The 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed by President Donald Trump on March 23, 2018, included a little-debated provision that revised portions of the 1986 Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) to permit the government to access through the use of a warrant or subpoena stored communications held abroad by providers of electronic communications services that are subject to United States jurisdiction.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act – or “CLOUD Act” – establishes that the SCA’s provisions concerning the production of electronic communications extend to those held abroad, establishes a framework for service providers to challenge an SCA warrant, directs courts to conduct a limited comity analysis to balance certain factors relevant to cross-border transfers of data, and introduces an incentive for foreign governments to enter into executive agreements with the United States governing cross-border data requests.

Prior to the enactment of the CLOUD Act, the Supreme Court was poised to rule in the case Microsoft Corporation v. United States of America, No. 17-2, on whether the SCA in its previous form permitted the use of a warrant to obtain electronic communications stored by a U.S. company on foreign servers. The relevance of that case, which was argued in February, is substantially undermined by this Congressional action.

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This year’s annual meeting of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress (“NPC”), brought forth a series of consequential changes that continue to push forward President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign while consolidating the President’s power through new party appointments and the elimination of the two-term limit, and streamlining government bureaucracies through the restructuring of several government agencies.  Among the key changes was the creation of a new anti-corruption “super” agency, vested with broad powers to investigate and recommend for prosecution prosecute public-sector corruption throughout the country. Continue Reading China’s New Anti-Corruption Authority And Related Developments

Joon Kim, former Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has rejoined the firm’s New York office as a partner in the enforcement and litigation group.

From March 2017 to January 2018, Joon served as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As the most senior federal law enforcement officer in the district, he oversaw all criminal and civil litigation conducted on behalf of the United States and supervised the work of approximately 220 Assistant U.S. Attorneys handling a wide range of cases, including securities fraud, cybercrime, domestic and foreign corruption, money laundering, tax litigation, terrorism, racketeering, and Bank Secrecy Act and sanctions violations, as well as civil rights, civil enforcement, and environmental matters. Before becoming Acting U.S. Attorney, he served for four years in various leadership positions in the office, including as the Deputy U.S. Attorney, Chief of the Criminal Division, and Chief Counsel to the U.S. Attorney. Continue Reading Joon Kim Returns to Cleary Gottlieb

On March 14, 2018, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo gave a speech at the Futures Industry Association (“FIA”) annual meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, in which he reviewed the CFTC’s activities during the past year and provided a preview of CFTC priorities for the coming year.[1]  Among the issues addressed in Chairman Giancarlo’s speech were the CFTC’s successes and priorities in enforcement, including in particular initiatives in the area of anti-spoofing and virtual currencies. Continue Reading Recent CFTC Enforcement Actions: Spoofing and Virtual Currency Task Forces

In an indictment unsealed on March 23, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) brought criminal charges against nine Iranian nationals affiliated with the Mabna Institute in Iran, alleging computer intrusion, fraud, and aggravated identity theft.[1]  Prosecutors charged the defendants with conspiring to steal a massive amount of intellectual property from universities, private companies, and government institutions worldwide, obtaining more than 31 terabytes of data.  The defendants allegedly acted on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is an arm of the Iranian government whose responsibilities include foreign operations and intelligence gathering.  In addition to the announced charges, the nine defendants and the Mabna Institute were also designated for sanctions by the Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Asset Control, pursuant to Executive Order 13694 “Blocking the Property of certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.”[2] Continue Reading Department of Justice Indicts Iranian Hackers, Revealing Significant Data Breach and Targeting of Intellectual Property of Private Companies and Educational Institutions

Earlier this month, partners Jennifer Kennedy Park and Kimberly Spoerri participated in a panel co-hosted by The Conference Board and Cleary Gottlieb to discuss the board’s oversight role in issues related to sexual harassment.

Moderator Doug Chia, executive director of The Conference Board, Jen and Kim discussed relevant legal regulations and frameworks and the risks of non-compliance, as well as the policies, procedures and best practices boards and senior management can employ to mitigate risks.  They discussed the responsibility the board has in setting company culture through tone at the top, and how the failure by the board and senior management to be proactive in this area can affect compliance and oversight throughout a company.  The discussion also included ways the board can tangibly address these issues.  Continue Reading Cleary Partners Participate in Panel Discussion on Board Oversight of Sexual Harassment

Within the past few months, the Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) has released a series of memos that indicate a shift in its policy related to the treatment of agency guidance documents.  This memorandum seeks to explain this policy shift and analyze its potential impact in the area of False Claims Act (“FCA”) enforcement. Continue Reading Shift in Policy on Guidance Documents Suggests Change in DOJ Attitude Towards FCA Enforcement

The European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on mutual recognition of asset freeze and confiscation orders (the “Proposed Regulation”),[1] introduced in December 2016, aims at improving the cross-border enforcement of asset freeze and confiscation orders within the EU.  It is part of a broader set of measures aimed at combating financial crimes, which includes a proposed Directive on countering money laundering through criminal law[2] and a proposed revised Regulation on controls on cash entering or leaving the Union.[3]

In January 2018, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (the “EP Committee”) issued a report on the Proposed Regulation, which proposes certain amendments to the Proposed Regulation aimed at taking into consideration fundamental rights guaranteed by the case law of the European courts, such as the right to property, due process, effective remedy and access to justice.  In particular, in line with requests made by several EU Member States, the EP Committee proposes to include in the Proposed Regulation a provision for the non-recognition of orders based on non-compliance with fundamental rights. Continue Reading Striking the Balance – Mutual Recognition of Freezing and Confiscation Orders Within the EU and Fundamental Rights

Internal investigations and public enforcement actions often pose legal issues involving multiple practice areas and jurisdictions.

In Italy, internal investigations may concern criminal, corporate, contract, data protection and labor law issues.

In the past, internal investigations in Italy tended to be mainly “reactive,” responding to public enforcement activities. The challenge in these investigations was balancing complying with disclosure obligations in relation to public enforcement authorities with volunteering confidential or disproportionate information. Continue Reading Internal Investigations and Public Enforcement: Italy at a Glance

On March 1, 2018, U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ” or the “Department”) officials announced that the Criminal Division is expanding the applicability of a policy that encourages corporate self-reporting and cooperation for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) to reach other types of non-corruption criminal cases.  Speaking at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime in San Diego, John Cronan, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Criminal Division, and Benjamin Singer, Chief of the DOJ Securities and Financial Fraud Unit, told attendees that the Criminal Division will apply the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy (the “FCPA Enforcement Policy”) as nonbinding guidance in cases other than FCPA cases.

The FCPA Enforcement Policy, which was adopted in November 2017, provided additional guidelines regarding the credit the Department will provide to companies that self‑report FCPA violations and then cooperate with the resulting investigation – including a presumption that self-reporting companies will not be criminally charged.  Expanding use of the FCPA Enforcement Policy signals the Department’s perception of its success and a further effort by DOJ to encourage companies to self-report and cooperate.  It also provides important guidance for companies faced with a variety of different types of investigations regarding the treatment they can expect, and tools to advocate before the Department for more favorable resolutions. Continue Reading DOJ Announces Expansion of Approach Encouraging Self Reporting and Cooperation