Friday, March 07, 2014

So, can the employment contract make this Okay?
Venkat Balasubramani and Eric Goldman comment on Maremont v Susan Fredman Design:
We’ve blogged about the dispute between Maremont and Susan Fredman Design Group before. Maremont was employed as SFDG’s social media consultant, and when she was injured in a severe accident, SFDG allegedly continued to access
(1) a Twitter account registered to Maremont’s name but allegedly used to the benefit of SFDG, and
(2) a personal Facebook account that had administrative privileges to SFDG’s business account.
The lawsuit was previously whittled down; this time around, the court gets rid of the Lanham Act claim, but sends the Stored Communications Act claim to trial.

This is the kind of article a “Guest Blogger” can write best.
Phil Lee writes:
As an EU privacy professional working in the US, one of the things that regularly fascinates me is each continent’s misperception of the other’s privacy rules. Far too often have I heard EU privacy professionals (who really should know better) mutter something like “The US doesn’t have a privacy law” in conversation; equally, I’ve heard US colleagues talk about the EU’s rules as being “nuts” without understanding the cultural sensitivities that drive European laws.
So I thought it would be worth dedicating a few lines to compare and contrast the different regimes, principally to highlight that, yes, they are indeed different, but, no, you cannot draw a conclusion from these differences that one regime is “better” (whatever that means) than the other. You can think of what follows as a kind of brief 101 in EU/US privacy differences.
Read more on Field Fisher Waterhouse.

Something new to stir the legal debate?
Robotics and the New Cyberlaw
Ryan Calo University of Washington - School of Law; Stanford University - Law School, February 28, 2014
Two decades of analysis have produced a rich set of insights as to how the law should apply to the Internet’s peculiar characteristics. But, in the meantime, technology has not stood still. The same public and private institutions that developed the Internet, from the armed forces to search engines, have initiated a significant shift toward robotics and artificial intelligence.
This article is the first to examine what the introduction of a new, equally transformative technology means for cyberlaw (and law in general). Robotics has a different set of essential qualities than the Internet and, accordingly, will raise distinct issues of law and policy. Robotics combines, for the first time, the promiscuity of data with the capacity to do physical harm; robotic systems accomplish tasks in ways that cannot be anticipated in advance; and robots increasingly blur the line between person and instrument.
Cyberlaw can and should evolve to meet these challenges. Cyberlaw is interested, for instance, in how people are hardwired to think of going online as entering a “place,” and in the ways software constrains human behavior. The new cyberlaw will consider how we are hardwired to think of anthropomorphic machines as though they were social, and ponder the ways institutions and jurists can manage the behavior of software. Ultimately the methods and norms of cyberlaw — particularly its commitments to interdisciplinary pragmatism — will prove crucial in integrating robotics, and perhaps whatever technology follows.

She's right!
Commissions, oversight boards, and review groups are all the rage these days. Recent weeks have seen hundreds of pages of reports evaluating American intelligence agencies, and there’s a promise of more to come. These reports have recommended dozens of modifications affecting all three branches of government. But there’s an integral part of the surveillance state that has thus far largely escaped the current scrutiny: the FBI. And while failure to “connect the dots” is an oft-cited flaw within the intelligence community, not insisting on examining more closely the FBI’s surveillance activities represents a similar flaw by those outside the intelligence community.

For my Ethical Hackers
Richard Chirgwin reports:
HTTPS may be good at securing financial transactions, but it isn’t much use as a privacy tool: US researchers have found that a traffic analysis of ten HTTPS-secured Web sites yielded “personal data such as medical conditions, legal or financial affairs or sexual orientation”.
In I Know Why You Went to the Clinic: Risks and Realization of HTTPS Traffic Analysis, (Arxiv, here), UC Berkeley researchers Brad Miller, AD Joseph and JD Tygar and Intel Labs’ Ling Huang show that even encrypted Web traffic can leave enough breadcrumbs on the trail to be retraced.
Read more on The Register.

E-Lawyers – There's an App for that! (Is that an iPhone?)
– claims to be the easiest way to fix a parking ticket. Up to 50% of tickets are dismissed when challenged. Fixed has a team of experts that know the parking rules inside-out. Upload your ticket as a photo, and they will take care of the rest. If you win, they charge 25% of the ticket.

I've been thinking about the “reproduction of old maps” market. Skin a sheep, make quill pens, make some iron gall ink, draw the copies by hand... The only thing that was missing was a selection of old maps.
Introducing Google Maps Gallery: Unlocking the World’s Maps
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 6, 2014
Google Maps Blog: “If you’ve ever wondered which trails Lewis & Clark traveled for their famous expedition, or looked for maps of the best schools in your region, you may have found yourself scouring the web without much luck. The best results for your search may come from governments, nonprofits and businesses, but historically that information has been hard to find or inaccessible to the public. Well, now, with the new Google Maps Gallery, it’s easier for you to find maps like those all in one place.”

Always worth a look. You never know when you might find a useful tool! (You may need the Speaker Notes)
Best of the Web 2014
Earlier today at NCTIES 2014 I shared an entirely new version of my popular Best of the Web presentation. In this version I shared only tools that are new-to-me since last year's NCTIES conference and or have released significant enhancements in the last year. The slides from the session are embedded below. If you would like a copy of these slides click here to open them in Google Drive then select "File,""Make copy" to save a copy for yourself. I will be updating the speaker notes to include more links.

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