Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Technology’

From LegaltechTO BYOD Risk Management Strategies and Pitfalls

One of the many excellent presentations that I attended at Legaltech TO on September 24 focused on a couple of ways to deal with BYOD in legal. Steve Heck, Regional CIO at Microsoft Canada offered the ‘make everything securely accessible from any device’ option. Eugene Cipparone, Director, Professional Support at Goodmans LLP offered that firm’s strategy which I will sum up here as ‘educate and enable’.

Both of these perspectives have value. On one hand, mobile devices are only used to access what is secured by two factor authentication on the web. Because the content resides and can be used . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Restoring Previous Versions of Files in Windows

I don’t usually write “how-to” posts, but I wasn’t aware of this restore feature in Windows and thought others might find it useful. Last week I accidentally saved a file and ended up replacing another file in the process. This can easily happen when you click on ‘Save’ instead of ‘Save As’ for example. In my case I was exporting a file from a software application and saving it to a directory on our network drive.

Normally the file is exported and then saved over a template or place-holder file. Usually not a problem: easy to do and maintains consistent . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

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

4 Tech/geek Events From Yesterday

Yesterday was a busy day in the tech/geek world.

Edward Snowden got a twitter account yesterday. His profile includes “I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public.” As I write this he has just under a million followers. At least he has a sense of humour – the only twitter account he follows is the NSA.

Tesla announced the long awaited Model X SUV, complete with falcon wing doors and a “bioweapon defense mode” button on the air filtration system.

Google announced new updated phones, the release of their new Marshmallow OS, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Physics and the Strategic Reinvention of the Legal Profession

F=ma. Sir Isaac Newton, in his second law of motion, tells us why it is so hard to get the legal profession to adopt new technology.

Newton’s second law says that for any force you apply to an object, the amount of acceleration you get is inversely proportional to the mass of that object. That means that the larger the object is, the smaller the acceleration you will get (for a given force). This is called “inertia”.

Lawyers have a lot of mass. I don’t mean that they are physically massive people; rather I mean that, as a body of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Volkswagen, Proprietary Software and Getting Caught

Last week there was an interesting post by Xeni Jardin on Boing-Boing concerning the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Jardin cites a New York Times article by Jim Dywer called, “Volkswagen’s Diesel Fraud Makes Critic of Secret Code a Prophet” published earlier in the week.

This is the bit that caught immediately my attention at Boing-Boing:

“Proprietary software is an unsafe building material. You can’t inspect it.”

That quote comes from a talk Columbia Law School professor Eben Moglen gave to the Scottish Society for Computers and Law about 5 years ago, “When Software is in Everything: Future . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology


I am happily attending excellent educational sessions at Legaltech Toronto. Follow the hashtag #IN_LegaltechTO to see the collective notes.

Four sessions in and I am very glad to be here even with the red eye flight with a 10 month old baby on the next seat.

Three screen shots of slides illustrate why:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Technology

Rethinking Risk Management

Most risk management advice is based on how to avoid bad things through taking proactive and preventative steps. For example, use checklists on every file to avoid missing crucial steps. Document the advice you’ve given, particularly if your client isn’t likely to follow it. Use retainer letters to set clear expectations for your clients.

Other advice is based on avoiding risk through knowing when to leave well enough alone. The best is example is the axiom that a lawyer should never sue for fees because that’s a frequent trigger for a legal malpractice claim or law society misconduct complaint.

But . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet

Of Social Media Privacy Through Obscurity

Prof. Woodrow Hartzog is an interesting voice on privacy law and technology. He has written about his own research and interviewed others on the role that obscurity plays in our modern conceptions of privacy. Technologies like encrypted communication applications and device encryption tools can be privacy-enhancing technologies, while obscurity — the condition of being unknown or not entirely comprehensible to others — is a privacy-enhancing state.

Obscurity, it appears, is a state that many of us seek out when it comes to social media, even if we don’t realize it. And if you’re reading this thinking, “I don’t . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Citizen’s Lab Receives 2015 Internet Pioneer Award

I heard Ron Deibert, Director of the Citizen Lab speaking with Matt Galloway this morning on Metro Morning. The Citizen Lab team, working out of the Munk School of Global Affairs, will be one of the recipients of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) Internet Pioneer Award.

The Citizen Lab is “an interdisciplinary laboratory … focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), human rights, and global security.”

Deibert posted this comment about winning the award on their website:

It is a huge honour and a tribute to all Citizen

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

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

Privacy Panic Cycle

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has released their analysis of how privacy advocates trigger waves of public fear about new technologies in a recurring “privacy panic cycle.”

The report is an interesting read and makes some valid points. In general, people fear new things more so than things we are familiar with. Like the person who doesn’t fly much being nervous about the flight when statistically the most dangerous part of the journey is the drive to the airport.

While a privacy panic for emerging tech is indeed common, we can’t summarily dismiss that panic as having no basis. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology