White House Enlists Help To Get Hip To Cyber Legal Issues

Back in the day, President Bill Clinton touted the development of the “information superhighway,” and Vice President Al Gore not entirely accurately was reported to have stated that he had invented the Internet.

Since then, the Internet has exploded and grown exponentially. There have been many benefits, such as the potential to purchase a tremendous number of goods and services online, as well as the ability to communicate freely via social media portals such as Facebook and Twitter.

Of course, the Internet also presents risks. Indeed, the news frequently is filled with reports of privacy violations and security compromises.

In the wake of these realities, the White House now further seeks to get hip by hiring Twitter counsel Nicole Wong. She will occupy a new senior advisory position with an emphasis on Internet and privacy policy, according to Reuters. Wong will team with Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, with a White House aim of dedicating more efforts to combating hackers.

Ms. Wong’s appointment appears timely. The Obama administration currently is dealing with the fallout from revelations that the government has been monitoring phone and online communications of citizens as it tries to fight terrorism.

Ms. Wong is no stranger to Washington, D.C. While the legal director at Twitter, she reportedly testified before Congress with respect to the threat of Internet censorship in other countries.

Before working at Twitter, Ms. Wong was a vice president and deputy general counsel at Google. At that time, she reportedly advocated Internet freedom as a tenet of foreign policy to a Senate Judiciary Committee. And while at Google, she was a key decision-maker in dealing with government requests to remove “objectionable” links and content from YouTube, according to press reports.

There is no doubt that Ms. Wong has a stellar resume. Hopefully, her advice and counsel will be valuable to help steer Internet policy for the Obama administration going forward.

Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. You can read his professional biography here. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod’s columns, please email him at ejsinrod@duanemorris.com with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s law firm or its individual partners.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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