McGlothlin Courtroom in Classroom Mode

CLCT  produced a brief eight-minute video explaining how to operate the technology in the McGlothlin Courtroom in classroom mode. Intended primarily as a training tool for William & Mary Law School faculty, staff, and graduate students, the video also serves as an overview of the extraordinary range of advanced multimedia tools available in the world’s most advanced courtroom and classroom.

Click here to read a plain text transcript of the classroom mode video.

Fairfax County Recognized For Strategic Technology Use

The Center for Digital Government’s 2012 Digital Counties Survey recently recognized Fairfax County — home to one of CLCT’s affiliate courts — as the county with over 500,000 residents that best “carried out strategies with measurable benefits that aligned with county priorities,” and that “showed progress over the previous year, utilized innovative solutions, and revealed a commitment to collaboration within and outside of their organization.”

Specifically, Fairfax Country was recognized for its deployment of mobile applications for residents to access information, for improving its data structure and organization, for deploying a private cloud, and for promoting collaboration among county agencies.  Congratulations!

Nigerian Delegation Visits McGlothlin Courtroom

Members of the Information Technology Policy Committee of Nigeria visited CLCT’s McGlothlin Courtroom on June 19th. Composed nearly entirely of chief judges, the Committee has asked for CLCT’s assistance in modernizing the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Committee members and CLCT staff reviewed the McGlothlin Courtroom’s trial and appellate technology and discussed how key technologies might be of use to Nigeria’s Supreme Court.

What’s in the News

  • The European Union is moving to outlaw “hacking tools,” such as programs used to access information without a password. Security researchers are concerned that the new law, if implemented, would hinder their ability to do their jobs and perform important research in cybersecurity. [Wired]
  • The Department of Justice filed suit against Apple and certain book publishers over e-book pricing. The DOJ argued that contract provisions known as “most favored nation” clauses, which forbid the publisher from allowing a book to be sold below a certain price, violate antitrust laws. Three publishers have already settled with the DOJ. This lawsuit is a boon for Amazon, which will be able to lower prices for Kindle books and better compete in the marketplace. [N.Y. Times]
  • The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled in U.S. v. Nosal that it is not a crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to violate an employer’s computer use policy or a website’s terms of service. David Nosal, the defendant in the case, had obtained information that he was legally permitted to acquire, but then used it improperly. The majority expressed worry that the government’s interpretation of the statute would criminalize minor lies on social networking sites or slight improprieties (such as an employee sending a personal email from a work computer). The dissent argued that this case was not about the violation of the terms themselves, but rather about intent, and Mr. Nosal acted with an actual intent to defraud. []

Would You Share Your Facebook Password With Your Employer?

As the Washington Post recently reported, employers have started demanding that employees (and potential employees) turn over their Facebook passwords. Recently, according to Ars Technica, a teacher’s aid was suspended for failing to turn over her Facebook login information after a parent complained about a posted photograph. Facebook has instructed users not to turn over their passwords, and has stated that it may take legal action against companies that require employees to provide this information. Facebook has made clear that requiring this information (and logging in as someone else) is a violation of their terms of service, which tells users that they must not “solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.” As was pointed out in a recent episode of This Week in Law, it would be imprudent for any company which values its online presence to ignore Facebook’s terms of service.

It is unclear if there will be any legal consequences for companies which demand employees’ passwords. According to the New York Times, “Senators Charles E. Schumer  of New York and Richard Blumenthal  of Connecticut said they were calling on the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to begin investigations” on the grounds that “[p]ersonal information such as gender, race, religion and age are often displayed on a Facebook profile — all details that are protected by federal employment law.” The House of Representatives recently rejected a proposed amendment to a bill which would have explicitly granted the FCC the authority to prevent employers from demanding “confidential passwords to social networking websites.”


Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 / massimobarbieri

What’s in the News

  • Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was convicted of all charges against him relating to his use of a webcam to spy on his roommate. The charges included invasion of privacy and bias intimidation.  [N. Y. Times]
  • The Eleventh Circuit has found that being forced to decrypt an encrypted hard drive would constitute self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. [Volokh Conspiracy]
  • U.S. soldier Bradley Manning was formally charged with 22 counts, including “aiding the enemy,” for allegedly releasing classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks. [National Post]

Court Overturns Conviction of Accused Goldman Sachs Code Thief

According to an article in the New York Times, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman Sachs programmer. Mr. Aleynikov was convicted of transferring vital source code from Goldman Sachs to a server in Germany in violation of the Economic Espionage Act. At issue in the appeal was whether the code was used in interstate or international commerce. Mr. Aleynikov “argued that the bank’s trading platform was built for internal use and never placed in the stream of commerce,” and hence was outside the scope of the Act. The code allowed Goldman Sachs to engage in high-frequency trading, where algorithms analyze market data and take advantage of investment opportunities which may last for only a short period of time. A full opinion from the Court of Appeals is forthcoming. Mr. Aleynikov may still be liable in civil court for violating his confidentiality agreement with Goldman Sachs.


Image: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / b00nj

What’s in the News

  • A Pennsylvania firm is suing a former partner and the firm he now works for claiming that he secretly installed software on their computer system to steal client files. []
  • The hacker group Anonymous hacked into the email accounts of top Syrian government officials, including President Bashar al-Assad. The password was “12345”. [NPR]
  • The senate is considering a bill which would impose requirements on private computer systems which are part of “critical infrastructure.” [WSJ]