A number of lawsuits are pending in federal courts these days and their legal significance cannot be overstated. At issue is whether or not the three biggest names in social media today -- Google, Facebook, and Twitter -- have committed acts of "international terrorism" under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.
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The con has been on this earth longer than civilization. It seems that somewhere, somehow, someone is trying to pull a fast one on someone else. Cons, scams and schemes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: "snake oil,", Ponzi schemes, political promises.
Those still exist, but the latest digital scams are getting fancier, more sophisticated and more prolific. Here are a few tips that will help you dodge them.
"Bitcoin has a long way to go before it is the equivalent of money," Florida state court judge Teresa Mary Pooler said in a recent money-laundering decision. The conclusion should be clear to anyone, her court said, with even "limited knowledge in the area."
The decision is an interesting one that will probably end up only having limited geographical import legally. Still, it does deal a blow to the PR campaign that Bitcoin has been trying to mount ever since the crypto-currency got associated with Silk Road's illicit criminal activity.
Over the past dozen years or so, social media has certainly made its mark on the legal profession. Lawyers now connect with clients on Facebook, release legal podcasts, and some even have an Instagram account.
But social media's reach stretches well beyond legal marketing; social networks have change the law itself, along with the way lawyers practice. Here's how.
Before the internet age, discovery was a matter of digging through endless paper files. But the problem is that paper can be shredded, torn, burnt. In today's digital world, electronic forensic evidence abounds in every nook and cranny -- sometimes with great overlap.
Small firms must use some creativity to know where to look when dealing in the digital discovery game. These days, it helps to know exactly what digital footprints you should be tracking.
You're a modern attorney, down with the social medias. You've got hundreds of Twitter followers and a professional blog. Maybe you have a few YouTube videos out there, or a social media team that updates your firm's Facebook profile every once in a while.
But Instagram? Should you get on the massively popular social-media sharing site? Probably not. Here's why.
Using the internet just got a bit riskier, thanks to the Ninth Circuit. In two recent rulings, separated by only one week, the Ninth Circuit has greatly expanded the reach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal anti-hacking law from 1986.
Under the Ninth Circuit's new interpretation of the CFAA, you can violate the law by using someone else's password to access a computer database, or simply by using a website you've been told to stay off of. And, if the Ninth's opinions are read broadly, a lot of your online behavior could be considered illegal hacking.
Another set of survivors have filed suit against Facebook following revelations that Hamas and other terrorist organizations have been recruiting militants via the social media site. We say "another" because suits like this have happened before -- and they're likely to continue as the theory of the law settles.
Does the desire for society to root out terrorists' communication channels necessarily mean a reduction in our speech liberties? Perhaps we'll found out sooner than we wished.
If you're a solo lawyer, there's a good chance that you have at least some social media presence for your business. But have you ever wondered just how you stack up in comparison to other attorneys out there? What are the other lawyers and firms doing that you might not be?
To answer that question, we happily stumbled onto this infographic already put together by the practice management company MyCase.com. We think you should check it out.
We have to hand it to Massachusetts attorney Richard Goren. When faced with a negative review on Ripoff Report, he didn't just win a defamation victory (alright, it was by default, so it's not too impressive), he convinced the court to transfer him ownership over the copyright of the negative post, in a clever attempt to get around laws that protect websites hosting user-generated content.
But not everyone is amused by Goren's legal maneuvering. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Citizen have filed an amicus brief in Goren's case against Ripoff Report, arguing that Goren's move is an abuse of intellectual property protections.