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.

This blog for years has highlighted the potential risks and liabilities presented by communications and activities on the Internet. The Internet provides the possibility of privacy violations, security breaches, intellectual property disputes, defamation, hack attacks, and even cyber warfare, among other threats.

So what should companies do to be as safe as possible as they conduct business over the Internet?

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

Recently, this blog has touched on how warfare between nations in the digital era includes cyberattacks. And now, just as we already are feeling less than safe, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (the UNODC) has released some homicide statistics that can make us feel even more vulnerable.

According to the UNODC study, as many as 437,000 people were murdered around the world in 2012 alone. Here's what else the study found:

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

This blog recently discussed whether international mechanisms exist to award damages caused by potential cyberwars. And now it appears that a cyberwar actually is taking place with respect to Ukraine.

Press accounts have been rampant in terms of the turmoil over Crimea, Russia, and Ukraine. And while there have been possible threats of physical force, there also have been reports of disruption of mobile communications as a result of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

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

In early 2012, the United States sought a World Trade Organization (WTO) consultation regarding China's restrictions on the export of tungsten and molybdenum -- forms of "rare earths." These rare earths are raw materials that are used in the production of some electronics products. Subsequently, the European Union, Japan and Canada requested to join the consultation. China then accepted the request for a WTO consultation.

In support of the restrictions, China argued that they are related to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources. China also asserted that they are needed to reduce mining pollution.

The complaining countries strongly disagreed, arguing that the restrictions really were designed to provide protected access to the subject materials to Chinese industries.

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

Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni recently signed legislation that severely punishes homosexuality in his country. Indeed, the new law provides for potential life in jail for gay sex -- a fact that the bill's sponsor touted on his Facebook page after Museveni signed it into law, the Los Angeles Times reports.

This legal development has led to an international uproar. Now some countries -- including the United States -- are taking retaliatory action.

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

WhatsApp, a messaging service that is often used for international texting and other services, is about to be gobbled up by Facebook, right?

Well, that is Facebook's plan. Indeed, Facebook intends to fork over a hefty $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp. However, that is not the end of the story.

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

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was enacted decades ago to enable the citizenry the opportunity to monitor governmental affairs. As FOIA precedent has held, the public is entitled to find out and know "what the government is up to." Indeed, upon request, the government is required to provide information about its activities unless prohibited by a narrow statutory exemption or otherwise prevented by law.

Of course, statutory aspirations and actual production of information in practice are not always in harmony. There are times when government information is not produced within the timelines set forth in FOIA. Other times, information is not produced at all; for example, when the government is perceived to give too wide an interpretation on the applicability of a statutory exemption. Moreover, different administrations have different views on how open government should be when it comes to disclosing information under FOIA.

Is Facebook a Marriage Killer?

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

If you are married, you may wish to pause and consider how you behave on Facebook and other social media outlets. Why? Because as much as one-third of divorce filings in 2011 included the word "Facebook" within them, according to a report by ABCNews.com. And the numbers may be even higher a few years later.

On top of that, the article states that more than 80 percent of divorce attorneys report that social networking behavior is finding its way into divorce proceedings.

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

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.

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

A block on the website The Pirate Bay has been partially lifted by the Court of Appeal in The Hague, according to ZDNet. The Court of Appeal came to this result, reasoning that the block was disproportionate for two particular Internet Service Providers and also because it generally was not effective.

The Pirate Bay, as a search engine, can locate tiny information files known as torrents that implement content downloading on the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing system. This can enable the sharing of pirated music, movies, and software.