Marc Zwillinger

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Marc Zwillinger, Founder of ZwillGen, PLLC

Marc Zwillinger is an American lawyer who is considered to be one of the pioneers of information security law. He is reported to have created the first information security practice at any national law firm when he joined Kirkland & Ellis in 2000[1] after working in the United States Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. Since then, he has been appointed repeatedly to working groups and commissions on cybersecurity and privacy issues and has testified before the United States Congress on four different occasions[2][3][4][5] on the need to reform Title III (Wiretap Act) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, the U.S. law protecting information stored online and on cybersecurity.

He is also known for having launched a successful Internet privacy/Internet Security boutique law firm  ZwillGen PLLC[6]  which features several lawyers independently recognized as leaders in the privacy and security field. His current practice focuses on helping clients navigate the risks of doing business on the Internet and advising on issues related to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the Wiretap and Communication Acts, privacy, CAN-SPAM, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, spyware, adware, Internet gambling and adult-oriented content.

Life and career[edit]

Marc Zwillinger founded Zwillinger Genetski LLP (now ZwillGen PLLC),[7] a boutique law firm specializing in a wide range of Internet issues, in March 2010. In addition he also provides corporations with advice and counsel on protecting the data on their networks from internal and external threats, and counsels them through handling data breaches and internal misuse of their network. Zwillinger regularly works with clients who have suffered security breaches in conducting internal investigations, complying with security breach notification laws, and responding to Federal Trade Commission and state Attorney General inquiries.

Prior to founding Zwillinger Genetski, Zwillinger was a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in the firm's Internet, Communications & Data Protection Group where he had created the Internet, Communications and Data Protection Practice Group (originally called Information Security and Anti-Piracy). There, he helped coordinate the nationwide anti-piracy campaign against manufacturers and distributors of pirate devices on behalf of DIRECTV.[8] Marc also worked for the United States Department of Justice in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as a trial attorney from 1997-2000. In this position he was a team leader in investigating high-profile hacker penetrations into the military, governmental, commercial and educational computer systems. His team coordinated the investigations of several high-profile computer crime cases including the 1997 penetration of U.S. military computer systems by an Israeli hacker ("Solar Sunrise"),[9] the February 2000 denial of service (DoS) attacks on prominent e-commerce sites, and the Love Bug virus.[10] In addition, he investigated and prosecuted violations of the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (the "EEA") and represented the government at trial and in sentencing proceedings in United States v. P.Y. Yang, et al.,[11] the first EEA[clarification needed] case successfully tried in the United States. His work on this case was discussed extensively in the book "Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America."[12][13]

Before entering the DOJ Marc was a litigation associate for Kirkland & Ellis from 1995-1997. Prior to that he clerked for the Honorable Mark L. Wolf of the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts from 1994-1995. Marc earned his bachelor's degree from Tufts University (1991) graduating magna cum laude and received his law degree from Harvard Law School (1994) also magna cum laude.

Publications and law reviews[edit]

  • "Criminal Discovery of Internet Communications Under the Stored Communications Act: It’s Not A Level Playing Field," Northwestern Law Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, June 2007
  • "Compliance with Breach Notification Laws,", July 2005.
  • "Liability for Unsecured Computer Systems," a White Paper for Corporate Counsel's Directory of In-House Law Departments at the Top 250 Companies, American Lawyer Media, December 2003.
  • "Calculating Loss under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996," George Mason Law Review, June 2001
  • "When the Government Wants What it Can't Have: Obtaining Electronic Evidence" Business Crimes Bulletin, June 2001
  • "Developing a Computer Policy Framework: What Every General Counsel Should Know," The Internet Newsletter, Law Journal Newsletters, June 2001
  • "Intrusion Response Planning," Legal Times, January 29, 2000
  • "Conflicting Views of the Economic Espionage Act," Criminal Justice Magazine, October 2000

Awards and recognition[edit]

Marc has been ranked by Chambers as a leading lawyer in Privacy & Data Security law from 2007 to the present 2011 issue, noting his specific expertise with Electronic Communications Privacy Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act issues.[14] He has appeared on national news programs and regularly is quoted as a trusted source for a number of national media outlets.[15]

In the media[edit]

  • "Hacked!" - Canadian Lawyer, September 2011
  • "Joe Francis: Hollywood Poker Is 'Perfectly Legal'" - TMZ, June 2011
  • "Sony Faces Lawsuit, Regulators' Scrutiny Over PlayStation Breach" - Bloomberg, April 2011
  • "Leaving Big Law Behind: The many frustrations that cause well-paid lawyers to hang out their own shingles." - Slate, August 2010
  • "New privacy laws needed that entail GPS technology, hot-headed rogue cops" - Engadget, June 2010
  • "FBI turning to social Web sites to fight crime" - Taipei Times, March 2010
  • "Law enforcement increasingly using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter to nab criminals" - NY Daily News, March 2010
  • "Craigslist The site has its fans; critics warn of scams" -, January 2009
  • "A Cold Call, a Blog, and a $20 Million Lawsuit" - Inc. Magazine, November 2008
  • "Al Qaeda Hacker Attack Scheduled To Begin November 11th" - Information Week, November 2007
  • "Courts Checking Executive Power to Get Americans' Communications, Experts Say" - Wired Blog Network, September 2007
  • "FBI Seeks To Pay Telecoms For Data" - Washington Post, July 2007
  • "Are Identity Protection Services Effective? Who Knows?" - PC Magazine, October 2006
  • "AOL to dig for gold at home of spammer's folks" - MSNBC, August 2006
  • "Fraud reveals workings of Internet" - USA Today, September 2005
  • "Defendant Acquitted in DVD Hacking Case" - PC World, January 2003
  • "Student Arrested in DirecTV Piracy Case" - New York Times, January 2003
  • "FBI Nabs DirecTV- Sharing Student" - Wired, January 2003
  • "FBI Bureaucracy Hobbles Tech Adoption" - PC Magazine, February 2002
  • "E-mail catches up to snail mail" - USA Today, February 2002
  • "Fighting Crime Online: Who Is in Harm's Way?" - New York Times, February 2001

Boards and working groups[edit]

Marc served as a Commissioner on Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, from 2008 - 2010.[16] He was also a member of the Corporate Information Security Working Group, which worked under the auspices of Chairman Adam Putnam from the United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census . In 2003, he was a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences[17] Committee on Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Law, and help write the Commission's 2003 Report: "Critical Information Infrastructure Protection and the Law: An Overview of Key Issues."[18] Marc is currently on the advisory board of FanCandy, and previously served on the advisory boards of Attributor and Foundstone, a division of McAfee.


External links[edit]