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Archive for ‘Technology: Internet’

What if Your Personal Digital Assistant Defames Somebody?

We recently had a discussion about police access to the recordings made by in-home digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and its (her?) ilk.

Now our focus turns to the actions of these devices if they do bad things themselves. This story reports that Siri, Apple’s version, routinely answered requests in Toronto for prostitutes by referring the inquired to an “eSports bar” – one where clients play electronic sports games. Apparently the word may be too close to “escorts” for Siri’s sense of discrimination. It is clear – take it as established for the present discussion – that the bar is . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

LSUC Finally Fights Back Around Legal Advertising

Legal marketing has begun to run amok in many major cities in Canada.

I raised attention to this nearly 2 years ago in National Magazine, and since then the mainstream media has picked up on it as well. In particular, the Toronto Star has run a series of articles, focusing primarily on the personal injury bar. There were apparently 604 complaints about licensee advertising in Ontario between 2011-2015, over half of which were initiated by the Law Society of Upper Canada itself.

In response to this, Convocation last Friday introduced a number of changes. The first was to implement . . . [more]

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

Trump Administration to Roll Back Net Neutrality

In 2015 the US FCC took steps to prevent ISPs from discriminating against internet traffic. This is called Net Neutrality, which Wikipedia describes as “…the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.”

The gist of the concept is that the owner of the pipes shouldn’t be able to favour the delivery of its own content over content provided by others.

At the risk of oversimplifying this, net neutrality is . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Reduce the Distraction From the ‘Casino in Your Pocket’

This article is by Tim Lemieux, Claims Prevention & Stakeholder Relations Coordinator at LAWPRO.

In the early days of email, one of the common bits of productivity advice was “turn off your inbox notifications.” The “You’ve Got Mail” sound or pop-up was a constant source of distraction while trying to get work done. Even with the advent of smartphones that advice was still mostly good enough. The phone meant you could check email everywhere you went, but the distraction was still limited to emails and texts from friends and clients. Jump forward to 2017, and we’re all carrying around what . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

United States Asking Foreign Visitors for Social Media Info and Cell Phone Contacts

I heard about the United States Custom Border Agency had been asking Canadians for access to their Facebook accounts and cellphones when they arrived at the border to join the women’s march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. When some Canadians refuse to surrender their information, they were denied entry into the US and turned away (this is in addition to those who were refused entry because they were going to the march). I was appalled to hear this, and appalled at the invasion of privacy and violation of civil and human rights – and in 2017! I . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

Supreme Court of Canada Tackles Link Rot With New Online Archive

To combat link rot, the Supreme Court of Canada today launched an online archive of Internet Sources Cited in SCC Judgments (1998 – 2016).

Link rot refers to broken URLs or to URLs that direct to the original site but whose corresponding document has been removed or relocated without any information about where to find it.

From the Terms of Use:

“The Office of the Registrar of the SCC, recognizing that web pages or websites that the Court cites in its judgments may subsequently vary in content or be discontinued, has located and archived the content of most

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Lavabit 2.0 — Revenant of the Encryption Wars

Email encryption, data breaches and a lawyer’s duty to choose technologies with competence—these are recurring topics here on Slaw and elsewhere. At least two revelations in the last week call us to hark back on this.

First, there is the Law Society of BC’s recent fraud alert from January 19 about fraudsters again targeting lawyers disbursing trust funds. Millions of dollars in a real estate transaction payout were redirected by fraudulent notice of changes in instructions. The recent LSBC alert warns “We do not yet know how the fraudster knew the details of the transaction.” This is eerily similar to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Internet Archive Launches Trump Archive

Earlier this week, the Internet Archive, a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library best known for its huge (!) Wayback Machine web archive, launched the Trump Archive.

As a January 5, 2017 blog post explains:

The Trump Archive launches today with 700+ televised speeches, interviews, debates, and other news broadcasts related to President-elect Donald Trump (…)

It includes more than 500 video statements fact checked by FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker covering such controversial topics as immigration, Trump’s tax returns, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and health care.

By providing a free and enduring source for TV news

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

May a Plaintiff Compel a Defendant’s Lawyer to Identify His/her Client?

A U.S. court has ordered a lawyer for a defendant in a defamation action to identify his client. Could this be done in Canada? Is it routine? I know that there is Canadian case law on requiring Internet intermediaries to identify users, for both civil and criminal proceedings. I am not aware that lawyers can be required to do so – but maybe that is just because i am no barrister.

The lawyer claimed attorney-client privilege in refusing to answer. If a lawyer shows up in a court proceeding on behalf of a ‘John Doe’ client, is the identity of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Police Access to Recordings of in-Home Computer “assistants”

A lot of people now have computers they can talk to and get answers from – Siri, Alexa, Cortona, etc – not to mention interactive talking dolls.

A man in Arkansas was recently charged with murdering another man in his home. The accused person had a number of such devices in his home, including an Echo device made by Amazon. While the device is set up to activate itself when addressed in a particular way, or by name, sometimes they record in other circumstances.

The police have asked Amazon to turn over any recording made during the relevant period. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Who Will You Nominate for the 2016 Clawbies?

It’s December, and you know what that means: it’s Clawbies season! That’s right, it’s time to start nominating blogs for the 11th annual Canadian Law Blog Awards.

As always, you can get all the details over at clawbies.ca, but here’s the short version of what you need to know:

  • Nominate up to 3 of your favourite Canadian law blogs, podcasts, or video blogs via a blog post or Twitter (be sure to tag your nomination tweets with #clawbies2016).
  • Don’t nominate your own blog (really). By nominating others, your own blog will be automatically considered!
  • Nominations are open until
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Internet of Things Security by Contract?

This article suggests that the Internet of Things could be made more secure if large buyers of interconnected devices put into their procurement specs some fairly simple rules, e.g. *some* security to start with, e.g. an adjustable password, and patchability to respond to known or discovered threats.

Does this sound right to you? Do your clients insist, or even care?

No doubt large-scale one-off procurement contracts deal with security – well, I hope they do – but what about procurements on more of a mass scale?

I heard of a study over three years ago that found a huge proportion . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list