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Archive for ‘Administration of Slaw’

Spying on Students Through Their Computers

Apparently, according to Boing Boing, a high school in Pennsylvania supplied students with laptop computers … with the unusual and unannounced feature that the school could remotely turn on the webcams installed in the computers and watch the students away from the school, such as at home, without the students knowing about it.

A lot of people find this very offensive – but what is the offence, exactly, as a matter of law?

Is it the unauthorized use of the computer? It’s the school’s computer. Does that make a difference? Does it make a difference if the terms of . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Identifying Lawyers — and Others

Stephen Mason and Nicholas Bohm have an interesting article, “Identity and its verification”, published in Computer Law & Security Review, Volume 26, Number 1, January 2010, 43 – 51. (Professor Stephen Mason has written a book on electronic signatures and runs a journal on similar topics. Nicholas Bohm is a security expert.)

It’s available on Science Direct [PDF] and also . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

UK Web Jurisdiction Case Over Hate Literature reports a recent decision of the Court of Appeal for England and Wales, R. v. Sheppard and Whittle, upholding a conviction for publishing hate literature though the material was stored on servers in California.

The connecting factor was that a “substantial measure of the activities” of the accused took place in England.

This is consistent with the Canadian decision in Citron v Zundel (Canada Human Rights Commission), where the material was also on a California server.

The English (and Welsh) Court held that the material could be held to be published without evidence that anyone actually read it. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Privacy Expectations Despite Weak Passwords and File Sharing?

If one has a weak password for one’s web-based personal information, is it reasonable to conclude that one has a reduced expectation of privacy with respect to that information?

(Here’s an English list (from 2006) of the 10 most common password and a list of the 500 worst ones, from the point of view of security.)

If someone uses “password” as his or her password, should he or she really be able to claim some privacy interest in the information behind it?

What about file sharing? If one has files or folders or most of one’s computer accessible to . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Practice of Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Privacy vs. Reputation

An English court has refused an injunction against the publication of the story of an alleged affair between a well-known football player and a teammate’s girlfriend: Terry v. Persons Unknown [2010] EWHC 119 (QB).

English law has recently given a good deal of protection to the privacy of celebrities, so some people have wondered if that protection is being reduced by this decision. says No.

One of the reasons (among several) for refusing the injunction in this case was that the application appeared to aim at protecting the player’s commercial sponsorships, rather than in protecting his feelings . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Save Slaw as PDF

From the people who brought you Hovercards before Twitter — indeed, before they even had a name — now comes “Save as PDF.” We’ve added a small link below each post in the “Share:” section that invites you to download that post as a PDF file. Now you can collect all of your favourites in a format that lets you file them, search them, make them larger or smaller, and generally enjoy the heck out of them offline. And notice, we placed it before the “Print” button — because we like saving trees.

Hovercards? Well, in case you hadn’t noticed: . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Should People Commenting on an Election Have to Use Their Real Names?

The government of South Australia has recently adopted a law that requires people commenting on the forthcoming state election to use their real names, and media will have to retain the names and addresses for six months. The requirement appears to apply to bloggers and comments on blogs etc.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone likes this.

Is it fair to say that requiring people to give their real names is a “gag” on debate?

Would the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prevent such a law in this country? In other words, does the freedom of expression protect anonymous speech? . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Uk Internet Registrars Get Authority to Block Sites for Alleged Criminal Activity

According to a piece on Out-Law.Com, Nominet, the UK domain administrator, is allowing domain registrars for domains to shut down web sites if there are credible allegations of criminal activity on those sites.

This is not supposed to happen with allegations of civil wrongs, such as copyright infringement (though if infringement is an offence under the Copyright Act, does that count as criminal?).

Registrars are cautioned not to lock someone out of their domain on the allegation of a commercial or personal rival . . .

Apparently this policy has been developed in association with the police. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Embrace New Ideas

♫ I’ve got a wealth of new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
(Show me, show me, show me all your new ideas)…♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by The Dykeenies.

In Nicole Garton-Jones’ post on “A Different Way to Look at Law Firm Strategy” we delved into the issue of trying to promote innovation within a law firm.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive the Ohio State University Leadership Center’s latest Leadership Newsletter by Beth Flynn, M.S. on this very issue. I sought and . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Right to Forget – Online

There is lots of advice around, addressed to the young and innocent but probably applicable to the old and jaded as well, to be cautious about what one puts online about oneself, since it could be there for a long time and influence people whose interest you have not yet thought about — future employers and mates being two of the main classes.

The French are now pondering a legal ‘right to forget’ (un droit à l’oubli) — or at least a right of a person to get old information about him/herself taken down. The BBC has the . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Slaw Wins Clawbie

With less than half a day to go till January 1, I’ve learned that Slaw has won the 2009 Clawbie for best law blog. This is indeed a fitting end to the year for all of us who contribute to Slaw — and considerable motivation to keep up the good work in the new year.

I’m particularly happy that we’re one of a growing number of Canadian law blogs, and I look forward to the stimulation of stiff competition next year from everyone nominated. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Slaw Wins Blawggie – Again

I’m more than proud to be able to say that Dennis Kennedy, that powerhouse of American law blogging, has awarded the 2009 Blawggie for Best Overall Law-Related Blog to Slaw. This is the second year in a row we’ve been favoured with the award — and we’re chuffed, to say the least.

Kennedy sets out the criteria by which he measures the blawgs he reads on a regular basis: They should offer “(1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment and talent, with an emphasis on good writing.”

Of Slaw, he says: . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw