Technologist - FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog


Jennifer Lawrence. Kirsten Dunst. Kate Upton. Hope Solo. Victoria Justice. The biggest celebrity nude photo hack in history went down over the weekend, with hackers on online forums claiming that they had over 60 photos of Lawrence alone, along with nude photos of over 100 actresses.

How? The hack appears connected to Apple's iCloud. While there was some speculation that it was the result of "brute force" password cracking via a now-patched hole in Apple's "Find My iPhone" feature, Apple instead pointed to lucky guesses by determined hackers.


For anyone who has graduated in the last ten years from law school: How did you take notes in class? For the vast majority of us, it was on a laptop. And we communicate with professors either through email or in person.

This is not news, unless you're sitting on the Supreme Court.

But, recently, I've been noticing a growing backlash: professors barring laptops from class or refusing to take emails from students. Even outside of the university system, it's happening. The Los Angeles Unified School District had a botched attempt at issuing iPads to its students which was just cancelled after a lot of expense and bad publicity.

In each of these examples, the same reason is provided: It's too much of a headache.

By now, hopefully we've grown up and realized the fiction that is the "sharing" economy; that is, it's not a lot of "sharing" but a lot of "regular economy."

The San Francisco Chronicle pored through Airbnb's data for that city and found that, far from letting Mom and Pop rent out a spare room, two thirds of the listings were for entire houses or apartments, and one third of the "sharers" listed multiple rentals. (Although, as the Chron acknowledges, many different individual renters hire one of a few property management companies to handle the rentals -- but isn't that also a problem when you have to hire a property management company?)

Remember when everyone offered free email? At a certain point, it didn't matter which one you picked because they were all free. The only differentiator was feature set, and for a while, all the freebies (Hotmail, Yahoo) looked exactly the same ... until Gmail shook things up and everyone else played catch-up.

To a certain extent, we have the same thing happening with cloud storage: it's space, on the Internet, to store your files. DropBox was revolutionary, but now there are fifty-seven* companies offering the exact same service. How bad is the market saturation? Here's a breakdown of your choices for free and paid service, respectively.

We previously wondered whether failing to keep up with technology could subject a lawyer to discipline or malpractice. There aren't a whole lot of state bar opinions on the topic. Really, the only time a court has weighed in was Zubulake v. UBS Warburg (Zubulake V), where a federal district court admonished in-house counsel for not knowing how the corporation's backup tape retention system worked, leading to the loss of highly probative evidence. Counsel failed so spectacularly that the court granted a jury instruction allowing jurors to infer that the really sexy smoking guns the plaintiff wanted were contained on those tapes.

In order to make clear that lawyers need to know what they're doing, the State Bar of California has proposed a Formal Opinion on lawyers' duties to handle electronic discovery, in order to delineate what a lawyer needs to know about e-discovery to remain ethical.

My invite is here! I'm now a member of the special persons club who are privileged enough to get to pay Google Domains to register a new domain name! Despite that sarcastic tone, I was actually pretty excited to get in the door. The problem is, once I got there, the experience was completely anti-climactic.

Speaking of domain names, perhaps you've seen our excited posts about the wave of new top-level domains (TLDs) coming in the near future. With the ".com" domain selection looking more and more like the San Francisco housing market (there's nothing "trendy" left, investors sell domains for way more than they're worth), perhaps a .esq, .lawyer, or .attorney domain name is in your future?

Good luck with that, because finding and registering new TLDs isn't as easy as clicking over to GoDaddy (yet).

It's a Small World After All

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

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.

And when a disease breaks out like Ebola in Africa, with our means of transportation, such a disease can show up and infect people in distant other places.

Distributing assets in a will is easy enough, but a testator's social media accounts, and their associated assets, aren't exactly amenable to being put in a box and handed over to the heirs.

Further complicating the social media picture is that there's no uniform way to access the account once the owner has died. Each platform has different procedures in place. For example, Facebook won't give out login information for a dead person, but it will delete an account or "memorialize" it, which allows only confirmed friends to see it or find it.

It looks like we're on the threshold ... of Threshold.

The next version of Microsoft Windows, code-named Threshold, is set for a "technology preview" in late September or early October, reports ZDnet. That's fancy geek speak for a beta or pre-release testing version, and like Apple did last month, Microsoft will make the beta public.

That's right. You. Me. Anyone who hates Windows 8. We can all test Windows 9 -- though putting testing software on your primary PC is not the brightest idea.

Your wireless network probably isn't very secure. It's not your fault -- they come out of the box semi-secure, with just enough settings enabled to lull you into thinking that your home or office network is safe and sound. It might be, but you probably want to be sure, don't you?

Now, we don't want to make you cry by tossing out complicated discussions on encryption -- no AES, TKIP, or LMNOP here.

Here are some plain and simple tips, with as little tech lingo as possible, to help you double-check your network's security protocol: