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Archive for ‘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

Out-law.com 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. Out-law.com 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

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 dot.uk 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

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

Is a Printed Document Defective in Law?

Dominic Jaar has an interesting article in the droit-inc blog (en français) suggesting that a printed document may have less legal impact than the electronic original, because the printout does not reproduce all the information in the original, notably not the metadata. And these days, pretty well all documents start in electronic form, in a word processing program of some sort. Who has a typewriter any more?

This is a particular issue in Quebec because of the terms of the Act to provide a legal framework for information technologies — Loi concernant le cadre juridique des technologies de l’information, . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Law Enforcement Access to Geolocation Information From Telephone Companies

Here’s a recent statistic from an American study:

“Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers’ (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers.”

More on the blog of a PhD candidate in informatics, Slight Paranoia.

We have had some debate in Canada about law enforcement’s right to collect from ISPs (without a warrant) the name and address of people behind IP addresses. Cases have gone both . . . [more]

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

Dealing With Digital Assets After Death

The New York Times had an interesting blog entry the other day about how one should plan to have one’s digital assets dealt with after death.

The author is not talking about bank or brokerage accounts accessed by electronic means, but about one’s PayPal account, or eBay, or Second Life virtual/real estate, etc — social media assets, as it were — or just personal information that one might not want to survive one’s own ability to control it.

Is this something we should be concerned about in Canada? What would you recommend? Or do most people really have to care . . . [more]

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

Wanted: A Synopsis of Canadian Cybersecurity Laws

I have been asked (by an American colleague) if I know of any synopsis of “Canadian cybersecurity laws”. I am told that this expression means some mix analogous to the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, covering as well wiretaps, crimes, specific requirements for securing data. Core is private sector rather than critical infrastructure or national security.

It is conceivable that there is a chapter or more in the various collections of learning on IT or e-com law on the topic, which Canadian members of this blog are familiar with. Care to name them? Is there a book in Sunny . . . [more]

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

Checking the Age of Online Purchasers

There is a private member’s bill before the House of Lords in Britain — Online Purchasing of Goods and Services (Age Verification) Bill [HL] 2008-09 — to require online retailers to verify the age of people buying goods whose purchase is restricted by age, e.g. liquor or cigarettes. It is described here.

Some scepticism has been expressed about its desirability, in part based on the difficulty of actually doing what the law would require.

Do you think this kind of law would be a good idea here? Or should we accept as a fact that age restrictions on purchases . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list