Ryan Rohlfsen Comments on DOJ Scrutiny of Encrypted Messaging Apps in Bloomberg Law

In The News
September 28, 2022

The U.S. Department of Justice recently released a memo stating an intent to put more emphasis on the transparency of digital communications in white-collar probes. This comes as employees increasingly favor encrypted messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Signal, for communication, as opposed to traditional business channels such as email. However, encrypted messaging data is inaccessible to companies, investigators, and prosecutors, creating a roadblock in procuring evidence for corporate criminal investigations.

The banking industry, in particular, is subject to stricter regulations for record-keeping and data management, due to the possibility of insider trading. The recent DOJ memo suggests that similar rules for employee communications in other industries may be implemented in the future. Ryan Rohlfsen, partner and co-chair of the global anti-corruption and international risk practice, commented in Bloomberg Law on this possibility. “Does the government start saying ‘let’s use that as a model; that companies should really be following this more broadly?’ There’s been a lot of rumblings about what’s coming down the pike, while recognizing that [the SEC Wall Street] cases involve particular regulations around financial institutions.”