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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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  • David Miranda detention: MP asks police for explanation
  • Monday, August 19 2013 @ 10:35 AM EDT
  • Pressure is mounting on police to justify the detention of a journalist's partner under terror laws.

    Senior politicians and an independent reviewer have said police must explain why David Miranda was detained for nine hours at Heathrow Airport....

    Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said police must explain why terrorism powers were used.

    Brazil has complained that his detention was "without justification". - BBC News

  • Use of UK terror law to detain reporter's partner causes dismay
  • Monday, August 19 2013 @ 10:30 AM EDT
  • The opposition Labor Party urged the authorities to explain how they could justify using Schedule 7 to detain Miranda, arguing any suggestion that anti-terrorism powers had been misused could undermine public support for those powers.

    "This has caused considerable consternation and swift answers are needed," said Labor lawmaker Yvette Cooper, the party's spokeswoman on interior affairs, in a statement.

    The Home Office, or interior ministry, said the detention was an operational police matter. The police declined to provide any details beyond confirming the detention.

    "Schedule 7 forms an essential part of the UK's security arrangements. It is for the police to decide when it is necessary and proportionate to use these powers," a Home Office spokesman said.

    [PJ: File that last under OMG. It's up to the *police* to decide when they are doing things according to the law?! If that is how the law is written, with no oversight over the police and no standards of when it is appropriate to use terrorism laws and against what kind of people, someone should rewrite that law asap.] - Reuters

  • Glenn Greenwald on partner's detention: You'll 'regret' it
  • Monday, August 19 2013 @ 10:26 AM EDT
  • "I am going to write my stories a lot more aggressively now," the Guardian reporter told Brazil's Globo TV on Monday in Rio de Janeiro.

    "I am going to publish many more documents now. I am going to publish a lot about England, too, I have a lot of documents about the espionage system in England. Now my focus is going to be that as well."...

    "This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism," he said.

    "It's bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It's worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by." - CNN

  • Mark Lemley Asks: Are Short Patent Trials a Rush to Judgment?
  • Monday, August 19 2013 @ 12:09 AM EDT
  • Key Findings from a Rush to Judgment:

    1) Juries are more favorable to patentees than judges.

    2) The length of a trial has no effect on its outcome.

    3) There is only a modest difference between patentee win rates in favored jurisdictions like Delaware and the Eastern District of Texas.

    Professor Lemley and his colleagues did identify some predictors of success:

    Juries rule for patentees more than judges.
    Juries in some districts appear to be more likely to find for patentees than are others. But the inter-district results are much more modest than most people suspect.

    Read the full paper: “Rush to Judgment? Trial Length and Outcomes in Patent Cases.” - Technology Academics Policy

  • The Influence of Amicus Curiae Briefs on U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Content
  • Sunday, August 18 2013 @ 11:58 PM EDT
  • Abstract:
    Scholars have dedicated substantial research efforts to investigating whether interest group amicus curiae briefs influence the behavior of Supreme Court justices. Despite this, there has been little systematic attention devoted to exploring what is arguably the most important aspect of the Court’s policy outputs – its majority opinions. We remedy this state of affairs by using plagiarism detection software to assess the ability of amicus briefs to shape the content of judicial opinions. Our findings indicate that the justices incorporate language from amicus briefs into their opinions based primarily on the extent to which amicus briefs contribute to their ability to make effective law and policy. These results add fresh insight into how interest groups influence the development of federal law by the Supreme Court. - Pamela Corley, Paul M. Collins Jr., Jesse Hamner, SSRN

  • British Library's wi-fi service blocks 'violent' Hamlet
  • Sunday, August 18 2013 @ 10:20 PM EDT
  • A man using the British Library's wi-fi network was denied access to an online version of Shakespeare's Hamlet because the text contained "violent content".

    Author Mark Forsyth was writing his book in the library, and needed to check a line from the famous play. The British Library said the fault was caused by a newly installed wi-fi service from a third-party provider. One security expert said the incident highlighted the "dysfunction" of internet filters.

    Mr Forsyth revealed on his blog that the filter had logged his attempt to access the page. - BBC News

  • With Amazing Chutzpah Google Claims It Can’t Be Sued In UK Courts
  • Sunday, August 18 2013 @ 10:00 PM EDT
  • Last year Google was embroiled in controversy over its circumvention of the Safari browser’s cookie-privacy settings (on the iPhone and beyond). As a result the company paid a $22.5 million fine to settle the case with the US FTC approximately a year ago....

    hose same facts lead to a civil lawsuit in the UK by Apple users, which was filed earlier this year.

    Now Google is moving to dismiss the UK case on jurisdictional grounds, arguing that it is not subject to UK privacy laws and that plaintiffs must refile their case in California where Google is based. Google argues, essentially, that UK courts have no jurisdiction over the company.

    Making that claim involves a lot of “chutzpah” (audacity) on Google’s part....The implications are pretty stunning. Playing them out, it would mean all international disputes involving US-based internet companies would have to be brought in the US and would be governed by US law.

    [PJ: No. It's not chutzpah. It's quite normal to make that argument in international cases. Can Google be sued in Iran under Iranian law? How about North Korea? Let's make the question a little closer to home. Let's say you are being sued by someone in Iran. You don't live in Iran. You live in the US. Now how do you feel? Do you wish to be under the laws of every disparate nation in the world? As this class on jurisdiction points out, in Saudi Arabia there is a death penalty for adultery. Do you want to be liable under that law if you are a US citizen living in the US? Can Saudi Arabia come and stone you? How would the internet work if it was the law that companies are liable under each and every country's laws, regardless of the obvious contradictions, and could enforce its rulings everywhere in the world? Would anyone set up an online business in such a situation? I wouldn't. How about China? Shall we accept limitations that it imposes on its citizens as limitations on US citizens also?

    I know it's popular to attack Google, but really it's quite normal to be sued where you are in business. Terms of use, which users accept, usually, typically tell you where you can sue. There are some exceptions, such as in cases of libel, where one can argue that you want it tried where the harm was done to the plaintiff, but even then, it's quite typical to see jurisdictional assertions at least raised. It's not only not chutzpah to do that, it'd be malpractice not to. The first time a country asserted jurisdiction over the Internet, Australia, it was big news. That's how unusual it was to even try to assert jurisdiction over a US company under another country's laws. Do you want to accept Germany's laws about not speaking about Hitler favorably? Does Germany get to annul America's First Amendment in the US? Do you see the complexity that ensues if a company can be sued anywhere and everywhere? If a country can claim jurisdiction over another country's territory? It is *normal* to sue where a company is headquartered. Google may or may not succeed, but it's certainly not chutzpah to argue that it should be sued where it is located.] - Greg Sterling, SearchEngineland

  • District Court Holds That Intentionally Circumventing IP Address Ban Violates CFAA
  • Sunday, August 18 2013 @ 09:29 PM EDT
  • During the debate over the Aaron Swartz case, one of the legal issues was whether Swartz had committed an unauthorized access under the CFAA when he changed his IP address to circumvent IP address blocking imposed by system administrators trying to keep Swartz off the network. There was significantly more to the CFAA charges than that, to be clear, including circumventing a subsequent MAC address block and (most significantly) entering an MIT storage closet to install his computer directly. But changing IP addresses to get around IP address blocking was at least one of the possible grounds of unauthorized access. On Friday, Judge Breyer of the Northern District of California handed down the first decision directly addressing the issue. Judge Breyer ruled that changing IP addresses to get around a block is an unauthorized access in violation of the CFAA. The decision is here: Craigslist v. 3taps, Inc.....

    To be sure, Craigslist had granted authorization to everyone by setting up a public website that anyone could access. But when Craigslist had sent the cease-and-desist letter and then blocked 3taps’s IP addresses, Breyer ruled, Craigslist had exercised its “power to revoke, on a case-by-case basis, the general permission it granted to the public to access the information on its website.” - Orin Kerr, Volokh Conspiracy

  • Britain Detains the Partner of a Reporter Tied to Leaks
  • Sunday, August 18 2013 @ 08:59 PM EDT
  • Mr. Greenwald said he received a call early on Sunday from someone who identified himself as a security official from Heathrow Airport and who informed him that Mr. Miranda had been detained, at that point for three hours. The British authorities, he said, told Mr. Miranda that they would obtain permission from a judge to arrest him for 48 hours, but he was released at the end of the nine hours, around 1 p.m. Eastern time.

    Mr. Miranda was in Berlin to deliver documents related to Mr. Greenwald’s investigation into government surveillance to Ms. Poitras, Mr. Greenwald said. Ms. Poitras, in turn, gave Mr. Miranda different documents to pass to Mr. Greenwald. Those documents, which were stored on encrypted thumb drives, were confiscated by airport security, Mr. Greenwald said. All of the documents came from the trove of materials provided to the two journalists by Mr. Snowden. The British authorities seized all of his electronic media — including video games, DVDs and data storage devices — and did not return them, Mr. Greenwald said. - Charlie Savage and Michael Schwirtz, The N.Y. Times

  • "There Have Been Some Compliance Incidents": NSA Violates Surveillance Rules Multiple Times a Da
  • Sunday, August 18 2013 @ 11:20 AM EDT
  • But some of the documents—a series of "Semiannual Assessments" by the intelligence community, in particular—were not entirely redacted. Interestingly, they all included some version of this phrase: "There have been some compliance incidents during the reporting period representing a small percentage of the overall activity." That phrase seemed unremarkable to me until now. If thousands of compliance incidents represented "a small percentage of overall activity," there must have been a whole lot of "activity."

    One final note: The NSA's noncompliance incidents are a big deal, but we shouldn't let them become a distraction. The far bigger problem is with the law itself, which gives the NSA almost unchecked authority to monitor Americans' international calls and emails. The problem arises, in other words, not just from the NSA's non-compliance with the law, but from its compliance with it. - Jameel Jaffer, ACLU

  • Nokia Here and Google Maps –Which is a better alternative
  • Saturday, August 17 2013 @ 08:35 PM EDT
  • Google Maps are much more detailed than the Nokia Here and this can be explained because Google Maps have been existence for quite some time and there have been many major upgrades. Google Maps reveals more places of interest than the Nokia Here Maps....

    The 3D style view of the buildings in Google Maps makes it possible to locate a spot in a jiffy as compared to Nokia Here which is woefully short when it comes to information like the street name at similar levels of Zoom....

    Google Street View is miles ahead of the Nokia’s version. Image quality of the Google Street View is also better than Nokia Here. Nokia Here and Google Maps offer alternative routes and display information about distance and travel time based on the mode of transport. The Nokia Here directions are a bit easier to follow. So is the traffic information on The Nokia Here which is much clearer and better than Google maps.

    [PJ: Maybe even FairSearch can see why Android phones would rather have Google Maps than Nokia Here.] - PC Tablet

  • Who Are the Real Winners in the Microsoft-Oracle Deal?
  • Saturday, August 17 2013 @ 06:23 PM EDT
  • To get to grips with what's going on, it's important to understand that Oracle Cloud is weak and getting weaker by the month, says James Staten, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. "The company's public cloud offering has really had very little success, so Oracle really needs to find another way to get its software into the cloud."...

    What does Microsoft get out of the deal? Mueller believes Redmond has been very keen to get access to Java. "Amazon's AWS cloud gets developer support because it offers Java, and Microsoft is desperate to do the same," he says. "It wants to become the No. 1 IaaS vendor, but if it has no support for Java, then that becomes almost impossible." - Paul Rubens, CIO

  • The limits of Google’s openness [PJ: As Microsoft constructs it.]
  • Saturday, August 17 2013 @ 06:19 PM EDT
  • Google also says that we are not complying with its “terms and conditions.” What Google really means is that our app is not based on HTML5. The problem with this argument, of course, is that Google is not complying with this condition for Android and iPhone. Again, we’re happy to collaborate with Google on an HTML5 app, but we shouldn’t be required to do something that apparently neither iPhone nor Android has successfully figured out how to do.

    Google raises concerns about our branding too. The funny thing about this point is that we’ve been using the same branding continuously since 2010 for an inferior YouTube app. Now that we have an app that gives users a fuller YouTube experience, Google objects to the branding (even though we’ve taken additional steps to clarify that we are the author of the app). Go figure.

    Finally, Google cites a degraded experience. Since 2010, Google permitted a Windows Phone app that was far below the iPhone and Android app experiences. Reviews of our new app are unanimous that the experience is much improved, and we’re committed to making adjustments to improve it further. If Google were truly concerned about a degraded experience, it would allow our users access to the new YouTube app they love.

    We think it’s clear that Google just doesn’t want Windows Phone users to have the same experience as Android and Apple users, and that their objections are nothing other than excuses.

    [PJ: If you read the most recent FairSearch complaint filed with the EU Commission, which Microsoft and other FairSearch members hope will become an official investigation, I think you'll see that Microsoft is here trying to buttress its case, rather than trying to "work with Google" to solve the issues raised. As you watch this play out, I think you'll find that is what this is really all about. When it's a lawyer writing a blog post, they're not just whistling Dixie.] - David Howard, Corp. V. P. & Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Antitrust, Microsoft

  • Bacon Brothers, The -- Go My Way
  • Saturday, August 17 2013 @ 12:48 PM EDT
  • This and all other great performances may be seen from Daryl Hall's widely acclaimed (e.g., Rolling Stone, SPIN, Daily Variety, et al) free-to-view website, and Palladia TV show, called "Live from Daryl's House". Simple, yet satisfying concept: He and his band fellowship and jam with established colleagues and stars, as well as extremely talented and noteworthy newcomers, at his country home/studio in Amenia, NY.

    [http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/]
    [http://baconbros.com/]
    [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ The_Bacon_Brothers]
    [http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ the-bacon-brothers] - YouTube

  • I asked the NSA for its file on me, and here's what I got back
  • Saturday, August 17 2013 @ 12:41 PM EDT
  • In trying to assure me that it wouldn't actually look my phone calls stored in their databases, the NSA claimed: "NSA cannot review any metadata unless strict requirements are met, i.e., the data may be queried only when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that a phone number is associated with a foreign terrorist organization."

    About that: The NSA has admitted, separately, that it employs a practice called "contact chaining." That means that if one of their targets calls someone, who in turn calls someone else, who in turn calls you, agency's checking you out.

    "But I'm probably not even three degrees away from a terrorist!" you might cry. Doesn't matter. You just have to be what the NSA calls a "target," or person of interest. And thanks to Snowden, we know the agency has a rather broad definition of what constitutes a target, like you're in the same online phone directory—the Yellow Pages, perhaps?—as another target. Anyone who's worked for any foreign government is on the list. So is anyone who tries to use standard, legal techniques to avoid being tracked online—like using the Tor browser. - Daily Dot

  • Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic
  • Saturday, August 17 2013 @ 12:03 PM EDT
  • The event began at approximately 4:37pm Pacific Time and lasted between one and five minutes, according to the Google Apps Dashboard. ...

    But then, not everyone is Google. According to web analytics firm GoSquared, worldwide internet traffic dipped by a stunning 40 per cent during the brief minutes that the Chocolate Factory's services were offline. Here's the graph of what that looked like. - Neil McAllister, The Register

  • Lavabit.com owner: 'I could be arrested' for resisting surveillance order
  • Saturday, August 17 2013 @ 11:43 AM EDT
  • Levison said he has been "threatened with arrest multiple times over the past six weeks," but that he was making a stand on principle: "I think it's important to point out that what prompted me to shut down my service wasn't access to one person's data. It was about protecting the privacy of all my users."

    He has also started a legal defense fund and said he's gotten "an overwhelming response," raising more than $90,000 in the past few days. Among those now backing him is former Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who told NBC News on Tuesday that Levison's legal battle "should be in the interests of everybody who cares about liberty." - NBC News

  • Is this a violation?
  • Saturday, August 17 2013 @ 11:37 AM EDT
  • A key-maker copies your house-key "just in case." Your rights aren't violated until he makes entry?

    [PJ: Interesting debate here.] - Scott Travers, Twitter


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