CYBER PREMIUMS WAY, WAY UP: Cyber insurance premiums are skyrocketing amid a spate of hacking attacks on U.S. companies over the past two years.  Reuters reports:

On top of rate hikes, insurers are raising deductibles and in some cases limiting the amount of coverage to $100 million, leaving many potentially exposed to big losses from hacks that can cost more than twice that…. The price of cyber coverage – which helps cover costs like forensic investigations, credit monitoring, legal fees and settlements – varies widely, depending on the strength of a company’s security. But the overall trend is sharply up.

FBI CHIEF’S COMMENTS DRAW PRAISE: A decision not to seek new laws guaranteeing government access to consumers’ encrypted data is drawing praise for the Obama administration from privacy advocates and tech firms. Still, “neither side expects the decision, discussed in Senate testimony by FBI Director James Comey on Thursday, to be the last word in the delicate balance between protecting national security and protecting proprietary data,” Bloomberg reports. “Comey told senators on Thursday that the White House won’t ask Congress for encryption-related legislation, choosing instead to keep up ‘increasingly productive’ discussions with companies about easing the risks to national security and law enforcement.”

TPP LANGUAGE RAISES QUESTIONS: The apparent release of the intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership by Wikileaks is stoking concerns about freedom of expression under the deal, the Guardian reports:

One chapter appears to give the signatory countries (referred to as “parties”) greater power to stop embarrassing information going public. The treaty would give signatories the ability to curtail legal proceedings if the theft of information is”detrimental to a party’s economic interests, international relations, or national defense or national security” – in other words, presumably, if a trial would cause the information to spread.