law

Thu
02
Nov
John Lister's picture

PC Beats Lawyers in Legal Prediction Contest

Computers can beat lawyers at predicting the outcome of cases according to a recent test. Organizers say an artificial intelligence program might even have uncovered insight into what influences case decisions. The test involved a computer program ... that has proven more sophisticated than intended. "Case Cruncher" was originally designed as a chatbot - a program that simulates a text conversation with a user - that would answer questions about the law. It was created and 'taught' by four law students in the UK. The team later developed it into a tool called Case Cruncher. Each variant ... (view more)

Tue
20
Sep
John Lister's picture

Law Change Could Let Feds Spy On Malware Victims

Opponents of proposed changes that could make government surveillance of computers easier have warned time is running out. The changes will take effect on December 1 unless Congress passes a law to stop them. The debate involves the Federal Rules of ... Criminal Procedure, which is effectively the rulebook of the judicial system. Rule 41 sets out how search warrants work in federal cases. Earlier this year the Supreme Court agreed to a request from the Justice Department for three changes to Rule 41. The first is an exception to the usual principle that a local judge can only issue a search ... (view more)

Wed
07
Sep
John Lister's picture

Tech Giants Unite Against Government Gag Orders

Several tech giants have backed Microsoft in its attempt to overturn what it calls a gagging order over government data requests. The company says such orders are a double breach of the constitution. The case relates to the Store Communications Act, ... which is related to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. In a nutshell, the law allows law enforcement officials to get a court order forcing tech companies to hand over details of customer activity, if it relates to an ongoing investigation. The controversial part is that the government can also ask the court to order the tech company not ... (view more)

Wed
11
Nov
John Lister's picture

Should Police have Access to Cell Data without Warrant?

The Supreme Court has refused to consider a case that could have decided if the government needs a warrant to track a person's location through their cellphone. That means lower courts may continue to make case-by-case decisions on the issue. A man ... named Quartavious Davis had asked the Supreme Court to hear his case. He was sentenced to 1,941 months in prison for taking part in multiple robberies. As part of their investigation, local police acquired Davis's cellphone records from MetroPCS and were able to link him to seven crime scenes. An appeals court rejected Davis's argument, ... (view more)

Wed
03
Jun
John Lister's picture

US Patriot Act Replaced To Limit Online Snooping

President Obama has signed a law that will limit the government's power to collect data from the public's online and telephone activities. The USA Freedom Act should make it harder for officials to simply collect data in bulk. The Act replaces the ... measures in the 2001 Patriot Act , which extended the government's surveillance powers as a response to the September 11 attacks . That led to the National Security Agency launching a program by which it effectively collected as much data as possible and held on to it so that it could then look back for details on particular individuals ... (view more)

Wed
17
Sep
John Lister's picture

Judge: Firms Can't Ban Online Negative Reviews

California has passed a law that means companies can no longer ban customers from writing negative reviews on websites. Even attempting to do so could mean they firms face a financial penalty. The new law follows a protracted court battle that ... concluded this summer after an online gadget seller tried to "fine" a couple $3,500 for leaving a negative review on an independent website. A court eventually ordered KlearGear to pay more than $300,000 to the couple after its attempts to collect the "debt" hurt their credit rating. KlearGear had been trying to enforce a clause in ... (view more)

Fri
08
Aug
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Is a Kill Switch the Solution for Mobile Phone Theft?

California is about to implement a "kill switch" requirement for all smartphones sold there. The plan requires vendors sell smartphones equipped with a feature that allows owners to remotely disable the device if it is lost or stolen. California's ... kill-switch bill was approved by the state's assembly yesterday morning. Now, experts believe it's only a matter of time before Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill, making it law. Kill-Switch Software Wipes Personal Data, Locks Phone The bill mandates that smartphones contain software capable of wiping all personal data and ... (view more)

Wed
30
Jul
John Lister's picture

Cellphone Unlocking Ban Overturned, Now Legal

President Obama is expected to sign a bill in the coming weeks to make it legal to unlock cellphones. That may give users more choice about the cellphone network they use to get service, though there will still be technical restrictions. Most new ... cellphones are sold in a 'locked' state, meaning that they can only run on a particular cellphone network carrier. Usually that's because the network sells the handset at a reduced cost, hoping to make money back from associated monthly service fees and call charges. Unlocking a cellphone effectively modifies the phone's software, and thus allows ... (view more)

Fri
13
Jun
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Is it OK to Video Record On Duty Police Officers?

A case in New Hampshire has raised an important question in an age when just about everyone has a smartphone equipped with a digital video camera: should people be allowed to video or audio record the actions of on duty police officers? The case in ... question involves New Hampshire woman Carla Gericke, who was arrested and charged with wiretapping in 2010. Gericke was caught recording her friend being questioned by the Weare Police Department during a late-night traffic stop. Woman Never Ordered to Stop Recording Traffic Stop Gericke was actually in a car behind her friend and announced to ... (view more)

Tue
01
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Law Blocks Employers From Requesting Facebook Data

Michigan has joined several other US states in passing legislation that prevents employers and school officials from asking people for their social networking login data. Breaking this new law could bring a three-month jail term or a $1,000 fine. On ... Friday, December 28, 2012, Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed the new law, House bill 5523, into effect. In part, the law says "potential employees and students should be judged on their skills and abilities, not private online activity," and blocks any employer from requesting login or password data for social networks like Facebook, Twitter, ... (view more)

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