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When Insurance Agencies Almost Killed Jessica Scorpio’s Startup, She Got Her State Government To Change The Law

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/insurance-agencies-blocked-getaround-wrote-a-law-2012-7

Jessica Scorpio of Getaround

Getaround was a hit when it launched last summer at TechCrunch Disrupt; it went on to raise a few million in financing.

It’s a peer-to-peer car rental service; when one person isn’t using their vehicle, they can rent it to a neighbor and give them a virtual set of keys.

But insurance companies almost killed Getaround before it could take off.

“We knew insurance would be our main problem,” Scorpio tells Inc.’s Christine Lagorio. Agencies wanted to know who would cover a car renter’s accident, the owner or the insurance company. Scorpio says she received a lot of notices that read, “We regret to inform you that we will not provide insurance coverage for this operation.”

Most people would have admitted defeated, but Scorpio found an impossible-sounding solution.

She helped write a new law.

“We started to plant the seeds in Sacramento. Democrats really like it because it’s green; Republicans really like it because it’s small business,” Scorpio tells Lagorio of her law proposal.

“The California law is AB 1871. It says that when participating in a personal-vehicle-sharing program, the car owner’s insurance is never going to be affected. An owner can make up to the value of the car—say, $10,000 a year for a normal vehicle—from renting it, but the car-sharing organization has to provide the insurance during the car-share period,” she says.

Three states have adopted a similar laws and now Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to insure GetAround.

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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Encrypting Your Hard Drive No Longer Works Against Federal Prosecution [Law]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5878709/encrypting-your-hard-drive-no-longer-works-against-federal-prosecution

Encrypting Your Hard Drive No Longer Works Against Federal ProsecutionSometimes common “street smarts” fail you. Like when you ask the guy who’s selling you drugs if he’s a cop. Or when you encrypt your hard drive and refuse to unlock it for prosecutors while citing the self-incriminating clause of the Fifth Amendment.

A federal court judge has just ruled that being forced to decrypt one’s hard drive during prosecution does not violate the defendants’s Fifth Amendment rights. The ruling stems from a case against Ramona Fricosu, who is charged with mortgage fraud. She has refused to decrypt the contents of her hard drive arguing that doing so would require her to essentially testify against herself.

Nuh-uh, said judge Robert Blackburn, citing an earlier ruling against one Sebastien Boucher. In that case, the courts decided that, while Boucher’s encryption password was certainly protected, the information on his drive could be considered evidence in the case and was therefore not subject to the same liberties.

“I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,” Blackburn wrote in his opinion today. He also cited the All Writs Act, a 1789 statute, could be invoked as well to force Fricosu’s compliance.

Friscosu has until February 21 to comply or face contempt of court charges. Geez, it’s getting to the point that your secrets are better left on microfilm in pumpkin patches rather than on your hard drive. [CNet via The Verge]

Image – Tatiana Popova / Shutterstock


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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

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