before on anyone in Britain.

The Home Office hailed the new law as a “landmark Bill which sets ot and governs the powers available to the police, security and intelligence agencies to gather and access electronic communications”. It said in a statement that it “brings together and updates existing powers while radically overhauling how they are authorised and overseen”.

mobile-device-security.jpg

Surveillance agencies will see new powers to force companies to hack into phones and collect more information on their users than ever before (Getty/iStockphoto)

Powers covered by the new regime include:

  • Internet connection records: Communications firms will be required to store data relating to what sites a device connects to – but not a user’s full browsing history or the content of a communication – for up to a year.
  • Bulk powers: The tactics used by MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to collect vast troves of data.
  • Equipment Interference: The official phrase used for operations involving hacking into suspects’ smartphones and PCs, which are seen as increasingly important as advanced encryption makes monitoring targets more difficult.

Not all of the powers available in the Bill will be rolled out straight away. Some require testing so will not be ready for some time, the Home Office said.

All the personal information you give away each time you ‘like’ a Facebook page

But others replace the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, also known as Dripa, which is set to expire on 31 December and so urgently needed updating with the new bill.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “This Government is clear that, at a time of heightened security threat, it is essential our law enforcement, security and intelligence services have the powers they need to keep people safe.

“The internet presents new opportunities for terrorists and we must ensure we have the capabilities to confront this challenge. But it is also right that these powers are subject to strict safeguards and rigorous oversight.

“The Investigatory Powers Act is world-leading legislation that provides unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection.”

The Bill has been opposed by tens of thousands of people in a petition. But that is thought to have begun too late and so is likely not to lead to any change in the law.

Civil liberties group Liberty said that the law served as a “beacon for despots everywhere”.

“It’s a sad day for our democracy as this Bill – with its eye-wateringly intrusive powers and flimsy safeguards – becomes law,” said Bella Sankey, the group’s policy director.

“The Home Secretary is right that the Government has a duty to protect us, but these measures won’t do the job. Instead they open every detail of every citizen’s online life up to state eyes, drowning the authorities in data and putting innocent people’s personal information at massive risk.

“This new law is world-leading – but only as a beacon for despots everywhere. The campaign for a surveillance law fit for the digital age continues, and must now move to the courts.”


Reuse content

Go to Source

UK bill requiring firms to store internet histories becomes law

By: AP | London |
Published:November 29, 2016 9:44 pm


House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, Investigatory Powers Bill, Open Rights Group, Food Standards Agency, India news, Latest news, International news The Home Office said some provisions in the new law “will require extensive testing and will not be in place for some time.”(Representational Image)

A contentious internet surveillance bill that creates databases of Britons’ online activity has become law, though the government says some of its provisions still need “extensive testing” before taking effect. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow told lawmakers on Tuesday that the Investigatory Powers Bill had received royal assent, the last formality to becoming law. It was passed by Parliament earlier this month, after a year of argument and amendments.

Watch What Else is Making News

Civil liberties groups have condemned the bill, which requires telecoms companies to keep customers’ browsing histories for a year. The information includes the websites users visited and the apps and messaging services they used, though not the individual pages they looked at or the messages they sent.

The data will be accessible by the police and intelligence services, government departments, revenue and customs officials and even the Food Standards Agency.

Jim Killock, executive director of digital freedom organisation the Open Rights Group, said the legislation was “one of the most extreme surveillance laws ever passed in a democracy.” The Home Office said the law gives authorities the powers needed to disrupt terrorist attacks, and has strong privacy protections built in.

But internet service providers are concerned that the databases of information could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers. James Blessing, chairman of the Internet Services Providers Association, said the industry has “significant questions” on how the law will work.

The Home Office said some provisions in the new law “will require extensive testing and will not be in place for some time.” It said the new rules “will be subject to detailed consultation with industry and operational partners.”

Go to Source

U.K. Bill Requiring Firms To Store Web Histories Becomes Law

A contentious internet surveillance bill that creates databases of Britons’ online activity has become law — though the government says some of its provisions still need “extensive testing” before taking effect.


House of Commons Speaker John Bercow told lawmakers on Tuesday that the Investigatory Powers Bill had received royal assent, the last formality to becoming law. It was passed by Parliament earlier this month, after a year of argument and amendments.


Civil liberties groups have condemned the bill, which requires telecoms companies to keep customers’ browsing histories for a year. The information includes the websites users visited and the apps and messaging services they used, though not the individual pages they looked at or the messages they sent.


The data will be accessible by the police and intelligence services, government departments, revenue and customs officials and even the Food Standards Agency.


Jim Killock, executive director of digital freedom organization the Open Rights Group, said the legislation was “one of the most extreme surveillance laws ever passed in a democracy.”


The Home Office said the law gives authorities the powers they need to disrupt terrorist attacks in a digital age, and has strong privacy protections built in.


But internet service providers are concerned that the databases of information could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers.


James Blessing, chairman of the Internet Services Providers Association, said the industry has “significant questions” on how the law will work.


The Home Office said some provisions in the new law “will require extensive testing and will not be in place for some time.”


It said the new rules “will be subject to detailed consultation with industry and operational partners.”

© 2016 Associated Press
syndicated under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.

Go to Source

Oil and gas firms agree 'unprecedented' $1bn climate funding

(From left to right): Claudio Descalzi, CEO Eni; Josu Jon Imaz, CEO Repsol; Amin Nasser, CEO Saudi Aramco; Bob Dudley, CEO BP; Ben van Beurden, CEO Shell; Eldar Sætre, CEO Statoil; Patrick Pouyanné, CEO Total

Oil and Gas Climate Initiative launch fund to accelerate CCS, cut methane emissions and boost transport and industry energy efficiency

A group of major oil and gas companies today unveiled plans to invest more than $1bn towards tackling climate change by accelerating development of low emissions technology such as CCS and energy efficiency…

Go to Source

Law firm Eversheds eyes US merger

British law firm Eversheds is attempting to merge with a US rival just a year after it failed to agree a tie-up with another American legal business.

Eversheds confirmed last night that it was in talks with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan over a deal that would create a firm with more than 2,300 lawyers spanning 29 countries around the world. Partners at both firms are due to vote on the mooted deal before the end of the year and if approved the combined business will be called Eversheds Sutherland.

It marks the second time in the space of a year that Eversheds has attempted a US deal, which has been a long-held ambition of Bryan Hughes, its chief executive. Last November, talks with Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner failed to result in a merger.

The talks are also the latest in a series of deals in recent years as UK law firms look to expand overseas, to ramp up competition with the big “magic circle” firms that are already well-established abroad. Last month, CMS UK, Nabarro and Olswang announced a three-way merger to form the UK’s sixth-biggest firm.

With nearly 2,000 lawyers in total, including over 500 partners, Eversheds is much bigger than Sutherland, which has about 170 partners and a further 200-plus lawyers.

However, while the British firm has offices in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, it does not have offices in the US. Sutherland, meanwhile, has lawyers in cities including Atlanta, where it is headquartered, New York and Washington DC.

“Joining forces with Sutherland will give each firm’s clients a global platform and we will be discussing the proposal with our partners positively in the coming weeks,” said Mr Hughes.

Go to Source

Senators call research bill a gift to drug firms







Washington • Two of the Senate’s most liberal lawmakers are assailing a $6.3 billion medical research bill as a gift to drug companies, even as Republican leaders prepare to try pushing the measure through the lame-duck Congress.

“It’s time for Congress to stand up to the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, not give them more handouts,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday in a written statement.

The comments by Sanders came a day after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., delivered a ferocious attack on congressional Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the legislation and pushed fellow Democrats to oppose a measure she said “is corrupt, and it is very, very dangerous.”







The opposition by Sanders and Warren was noteworthy because it comes as progressives and moderates are struggling over the direction the Democratic Party should take in the wake of its defeats on Election Day. Hillary Clinton lost her White House bid to Republican Donald Trump and Democrats remained in the House and Senate minority, making only small gains in each chamber.

In remarks Tuesday to the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said there is “some angst” among Democrats about the bill and said he was expecting it to be changed, but was not specific.

White House spokeswoman Katie Hill voiced support for added research and drug abuse spending but said officials are reviewing the legislation “while conversations continue in Congress.”

The House planned to consider the 996-page measure on Wednesday and Senate debate was expected next week, which is expected to be the final week of this year’s post-election Congress.

The bill would let the Food and Drug Administration approve drugs and medical devices more quickly and bolster federal mental health programs. It lays plans for $4.8 billion in additional spending over the next decade for cancer, brain and other biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, $1 billion for grants to states for drug abuse prevention and research and $500 million for the FDA to accelerate its approval procedures.

Top Republicans announced the research bill last week, more than a year after the House approved an earlier version by an overwhelmingly bipartisan margin.

Sanders and Warren — two of the highest-profile liberals in Congress — both complained that the bill’s money is not guaranteed and must be provided in later legislation by Congress. They also criticized the legislation’s savings, which includes cuts in a public health program under President Barack Obama’s health care law, reduced payments under Medicare and Medicaid and oil sales from the government’s strategic petroleum reserve.

In a Monday speech on the Senate floor, Warren used the populist rhetoric that has made her a hit among progressive voters.

All but demanding that her party follow her lead, Warren said, “Republicans will control this government, but they cannot hand that control over to big corporations unless Democrats roll over and allow them to do so.”

She said the research bill would “legalize fraud” by reducing the scientific evidence the government needs to approve existing drugs for new uses. She said it would “cover up bribery” by exempting medical companies from publicly reporting some payments they make to doctors.

“I cannot vote for this bill. I will fight it because I know the difference between compromise and extortion,” said Warren, who some mention as a potential 2020 presidential contender.

Warren also said the bill benefits a Republican donor who backs contentious therapies that are supposed to regenerate cells. She did not name the donor during her speech but said McConnell, R-Ky., has accepted contributions from him.

A Warren spokesman said Warren was referring to an April report by Politico that said separate legislation helping companies get approval for stem-cell treatments was backed by Ed Bosarge, a wealthy Texan. The report said Bosarge has donated to McConnell’s political committee and invested in regenerative medicine.

A McConnell spokesman declined to comment. McConnell said this month that the overall bill is a major priority for Congress’ lame-duck session and singled out its provisions helping regenerative medicine.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday that he wanted the removal of a provision letting companies not report some payments to doctors. Consumer groups have complained that the payments encourage doctors to prescribe those companies’ products.

No. 3 Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York is also trying to remove that provision, a Democratic aide said.








































Go to Source

Research Bill Gift To Drug Firms: US Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren

Washington:  Two of the Senate’s most liberal lawmakers are assailing a $6.3 billion medical research bill as a gift to drug companies, even as Republican leaders prepare to try pushing the measure through the lame-duck Congress.

“It’s time for Congress to stand up to the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, not give them more handouts,” Senator Bernie Sanders said on Tuesday, in a written statement.

The comments by Sanders came a day after Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a ferocious attack on congressional Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the legislation and pushed fellow Democrats to oppose a measure she said “is corrupt, and it is very, very dangerous.”

The opposition by Mr Sanders and Ms Warren was noteworthy because it comes as progressives and moderates are struggling over the direction the Democratic Party should take in the wake of its defeats on Election Day. Hillary Clinton lost her White House bid to Republican Donald Trump and Democrats remained in the House and Senate minority, making only small gains in each chamber.

In remarks Tuesday to the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid said there is “some angst” among Democrats about the bill and said he was expecting it to be changed, but was not specific.

White House spokeswoman Katie Hill voiced support for added research and drug abuse spending but said officials are reviewing the legislation “while conversations continue in Congress.”

The House planned to consider the 996-page measure on Wednesday and Senate debate was expected next week, which is expected to be the final week of this year’s post-election Congress.

The bill would let the Food and Drug Administration approve drugs and medical devices more quickly and bolster federal mental health programs. It lays plans for $4.8 billion in additional spending over the next decade for cancer, brain and other biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, $1 billion for grants to states for drug abuse prevention and research and $500 million for the FDA to accelerate its approval procedures.

Top Republicans announced the research bill last week, more than a year after the House approved an earlier version by an overwhelmingly bipartisan margin.

Mr Sanders and Ms Warren – two of the highest-profile liberals in Congress – both complained that the bill’s money is not guaranteed and must be provided in later legislation by Congress. They also criticized the legislation’s savings, which includes cuts in a public health program under President Barack Obama’s health care law, reduced payments under Medicare and Medicaid and oil sales from the government’s strategic petroleum reserve.

In a Monday speech on the Senate floor, Ms Warren used the populist rhetoric that has made her a hit among progressive voters.

All but demanding that her party follow her lead, Ms Warren said, “Republicans will control this government, but they cannot hand that control over to big corporations unless Democrats roll over and allow them to do so.”

She said the research bill would “legalize fraud” by reducing the scientific evidence the government needs to approve existing drugs for new uses. She said it would “cover up bribery” by exempting medical companies from publicly reporting some payments they make to doctors.

“I cannot vote for this bill. I will fight it because I know the difference between compromise and extortion,” said Warren, who some mention as a potential 2020 presidential contender.

Ms Warren also said the bill benefits a Republican donor who backs contentious therapies that are supposed to regenerate cells. She did not name the donor during her speech but said McConnell has accepted contributions from him.

A Warren spokesman said Ms Warren was referring to an April report by Politico that said separate legislation helping companies get approval for stem-cell treatments was backed by Ed Bosarge, a wealthy Texan. The report said Mr Bosarge has donated to McConnell’s political committee and invested in regenerative medicine.

A McConnell spokesman declined to comment. McConnell said this month that the overall bill is a major priority for Congress’ lame-duck session and singled out its provisions helping regenerative medicine.

Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Monday that he wanted the removal of a provision letting companies not report some payments to doctors. Consumer groups have complained that the payments encourage doctors to prescribe those companies’ products.

No. 3 Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York is also trying to remove that provision, a Democratic aide said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Go to Source

UK law requires firms to store Web histories







London • A contentious internet surveillance bill that creates databases of Britons’ online activity has become law — though the government says some of its provisions still need “extensive testing” before taking effect.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow told lawmakers on Tuesday that the Investigatory Powers Bill had received royal assent, the last formality to becoming law. It was passed by Parliament earlier this month, after a year of argument and amendments.

Civil liberties groups have condemned the bill, which requires telecoms companies to keep customers’ browsing histories for a year. The information includes the websites users visited and the apps and messaging services they used, though not the individual pages they looked at or the messages they sent.







The data will be accessible by the police and intelligence services, government departments, revenue and customs officials and even the Food Standards Agency.

Jim Killock, executive director of digital freedom organization the Open Rights Group, said the legislation was “one of the most extreme surveillance laws ever passed in a democracy.”

The Home Office said the law gives authorities the powers needed to disrupt terrorist attacks, and has strong privacy protections built in.

But internet service providers are concerned that the databases of information could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers.

James Blessing, chairman of the Internet Services Providers Association, said the industry has “significant questions” on how the law will work.

The Home Office said some provisions in the new law “will require extensive testing and will not be in place for some time.”

It said the new rules “will be subject to detailed consultation with industry and operational partners.”








































Go to Source

Penn State graduate returns to campus to work for law school

After taking on the role of assistant dean for career services for Penn State Law on Sep. 19, Randolph Reliford said the last two months have “been a whirlwind.”

Reliford graduated from Penn State’s University Park campus in 2000.

“I’m excited to be back,” Reliford said. “I’m excited to have a position where I get to help people think critically about not only their value, but how they can make a difference in other people’s lives.”

In the 16 years between graduating from the Smeal College of Business in 2000 and returning to campus to work for Penn State Law, Reliford said he kept busy.

He worked at J.P. Morgan in Delaware before attending University of Wisconsin for law school. Once finished earning his law degree, Reliford worked in the commercial litigation group at law firm Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg in Philadelphia.

Eventually, he took on career development at University of San Diego and then held similar positions at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and Whittier Law School before coming to Penn State.

Reliford said he finds it very fulfilling to work at Penn State Law at this time and it presents a unique opportunity.

“Penn State Law, especially related to University Park, is a very new thing, and that’s exciting,” Reliford said. “How often do you get to help to build a law school at a place you care about?”

Through serving as Penn State Law’s assistant dean for career services, Reliford said his responsibilities include five main things — developing relationships with law firms interested in hiring Penn State Law students, leading a team that coaches students in terms of their careers and career paths, assisting in running the career services office to meet students’ needs and potential employers’ needs, helping the law school’s other initiatives and running the career services office’s side of the process for collecting and reporting data to the American Bar Association.

“Every day, I can count on talking to a law student or talking to someone from our career development staff,” Reliford said. “But, by and large, there’s no one day that’s going to look like the next day.”

Earning a degree in finance and international business with a minor in economics, Reliford said his position allows him to incorporate a multitude of skills he learned while pursuing his undergraduate degree. He works with data to help make decisions for the office and enjoys the numbers aspect of the job.

As far as his vision for his job within Penn State Law, Reliford said he hopes to help people understand how to improve the lives of others by combining their “God-given talents” and their legal education.

“My goal is to get [students] in the position where they understand [how to improve others’ lives through their talents and education],” Reliford said. “That is the problem I feel like God put me here to help people solve.”

Reliford said his ability to reflect on “the process of growth in personal and professional development” since his time as a Penn State student, helps him relate to current students he may encounter in the career services office.

James Houck, interim dean for both the law school and the School of International Affairs, said he was very involved in hiring Reliford.

“[Reliford’s] got good experience in the career services area already based on the work he’s done at several other law schools,” Houck said. “He’s got a great personality and a lot of good ideas about how to help our students with their career choices, so I felt like he was the complete package.”

Penn State Law’s Director of Development and Alumni Relations Jeff Horwitz said he’s responsible for building and developing an alumni base, so he and Reliford often work closely in their day to day job tasks.

“[Reliford’s] been received with incredibly open arms — [alumni and some of the hiring offices Penn State Law interacts with are] very enthusiastic about his approach, his enthusiasm and his real desire to find the right match not only for the student but also for the employer,” Horwitz said.



Go to Source

Law360 Announces Sponsorship of Burton Awards to Honor Achievements in Law

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Law360, a LexisNexis company, announced that the legal news and analysis
provider will serve as lead sponsor for the Burton Awards, a national
awards program created by William C. Burton and run in association with
the Library of Congress and its Law Library.

The Burton Awards program rewards accomplishments in law, including the
finest writing, teaching, journalism, public service in government,
public interest work, general counsel efforts and achievements of
lawyers in the military. Close to 70 awards are presented annually.

“Law360 and the Burton Awards program both promote the highest level of
achievement in law,” Law360 General Manager Scott Roberts said. “Our
company prides itself on providing high-quality information that helps
legal professionals remain experts in their field, and the Burton Awards
program highlights that expertise across the legal spectrum. This
relationship builds on our long-standing commitment to the best writing
and practice in the service of the law.”

William C. Burton, founder and chair of the awards program, said, “We
are profoundly honored and grateful to Law360 and LexisNexis for their
sponsorship. I look forward to working with this legal industry mainstay
to continue to recognize the greatest accomplishments in law.”

The 2017 Burton Awards program takes place on May 22 at the Library of
Congress. In the past, Supreme Court Justices, as well as noted
scholars, managing partners, general counsel, members of the military,
and legal practitioners have attended and spoken at the event.

The Burton Awards’ honorary Board of Directors includes: Judge Richard
Posner, 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; Judge Alex Kozinski, 9th
Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; U.S. Senator John Cornyn; U.S. Senator
Robert P. Casey, Jr.; U.S. Senator Mike Crapo; U.S. Senator Michael F.
Bennet; Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan of California; Jane
Sullivan Roberts, Partner, Major, Lindsey & Africa; Lisa Rickard,
President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Elissa Lichtenstein,
Director, Public Services Division, American Bar Association; Thomas L.
Sager, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP; Les Parrette, Senior Vice President,
General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Novelis Inc.; and Stephen R.
Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US).

The Academic Board of the awards program includes Noah Messing of Yale
Law School; Virginia Wise of Harvard Law School; Jeanne Merino of
Stanford Law School; Lindsay Sturges Saffouri of UC Berkeley School of
Law; Judge Ed Forstenzer, former presiding judge, California Superior
Court; William Ryan, Advisor, Department of Homeland Security; and Roy
Gutterman, Director, Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University.

Law360
is your one-stop source for legal news and in-depth analysis, with
up-to-the-minute coverage of litigation, regulation and enforcement,
public policy, and corporate deal-making across 50+ practice areas and
industries. With a unique blend of cutting-edge technology and
journalistic expertise, Law360 delivers the intelligence legal and
business professionals need to remain experts and get ahead of the
curve. Visit www.law360.com
to find out what hundreds of thousands of readers at top law firms,
Fortune 500 companies, and key government agencies already know.

The Law Library of Congress was established in 1832 with the mission to
make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court,
other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community and
to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future
generations. With more than 5 million items in various formats, the Law
Library of Congress contains the world’s largest collection of law books
and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and
guides to legal information worldwide through its website at www.loc.gov/law/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural
institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158
million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library
serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading
rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.

The
Burton Awards program is a 501(c)(3) effort funded by the Burton
Foundation which is a not for profit, academic effort. It is devoted to
recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. Since its
inception in 1999 a principal focus of the organization has been the
refinement and enrichment of legal writing, however, the scope of the
program has grown into recognizing all major achievements in law. The
founder of the program is William C. Burton, a partner in the law firm
Sagat|Burton LLP and both a former New York State Assistant Attorney
General, Assistant Special Prosecutor and author of the profession’s
first legal thesaurus.

Go to Source