Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Technology’

Encryption Backdoors – a Very Bad Idea

Encrypting our data and devices keeps our information safe. It keeps thieves out of our banking information, protects our personal health info from prying eyes, prevents fraud, lets us have candid private conversations, and helps keep the surveillance state at bay. 

But far too often law enforcement and governments view encryption as a hindrance, and call for backdoors to encryption so they can circumvent encryption when they want access. 

Security experts are adamant that backdoors to encryption would cause far more harm than good. It’s like a team of people with sledgehammers trying to kill a fly in a . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

#Clawbies2019 Are Here!

As it does every year, December 1st has snuck up us. The date arrives just as the holiday busy season is heating up, and folks are packing their days and evenings with holiday shopping, parties, card-writing and travel plans. In the midst of all this, we ask the Canadian legal community to add one more thing to their plate: participating in the Canadian Law Blog Awards, fondly known as the Clawbies, now in its 14th year.

Thankfully, no one ever complains about this “one more thing”. In fact, many folks say they are grateful for the opportunity to reflect on . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information, Technology: Internet

Digital Assets Revisited

A recent news story, on CBC and elsewhere, told of a woman whose son went missing for two years. When she found his body (in a morgue), she did not know why he died. She has been trying to get information about his social media accounts, in order to see if there was something particular on his mind that might explain his death.

She has not been very successful, especially with the US social media giants like Yahoo and Google. (She did get an order from a Canadian court that got her some information from Canadian sources.)

Question: should the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Hot Off the Press: “Law Librarianship in the Age of AI”

Law Librarianship in the Age of AI” is an excellent collection of essays which landed on my desk last week. In the preface editor Ellyssa Kroski, Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute, says the book provides answers to these questions: “what exactly is AI, what does it really mean for the legal field, and how does it affect law libraries and law librarians?”

Topics include machine learning, AI tools and applications, opportunities for law librarians, legal research and education, access to justice, and ethical uses of AI.

Also included is a great . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The “Twitter Town Hall” Comes Back to BC on Monday October 28

For several years now, the Provincial Court of BC has engaged in regular annual Twitter Town Halls as a form of digital outreach—an effort to bring more transparency about the judicial process through direct engagement between members of the Bench and the public.

The first one, carried out in 2016, garnered international attention from the Conference of . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Justice Issues, Technology: Internet

Making Mischief With Open-Source Legal Tech: Radiant Law

Alex Hamilton is smiling on his couch in London, chatting with me over Skype. It’s early here in Alberta, late afternoon there. He takes a draw from what looks like a vape pen and grins widely, his eyes raised toward the ceiling. He looks back at the camera on his laptop.

“I think we can make some mischief,” he says with a twinkle in his eyes.

Hamilton is the CEO of Radiant Law, a “NewLaw” firm with offices in London, England and Cape Town, South Africa. In Canada, they have a partnership to Conduit Law called ConRad. Radiant

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Wipe That Drive!

A recent University of Hertfordshire study found that the majority of second-hand hard drives contain previous owner’s data. They purchased 200 used hard drives, and found that 59% still contained data from previous owners.

ZDNet has the details of the findings, and more importantly, 14 ways to wipe them effectively.

Every electronic device has some sort of memory that can potentially contain sensitive, confidential, or personal information. That includes computer hard drives, solid state drives, thumb drives, photocopiers, phones, cars, watches, smart TVs, and the list goes on. Whether we are disposing them, selling them, or returning them, we need . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Office Technology

The Supreme Court of Canada Decisions’ Website Is Evolving

Some of you may have noticed that after over 25 years of being hosted exclusively under the Lexum domain at https://scc-csc.lexum.com, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) judgments are now also available under the Court’s own domain at https://decisions.scc-csc.ca. On top of the new URL, the database has been graphically integrated with the SCC institutional website, making it easier to navigate between judgments and the rest of the information published online by the court.

Renée Thériault, the Court’s Executive Legal Officer, says “This initiative is part of the Court’s continued efforts to make case-related information more accessible . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Time to Review Your Accessibility Plans and Prepare to File a Report in 2020

1. Review your multi-year accessibility plans by January 1, 2020

On January 1, 2014, section 4(1) of the Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) required the Government of Ontario, Legislative Assembly, designated public sector organizations and large organizations (50 plus employees) to have multi-year accessibility plans in place and posted on their websites (if any), and to provide the plan in an accessible format upon request.

The multi-year accessibility plan must inform and outline the organization’s strategy for preventing and removing barriers faced by persons with disabilities and also for meeting . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

A Day in the Life of a PBO Hotliner

Prior to Ontario’s most recent provincial election, I didn’t know much about Pro Bono Ontario (“PBO”), a registered charity since 2001 which serves just under 30,000 clients each year from 11 locations. I wasn’t a litigator, and my clients were large corporations, not regular, everyday Canadians, so it wasn’t part of my world. But earlier this year, PBO gave a most impressive presentation to the Legal Innovators Roundtable describing how it was achieving maximum impact with a modest budget through its Free Legal Advice Hotline, using a thoughtful blend of volunteers as well as old and new technology. It sounded . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

CyberSecure Canada Standards for SMEs

The Canadian government has released a Cyber security controls standards document meant for small and medium sized business (499 employees or less), along with a certification program called CyberSecure Canada.

Cyber risks seem to be getting worse. Dangers include external hackers, phishing and social engineering attempts, and intentional and unintentional internal leaks. Responsibility is now considered to be at the board level, and does not stop at the CIO.

Cyber security can be a daunting task for small business. As the standard says, normal security standards “… are expensive to implement, beyond the financial and/or human resources means of most . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Privacy Rights in the Internet Age and the New Tort of Public Disclosure of Private Facts

“Society has been scrambling to catch up to this problem [the publication of intimate photos or videos online without consent] and the law is beginning to respond to protect victims.” – Justice Stinson in Jane Doe 464533 v N.D., 2017 ONSC 127

Gradually courts have been awarding damages for the tort of public disclosure of private information. The tort of public disclosure of private information consists of the following elements: (a) the defendant publicized an aspect of the plaintiff’s private life; (b) the plaintiff did not consent to the publication; (c) its publication would be highly offensive to a . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Technology