Eric Sinrod - Legal Technology - Technologist
Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

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.



Recently in Eric Sinrod Category

FTC - the Federal Internet Cop

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

The Internet brings people together in all sorts of new ways. And when people come together, there can be all sorts of problems. So, is there a federal watchdog looking out for the rights of consumers in cyberspace? The answer is "yes" -- the Federal Trade Commission (the FTC).

The FTC was created in 1914, long before the Internet, to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce. The Federal Trade Commission Act later expanded the authority of the FTC to police unfair and deceptive acts or practices generally.

The Perils of Online Dating

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

Once upon a time, people didn't require Internet access to find a date. The old-fashioned dating scene involved socializing with friends, attending community events, and spending Friday nights at parties and bars. That still happens, of course, but with the Internet, there are now unlimited hook-up options available right at your fingertips.

Dating sites like eHarmony and Match.com boast that many users have found loving, long-lasting relationships through ther dating services. Those couples likely would not have resulted without those web sites. Bravo -- that is fantastic.

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

Many college students likely would covet an internship at Facebook. One Harvard University student landed such an internship. However, he says that the internship offer to him was rescinded by Facebook because he reportedly exposed privacy flaws in Facebook's mobile messenger. Is that correct or not, and what lesson has been learned?

Harvard student, Aran Khanna, launched a browser application from his dorm room. The app revealed that Facebook Messenger users were able to precisely pinpoint the geographic locations of people with whom they were communicating, as reported by The Guardian.

Cyberwar Happening Here and Now?

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

Conflict has unfortunately been part of the human experience for thousands of years. In prehistoric times, rocks, sticks, and bones were some of the weapons of choice. Over time, humans became more sophisticated, utilizing knives, swords, bows and arrows, and eventually guns and cannons. Recent developments include nuclear threats and drone strikes.

There has been concern, rightly, that the Internet might provide a further means for waging war or dismantling the means of waging war by others. For example, a few years ago, Stuxnet, a computer worm, reportedly was launched by a U.S. and Israeli intelligence operation to attack and cause the tearing apart of programmable logic controllers of certain Iranian centrifuges that were designed for potential nuclear purposes.

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

Social media sites host many thousands of photos posted by people on a daily basis. An obvious issue arises as to whether and when these sites might be liable for copyright infringement with respect to any of the posted photos.

A recent case is worthy of consideration.

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

The Ashley Madison site declares on its home page that "Life is short. Have an affair." The home page goes on to state that "Ashley Madison is the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters." The site also boasts "over 38,050,000 anonymous members!" But how anonymous are those members, really?

People engage in all sorts of communications and transactions on the Internet. Generally, they like to believe that their personal information is handled confidentially. For example, if someone buys an item from Amazon, she hopes that her name, credit card information, and address will not be publicly disseminated.

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

Internet service providers (ISPs) like to believe that in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) Congress afforded them broad immunity from any liability potentially caused by third-party content posted on ISP sites. But how secure is that immunity? Let's explore a few important cases to explore the answer to that question.

Zeran v. America Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997), was an early case to address the scope of immunity provided to ISPs by CDA Section 230. In that case, an anonymous poster urged the public to call Kenneth Zeran to buy goods displaying disgusting expressions of celebration of the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing.

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

Selfies -- are you a fan or a hater? Either way, selfies may soon not only be personal, but they may also have a business function. Stay with me here.

Yes, there are people who take photos of themselves on their smartphones on practically a constant basis so that we can see them in every life activity imaginable on social media or mobile-friendly blogs. And yes, this can be annoying, even if some of these photos might actually be interesting if we were not otherwise inundated by mundane selfie photos.

Mitigating Cyber Risks

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

Let's face it, the Internet can be a scary place from a risk standpoint. Indeed, it seems that on practically a daily basis we hear about a massive security breach and the theft of sensitive and personal data.

Big Everything

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

We keep hearing about what is going to be "the next big thing." That concept seems ever-illusive, perhaps because there has been a constant state of "bigness," if I may call it that, since long before humankind developed the notion of time.

I was fortunate enough last week to participate in the immersive, five-day Big History Institute at Dominican University of California. Scholars from around the country convened to contemplate, share and discuss big history issues, past, present and even future.