Law

Law / Recently Commented

German High Court Says No to Retaining Telecom, Email Data for Tracking Criminal Networks

The highest court in Germany has ruled against telephone and email data retention used to track criminal networks. Melissa Eddy of the Global and Mail reports: "A law ordering data on calls made from mobile or landline telephones and e-mail exchanges be retained for six months for possible use by criminal authorities violated Germans' constitutional right to private correspondence, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled. In its ruling, the court said the law failed to sufficiently balance the need for personal privacy against that for providing security."
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European ACTA Document Leaks With New Details on Mexico Talks and Future Meetings

A brief report from the European Commission authored by Pedro Velasco Martins (an EU negotiator) on the most recent round of ACTA negotiations in Guadalajara, Mexico has leaked, providing new information on the substance of the talks, how countries are addressing the transparency concerns, and plans for future negotiations. more»

IMP Continuing Despite Industry Backlash

Back in November 2008 a colleague of mine, Neil Watson (Head of Operations at Entanet International Ltd), published an article on Entanet's opinion blog about the government's proposed plans to centrally store records of all electronic communications throughout the UK. The Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) will be the largest surveillance system ever created in the UK and calls for a 'live tap' to be placed on every electronic communication in Britain including telephone calls, emails and visited websites. more»

Registration of Generic Names: Advocate General's Opinion Before the Court of Justice of the EU

One of the most debated questions at the time of the opening of the .eu Top-Level Domain (TLD) was whether or not it was possible to register names on the basis of prior rights on signs which include special characters, such as an ampersand. The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of European Union has just published his opinion (4 years later...) more»

"Internet Drivers License" - A Short History Lesson

The press, the blogosphere, CircleID - everybody has been discussing Craig Mundie's comment on the need for an "Internet Driver's License". Most of the reaction has been from privacy advocates fearing that this is simply another way to kill anonymity on the Internet. Oh well... that's the usual set of reactions. Now... the fun part is, a driver's license also shows that you have the competence to drive... more»

FCC's Genachowski Promises He's Not Out to Regulate Net, New Media

We learned from The Wall Street Journal yesterday that "Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski gets a little peeved when people suggests that he wants to regulate the Internet." He told a group of Journal reporters and editors today that: "I don't see any circumstances where we'd take steps to regulate the Internet itself," and "I've been clear repeatedly that we're not going to regulate the Internet." We're thankful to hear Chairman Julius Genachowski to make that promise. We'll certainly hold him to it. But you will pardon us if we remain skeptical... more»

ACTA Moving Forward in "Secrecy"

Reported in the Financial Times: "Persistent illegal downloaders face having their internet links disconnected under a secret trade deal being negotiated by developed nations this week, according to activists and industry groups. Leaked drafts of the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement [ACTA] say the world's biggest developed nations want internet service providers to be more responsible for the content they distribute -- and even cut off repeat infringers of copyright legislation. more»

Big Brands Shooting Themselves In The Foot?

One of the topics that keeps coming up in ICANN policy discussions and as part of the new TLD application process is "transparency". ICANN, and the internet community in general, has had plenty of issues in the past with "bad actors" who have caused a lot of issues for everyone (think of many of the registrars who have lost accreditation in the last couple of years for example). On more than one conference call or policy discussion the issue of a company or a person's track record has come up. more»

One More Reason to Avoid Diet Drug Fakes: They're Dangerous

Garth Bruen writes: "The Food and Drug Administration is reporting that some people have gotten fake Alli that contained twice the recommended dose of sibutramine (aka. Meridia), another diet drug. The issue is possible heart problems. The FDA discovered the illegal Alli-Meridia switch when otherwise healthy people reported feeling anxious, shaky, nauseated, and sleepless after taking the bogus Alli. Some even had heart palpitations. No deaths have been reported." more»

A Word of Warning About Your Haiti Charity Donations

Neil Schwartzman writes: "CAUCE, The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Symantec warn consumers about fraudulent charities trying to steal donations for Haitian earthquake relief efforts." more»

Addressing Search Engine, Website, and Provider Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales

Garth Bruen reports on a paper published by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics of Boston University School of Law authored by Bryan A. Liang and Tim Mackey titled, "Searching for Safety: Addressing Search Engine, Website, and Provider Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales". From the paper: "Online sales of pharmaceuticals are a rapidly growing phenomenon. Yet despite the dangers of purchasing drugs over the Internet, sales continue to escalate. These dangers include patient harm from fake or tainted drugs, lack of clinical oversight, and financial loss. Patients, and in particular vulnerable groups such as seniors and minorities, purchase drugs online either na├»vely or because they lack the ability to access medications from other sources due to price considerations. Unfortunately, high risk online drug sources dominate the Internet, and virtually no accountability exists to ensure safety of purchased products."  more»

Virtual Banishment and the First Amendment: Estavillo v. Sony Computer Entertainment of America

I saw this case in the excellent National Association of Attorneys General publication Cyber Crime e-newsletter. Many of us host or sponsor online communities of one form or another. On occasion, this means we must engage in moderation of the discourse in that community, and, as chance may arise, on occasion, we must give some chap the boot from the community for violating the AUP or the TOS. Inevitable, the booted chap screams "First Amendment Violation," to which we must respond, "The First Amendment restrains government actors -- we are not government actors." more»

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2009

Looking back at the year that just ended, here are the top ten most popular news, blogs, and industry news on CircleID in 2009 based on the overall readership of the posts. Congratulations to all the participants whose posts reached top readership in 2009 and best wishes to the entire community in 2010. more»

Google Loses Another Domain Name Dispute

For the benefit of trademark owners, ICANN has something called the UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Process) that allows the owner to file a complaint against an allegedly infringing domain name, to be resolved by one of a small set of arbitrators. About 90% of UDRP cases that proceed to a decision are decided in favor of the complainant; opinions differ as to whether that's because of the merit of the complaints or the institutional bias of the arbitrators. more»

Three Strikes Law Comes Into Effect in France

The first effects of France's new law against internet piracy will begin to be felt as the new year begins. The law was passed after a long struggle in parliament, and in the teeth of bitter opposition from groups opposed to internet restrictions. Illegal downloaders will be sent a warning e-mail, then a letter if they continue, and finally must appear before a judge if they offend again. more»