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What the SCOTUS Decision Does NOT Mean for Cell Phones

While the U.S. Supreme Court said police generally cannot follow people through their cell phones, the justices did not prohibit cell phone companies from doing it.

In Carpenter v. United States, the Court said police violated the defendant's expectation of privacy, but most people surrender it as soon as they turn on their phones. In that way, the decision is notable for what it didn't say.

It may trouble privacy advocates, including the four justices who dissented in the opinion, but the law -- like GPS tracking -- only goes so far.

Ransomware Is Real and Lawyers Aren't Doing Enough to Protect Against It

Ransomware was really a simple concept: lock up a computer system until the owner pays to free it.

And that's one of the reasons it became a problem for law firms. Lawyers would pay the "nuisance fee" just to get back to business. Simple.

But that was yesterday. Today, ransomware is a little more complicated and a much bigger threat.

How to Avoid Socially Engineered Email Attacks

In plane, train, and automobile crashes, human error is often the cause because technology is more fool-proof than the people in the drivers' seats.

It's a harsh indictment, but finger-pointing before a tragedy is better than after one. In the collision of email and cyberattacks, it is also a human problem.

According to reports, the latest email scam has cost businesses about $3.1 billion. Here are some ways law firms can avoid the human errors that lead to serious crashes.

How Vulnerable Are Email and Digital Signatures to Old Hacks?

They say old tricks are the best tricks -- at least in the movies.

In "The Fifth Element," a future Bruce Willis learns that he wins a contest. But he was tricked with one of the oldest tricks in the book, er, movie.

And so it is today. According to a new report, hackers have long been able to spoof digital signatures and email with a decades-old bug.

Google Play Has Your Copyright Spyware

If you ever wanted one of those James Bond gadgets, here's your new spyware.

The app, available from Google Play, even has an international flare. The Spanish soccer league La Liga made it to track unlicensed broadcasts of its games.

Download it for free and voila! You're a copyright spy.

No, You Can't Cyberzap People

One day, a journalist opened a Twitter message that emitted a flashing strobe and sent him into an epileptic seizure.

The message came from an irate reader, who knew the journalist was epileptic. The flashing GIF said, "You deserve a seizure for your posts."

Kurt Eichenwald sued the reader for battery, and a judge said the man deserved it. No, John Rivello, you can't cyberzap people.

For the most part, new technology is good. But like every good thing, bad actors will try to exploit it. And with how easily accessible and cheap technology is these days, more and more people go from paranoid to felon simply as a result of downloading an app.

But we're not talking about any old app, or any one app in particular, but rather the narrow category of covert surveillance apps. Sure, downloading a surveillance app on your own device is one thing, as we've explained before, our old smartphones can have a life after you upgrade to the next big thing, but installing a surveillance app on another person's device is something else entirely. There are many nefarious surveillance apps, as the New York Times recently detailed, that get used by stalkers, abusers, and even murderers.

What Will Law Firms Do as Net Neutrality Dies?

For most everyday internet users, including lawyers, net neutrality has been a good thing.

But that Obama-era idea was so yesterday. In the Trump era, net neutrality as we know it will soon be dead.

So what will law firms do when internet service providers raise rates for fast-lane internet and slow down traffic for everybody else? After paying the premium, of course, lawyers will sue.

Can Injury Lawyers Target Hospitals With Geofencing?

Ambulance chasing is so yesterday. Today, lawyers are virtually following people to the hospital.

You'll never see them doing it because it's done through cell phones. Law firms are using geofencing to send advertisements to patients' mobile devices even as they sit in the waiting room.

It's like in Minority Report, when ads pop up everywhere Tom Cruise goes. That's right, now there's no getting away from attorney advertising.

What Can You Do After a Communications Hack?

Cyberattacks, like many crimes, don't get real until they affect you.

Even then, people often roll along after a hacked email account is recovered because it's just easier. But lawyers can't do that with client communications.

That's a real problem, so what are you going to do about it?