MIRLN --- 5-25 April 2015 (v18.06)
- Cyber attacks upend attorney-client privilege
- Wall St. is told to tighten digital security of partners
- Miscreants rummage in lawyers’ silky drawers at will, despite warnings
- Law firm cyber security and privacy risks
- Do employers own LinkedIn groups created by employees?
- Online test-takers feel anti-cheating software’s uneasy glare
- Government keeps its eyes on the road with invasive license plate reader program
- Lawyer can use client’s Facebook account to serve husband with divorce summons, judge says
- NY cops used ‘Stingray’ spy tool 46 times without warrant
- DEA sued for snooping on international phone calls
- Knowledge Management in mergers and acquisitions
- Neutrality groups diss government web ‘blocking’
- For art’s sake! Photoing neighbors with zoom lens not a privacy invasion
- Social media arbitration clauses and fairness
- Court shoots down carpet cleaner’s demand to unmask Yelp reviewers
- With judge analytics, Ravel Law starts to judge the judges
- Cybersecurity: another Verizon report & more
- FBI can’t cut Internet and pose as cable guy to search property, judge says
- ‘Nonmedia’ speakers don’t get full First Amendment protection, rules a Texas Court of Appeals panel
- Whose number is this? Facebook launches a new app to combat the mysterious incoming call
- Man is jailed for refusing to turn over Facebook and Twitter passwords in business bankruptcy case
- The digital future: How museums measure up
Cyber attacks upend attorney-client privilege (Bloomberg, 19 March 2015) - “Dear Clients,” began the letter that law firm Ziprick & Cramer sent out in late February. “It is almost a daily occurrence that we read about cyber attacks in the news. Unfortunately, on or around January 25, 2015, our firm was the victim of a single cyber attack, by a relatively new variant of a Cryptolocker-type virus.” Cryptolocker is a kind of ransomware used to encrypt files so they’re unreadable; hackers then demand money to restore the data. A security breach is one of the last things a lawyer wants to admit to a client. But the small firm in Redlands, Calif., faced it head-on, reporting the attack to the FBI and calling on its IT specialist to assess the damage and install safeguards to thwart future attacks. Partner Robert Ziprick says clients have been sympathetic and understand hacking is a problem for lots of businesses. “A lot of them are trying to figure it out, too,” he says. Law firms of all sizes are vulnerable. Cybersecurity firm Mandiant says at least 80 of the 100 biggest firms in the country, by revenue, have been hacked since 2011. In 2012, Bloomberg reported that the large Washington firm Wiley Rein was targeted by hackers linked to China’s military in connection with a trade dispute it was handling for a maker of solar panels. McKenna Long & Aldridge lost Social Security numbers and other employee data last year when one of its vendors was targeted, the firm reported. Since at least 2009, the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, and other law enforcement agencies have warned the managing partners of big U.S. firms that their computer files are targets for cyberspies and thieves in China, Russia, and other countries, including the U.S., looking for valuable information about potential corporate mergers, patent and trade secrets, litigation plans, and more. “If you’re a major law firm, it’s safe to say that you’ve either already been a victim, currently are a victim, or will be a victim,” says Chad Pinson, a managing director at Stroz Friedberg, a New York-based cybersecurity firm. “The question is, what are you doing to mitigate it?”
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Wall St. is told to tighten digital security of partners (NYT, 8 April 2015) - Wall Street’s oversight of cybersecurity measures at outside firms it does business with remains a work in progress, according to a review by New York State’s top financial regulator. A survey of 40 banks found that only about a third require their outside vendors to notify them of any breach to their own networks, which could in turn compromise confidential information of the bank and its customers. Fewer than half the banks surveyed said they conducted regular on-site inspections to make sure the vendors they hire - like data providers, check-processing firms, accounting firms, law firms and even janitorial companies - are using adequate security measures. About half require vendors to provide a warranty that their products and data streams are secure and virus-free. One particular area of concern on Wall Street is the security of large law firms, which not only do regulatory work for banks but also advise on corporate transactions. This year, a cybersecurity team at Citigroup issued an internal report that said law firms were a logical target for hackers because they are rich repositories for confidential data. The report also cautioned bank employees that digital security at many law firms, despite improvements, generally remains below the standards of other industries.
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Miscreants rummage in lawyers’ silky drawers at will, despite warnings (The Register, 16 April 2015) - A total of 187 incidents were recorded last year, with 173 firms investigated for a variety of DPA-related incidents, of which 29 per cent related to “security” and a similar 26 per cent related to incorrect disclosure of data. The figures come from a Freedom of Information request by encryption services firm Egress Software Technologies. Hackers target solicitors in order to get their hands on the confidential data of their clients for identity fraud or other reasons. Accountants and other professional services firms are also on the front line of attacks, with cyber-spies as well as profit-motivated criminals all having a pop. Information Commissioner Christopher Graham issued a warning to law firms last August, following a string of data breaches, Computing reports . In addition, professional body the Law Society issued a practice note 12 months ago, warning that the use of cloud computing services in law firms could break the Data Protection Act. Evidently this advice was not put into practice by scores of law offices up and down the UK, and the issue of insecure practices in law firms is far from restricted to Blighty. Recently published US research by incident response outfit Mandiant uncovered that at least 80 per cent of the country’s 100 biggest firms had been involved in a breach since 2011. Separate US research revealed that 89 per cent of US law firms use unencrypted email as a primary means of communication. Almost half of American law firms use free, cloud-based file-sharing services like Dropbox for “privileged information”, according to LexisNexis Legal & Professional .
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Law firm cyber security and privacy risks (Dan Solove, 23 April 2015) - Law firms are facing grave privacy and security risks. Although a number of firms are taking steps to address these risks, the industry as a whole needs to grasp the severity of the risk. For firms, privacy and security risks can be significantly higher than for other organizations. Incidents can be catastrophic. On a scale of 1 to 10, the risks law firms are facing are an 11. This is not time for firms to keep calm and carry on. The proper response is to freak out. In 2009, the FBI issued an advisory that hackers were targeting law firms. In 2011, the FBI began organizing meetings with the managing partners of top law firms to highlight the risks. In 2013, the FBI repeated its warning : “We have hundreds of law firms that we see increasingly being targeted by hackers.” As attorney Simone McCormick notes , recent incidents in the past few years have included ones where “hackers stole all client files of a New York law firm, attacked Canadian law firms for industrial espionage and launched a sophisticated phishing attack against a California firm.” Law firms are great targets. For fraudsters, law firms offer a gourmet data feast. Law firms have lots of personal data on employees and clients; they often have health data and protected health information (PHI) under HIPAA; they have tons of financial data; and they have very sensitive information about the corporate strategies, trade secrets, and business transactions of their clients. Law firms have information that could be deeply embarrassing to clients, as well as an array of data that could be used for corporate espionage, or for gaining secret insights into litigation and deals that can be used to buy and sell securities. * * * Law firms have lagged behind other industries when it comes to data protection. Although a number of firms have developed great programs, other law firm privacy and security programs lack all the elements of the programs that many companies in other industries have. A few years ago, the head of the cyber division in the New York City office of the FBI stated : “As financial institutions in New York City and the world become stronger, a hacker can hit a law firm and it’s a much, much easier quarry.” Also as cybersecurity law expert Vincent Polley has noted , many law firms might not even realize that they’ve been hacked.
Do employers own LinkedIn groups created by employees? (Venkat Balasubramani, 4 April 2015) - Simms worked for plaintiff CDM Media but switched jobs to work for Box, allegedly one of plaintiff’s larger customers. Plaintiff alleges that Simms violated a non-compete and misappropriated its trade secrets. Among other issues, plaintiff sought control of a “LinkedIn group” because both the group’s membership and the communications’ contents were allegedly its trade secrets. The court declines to grant the motion to dismiss: * * *
Online test-takers feel anti-cheating software’s uneasy glare (NYT, 5 April 2015) - Before Betsy Chao, a senior here at Rutgers University , could take midterm exams in her online courses this semester, her instructors sent emails directing students to download Proctortrack, a new anti-cheating technology. “You have to put your face up to it and you put your knuckles up to it,” Ms. Chao said recently, explaining how the program uses webcams to scan students’ features and verify their identities before the test. Once her exam started, Ms. Chao said, a red warning band appeared on the computer screen indicating that Proctortrack was monitoring her computer and recording video of her. To constantly remind her that she was being watched, the program also showed a live image of her in miniature on her screen. As universities and colleges around the country expand their online course offerings, many administrators are introducing new technologies to deter cheating. The oversight, administrators say, is crucial to demonstrating the legitimacy of an online degree to students and their prospective employers. Some schools use software that prevents students from opening apps or web browsers during online exams. Others employ services with live exam proctors who monitor students remotely over webcams. But the rise of Proctortrack and other automated student analysis services like it have raised questions about where to draw the line, and whether the new systems are fair and accurate.
Government keeps its eyes on the road with invasive license plate reader program (CDT, 6 April 2015) - On April 2, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) that describes how the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - including ICE’s primary investigative offices, Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations - will find the present and past location of drivers by accessing a massive private database of vehicle location information. The program raises serious privacy concerns, with the specter of individuals’ location data being collected on a mass scale, stored for a prolonged period, and used without effective restrictions. According to the PIA, both fixed and mobile license plate readers record license plate number, a digital image of the license plate, the vehicle’s make, model, and state of registration, GPS location, a time stamp, and sometimes “the environment surrounding a vehicle, which may include drivers and passengers.” A private company - probably Vigilant Solutions, which has amassed of database of 2.5 billion license plate location records, will hold the data. ICE can then use license plate numbers to query a database, and provide a “hot list” of license plate numbers under surveillance to the private company so that when there is a hit on one of those numbers, ICE will receive immediate notice of the location of the license plate. Queries can uncover all recorded sightings of a license plate for the previous five years, or as far back as the statute of limitations for the crime being investigated. The program raises alarming privacy concerns. For years, CDT, other civil society groups, and a broad range of companies in the private sector have worked in the Digital Due Process coalition to establish a warrant requirement for location information generated by cell phone use. As CDT noted last November in its brief to the 11th Circuit arguing that the government must obtain a warrant to gain access to cell-site location information, location data can be highly revealing of sensitive, personal information. Location data can be used to determine one’s political and religious affiliation, medical conditions, work activities, and romantic interactions, as well as map a pattern of one’s movements and associations. The program also appears to circumvent an important developing legal norm regarding location privacy. As a result of court rulings and legislative action, 12 states now require a warrant for police to demand location data generated in connection with use of a wireless communication device. This rapid trend as well as the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in U.S. v. Jones indicates the entire country may soon follow this rule. The government’s response to such an expansion of Fourth Amendment rights cannot be to evade the requirement of independent review by mining license plate location information maintained by a third party; it should have to obtain a warrant or other judicial authorization in order to do so.
Lawyer can use client’s Facebook account to serve husband with divorce summons, judge says (ABA Journal, 6 April 2015) - A New York lawyer can use a client’s Facebook account to serve her elusive husband with a divorce summons, a judge has ruled. “This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged,” wrote Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper. The target of the court paperwork, Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, lives separately from his wife. Although he is in touch with Ellanora Baidoo by Facebook and telephone, he has refused to provide her with his home or work location or make himself available for service voluntarily, reports the New York Daily News .
NY cops used ‘Stingray’ spy tool 46 times without warrant (Wired, 7 April 2015) - The police department in Erie County, New York fought hard to prevent the New York Civil Liberties Union from obtaining records about its use of a controversial surveillance tool known as a stingray. The reason why may be because of what the records show: that cops in that county, which includes the city of Buffalo, used the devices 47 times since 2010 but only once sought and obtained a court order to do so. That revelation contradicts what the county sheriff said last year when he asserted that the department only used the devices under “judicial review.” In the single case in which police sought permission from a court, they asked for a court order rather than a warrant, which carries a higher burden of proof. And in their request, they mischaracterized the true nature of the tool. The records, which the NYCLU published in a blog post today , also show that the county sheriff’s office signed a stringent gag order with the FBI to maintain secrecy about their stingray records. The department was told to withhold information about the devices in any documents filed with courts, such as affidavits and other documents describing how they obtained evidence in criminal cases. The department was even told that the FBI maintained the right to intervene in county prosecutions to request criminal cases be dismissed if there was a chance that a case might result in the disclosure of information about law enforcement’s use of stingrays.
DEA sued for snooping on international phone calls (Computerworld, 8 April 2015) - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s logging of international phone calls made from the U.S. was illegal, advocacy group Human Rights Watch has alleged in a lawsuit filed late Tuesday. The DEA and the U.S. Department of Justice ran the secret snooping program for decades without judicial oversight, logging “virtually all telephone calls” from the U.S. to as many as 116 countries linked to drug trafficking , according to a USA Today report. The program did not record the content of the calls and was used to fight drug trafficking. This is yet another government bulk surveillance program used for untargeted and suspicionless surveillance of U.S. citizens, affecting millions of innocent people, said the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which represents Human Rights Watch in the legal action. The program, said to have been run by the DEA’s special operations division, reportedly began logging phone calls in bulk in 1992 but was suspended in September 2013 after the outrage over the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. This lawsuit , filed with the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, seeks to ensure the program is permanently terminated, that it cannot restart, and that all of Human Rights Watch’s illegally collected records have been purged from all government systems, the EFF said. According to the suit, the DEA disclosed the existence of the program in January when a federal judge ordered the government to reveal more information about it as part of a criminal case against a man accused of violating export restrictions on goods to Iran. The DEA’s disclosure showed that the it relied on administrative subpoenas to amass the database of call records, the EFF said, adding that the records were obtained without judicial oversight or approval.
Knowledge Management in mergers and acquisitions (KnoCo, 10 April 2015) - Knowledge management delivers maximum value when applied to high value knowledge, to support high value decisions, and in areas where that knowledge is otherwise at risk of being lost. A typical high value area where major decisions will be made is Mergers and Acquisitions. Mergers and Acquisitions are high cost, complex operations, where crucial decisions need to be made very well, and yet which happen relatively rarely, so it is easy for tacit knowledge to be lost. People caught up in the high pressure activity can easily forget the detail of how the decisions were made, and fail to pass the knowledge on to future mergers and acquisitions teams. This combination of high value decisions made relatively infrequently, so that human memory alone cannot be relied on as a knowledge store, means that there is great value on documenting the learning for use in future mergers and acquisitions. In addition, many mergers and acquisitions are conducted for knowledge reasons, in order to acquire competence and capability. The approach to KM for Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestments would be as follows: * * *
Neutrality groups diss government web ‘blocking’ (Multichannel, 10 April 2015) - The U.S. International Trade Commission has asserted the authority to block Internet transmissions, according to some net-neutrality advocates who are crying foul over the decision. In a letter Friday (April 10) to the ITC, 28 organizations and individuals took issue with a decision by the commission last fall concluding that the ITC’s authority to prevent the importation of infringing products extended to digital models, data and treatment plans for dental appliances. The groups were a Who’s Who of net-neutrality fans including the ACLU, Free Press, Fight for the Future and Public Knowledge. They said they were concerned about the precedent of finding that transmission of digital data was an importation of articles subject to the ITC’s authority to block. Preventing the blocking of content by ISPs was one of the FCC’s chief arguments for imposing its new Open Internet rules, but here it is a federal agency that is asserting the authority to block.
For art’s sake! Photoing neighbors with zoom lens not a privacy invasion (Ars Technica, 13 April 2015) - An artist who hid in his apartment’s shadows and deployed a telephoto lens to photograph his neighbors through their glass-walled apartment is not liable for invading their privacy, a New York state appellate court has ruled. The appeals court called it a “technological home invasion” but said the defendant used the pictures for art’s sake. Because of that, the First Department of the New York Appellate Division ruled Thursday in favor of artist Arne Svenson, who snapped the pics from his lower Manhattan residence as part of an art exhibit called “The Neighbors.” * * * The appeals court said that beginning in 2012, Svenson, whose works have appeared in museums and galleries in the United States and Europe, began “hiding himself in the shadows of his darkened apartment” to snap the pictures of his neighbors. Svenson’s exhibit was displayed in galleries in Los Angeles and New York. Some of the subjects’ faces were obscured, but some of the children’s faces were not. The promotional materials on Svenson’s website said that for his subjects, “there is no question of privacy; they are performing behind a transparent scrim on a stage of their own creation with the curtain raised high.”
Court shoots down carpet cleaner’s demand to unmask Yelp reviewers (Ars Technica, 16 April 2015) - Can users of review sites like Yelp bash a business but remain anonymous? Unless a business can show a court from the outset that they have strong evidence the statements are false and defamatory, the user’s identity will usually be protected. Yelp says it gets about six subpoenas a month seeking user identities, often from businesses who want to sue anonymous reviewers. One closely watched Virginia case about reviewer anonymity has now been resolved. The anonymous reviewers won, although not on the grounds free speech advocates had hoped for. In 2012, Joe Hadeed, who runs a carpet-cleaning business in Springfield, Virginia, filed a lawsuit over a set of reviews he believes were fraudulent, perhaps posted by his competitors. Last year, he told The Wall Street Journal he couldn’t match the reviews to records he had regarding his actual customers. Hadeed sued three Yelp users, identifying them only as “John Does” and sending Yelp a subpoena asking for the reviewers’ identities. Yelp refused and fought it out in court. Both a state circuit court and an appeals court ordered Yelp to hand over the users’ information, finding the site in contempt. Last year, Yelp appealed to the state’s supreme court, and well-known First Amendment lawyer Paul Levy took the company on as a client. Today, the Virginia Supreme Court issued its ruling (PDF) in favor of Yelp, finding that the company doesn’t have to disclose any user information, because the lawsuit shouldn’t have been filed in Virginia in the first place. The court’s decision to focus solely on the issue of jurisdiction means that the more important public policy argument-whether the Yelp reviewers have a right to anonymous speech in this case-goes unaddressed.
With judge analytics, Ravel Law starts to judge the judges (Tech Crunch, 16 April 2015) - From murder and terrorism to patent conflicts and sexual discrimination lawsuits, courtrooms are home to some of the most important dramas in our society. While our top retailers can identify people who are pregnant weeks before even the consumer has realized it themselves, lawyers continue to argue cases before judges with data based on a handful of anecdotes from other attorneys. Ravel Law hopes to bring some big data magic to the courtroom, and perhaps improve our justice system along the way. The startup launched their Judge Analytics platform today. The idea is to provide comprehensive insights on every judge in the country, allowing lawyers to research the best strategies for their client before they file a lawsuit or argue a motion before a judge. Armed with better insights, lawyers can then provide their clients with better services, and at a cheaper cost too. While judges are often popularly conceived as objective arbiters of the truth, the reality is that every judge is a human being, a product of their own experiences and biases. “No two judges are exactly alike,” Nicholas Reed, a co-founder and CEE (Chief of Everything Else) of Ravel Law, says. The specific judge and even the specific timing of a trial can have a disproportionate effect on the outcome of a trial. Some general insights are already well-known in the industry. For instance, patent trolls often file their lawsuits in East Texas , since those courts have proven to be quite amenable to those sorts of cases. As another example, a study of Israeli parole hearings found that cases held earlier in the day had a massive advantage of receiving a favorable ruling compared to cases held right before lunch. But these sorts of insights are often too general purpose, and don’t provide the kind of granular insights that can really aid in a case. Daniel Lewis, the other co-founder and CEO of Ravel Law, explains that the day-to-day job of a lawyer is often much more focused. “Should we bother to apply to a judge for a particular motion? When would a judge make a favorable decision for people in our shoes?”
Cybersecurity: another Verizon report & more (CorporateCounsel.net, 17 April 2015) - Like last year , Verizon has put out a new “ 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report .” This year’s Verizon report is 69 pages, with a host of useful information as it relies on over 80,000 incidents from 70 organizations for it’s analysis. Also check out our checklists related to incident response planning, disclosure practices and risk management - as well as a chart of state laws related to security breaches.
FBI can’t cut Internet and pose as cable guy to search property, judge says (Ars Technica, 18 April 2015) - A federal judge issued a stern rebuke Friday to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s method for breaking up an illegal online betting ring. The Las Vegas court frowned on the FBI’s ruse of disconnecting Internet access to $25,000-per-night villas at Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino. FBI agents posed as the cable guy and secretly searched the premises. The government claimed the search was legal because the suspects invited the agents into the room to fix the Internet. US District Judge Andrew P. Gordon wasn’t buying it. He ruled that if the government could get away with such tactics like those they used to nab gambling kingpin Paul Phua and some of his associates, then the government would have carte blanche power to search just about any property. “Permitting the government to create the need for the occupant to invite a third party into his or her home would effectively allow the government to conduct warrantless searches of the vast majority of residents and hotel rooms in America,” Gordon wrote in throwing out evidence the agents collected. “Authorities would need only to disrupt phone, Internet, cable, or other ‘non-essential’ service and then pose as technicians to gain warrantless entry to the vast majority of homes, hotel rooms, and similarly protected premises across America.” The government had urged the court to uphold the search, arguing that it employs “ ruses every day in its undercover operations .” (PDF) The government noted that US judges have previously upheld government ruses to gain access into dwellings. In 1966, the Supreme Court authorized an agent to pose as a drug buyer to get consent to go inside a house. In 1980, an agent posing as a drug dealer’s chauffeur was upheld. Seven years later, agents posed as real estate investors to access a bedroom and closet of a suspect. And in 1989, an agent posed as a UPS delivery man to get inside a drug house, the government argued. But operatives posing as gas company or water district workers seeking permission to enter the premises to check for leaks were deemed illegal searches. That’s because the occupants provided “involuntary” consent to enter because they were duped into believing a life-threatening emergency was afoot, Phua’s defense pointed out.
‘Nonmedia’ speakers don’t get full First Amendment protection, rules a Texas Court of Appeals panel (Eugene Volokh, 20 April 2015) - Do First Amendment protections - for instance, the various rules that protect libel defendants - apply to all speakers? Or are some of them limited to members of “the media,” however that might be defined? As I’ve explained before , the great majority of precedents say that “the freedom of the press” extends to all who use mass communications, and that freedom of speech offers the same protection to speakers who use non-mass communications. The freedom of the press is the freedom for all who use the printing press and its technological descendants - not just a freedom for a specific industry or profession, such as the media or professional journalists. This was the nearly unanimous view until about 1970; and even since then, it has been the view of the great majority of lower court precedents, and no Supreme Court precedent takes the contrary view. Indeed, the Citizens United decision expressly stresses that “We have consistently rejected the proposition that the institutional press has any constitutional privilege beyond that of other speakers.” This having been said, the Supreme Court did flag the question as unresolved in several libel cases from the late 1970s to 1990, and a few lower court precedents do conclude that the Supreme Court’s case law protecting libel defendants applies (in whole or in part) only to media defendants. I’m sorry to say that a Texas Court of Appeals panel just joined this small minority, in the April 9 Cummins v. Bat World Sanctuary decision. * * * [ Polley : the rest of the post is quite interesting.]
Whose number is this? Facebook launches a new app to combat the mysterious incoming call (Re/code, 22 April 2015) - Facebook probably knows a lot about you - and it probably knows a lot about the mystery people ringing your phone, too. The company launched a new app on Wednesday intended to solve the case of the mysterious incoming call. The app, which is called Hello and is only available on Android, uses data from Facebook to tell you who’s blowing up your phone. Of course, the feature will only work if the caller has shared his number with Facebook, and if you would normally be able to see that information. For example, if you share your number publicly, people with Hello downloaded will know it’s you calling even if they don’t have you as a contact. Conversely, if you only share your number with Friends, those are the only people who will see that it’s you when you call. You can also block numbers easily, so if there’s a reason you’ve never shared your phone number with old Facebook Friends from high school, you can still keep them from calling.
Man is jailed for refusing to turn over Facebook and Twitter passwords in business bankruptcy case (ABA Journal, 22 April 2015) - Jeremy Alcede personally maintained the Facebook and Twitter accounts for his former Texas gun store and shooting range. He thought of them as his own, and didn’t hesitate to inject his political views as he publicized Tactical Firearms in Katy. But a federal bankruptcy judge disagreed, and ordered Alcede to turn over the passwords to the new operator of the gun store, finding the social media accounts to be business assets even though Alcede has removed the Tactical Firearms moniker and substituted his own, according to the Houston Chronicle . Alcede refused and was jailed for contempt. He has been held since April 9 in solitary confinement. “He holds the key to his jail cell,” said Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeff Bohm during a Friday hearing in the Houston case, noting that Alcede will be released when he tells U.S. Marshals that he will turn over the passwords. “I don’t think I’m doing my job as a judge if I don’t enforce my own orders.” Attorney Leif Olson represents Alcede and says the ruling that the accounts are business assets is mistaken, an earlier Houston Chronicle article reports. Olson also says his client was willing to go to jail to prevent the government from silencing the views that Alcede has been presenting to some 11,000 followers via the Internet. “If Steve Jobs posted on Twitter or would have put on Facebook his political observations, his statements about the state of the world and occasional mentions about things going on at Apple, that would be personal, not corporate,” said Olson. The unusual case is one of the first in which a bankruptcy court has classified social media accounts as property of a business, the Chronicle says.
The digital future: How museums measure up (NYT, 23 April 2015) - The digital future continues to unfold at American art museums. The best recent innovations have been gathered in a new report, “Next Practices in Digital and Technology,” that the Association of Art Museum Directors is set to release on Friday. The report describes 41 museum projects that use digital technology to engage visitors, make collections more accessible and understandable or improve museum operations like ticketing and collections management. The projects cover a wide range. The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas is compiling a digital census of French sculpture in the United States that will be available as an internet portal . Working with 280 museums, the center has compiled records of 7,000 works made between 1500 and 1960 that can be found in public collections, museums, historic homes, and public spaces. The center estimates that it will add another 8,000 to 13,000 works before the project is completed in 2019. The Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts has replaced the traditional wall labels in its renovated Baroque galleries with iPads that present not only traditional curatorial information but also alternative labels written by area college students, religious leaders and educators, with an invitation for visitors to write their own labels. More whimsically, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., designed an interactive web app for its 2014 exhibition “Turner and the Sea.” Called “Turner’s Apothecary Mood-o-Meter,” the app quizzes visitors to gauge their mood, using concepts out of a 19th-century apothecary, and then “prescribes” a specific Turner painting to look at.
LOOKING BACK - MIRLN TEN YEARS AGO
(note: link-rot has affected about 50% of these original URLs)
Really open source (Inside Higher Ed, 29 July 2005)—Few projects in academe have attracted the attention and praise in recent years of OpenCourseWare, a program in which the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is making all of its course materials available online - free - for anyone to use. In the four years since MIT launched the effort, use of the courseware has skyrocketed, and several other universities have created similar programs, assembling material from their own courses. With less fanfare than MIT, Rice University has also been promoting a model for free, shared information that could be used by faculty members and students anywhere in the world. But the Rice program - Connexions - is different in key respects. It is assembling material from professors (and high school teachers) from anywhere, it is offering free software tools in addition to course materials, and it is trying to reshape the way academe uses both peer review and publishing. The project also has hopes of becoming a major curricular tool at community colleges.
Lloyd’s taking on open source IP risk (Register, 12 August 2005)—Lloyd’s of London is close to offering independent insurance protection worldwide against potential IP litigation involving Linux and open source software. The financial services giant has agreed to take on the risk associated with open source, and is finalizing arrangements to work through Open Source Risk Management (OSRM) who will become Lloyd’s sole US representative. OSRM will assess both the risk of the software in use and the individual company, before passing on the risk to the appropriate insurance company on the Lloyds market. OSRM expects to announce the first customers this Fall, and will initially charge organizations $60 per server. The partnership between OSRM and Lloyd’s will be vendor independent, differing from many of the existing intellectual property (IP) protection programs that are primarily designed to ward off attack from the litigious SCO Group. Red Hat, Hewlett Packard and Novell in January 2004 all announced separate protection for customers using their Linux products. JBoss in April this year announced indemnification for its middleware, including JBoss application sever, Cache and Hibernate object relational mapping technology.