June 7, 2017 nº 1,872 - Vol. 14

"A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people."

 Thomas Mann

Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica


  • Top News

Supreme Court applies statute of limitations to SEC enforcement action

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday in Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission that claims for disgorgement in an SEC enforcement action are held within the five-year statute of limitations. The court was unanimous in its opinion that the SEC filing for disgorgement to prevent unjust enrichment is limited as it is a penalty that requires a statute of limitations. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the opinion, which reversed lower court's decision. "SEC disgorgement thus bears all the hallmarks of a penalty: It is imposed as a consequence of violating a public law and it is intended to deter, not to compensate. The 5-year statute of limitations in §2462 therefore applies when the SEC seeks disgorgement."

Ponzi scheme meets ransomware for a doubly malicious attack

As more of our lives go online, online attackers are finding increasingly creative ways to wreak havoc using ransomware, and now, pyramid schemes. Criminals have quickly realized that people are willing to pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in ransom. Ransomware, a type of malicious software that infects a system and then holds it hostage, demanding a ransom for its release, is one of the most popular and lucrative ways to attack computers. An outlier in the world of ransomware, the Popcorn malware was the first attempt to combine a Ponzi, or pyramid scheme, in which one person entraps another, with malware that holds a computer hostage for payment. If it proved successful a number of criminal networks are likely to copy the model. Researchers are still monitoring the scheme to see if it works. These networks all watch each other and learn. When a new model works, it quickly grows as others build on it.

  • Crumbs

1 - San Francisco investigating whether Uber, Lyft are public nuisances - click here.

2 - Massachusetts judge allows right-to-die lawsuit to move forward - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China's new cybersecurity law: Where should data live?

Last week China's long gestating 2016 Cybersecurity Law finally went into partial implementation. At the draft stage and beyond, the law, ostensibly aimed at preventing cyber snooping and guarding data, has caused chaos and confusion in the foreign business community. Companies are scrambling to understand how it will affect their daily business operations, as well as their intellectual property. Many of the accompanying rules that ought to clarify what foreign companies can and can't do under the law remain vague, leaving businesses of all types in limbo. And some of the accompanying regulations that have been made public aren't yet the final ones. One part of the law that has particularly riled foreign tech companies centers around "data localization" and "data export"—in other words, where companies can store data and move data. It's a theme often repeated by Chinese authorities, and made official just recently.

US diplomat in China quits 'over Trump climate change policy'

A top diplomat at the US embassy in Beijing has stepped down, apparently because he disagreed with President Donald Trump's climate change policy. The state department said Deputy Chief of Mission David Rank had resigned. (Click here)


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  • Historias Verdaderas

Dulce desafío

México ganó la exclusividad de la venta de azúcar a Estados Unidos. Será menos cantidad, menos refinada y será sujeta a suspensión inmediata hay incumplimiento, según el acuerdo al que llegaron las autoridades de ambos países el martes. (Presione aquí)

De salida

La filial venezolana de la empresa china de neumáticos Pirelli suspenderá indefinidamente sus operaciones a mediados de mes, 16/6, por falta de materia prima, situación que también enfrentan otras empresas y que amenaza con agudizar la crisis económica del país. (Presione aquí)


Grupo mexicano Lala invertirá US$ 30 mlls. en Guatemala para la construcción y puesta en marcha de una fábrica de leche, helados y derivados que entrará en operaciones el primer trimestre del 2018.

  • Brief News

Supreme Court to rule in cell phone location privacy case

The US Supreme Court on Monday granted certiorari in Carpenter v. United States to determine, "whether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell phone records revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment." The Stored Communications Act allows the government to obtain records without a showing of probable cause whenever it "offers specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe" that the records sought "are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation." The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that there is no expectation of privacy in these types of records. (Click here)

Justice Department weighs in against Wells Fargo in a whistleblower suit

The suit, which predates the sham-accounts scandal, involves two former bank employees who were fired after complaining about misdeeds they observed.

Don't block Twitter followers, First Amendment activists tell Trump

Is there a constitutional right to follow President Donald Trump on Twitter? It's a question that no one thought to pose until recently. A number of individuals have been blocked from Mr. Trump's @realDonaldTrump account because they "disagreed with, criticized or mocked" the president. First Amendment advocates at Columbia University's Knight First Amendment Institute say the Constitution requires those accounts to be unblocked.

Trump administration warns that US may pull out of U.N. Human Rights Council

The Trump administration is warning that the US might leave the U.N. Human Rights Council, arguing that it displays anti-Israel bias and ignores violations by certain countries. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the United States is "looking carefully at this council and our participation in it. We see some areas for significant strengthening."

Canada to change sex assault consent laws

Canada has announced it is amending its sexual assault laws to clarify what consent means and better protect victims in court. The law would clarify that someone cannot consent while unconscious, and expands "rape shield laws". Many of the proposed changes had already been introduced by the courts, but had yet to be written into law. (Click here)

Uber fires 20 staff after harassment investigation

Uber has fired more than 20 people, and is taking other actions against staff, after a harassment investigation. The taxi-app firm said the sackings related to sexual harassment, bullying and issues about poor company culture. Uber has been under fire over its treatment of women staff since a former employee wrote a scathing blog post about her experience. It led to two investigations and the uncovering of 215 complaints about harassment and other allegations. Law firm Perkins Coie reviewed 215 claims, which included sexual harassment and discrimination as well as other complaints. The firm recommended no action in 100 of them; 57 remain under review, while others have received warnings or are in training. Some of those fired held senior positions.

Germany sees rise in fake father scams with immigrants

German officials say growing numbers of pregnant immigrant women are paying German men to pose as fathers so that they can qualify for residency. There has been a rise in asylum requests from pregnant women from Vietnam, Africa and Eastern Europe. A new law is being drafted to tackle the fake paternity racket. Some pregnant immigrant women are reported to have paid fake fathers and solicitors as much as $5,628 to get paternity registered. Once that is done, the baby automatically becomes a German citizen and the mother has the right to stay. However, in 2013 a German Constitutional Court ruling said that even in suspicious cases it might not be worth contesting paternity, because the child could end up stateless and left in legal limbo.

Fate of Brazil's President Michel Temer hangs in the balance

Brazil's Superior Electoral Court has resumed its deliberations on a case which could topple the country's President, Michel Temer. The court, tasked with overseeing the electoral process, is looking at whether the 2014 elections were won using illegal campaign donations. These were the elections that Dilma Rousseff won, with Temer as her running mate. If the judges rule that the election campaign was indeed illegally financed, then the elections could be annulled, and Temer could be removed from office.

Philippines lawmakers petition Supreme Court to end martial law

Philippine opposition lawmakers petitioned the Supreme Court on Monday to reject President Rodrigo Duterte's imposition of martial law. Duterte declared martial law on May 23 when heavily armed militants linked to the Islamic State took over large parts of Marawi City, a provincial capital in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. Six House lawmakers, led by Representative Edcel Lagman, said those allied with Duterte should have held joint sessions to evaluate the constitutionality of the President's declaration. The petitioners said the claims that militants took over a hospital and decapitated a local police chief were incorrect. The also asserted that the conflict was caused by a government operation to capture a high-profile militant commander and not an unprompted uprising. Critics of Duterte's declaration of martial law say it parallels former dictator Ferdinand Marcos' rise to power. The martial law declaration has raised suspicions as to whether Duterte has other motivations, as he has introduced the prospect of martial law several times in connection with his deadly attempt to suppress drug sales in the Philippines. Duterte said he would ignore any opposition from the Supreme Court on the issue. The Supreme Court has 30 days to make a decision regarding the petition. (Click here)

When companies lead on infrastructure, taxpayers often bear the costs

The Trump administration is talking up the promise of private investment in public infrastructure. Experts question the long-term benefits. Public-private partnerships, as they are known, have many potential benefits. Companies can complete projects quicker and more cheaply than governments can, proponents say. Letting private industry take the lead can also limit the amount of debt that cities and states need to take on. There is a significant misunderstanding of the way public-private partnerships actually work. Taxpayers or users are going to need to pay for private infrastructure just as they need to pay for public infrastructure. You're going to need to get revenues from somewhere. Whether through fees like parking meters and tolls on a road, or through government payments to the contractors, such projects are ultimately supported by taxpayers.

Pinterest raises valuation to $12.3 billion with new funding

The digital scrapbook company raised $150 million, to improve its visual-search-and-recommendations technology and expand, easing pressure on it to go public.


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