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Archive for ‘Technology’

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

Does Technology Allow Lawyers to Fill Their True Role as Counselors?

That’s the feeling of Jason Boehmig (president and CEO of Ironclad Inc.) who has teamed up with Ron Dolin (co-founder of Stanford University’s Program for Legal Technology & Design) to teach a new course on legal technology and informatics at Notre Dame Law School.

The course introduces students to the practical and ethical issues relating to the newest legal technologies and their potentially revolutionary effect on the practice of law. Surveying topics ranging from how to pair technology with legal functions, legal technology startups, law practice management software, and the use of technology to increase access

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Technology

Smartwatches Still in the Running

I’ve written about smartwatches before. So far they have not been selling as fast as some expected. The marketplace still hasn’t sorted out the right combinations of features and price.

Apple’s iWatch is arriving in April. It will no doubt sell well – if for no other reason than it’s an Apple product.

The first real smartwatch was the Pebble, which broke Kickstarter records in 2012. They announced a new version of it yesterday, called the “Pebble Time”. They launched a new Kickstarter project yesterday morning – but this time just to take pre-orders at a discount for May . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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

Privacy Commissioner Issues Guidance on Police Body Cameras

The federal Privacy Commissioner has just released a report giving guidance on the privacy implications of police wearing body-worn cameras, and what police need to do to comply with privacy laws.

It points out that the issues around body-worn cameras are more complex than on fixed cameras.

As is usually the case with privacy issues, it is about balance – in this case balancing the advantages of the cameras with privacy concerns.

The report has this to say about balance:

There are various reasons why a LEA might contemplate adopting BWCs. LEAs could view the use of BWCs as bringing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

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

A Constitutional Right to Technology?

A column in the Canadian Lawyer suggests that “technology in a modern advanced society such as the one in which we live, should be recognized as a constitutionally protected right to ‘life, liberty and security of the person,’ under s. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.

Does this suggestion appeal to you? What do you suppose it means in practice?

A bit later on, the columnist suggests he is talking about “access to at least the most basic and rudimentary elements of technology, and arguably, reasonable levels of technology”.

So: the right is access to technology – but . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Big Brother in Your TV? 10 “Freaky Line” Things to Think About

There has been a big kerfuffle in the last few days over the thought that Samsung smart TV’s are listening to and recording TV watcher’s conversations via their voice command feature. That arose from a clause in their privacy policy that said in part “…if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

Samsung has since clarified this language to explain that some voice commands may be transmitted to third parties to convert the command to text and make . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Technology Use Policies and Resources for Your Firm

Written policies that clearly establish guidelines and requirements governing the acceptable use of firm technology can help reduce cyber exposures and give staff clear direction on what they are permitted and not permitted to do with law firm technology resources.

Use these resources and sample policies to create polices for your firm (These resources supplement the information in the Cybercrime and Law Firms issue of LAWPRO Magazine): The model policies are also available in Word and RTF formats.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology