Friday, August 03, 2018

DOJ Report of the Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force

‘Give the information to the feds, not to the plebs’. This, crudely, has been one of the main arguments deployed against publishing the beneficial ownership of companies and other legal entities. Law enforcement agents chasing money launderers or tax evaders using anonymous shell companies need this information, and can already get it through tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) or mutual legal assistance (MLA) requests, this argument goes. The general public doesn’t need to know, and indeed encouraging public vigilantism can discourage states to comply with legitimate law enforcement requests.
UK legislators made several versions of this argument to oppose amendments to the 2017 Criminal Finances Bill which would have mandated direct legislation to establish public beneficial ownership registers in the British Overseas Territories (OTs). And when earlier this year the UK Parliament finally passed such a measure – which is still being fought by several OT administrations – their lobbyists and advocates similarly argued that the OT’s provision of information to law enforcement puts them beyond reproach, or need of reform

'Marvellous': $2.6m tax cheat known for his generosity by Patrick Begley

Did the FBI have access to the Panama Papers?

    Hanging a guitar on the wall makes the ultimate statement that you are an artist. Adding framed artworks of sketches and maps along with an animal sculpture or houseplant will make the space even more artsy.

    Jack Goldsmith on cybersecurity and international law

    …the U.S. intelligence services break into computers and computer networks abroad at an astounding rate, certainly on a greater scale than any other intelligence service in the world.
    How will the United States respond when Russia and China and Iran start naming and indicting U.S. officials?  Maybe the United States thinks its concealment techniques are so good that the type of detailed attribution it made against the Russians is infeasible.  (The Shadow Brokers revealed the identities of specific NSA operators, so even if the National Security Agency is great at concealment as a matter of tradecraft that is no protection against an insider threat.)  Maybe Russia and China and Iran won’t bother indicting U.S. officials unless and until the indictments actually materialize into a trial, which they likely never will.  But what is the answer in principle?  And what is the U.S. policy (if any) that is being communicated to military and civilian operators who face this threat?  What is the U.S. government response to former NSA official Jake Williams, who worked in Tailored Access Operations and who presumably spoke for many others at NSA when he said that “charging military/gov hackers is dumb and WILL eventually hurt the US”?

    DOJ Report of the Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force

    “In February 2018, the Attorney General established a Cyber-Digital Task Force within the Department and directed the Task Force to answer two basic, foundational questions: How is the Department responding to cyber threats? And how can federal law enforcement more effectively accomplish its mission in this important and rapidly evolving area? This report addresses the frst question. It begins by focusing on one of the most pressing cyber-enabled threats our Nation faces: the threat posed by malign foreign influence operations. Chapter 1 explains what foreign influence operations are, and how hostile foreign actors have used these operations to target our Nation’s democratic processes, including our elections. This chapter concludes by describing the Department’s protective efforts with respect to the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, and announces a new Department policy—grounded in our longstanding principles of political neutrality, adherence to the rule of law, and safeguarding the public trust—that governs the disclosure of foreign influence operations. Chapters 2 and 3 discuss other cyber-enabled threats our Nation faces, particularly those connected with cybercrimes. These chapters describe the resources the Department is deploying to confront those threats, and how our efforts further the rule of law in this country and around the world. Chapter 4 focuses on a critical aspect of the Department’s mission, in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation plays a lead role: responding to cyber incidents. Chapter 5 then turns the lens inward, focusing on the Department’s efforts to recruit and train our own personnel on cyber matters. Finally, the report concludes in Chapter 6 with thoughts and observations about certain priority policy matters, and charts a path for the Task Force’s future work. Over the next few months, the Department will build upon this initial report’s findings, and will provide recommendations to the Attorney General for how the Department can even more efciently manage the growing global cyber challenge.”
    Gorgeous Libraries to Inspire Your Home Library
    Lawyers and accountants often push their clients to plan for unpleasant events. Better to be prepared now than to pay the consequences later. But the Republican tax law that took effect in January has added a new urgency for wealthy Americans contemplating divorce.

    Inc., Burger King Takes on the Pink Tax and It's Brilliant: Would You Pay Twice As Much For "Chick Fries"?:
    Have you heard of the "pink tax"--a term for the routine practice of charging more for products and services targeted to women than those targeted to men? If not, you will soon. Though the term's been around for years, and the practice itself has existed from the earliest days of commerce, both have gained more prominence lately. That's thanks to a study showing just how common it is, and a bill introduced in the House to make gender-based pricing illegal. Now, Burger King has gotten into the act in a very witty way.

    Michaelia Cash defends crackdown on fake R&D

    Michaelia Cash says Bill Ferris R&D grants being withheld to balance the budget -

    Chronicle of Philanthropy:  How the IRS’s Stance on Donor Disclosure Corrupts the Nonprofit World, by Roger Colinvaux (Catholic):
    The Internal Revenue Service made clear last week just how broken federal oversight of nonprofits has become when it announced that nonprofits (other than charities) no longer need to tell the agency the names of people who give $5,000 or more.