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May 2015 Legal Report Resources

​Investigations. A fisherman who threw undersized fish overboard following an inspection cannot be prosecuted under a federal criminal law against destroying corporate records, according to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Compensation. Security guards who monitor their radios during meal periods are not required to be compensated for work time, according to a ruling by a federal appeals court. Instead, the court held that under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the guards could not be paid because they could not demonstrate that time spent during their meal breaks was “predominantly” for the benefit of their employer.

Airport security. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would verify that airports have working plans in place for responding to security incidents inside their perimeter. The bill (H.R. 720) directs the assistant secretary of homeland security to conduct outreach to all U.S. airports that the Transportation Security Administration performs, or overseas implementation of, security measures. This outreach includes providing technical assistance to verify that they have working plans in place to respond to active shooters, acts of terrorism, and incidents that target passenger-screening checkpoints in place.

Information sharing. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) introduced legislation that would allow the federal government to provide real-time sharing of actionable, situational, cyberthreat information among all designated cyber operations centers. The bill (H.R. 234) is referred to as the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (CISPA) and is designed to help the United States protect, prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents.

Terrorism. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced legislation that greatly expands the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s (CSIS) powers to combat terrorism following an attack on Parliament Hill in October 2014. The Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 (C-51), allows CSIS to actively prevent terror plots in Canada and abroad instead of just acting as an intelligence gathering service.

Technology. China drafted new government regulations that would require technology vendors to meet strict security tests before being able to sell products to Chinese banks. The guidelines, created by the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission, would require source code powering operating systems, database software, and middleware be registered with the commission to be considered “secure and controllable.”

Border security. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (R-TX) introduced a bill that would allow the secretary of homeland security to conduct U.S. Customs and Border Protection security screening operations at preclearance facilities outside the United States. Under the bill (H.R. 82), the secretary would notify the congressional homeland security committees at least 90 days before entering an agreement to conduct security screening operations at a facility outside the United States.

Obstruction. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by a former BP executive on whether he can be charged with obstruction of Congress for misleading law makers about the amount of oil spilled in the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident. Prosecutors have accused David Rainey of telling a House of Representatives subcommittee that just 5,000 barrels of oil a day were being released from the well, despite his own estimates which said the flow rate was considerably higher.

Wrongful death. The sons of a woman who died following an incident that filled a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) train with smoke have filed suit against the agency. Carol Glover was among passengers trapped in a WMATA train for approximately 45 minutes after an electric arcing incident filled the tunnel, and then the train car, with smoke. Glover was the only passenger who died, but 84 others were transported to area hospitals for treatment.

Extradition. A Dutch court ruled that a Russian man accused of stealing more than 160 million credit card numbers in one of the largest U.S. corporate hacks can be extradited to New Jersey to face charges. Vladimir Drinkman is wanted, along with four others, for allegedly hacking computer networks that belong to some of the world’s largest payment companies—including Nasdaq, Carrefour, and JetBlue—to obtain credit and debit card numbers and selling them online.