Technologist - FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Just in time for Cyber Monday comes the news that identity theft is on the rise this holiday season. Yep, while you're ordering presents for your family, staff, and colleagues, some hacking Grinch is potentially swiping your information.

But, like all risks, holiday identity theft can be mitigated. Here are some tips to help lawyers and law firms avoid identity theft and other cybersecurity risks this holiday season.

Following the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, many government officials have renewed their calls for backdoor access to encrypted communications. Terrorists, we're told, are "going dark," using simple encryption technology to conceal their communications. Government and law enforcement, we're told, need code-breaking, backdoor access to help fight off threats.

But is it actually necessary?

Two women have filed a class action lawsuit against the Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, after the Kemp's office released voter data that contained information including individuals' names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and even driver's license information.

Over six million Georgia voters could be affected by the breach. But it wasn't Russian hackers or disgruntled employees behind the #PeachBreach; it was simple, old-fashioned incompetence.

Does a Lawyer Have a Duty to Replace Hacked Funds?

Lawyers of the digital age already have an array of ethical dilemmas to worry about. But now there's a new ethics question: Do lawyers have a duty to replace hacked funds?

In the opinion of the North Carolina State Bar, the answer is maybe. But in reality, it just gets back to every lawyer's favorite word: "reasonable."

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act isn't even law yet, but it's already causing lawsuits. CISA, recently passed in the Senate and one of a trio of proposed cybersecurity laws, encourages companies to share cybersecurity information with the government. The law has been decried as a cybersurveillance measure, not a cybersecurity act, by groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

But the actual text of CISA "may pale in comparison to what the bill allows" when read in conjunction with a classified Justice Department opinion on "common commercial service agreements," according to the ACLU. Now the group is suing to force the release of that classified opinion, so that the full implications of CISA can be public.

Online, Seeing Is Believing for Kids

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Unfortunately, there has been a sharp increase in the number of children who believe what they read on the Internet. This has been brought home by a recent study by Ofcom, as reported by The Telegraph.

This is significant because 8 to 15-year-olds now are occupying double their time on the Internet than they were one decade ago. These "digital natives" who have grown up on the Internet appear to lack the ability to differentiate online truth from fiction.

It's not just computers that are vulnerable to hacking. According to McAfee Labs' 2016 Threats Prediction report, our dystopian near-future will see rapid increases in hacked wearables, p0wned critical infrastructure, and, yes, cyber attacks on your cars.

Get ready to add car hacking to your list of cybersecurity issues to know.

Patent Troll's 'Frivolous' Appeal Gets Punished $15K in Legal Fees

Newegg received vindication at the Federal Circuit last week when the court ruled that the case never should have been brought on appeal in the first place for want of jurisdiction, ArsTechnica reports.

Newegg will receive $15,000 in legal fees from AdjustaCam in the ruling, about half of the cost of defending the appeal to the Federal Circuit. But that doesn't even touch the $200,000 in legal fees already billed for the case at Texas District Level. Maybe patent trolling really does pay after all?

5 Tech Skills Every Lawyer Needs to Know

Some lawyer stereotypes don't really die. One of the most enduring and dubious quirks attorneys get accused of is being stick-in-the-mud Luddites.

Like it or not, technology marches on, and attorneys must adapt. Below is a short list of tech skills that are sine qua non for any modern attorney.

Cornell's Tech and Law Introduces New Technology LL.M

Cornell's Tech-arm and Law School announced late October the launch of a LL.M in Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship. According to Cornell, the primary impetus behind this move is to help fresh law grads and practicing attorneys learn the legal and business considerations that technologists and entrepreneurs need to operate in an increasingly technology driven world. It's designed to provide practicing attorneys and recent law grads "with specialized skills to support and lead technology companies into the digital economy."

Are you sold yet? With language like that how can you not be?