It's a Small World After All


It just is not realistically possible for countries to be isolationist in this current era. Indeed, the entire world is interconnected by the Internet and other technologies.

Consider this fact that shows how the world is becoming smaller as we group together even more closely: 3,000 years ago there were about 600,000 independent world communities; now there are fewer than 200 such communities.

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Police Banner 'Ads' Warn About Potentially Pirated Content


INTERNET ADS CAN be annoying. At times, for example, you may be seeking to read an article or watch a video clip online, but first you have to click off an advertisement that is in the way, or you have to wait out a video ad before you can watch the video content of your choosing.

Perhaps these ads once in a while may be successful in gaining your interest to buy the advertised products, but certainly most of the time these ads simply are a nuisance and a waste of time.

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Talking Turkey: Is New Internet Law a Danger to Democracy?


Here in the United States, we are accustomed to freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of our Constitution.

Indeed, this freedom has been interpreted by the courts to include the freedom to speak freely on the Internet, even anonymously. (However, if such speech causes harm, it is possible that anonymity will be unmasked so that the victim of the speech can seek legal redress).

Unfortunately, other countries are not as open in terms of safeguarding the ability of people to speak their minds -- and in this case, Turkey is among them.

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Can You Really Remain Anonymous On The Internet?


In the early days of the Internet, an editorial cartoon from The New Yorker depicted a dog in front of a computer monitor and keyboard with a caption that read "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." The point was that people could behave however they liked online without others knowing their true identity.

But is that really true? Au contraire my canine friends.

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COPPA Now Includes Greater Protections For Kids Online


Last week, you were informed about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updating advertising disclosure guidance for search engines. But there's more! On July 1, new FTC rules went into effect that are intended to provide greater privacy protection for children online. Indeed, the rules are supposed to afford increased safeguards when it comes to data such as geo-location and social media information.

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The Death of the Tax-Free Internet?


Last week, by virtue of a 63-30 procedural vote, the Senate moved forward with a bill called the Marketplace Fairness Act, with a final Senate vote set for May 6, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The bill, if it were to become law, would enable states to force online sellers nationally to collect sales tax with respect to their residents' purchases.

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Apps Gone Wild: Is There Anything They Can't Do?


Once upon a time, I was known as Inspector Gadget. Why? Because I wore on my belt three different devices — a mobile phone, an iPod, and a Palm Pilot. The phone was only good for calls, the iPod could only play music, and the non-wireless Palm Pilot was simply a calendaring assistant.

I wondered then whether there could ever be convergence, such that at some point I only would need to carry around one device. Of course, that did happen, but the convergence occurred beyond my wildest dreams.

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Google Transparency Reveals FBI's Use Of National Security Letters


Google has posted a “Transparency Report” that provides a range of how many National Security Letters (NSLs) it has received and a range of how many users/accounts were specified in these NSLs each year since 2009. Of course, your first question may be: What is an NSL?

An NSL is a special search vehicle by which the FBI has the authority to demand the disclosure of customer records maintained by banks, Internet Service Providers, telephone companies and other entities. When this happens, these entities are prohibited from revealing to others their receipt of an NSL. There have been reports that the issuance of NSLs has expanded significantly since the Patriot Act increased the FBI’s power to issue them.

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Hackers Strike Again: Federal Reserve and Ex-President Bush Targeted


Are hackers still out there causing mischief on the Internet? You bet! Indeed, our own Federal Reserve reported that one of its internal websites had been breached by hackers last week, according to Reuters.

The Reuters article notes that this follows an assertion that hackers associated with the activist group Anonymous had gained access to personal data relating to more than 4,000 bank executives. That data was then posted on the Internet.

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Congressman On Reddit Proposes Moratorium On Internet Laws


Perhaps concerned about the potential for further iterations of anti-piracy laws, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) has proposed on Reddit legislation called the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA). The IAMA would seek to put an end to further Internet legislation for two years.

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Prince Harry Learns A Las Vegas Lesson


Dude, where are my clothes? Those might have been the words of Prince Harry when he learned that photos of him naked, but covering his royal private parts, had gone viral worldwide.

How did this happen? Apparently, his royal nakedness was partying in Las Vegas when someone snapped cellphone shots of him in the aftermath of a strip billiards game that then ended up on TMZ.com.

So much for the supposed "code" that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Indeed, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reportedly is upset - stating that "Las Vegas is about adult freedom" and that people are supposed to follow the code about what activities are private and not to be publicly shared.

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FTC Imposes a Record $22.5 Million Civil Penalty on Google for Privacy Misrepresentations


On August 9, 2012, the FTC announced that Google agreed to pay a record $22.5 million civil penalty to settle charges that it made misrepresentations to users of the Safari Internet browser when Google represented that it would not place cookies or serve targeted ads to those users.  In doing so, Google violated an earlier privacy settlement it had with the FTC.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said “[t]he record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order. . . “[n]o matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place.”

The FTC's aggressive enforcement is expected to continue and it is important that businesses review their privacy policies to ensure that the policies have not become dated and no longer represent the current data collection and maintenance practices of the business.

The FTC press release can be viewed at http://ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/google.shtm

 
 
 
 

Russian Internet Bills Revive Soviet-Era Censorship Concerns


People tend to think that anything goes on the Internet. But is that true everywhere? Perhaps not. Indeed, according to a recent New York Times article, a series of controversial Russian Internet bills, approved last week by Parliament, seeks to strengthen the government's Internet controls.

The Russian Parliament's approval of the bills reportedly follows the Russian government's imposition of fines relating to unsanctioned protests and the reinstitution of criminal charges for slander.

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Electronic Discovery Can Save Litigation Costs


Partner Sheila Raftery Wiggins was featured in an article on eDiscovery in NJBiz. Here is an excerpt:

Sheila Raftery Wiggins, a partner at Duane Morris LLP, says people communicate more from home, while traveling and over the Internet, creating more possible evidence for companies to store.

During litigation, the process of electronic discovery — reviewing and identifying what electronically stored information, out of potentially millions of documents, needs to be turned over to the opposing party — often is cumbersome and costly for companies, but a recent court ruling might lead to the more widespread acceptance of technology that could save companies money and time.

Read the rest of the article on the NJBiz website.

 
 
 
 

Lawyers Must Do More To Protect Cybersecurity


Lawyers should know how to protect information belonging to their firms and their clients, right? Well, perhaps they can do a better job, according to The Wall Street Journal. Indeed, it's now more important than ever for lawyers' cybersecurity skills to get up to speed.

According to the article, hackers intent on insider trading may target attorneys who handle merger and acquisition transactions. They could put links in text messages that, when clicked on smartphones, activate malware that could log keystrokes and record phone conversations.

As a result, lawyers who rely on mobile devices (practically all lawyers these days) need to take precautions such as encrypting messages and not using Wi-Fi connections, which can be vulnerable to information compromises.

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Duane Morris TechLaw

Duane Morris lawyers share their insights on developing legal issues which impact technology and business. Topics include e-commerce, cloud computing, outsourcing, security, privacy, social media, software, telecommunications and more.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.