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Archive for ‘Technology: Internet’

Promoting Internet Security: A Charitable Activity?

The Internal Revenue Service of the United States has recently denied charitable status to an organization that promotes a knowledge of internet security to bloggers and civil society groups, notably those in foreign countries whose freedom of expression may be threatened by state bodies.

As one US commentator wrote:

The IRS denial, in short, hinges on the applicant’s activities looking too much like a for-profit trade or business and also the following not qualifying as “charitable” – (1) preserving the fundamental human rights set forth in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (b/c it is a declaration, not

. . . [more]

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

Shadow Stabbing

“Adjectives on the typewriter, he moves his words like a prize fight-er.”

I cannot proclaim to understand the meaning of the Cake song Shadow Stabbing but I do love that line. It seems particularly appropriate for a thought that has long percolated in my head regarding online communication, that being that context is so often lost. I have found it in contributing to this blog and in other online fora. How many times have you written an email with several points to which the response you receive only addresses one of those points. Or, if you engage in blogging or . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Online Sources of Official Legislation Rarer Than You Thought

A post earlier this week on In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, explained that the Australian federal legislative website ComLaw and the New Zealand legislative website were offering official versions of their laws.

In other words, the sites guarantee that the text that a searcher finds there (usually the PDF version) is a correct statement of the law and is admissible as evidence in court. Traditionally, only the print version of legislation from a government printer is official.

Many people are surprised to find out how few electronic versions of laws . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

W3C Best Practices for Publishing Linked Data

Earlier this month the Government Linked Data Working Group (GLD) at the W3C relaeased their Best Practices for Publishing Linked Data.

Their goal was to “compile the most relevant data management practices for the publication and use of high quality data published by governments around the world as Linked Open Data.” And although this report is directed at “developers, government information management staff, and Web site administrators” it provides good guidance for anyone involved with the care and feeding of information resources on the Web.

In all the GLD outlines 10 best practices:

  • Prepare Stakeholders
  • Select a Dataset
  • Model . . . [more]
  • Posted in: Technology: Internet

    Social Law Firm Index Released

    Last week consulting firms Above the Law and Good2BSocial released their joint Social Law Firm Index ranking the Am Law 50 law firms’ social media presence. Ranking was compiled in terms of:

    • Reach – “total number of unique people who had an opportunity to see the firm’s content.”
    • Engagement – “actual interaction with the firm’s content via social media.”
    • Owned media – “An assessment of the firm’s own site (including microsites) based on, among other things, the proportion of non-promotional content, frequency of updates, and shareability of content.”

    Access to the Index is free, but you will need to . . . [more]

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

    Service of Documents by Facebook?

    An article in this week’s Law Times notes another court decision, this time in Ontario, approving substitute service by Facebook. In other words, counsel showed the court that there was no other reasonable way of getting the documents to the party to be served, and that sending to FB was likely to reach the party.

    The author says that this should be the norm.

    The requirement for hand-delivered document service, while historically sensible, is somewhat archaic in this electronic age. Successful service should be all about making sure that the person is aware of the document. For those of us

    . . . [more]

    Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

    Will the NSA Stop Wiretapping the Cloud?

    Last week I wrote about the high cost of the NSA’s aggressive data-gathering efforts on US-based technology companies. These companies have lost billion-dollar contracts and suffered user exoduses as both corporations and individuals, especially those outside of the US, worry that the NSA has back-door access to their private data. Will these concerns be addressed by the reforms to the NSA announced by President Obama last week?

    The Verge offers an in-depth analysis of Obama’s promised reforms with a scorecard measuring the effectiveness of those reforms against the recommendations of the Presidential review panel that were delivered late last year. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

    Black Sea, Black Code: All Your Metadata Are Belong to Us

    I recently read Ron Deibert’s, “Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace” and so my ears perked up a few days ago when I heard Deibert talking to Matt Galloway on Metro Morning.

    Diebert, who is also the Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs here in Toronto, was talking about surveillance at the upcoming winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He considers surveillance in Russian society to already be “near total,” and mentions a recent Russian directive that will ensure that all communications at the games are “collected, archived for three years . . . [more]

    Posted in: Technology: Internet

    Net Neutrality Neutered?

    The concept of ‘net neutrality’ has taken a hit in the United States. As reported by Ian Chant in the Library Journal on Tuesday the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “overstepped its bounds as a regulator in putting those rules in place.”

    In the decision to Verizon vs. Federal Communications Commission, Circuit Judge, David S. Tatel opens with this statement:

    For the second time in four years, we are confronted with a Federal Communications Commission effort to compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source—or

    . . . [more]

    Posted in: Technology: Internet

    Ontario Privacy Commissioner Releases BYOD Policy Whitepaper

    To provide guidance on organizational mobile development strategies, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, along with TELUS, explore the options for workplaces in a new white paper, Bring Your Own Device: Is Your Organization Ready? . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

    The High Cost of the NSA: Is Reform Coming?

    The NSA has been causing technology providers of all stripes  on-premise hardware vendors, cloud application providers, traditional software vendors  no end of headaches as the Snowden revelations continue to pile up. As a recent article by security expert Bruce Schneier outlines, the scale and impact of the NSA surveillance machine is almost beyond comprehension.

    Microsoft’s GC, Brad Smith, went so far as to characterize the NSA as an “advanced persistent threat,” a industry term usually reserved to refer to sophisticated and malicious hackers backed by a foreign government. The cost to US technology providers of the NSA spying . . . [more]

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

    Social Media – the Same Thing Only Different

    Two articles I noticed this morning emphasize that while social media can bring its own set of legal issues, sometimes its use can have the same consequences as any other form of publication.

    The first is a CBC news report that a man has been charged with criminal harassment for his tweets. He was charged a couple of years ago for derogatory and threatening messages. The case is now at trial.

    The second is a post at about a decision regarding an employment non-competition clause. It was alleged that the defendant had contacted customers in violation of confidentiality obligations. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet