Legal Considerations for Cellular Research

Presented at Black Hat USA 2013, Unknown date/time (Unknown duration)

The security of mobile communications is becoming increasingly critical, prompting security researchers to focus their attention on vulnerabilities in cellular systems. Researchers need to fully understand the legal ramifications of interacting with specialized hardware, cellular communications, and the restrictions imposed by service providers. This briefing will provide a legal overview of what a researcher should keep in mind when investigating mobile communications, technologies, and networks. We will cover legal issues raised by end user license agreements, jailrooting or rooting devices, and intercepting communications.


  • Marcia Hofmann - Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Marcia Hofmann is an attorney who litigates, counsels, writes, and speaks about a broad range of technology law issues, including computer crime and security, electronic privacy, free expression, and copyright. She recently launched a boutique law practice focusing on these topics, and is a member of the legal team appealing Andrew Auernheimer's criminal conviction on hacking charges. She is a fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. She also teaches Internet law as an adjunct professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. You can follow her on Twitter at @marciahofmann.
  • Kurt Opsahl - Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Kurt Opsahl is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation focusing on civil liberties, free speech and privacy law. Before joining EFF, Opsahl worked at Perkins Coie, where he represented technology clients with respect to intellectual property, privacy, defamation, and other online liability matters, including working on Kelly v. Arribasoft, MGM v. Grokster and CoStar v. LoopNet. For his work responding to government subpoenas, Opsahl is proud to have been called a "rabid dog" by the Department of Justice. Prior to Perkins, Opsahl was a research fellow to Professor Pamela Samuelson at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information Management & Systems. Opsahl received his law degree from Boalt Hall, and undergraduate degree from U.C. Santa Cruz. Opsahl co-authored "Electronic Media and Privacy Law Handbook." In 2007, Opsahl was named as one of the "Attorneys of the Year" by California Lawyer magazine for his work on the O'Grady v. Superior Court appeal.