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Archive for ‘Technology: Internet’

Should Search Engines Index Court Decisions?

In the days of electronic access, judicial decisions (and sometimes other court records that have always been public in principle) no longer benefit from practical obscurity. Court have had to wrestle with the consequences of this, including tailoring the way decisions are written to reduce the amount of personal information they contain.

The Canadian Judicial Council has published material on this, as have the federal and state courts in the US.

Recently a US lawyer proposed that databases of court decisions should block search engines from indexing the decisions – a block that is very easy to implement, with a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Of German Email Encryption Tool Tutanota and Other PETs

I’ve written updates before on encryption for communications and why the legal profession should be interested in tools and trends like encrypted ephemeral messaging, Edward Snowden’s warnings for legal professionals, and the upcoming Chrome extension for end-to-end email encryption.

Much of the whys and wherefores around encryption and Privacy Enhancing Technologies (“PETs”) and their place in legal practice are part of a broader conversation around lawyers’ digital competency — such as what Amy Salyzyn often writes about here on Slaw. This in turn engages the larger topic of internet security (and for a general background see this . . . [more]

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

Thinking About Developing a “Technology Road Map” for Your Library?

I somehow managed to miss the release of “The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know” when it came out last May. This Library Information Technology Association (LITA) guide was edited by Kenneth J. Varnum, Web Systems Manager at the University of Michigan Library. Varnum also contributed one of the papers and was responsible for gathering together the guide’s contributors.

He provides some context for the collection in his introductory remarks:

In a landscape where tools and trends change in a heartbeat, how can a library technologist know what has staying power and might well

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

Canadians Create New Searchable Database of Edward Snowden Documents

George Raine, a recent graduate of the Faculty of Information’s Master of Information program at the University of Toronto, has created the Snowden Surveillance Archive, a searchable database of all the publicly released classified documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The leaks reveal the widespread surveillance practices by security and espionage agencies in the US and allied countries.

Archive project partners are Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the Politics of Surveillance Project at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. Funding came from The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting, a seven-year Major Collaborative . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Is a Typed Name on an Email a Valid Signature?

Both Canadian law and American law, through their uniform e-transactions statutes, give a wide definition to ‘electronic signature’ – being essentially any information in electronic form in or associated with a document with an intention to sign the document.

The ‘intention to sign’ requirement aimed to ensure that the same mental element was required for an e-signature as for a handwritten signature.

A recent California Court of Appeal case, J.B.B. Investment Partners v Fair, held that a person who typed his name at the bottom of an email saying ‘ I agree’ to settlement agreement sent to him by . . . [more]

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

Ontario Looks at ODR for Some Provincial Offences

The Ministry of the Attorney General is considering an online dispute resolution (ODR) system for dealing with some provincial offences, mainly traffic offences to start.

The system would rely on administrative monetary penalties rather than judicially-imposed fines. The consultation document talks about how someone with a ticket could challenge it online, as well as finding out more about how the process works.

Here is a useful table showing the major changes.

Feel free to participate in the consultation, or to say what you think of it here, or both. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Of Social Media Evidence Capture and WebPreserver

Vancouver is already headquarters to big names in the legal SaaS and social media software markets. Both Clio and Hootsuite are homegrown. For a couple of years I suspected that one of these—or perhaps an enterprising partner relying on the market reach and platform of one of these companies—would come along to knit legal and social media together in a product that served the unique needs of lawyers.

The unique need, to state it succinctly, is for an easy-to-use browser-based tool that captures posts (incriminating Facebook admissions, credibility destroying tweets, etc.) and preserves them with “evidentiary quality” . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Addressing Link Rot in Canadian Jurisprudence

Reading the latest edition of MIRLN, I was reminded again of the Perma.cc service for addressing link rot in journal articles and judicial decisions. I know the issue has been discussed a couple of times on Slaw. I was wondering what Canadian courts are doing to address the problem of link rot. Is there a Canadian equivalent to Perma.cc? Are any Canadian courts using or considering using Perma.cc? Is this a service that could one day be provided by CanLII, or are individual courts’ websites being used for this purpose already? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet

Of Digital Legacies and Changes to Facebook’s Memorial Pages

I must preemptively refer you to John Gregory’s post from last year when it comes to canvassing the laws, and lack thereof, around how third party services (like Google, Facebook, PayPal, etc.) are obliged to act upon the death of an account holder. The whole legal terrain is fascinating, and consists of a stewing heap of conflicting rationales, policies, privacy legislation and common laws around the rights of heirs, deceased people, states and private corporations. It’s all heading in a better direction, probably, with the advent of uniform legislation like FADA, but for some time it has been quite . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

Implicit Authorization in Ontario of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is hardly a new topic for practitioners, but it continues to be one which many struggle with. Part of the reason they struggle is the lack of clear guidance from the law societies.

The greatest concern tends to be client confidentiality, Rule 3.3 of the Model Code. However, as I stated this past week at the Ontario Bar Association Institute, many of these concerns are largely overstated, and the resistance to cloud computing may in fact compromise other components of professional responsibility, including competence (Rule 3.1) and quality of service (Rule 3.2).

I even take the controversial . . . [more]

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

FTC Report – Internet of Things – Privacy & Security

The US FTC just released a report entitled internet of things – Privacy & Security in a Connected World. Its a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the topic. It should be a mandatory read for anyone developing IoT devices or software. A summary of it is on JDSupra.

The conclusion of the FTC reports reads in part:

The IoT presents numerous benefits to consumers, and has the potential to change the ways that consumers interact with technology in fundamental ways. In the future, the Internet of Things is likely to meld the virtual and physical worlds together . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The Best Things I Read in January 2015

Information overload! There are just too many posts, tweets and articles flying around in the Twitterverse and elsewhere on social media and the Web. None of us can even pretend keep up. And while there is a lot of spam, self-promotional crap and other junk out there, there are some real gems that get lost in the sheer volume of content thrown at us on a daily basis. The trick is finding the content that is really interesting or helpful to you in a practical way. Patience is required, hashtags and a bit of luck can help, and identifying good . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Reading, Reading: Recommended, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology