Elizabeth Wharton

Author Archives: Elizabeth Wharton

Beware: Attribution & Politics

tl;dr - Digital location data can be inherently wrong and it can be spoofed. Blindly assuming that it is accurate can make an ass out of you on twitter and when regulating drones.    

Guest contributor and friend of Errata Security Elizabeth Wharton (@LawyerLiz) is an attorney and host of the technology-focused weekly radio show "Buzz Off with Lawyer Liz" on America's Web Radio (listen live  each Wednesday, 2-3:00pm eastern; find  prior podcasts here or via iTunes - Lawyer Liz) This post is merely her musings and not legal advice.

Filtering through various campaign and debate analysis on social media, a tweet caught my eye. The message itself was not the concern and the underlying image has since been determined to be fake.  Rather, I was stopped by the140 character tweet's absolute certainty that internet user location data is infallible.  The author presented a data map as proof without question, caveat, or other investigation.  Boom, mic drop - attribution!

According to the tweeting pundit, "Russian trollbots" are behind the #TrumpWon hashtag trending on Twitter.
The proof? The twitter post claims that the Trendsmap showed the initial hashtag tweets as originating from accounts located in Russia. Continue reading

Errata Security 2016-04-27 17:48:00

Who's your lawyer. Insights & Wisdom via HBO's Silicon Valley (S.3, E. 1)

The company's attorney may be your friend, but they're not your lawyer.  In this guest post, friend of Errata Elizabeth Wharton (@lawyerliz) looks at the common misconception highlighted in this week's Silicon Valley episode.

by Elizabeth Wharton

Amidst the usual startup shenanigans and inside-valley-jokes, HBO's Silicon Valley Season 3, Episode 1 contained a sharp reminder: lawyer loyalty runs with the "client," know whether you are the client.   A lawyer hired by a company has an entity as its client, not the individuals or officers of that company.  If you want an attorney then hire your own. 

Silicon Valley Season 3, Episode 1- Setting the Scene (without too many spoilers, I promise)
Upon learning of a board room ouster from the CEO to the CTO role, the startup company's founder Richard storms into the meeting with two board "friends" in Continue reading

Band-Aids over Basics: Anti-Drone Bill Revisions Compound Earlier Missteps

Glossing over fundamental legislation flaws in favor of quick fixes only serves lawyers and lobbyists.  In this guest post, friend of Errata Elizabeth Wharton (@lawyerliz) highlights the importance of fixing the underlying technology concepts as Georgia’s anti-drone legislation continues to miss the mark and kill innovation. 

by Elizabeth Wharton

Georgia's proposed anti-drone legislation, HB 779, remains on a collision course to crush key economic drivers and technology innovations within the state.  Draft revisions ignore all of the legislation's flawed technical building blocks in favor of a series of peripheral provision modifications (in some cases removing entire safe harbor carve-outs), making a bad piece of legislation worse for Georgia's film, research, and aviation technology industries. Only the lawyers and lobbyists hired to challenge and defend the resulting lawsuits benefit from this legislative approach.  Georgia should scrap this piece-meal, awkward legislation in favor of a commission of industry experts to craft a policy foundation for unmanned aircraft systems within Georgia.

Band-aid technology policy approaches skip over the technical issues and instead focus on superficial revisions.  Whether a company is prohibited from flying over a railroad track in addition to a road becomes a moot point when the definition of Continue reading

Flawed From the Start & Missing the Mark: Georgia’s Proposed Anti-Drone Legislation

Bad state laws can have the same chilling effect on technology as bad federal laws.  In this guest post, friend of Errata Elizabeth Wharton (@lawyerliz) discusses the latest anti-drone law introduced here in the Georgia legislature and how one bill manages to kill innovation across several key Georgia industries. 

By Elizabeth Wharton 
Georgia’s newly proposed anti-drone legislation is an economic and research buzz kill.  The bill, HB 779, through poorly crafted provisions places unnecessary red tape for use of drones by the film industry and by cellular, telephone, and cable utility companies.  It also completely shuts down Georgia's aerospace defense industry research (and related funding) conducted by universities including Georgia Tech and all related manufacturing by companies such as Lockheed Martin.  Biting the industry hands that bring billions of dollars into Georgia’s economy seems a bold move for state legislators, particularly during an election year.    

Gaps between technology policy and technology practice at the federal level such as the Commerce Department’s proposed Wassenaar Arrangement rules, extend to the states as well.  With over 168 drone-related bills considered by 45 states in 2015 according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016 is already off to a Continue reading