DOT Selects Ten IPP Winners, Announces Two UAS Rulemakings Sent to OMB

In a big day for the UAS industry, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the first round of winning participants in its highly-anticipated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP).  DOT also announced that two rulemaking publications have been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval: the long-awaited flights over people notice of proposed rulemaking and the FAA’s previously-announced advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on safe and secure UAS operations.

States Aggressively Pursue Data Privacy and Security Measures

In light of recent controversies, governments have sought aggressive new data privacy and security measures.  In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) considers itself “the nation’s primary privacy and data security enforcer and one of the most active privacy and data security enforcers in the world.”  A number of other federal agencies also seek to regulate privacy, cybersecurity, and IoT

Does Xcel Energy’s Waiver for Beyond Visual Line of Sight Drone Operations Break New Ground?

This article is co-authored by Sara Baxenberg and Josh Turner


News outlets are reporting this week that Xcel Energy has received a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations beyond visual line of sight of the operator.  Xcel CEO Ben Fowke explained to the press that Xcel will use the waiver “to conduct flights that will enhance grid reliability and safety for our employees and the public.”  The company has touted the waiver as “unprecedented” and “groundbreaking.”  But is this really uncharted territory for expanded UAS operations?

NIST Releases Version 1.1 of its Cybersecurity Framework with Important Changes

This article is co-authored by Megan Brown, Katy Ross, and Matthew Gardner

On April 16, 2018, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released an updated version of its Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (Framework). The Framework Version 1.1 is intended to refine, clarify, and enhance the original Framework Version 1.0released in February 2014.

NASCAR: From Bootlegging to Drone Jamming

Numerous outlets are reporting that NASCAR contracted with a company called DroneShield to track and interdict unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at a recent race in Fort Worth, Texas.  DroneShield itself announced that it deployed its solution to protect the race in partnership with a range of state and local Texas authorities, including the Texas State Department of Public Safety, the Denton County Sheriff, the Fort Worth Police Department, the Texas Rangers, and the Texas Forest Service.

HHS Office for Civil Rights Director Roger Severino Leads Discussion on Health Care Regulation and Cybersecurity at Wiley Rein LLP

Wiley Rein LLP hosted a roundtable today, “Outlook on Cyber: Health Care Regulation and Cybersecurity,” featuring Roger Severino, Director of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR), along with Timothy Noonan, Acting Deputy Director for Health Privacy at OCR, and Kathryn Marchesini, Chief Privacy Officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.


Will CRS Report Focus Government Action on Cybersecurity?

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report consolidating many government initiatives related to cybersecurity.  There has a been a significant uptick in cyber-related legislation, Executive Branch policy statements, and agency enforcement announcements.  In this environment of near constant change, the report provides some helpful insight into where we are, how we got here, and possibly—where we are going.   

Four Key Points for Regulators in the Wake of the First Self-Driving Car Pedestrian Fatality

Somber news out of Arizona this week as an autonomous Volvo modified and operated by Uber reportedly struck and killed a pedestrian.  Although this is not the first fatality in which a self-driving car played a role, this incident marks the first time a pedestrian has been killed by a car employing self-driving technology. 

“Open for Business” – FAA Encourages Industry-Driven Innovation in Lieu of Rulemakings at Annual UAS Symposium

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) held its third annual UAS Symposium last week in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).  As in past years, the Symposium brought together stakeholders from across the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) community to collaborate on how to move unmanned operations forward.

Will Congress Issue an Invitation to Hack the Department of Homeland Security?

On March 7, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is scheduled to hold a business meeting to consider H.R. 2825, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act (“DHS Reauthorization Act”).  This bill passed the House of Representatives on July 20, 2017, and, if signed into law, would be the first reauthorization of the Department of Homeland Security since its authorization in 2002.

Suing over Technology Security Still Requires Standing, but For How Long?

We continue to see concern over technology and security, with an increasing focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).  Courts are becoming a popular forum for these disputes, with class-action litigants, like those in Edenborough et al v. ADT, LLC et al, No. 3:16-cv-02233 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 25, 2016), hoping that the courts will step in to set technology policy. 

NIST Hosts Second Botnet Workshop

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) hosted its second workshop on enhancing resilience of the Internet and communications ecosystem.  The workshop focused on substantive comments from stakeholders on the draft Report to the President on Enhancing the Resilience of the Internet and Communications Ecosystem Against Botnets and Other Automated, Distributed Threats.  This is the last workshop before the final report is due to the President on May 11, 2018.