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Archive for ‘ulc_ecomm_list’

Lawyers, Boards and Cybersecurity

A lot of attention is being paid these days to cyberthreats and cybersecurity. It seems widely accepted that such threats and security questions cannot be confined to the IT department any more, but they involve sufficiently critical threats to organizations that boards of directors have to get involved. When boards get involved, they turn to their counsel.

Some enterprising law firms in the US have published books on the topic. The blurb for this one strikes me as a bit over the top – and the threats they sketch have been real for years (off-the-shelf attack software available for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Will Facebook Overprotect Privacy?

According to the English media, Facebook is thinking of generating an automatic warning to a member who posts a picture of a child to a publicly-accessible page on Facebook.

Is this a serious over-reaction to the threat that the kid – or the parents – face from such a posting? How many people are actually affected by predators of any kind using online pictures? What proportion are those victims of the numbers of people whose pics are on FB?

Is this a tactic by FB to appear to be concerned about privacy when its entire lucrative business model is . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

How to Prove That a Computer Uploaded Documents to the Cloud

In R. v Cusick, the Ontario Superior Court upheld a search warrant of a computer where that computer was suspected of having been used to upload child pornography to a cloud storage service.

What one searches for, apparently, are ‘artifacts’ – digital traces of the child porn files that passed through the computer on the way to the cloud. The case notes the difference between uploading from the computer’s hard drive (in which case the files may also still be on the computer) and uploading from a USB drive or mobile device (in which case they may not be, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Problems With Bitcoins as Money?

As you know, the Canadian Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce published earlier this year a report on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Bradley Crawford, author of the leading banking law treatise in Canada, has recently written a commentary on that report and on digital currencies generally. That comment – quite critical of the Senate’s report – will be added to his treatise later this month.

He raises one issue that seems to me particularly important to those who promote the use of digital currencies in commercial exchanges: the transfer of control of units of Bitcoin (or equivalent) . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Digital Files Are Property in New Zealand

The Supreme Court of New Zealand has held that digital files in a CCTV system are property and could be stolen. Thus someone who accessed the system and uploaded the files to YouTube was convicted under the NZ criminal code for accessing a computer system without colour of right to obtain property.

The Court of Appeal had held that the digital files were not property, but the accused could be convicted of accessing the system to obtain a benefit, since he tried to sell the files before uploading them (not having found a buyer).

This seems like quite a change . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Interconnected Devices and Products Liability

We have occasionally discussed on this site (as recently as this week…) the implications of interconnected devices and the Internet of Things.

Here is an article that asks “should cyber-security vulnerabilities really be treated the same as design defects under traditional products liability law?”

The specific context is an infusion pump system that the Federal Drug Administration in the US thought was insecure and sent a warning about – a warning that sounded like a ‘defective product’ warning. The article raises a number of concerns about thinking about a security defect like another defect, including many complications about who . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Can Skype Be Used for Testimony in Court?

The Indian Supreme Court is to deal with a challenge to evidence of the complainant in a rape case that was taken by Skype. The complainant is Irish and is now in Ireland, and does not want to return to India for the trial.

The accused submits that the quality of the recording is not good enough to admit the evidence.

Does anything about the use of Skype in this case, or in general, make you uncomfortable?

Can there be a firm rule about the admissibility of private (or quasi-public) systems of video evidence, or should it depend on the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Voice Messages Compromised as Electronic Documents?

New technology is apparently capable of reproducing human speech very accurately – i.e. the speech of particular people.

Researchers have found automated and human verification for voice-based user authentication vulnerable, and explore how an attacker in possession of voice audio samples could compromise a victim’s security, safety and privacy.

It seems pretty clear to me that an electronic recording of a voice (as in a voice-mail message) is an electronic document within the meaning of all provincial e-commerce/transactions legislation. We (the folks who wrote the uniform law) considered the voice as a kind of biometric and saw no reason in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list

Ontario Court Takes Jurisdiction in Internet Defamation Case – Ho Hum?

The Superior Court of Ontario has recently held that an Israeli newspaper should face a defamation action in Ontario on behalf of an Ontario resident, since the newpaper’s website was read in Ontario. Goldhar v

The Court made short work of the ‘jurisdiction simpliciter’ argument, based on SCC decisions, and not much longer work, it would appear, of the forum conveniens arguments. It did order that the costs to bring the Israeli witnesses to Canada should be paid by the plaintiff.

Are these cases now routine? Is there any realistic chance for a defendant to avoid a trial . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Do You Have a BYOF Policy?

Here’s a cute but telling article on the privacy and security threats posed by wearable technology – things like smart watches and personal health monitors.

It’s a useful reminder that interconnected devices (Internet of Things stuff) are often lacking basic security or have only basic security, and they are often not updatable either. So they may be infected by security attacks that then get walked into an otherwise protected work environment and spring loose behind the firewalls.

Thus the suggestion of a Bring Your Own Fitbit policy. It’s not just the phones any more.

Views? Do you deal with such . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Enforceability of Do-Not-Link Provisions

The PanAm games currently being held in Toronto had until very recently a ‘do not link’ term on its web page.

I do not understand why such a term would be enforceable. What legal right is asserted? Linking does not imply endorsement, as we know from defamation cases. Nor – so far as I know – does it constitute use of any trade mark in the URL linked to, by the person making the link. So – what?

The Toronto IP firm Bereskin and Parr sets out an analysis of this issue. It mentions some of the difficulties . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Standing to Bring a Class Action for Data Breach

It appears as if there is a major difference between Canadian and US law on standing to sue, at least in class actions.

Most US class actions by people whose personal information has been compromised in some way by a data breach have been stopped by a motion to dismiss. The essence of the argument is that the prospective plaintiffs have not suffered any demonstrable damage, and the US Constitution that authorizes the court system requires that there be a real dispute, which requires real damages.

On the other hand, the Federal Court of Appeal has just decided, in Condon . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list