Communications & Media Criminal Law

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Blame Flows Downhill: All the Way to Sales Clerks

What if a store clerk sells a product that, unbeknownst to him, is illegal? Can the clerk be convicted of a crime, despite not knowing the product was illegal and not intending to sell an illegal product? On January 14,...more

Government Can Fail to Preserve Too, Court Awards Sanctions (New Jersey)

United States v. Vaughn, 2015 WL 6948577 (D. N.J. Nov. 10, 2015) - In this criminal case, a pro se defendant sought to dismiss the indictment and other sanctions for the government’s failure to preserve text messages...more

Spies, Hacking & Civil Liberties in the UK

In late 2015, Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary introduced the Investigatory Powers Bill (the “Bill”). Mrs May stated that the Bill was introduced to ensure that surveillance laws are “modern, fit for purpose and can...more

Evidence and Social Media: Notes from the Canadian Twitter Trial

On Friday, January 22, 2016, the Ontario Court of Justice released reasons in R. v. Elliott, 2016 ONCJ 35. The case involved allegations that the accused engaged in criminal harassment of two women by repeatedly communicating...more

Texas AG Hits Deep in the Heart of DFS

On January 19, 2016, the Texas AG issued an opinion that paid Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are illegal under Texas law, but noted that “traditional” fantasy sports leagues are, as a general rule, legal under Texas law. In so...more

Online Terrorism Reporting Act Revived In Light Of San Bernardino Shootings

Within hours after a pair of shooters killed fourteen people in San Bernardino, California, reports emerged that one of the perpetrators had sworn allegiance to ISIS immediately before the attack. In the week following,...more

UK and EU Law Enforcement Investigatory and Data Sharing Powers: Developments and International Impact

Proposed UK legislation governing UK law enforcement investigatory powers (together with differences in approach by the UK and rest of Europe to law enforcement access to personal data) will have a deep and far reaching...more

China’s Anti-Terrorism Law – what it means for telecommunications and Internet service providers

The State Council of China has published the Anti-Terrorism Law of the People's Republic of China, drafted to combat the threat of terrorism. The initial draft was circulated for comments in late 2014. Following...more

False Marking Alert: Could International Product Sales, Shipments, Or Manufacturing Land You In Prison?

Do you manufacture, ship, or sell products abroad that contain the ® trademark registration symbol on the products, labels, or packaging? If so, did you know that you may face criminal liability, imprisonment, fines, seizure...more

Irresponsible to Criticize Judge Who Ruled Correctly

As lawyers, we frequently disagree with the decisions of judges. The federal and state constitutions protect our right to express our disagreement and provide a mechanism to appeal decisions. Judges have no control over which...more

Marketplace Lending and San Bernardino

Reports show that the San Bernardino shooter took out an online marketplace loan a few weeks prior to the attacks. Despite the terrorists resorting to marketplace lending, I do not believe there is anything that could have...more

Loan to San Bernardino Attacker Generates New Focus on Online Marketplace Lending and Terrorism Financing

News that an online marketplace lender extended a $28,500 loan to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the alleged San Bernardino attackers, just two weeks before the attack, has spurred House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb...more

Digital Information – Now Protected More Than Ever

In the event that you missed it, on October 8th, 2015, California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed into law the California “Electronic Communications Privacy Act” (CalECPA) which requires any California state law enforcement...more

UK Investigatory Powers Bill: Big Brother 2.0?

On 4 November an Investigatory Powers Bill (‘Bill’) which could overhaul internet surveillance in the UK was introduced to the House of Commons....more

California Gives the Fourth Amendment a 21st Century Makeover

The average American today generates more media than they did at any other point in history, and the ease with which our communications, photos, and videos are sent and stored digitally means most of us have more media stored...more

HIPAA Lessons from the Warner Chilcott Settlement

Last week, the US Attorney’s Office in Boston announced that drug company Warner Chilcott agreed to plead guilty to health care fraud and pay $125 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising out of allegations...more

California Reaffirms First Amendment Right to Record Police in Public

As deputy U.S. marshals detained a group of people in Beatriz Paez’s neighborhood, the 34-year-old South Gate, Calif. resident began recording the incident. Video from another camera-wielding bystander rolls as a different...more

Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Could Fall Apart After Scandal

Greenberg Glusker litigation partner Ricardo Cestero was quoted in a Law360 article, Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Could Fall Apart After Scandal, (subscription required), addressing a customer class action filed against the...more

Disgruntled Former Tribune Company Employee Who Aided Hacking Convicted; Could Face Jail Time

On October 7, 2015, former Tribune Company employee Matthew Keys was convicted of three felonies stemming in part from assistance he provided to the hacking collective Anonymous to alter content on the LA Times’ website. ...more

Liability of Online Intermediaries: Consultation Now Open

Earlier this year we outlined the proposals made by the European Commission regarding online intermediaries and their role in tackling illegal content on the internet. If the Commission implements its proposals, this might...more

Implied Threat on Facebook Insufficient to Support Stalking Conviction

Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that a Facebook profile may constitute a “threat” within the meaning of the Massachusetts stalking statute. However, a profile that is merely “vaguely ominous or...more

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act: More Lessons to Be Learned

Courts continue to struggle with the application of CDA immunity to shield service provider defendants from liability in extreme cases. In this case, the Washington Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, affirmed the lower court’s...more

"The Future of Government Regulation, Enforcement of Off-Label Promotion"

Three years ago, in United States v. Caronia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) neither prohibits nor criminalizes truthful, nonmisleading speech that...more

Arizona’s Revenge Porn Law Remains on Indefinite Hold

Earlier this year, the Arizona Legislature made major revisions to Arizona’s revenge porn law, Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1425. Arizona is neither the first nor the only state to prohibit the unauthorized disclosure...more

Landmark Case for Abuse of Personal Data

In the September 9th landmark decision, the Hong Kong Magistrates' Court convicted Hong Kong Broadband Network ("HKBN") of a criminal offence for failing to comply with the direct marketing provisions of the Personal Data...more

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