Eric Sinrod - Legal Technology - Technologist
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Eric Sinrod

Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP (http://www.duanemorris.com) where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at ejsinrod@duanemorris.com. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line.

These columns are prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in these columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.



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

Once upon a time, at the turn of this century, when the commercial internet starting becoming a reality, we had the first opportunity to purchase holiday gifts online. This seemed like a big experiment. Would our orders really get fulfilled? Would the gifts arrive on time? Was it safe to give a credit card and other identifying information on the World Wide Web?

Fast-forward to now. Many billions of dollars of gift transactions are happening on an ongoing basis as the current holiday season is upon us. We have grown accustomed to making online purchases of all types throughout the year, and the holiday season ratchets this up tremendously.

Thankful for Technology

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

At times, it can seem like technology is bringing us down ...

We frequently hear about: cyberbullying of teens; online intellectual property infringement; various forms of identity theft, hacking, privacy and security violations, and cyber crime; cyber warfare; illegal sales of munitions and slaves and the organization of terrorist activities on the Dark Web; political email scandals; potential foreign Internet influence over US political elections; and the list goes on and on.

But during this Thanksgiving and holiday season, not only can we be thankful for our family and friends, we also can be grateful for the many benefits of technology.

The Emails That Came Back to Bite Clinton

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

It is with regret that your blogger here must report that he was correct as far back as early-April 2015 in predicting that the private email scenario surrounding Hillary Clinton would be a real threat to her efforts to gain the White House. Indeed, in a podcast of April 9, 2015 this blogger described the problem as a "hornet's nest" that would be the "Achilles' Heel" of the Clinton presidential campaign.

As revelations of Ms. Clinton's use of a private email server for government affairs while acting as Secretary of State first emerged, she attempted to deflect and then minimize the problem. Later, when Emailgate would not disappear, Ms. Clinton admitted that she had made a "mistake" and that if she had it to do over again, she would not have handled government emails in a private fashion.

Today Is The Day!

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

Today is the day to ...

VOTE!!

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

Intelligence agencies of the United States and the Department of Homeland Security in particular have accused Russia publicly of internet espionage intended to interfere with the US presidential election. In the wake of this accusation, the Obama administration has assured a retaliatory response designed to protect US interests. But if and when would this take place, and what are the governing international rules of this game?

Such a retaliatory response might await the outcome of the presidential election and the swearing in of the new president.

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

The short-term lodging landscape has changed radically in recent years. Rather than always book hotels when away from home, people now frequently book to stay in the homes or apartments of other people through sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The growth in this area is reflected by the $30 billion estimated worth of Airbnb. But does this mean that these short-term rental sites are completely free of legal concerns? No.

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

Unless you are a hermit hiding out in an undiscovered cave, you are well aware that we have been in the thick of an acrimonious and difficult election cycle for the highest office in the land -- the Presidency of the United States. Presidential campaigns and campaigns for other elected offices have been a struggle in prior years -- given all the competing interests, priorities and strategies that constantly have to be juggled. If that were not enough, now candidates have to deal with the new reality of cyber warfare.

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

One presidential candidate with the initials DT has claimed generally that "the system is rigged" and he has speculated in advance as to whether the election also might be rigged against him. At the first presidential debate, he did say that he would abide by the election result if the candidate with the initials HRC won the election.

But what does it mean to "win"? If the election result is a close one, and if she apparently tallies sufficient popular and electoral college votes to put her over the top, would he concede her victory if there are suggestions of hacking of voting systems? This question is posed because a recent Associate Press article asserts that hackers recently have targeted registration systems in greater than 20 states and cites a Homeland Security Department official for support for this assertion.

The Internet - Latest Addiction

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

We routinely hear about all sorts of addictions relating to drugs, alcohol, food, and even sex. But what about internet addiction? Is it real, and is it a problem? The answer to both, unfortunately, is yes.

According to a study led by Michael Van Ameringen at the McMaster University in Canada, heavy internet use can exacerbate various mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, especially among college-aged students. The results of the study recently were presented at the European College of Neuropharmacology conference in Vienna.

The Different Layers of the Internet

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

Most of us regularly use the surface level of the internet. But there are other deeper and darker levels. So, let's briefly explore three levels of the internet.

First, there is the "surface web." As you read this blog, you are operating on the surface web. When you access your email, when you tweet on Twitter, when you conduct Google searches, when you listen to Pandora, when you watch YouTube videos, when you buy and sell things on eBay, and when you shop on Amazon, you are utilizing the surface web.