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Archive for ‘Technology’

.sucks TLD Sunrise Period Starts March 30

New TLDs (top level domains) continue to become live. There are hundreds to choose from. Gone is the day that there were only a handful, and a business could tie them all up for their corporate name and brands.

Also gone is the day that they are all inexpensive. Some of the new TLDs command a premium price. A .lawyer TLD, for example, costs US$6500. A .guru domain is a bargain at US$29.

This Yahoo article talks about the .sucks TLD, which will be in the sunrise period on March 30, and generally available 60 days later. Some think . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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

Lex Machina: Bringing Analytics to Law

Peter Neufield is a J.D. student at the Osgoode Hall Law School and the current features editor of the IPOsgoode blog IPilogue. He’s posted a short interview with Owen Byrd, Chief Evangelist & General Counsel at Lex Machina. Lex Machina started life in 2010 as a partnership between Stanford University’s Computer Science Department and the Law School with some great support from a number of “tech companies and law firms.”

During the interview Byrd describes Lex Machina’s approach as similar to the story told in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball. This is the . . . [more]

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

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

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