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Archive for ‘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

More on Social Media and the Courts

We have recently learned of the Alberta order for service of process by Facebook.

An English court has now ordered service of a injunction via Twitter — where the Twitter user was anonymous, impersonating a blogger (it’s a complicated world out there!): http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8285954.stm

I suppose there could be interesting questions if the Twitter user was not in the jurisdiction of the court, depending on (among other things) whether the rules of practice permit service out of the jurisdiction without prior leave of the court.

The complainant thought it was more efficient to get an ex parte injunction and serve it . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Online Defamation – Single Publication Rule?

The government of the United Kingdom is thinking about instituting a ‘single publication’ rule for online defamation. Here’s a story about that issue, with a link to the government’s consultation paper.

The single publication rule is an American rule that makes a limitation period for defamation run from the first publication of the defamatory statement. If the defamation remains available, say through the continuing availability of a book or through a newspaper archive, that does not restart the limitation period. US courts have applied that rule to Internet publications.

Canadian and British courts do not have a single publication rule . . . [more]

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

Domain Names as Property (Again)

Slaw has discussed a couple of times [* *] whether domain names are property of any kind, including property that can be seized to satisfy creditors. The California Court of Appeal — Palacio del Mar Homeowners Assn., Inc. v. McMahon, Cal.Rptr.3d 2009 WL 1668294 (Cal. App. 4 Dist. June 16, 2009) [PDF] — has recently decided the latter question in the negative: no seizure. (Internet Cases has a summary.)

Part of the issue was whether the domain name was property that could be ‘levied upon by taking it into custody.’ If that’s the test then lots . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

EU Privacy Directive – Growing Obsolete?

The British Information Commissioner sponsored a study by RAND Europe of the EU Privacy Directive [PDF]. The study found the Directive in need of an overhaul, possibly a rebuilding from the ground up.

Here are the main challenges identified in the study, along with strengths and weaknesses of the current regime. Are any of them applicable to the Canadian system, either to PIPEDA and the provincial statutes that provide the framework, or to the privacy commissions that operate under them? Are the concerns applicable to public sector privacy statutes and commissioners as well?

From the study: . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

The Canadian Anti-Spam Bill

The Electronic Commerce Protection Act, Bill C-27, has passed second reading in Parliament and will go to committee for review.

Views seem to differ on parts of the bill, while other parts are generally accepted.

One of the areas of contention deals with the degree of consent required to send someone an email. The Bill has an ‘opt in’ system, by which the sender needs the express or implied consent of the addressee to send a message. An existing business relationship may imply consent.

However, some people say that the Bill is so broadly drafted that it would prohibit . . . [more]

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

More on Facebook Evidence

The media are slowly picking up on the number of court cases that are requiring disclosure of Facebook and other social network pages in litigation. SunMedia has a story today — see, e.g. “Social networking plays out in court” in the North Bay Nugget, and yesterday there was a story on Canoe Technology, “Facebook content showing up in lawsuits.” [See also "An Obligation to Discuss Facebook During Discovery," from a couple of months ago on Slaw.]

Ian Kerr of U of Ottawa is quoted in the Sun Media story as saying this:

“The courts

. . . [more]

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

Ratifying the Electronic Communications Convention

I would like to raise again whether Canada should ratify the UNCITRAL Electronic Communications Convention (ECC). The ECC sets out in treaty form some of the basic rules of the 1996 Model Law on Electronic Commerce about how legal requirements that appear to need paper writings can be satisfied by electronic communications. The Convention operates only for international contracts, though it can be used as well to interpret other conventions to which the ratifying country is a party.

Thus the Convention says that information shall not be denied legal effect solely because it is in electronic form; that a legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list