Constitutional Law Science, Computers & Technology Criminal Law

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California Updates Privacy Rights with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Starting on New Years Day 2016, a new law will prohibit California law enforcement agencies from compelling California residents and businesses to turn over metadata or electronic communications (e.g., texts, emails,...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

Should Smartphone Manufacturers Be Legally Compelled to Unlock Users’ Devices?

Picture this: A criminal defendant is indicted for three counts related to the possession of methamphetamine, and federal prosecutors obtain a warrant for the defendant’s iPhone. But the iPhone is passcode protected, and...more

The Limits to Ordering Computer Monitoring as a Special Condition of Supervised Release in the Federal Court System

There are limits to when a Federal District Court Judge may order computer monitoring by United States Probation as a special condition of supervised release. While it can be argued that individuals on supervised release...more

California Law Enforcement and Industry Gain Procedural Certainty with Historic Cal-ECPA Bill

On October 8, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law Senate Bill 178, known as the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Cal-ECPA). Cal-ECPA mandates that California law enforcement agencies...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

New York v. Aleynikov: New York State’s Penal Code (Like Federal Criminal Law) Does Not Cover Electronic Reproduction of Source...

In 2009, Sergey Aleynikov was a computer programmer employed by Goldman Sachs to write high-frequency trading code. He accepted an offer to join a new Chicago-based company, Teza Technologies. Before he left Goldman Sachs,...more

Status Updates: Appeals court upholds anti-cyberbullying law; better marketing through neural networks; restaurant owner turns the...

Cruel intentions. Laws seeking to regulate speech on the Internet must be narrowly drafted to avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, and limiting such a law’s applicability to intentional attempts to cause damage usually...more

Welcome to the Digital Age, Officer

California SB 178 Seeks to Apply Warrant Requirement to Electronic Devices and Online Data - The California Senate is currently reviewing the proposed California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (SB 178), which...more

Law Enforcement in the 21st Century: How The Courts Are Responding

As published in PublicCEO* The world of law enforcement is changing rapidly. In the last few years, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds altering the way police officers do just about everything. New technology...more

Seizure of memory cards from digital cameras allowed under plain view doctrine

Courts today are faced with applying traditional Fourth Amendment search and seizure doctrines to twenty-first century digital technology. In one such case, the Massachusetts Appellate Court upheld a lower court’s holding in...more

DANGER – “General” Search Warrants in the Digital Age

If you knew that there was a chance—maybe even a good chance—that a law enforcement officer could gain access to every single text, email, photograph and voice mail on your smartphone, going back years, because you were...more

Warrantless Laptop Search Suppressed In Sixth Circuit

On May 20, 2015, the Sixth Circuit ruled that the warrantless search of a laptop exceeded the scope of a preceding private search, and was therefore unconstitutional....more

Laptops, Border Checks and The Fourth Amendment

Developments in law are sluggish compared to the rapid rate of technological advancement, and courts must constantly apply old legal principles to technologies which were not contemplated at the time the laws were enacted. ...more

Riley and the Third-party Doctrine

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one groundbreaking opinion in two cases regarding cellphone searches incident to arrest. In a unanimous opinion, the court held that under the Fourth Amendment, police must...more

Federal Court Finds Hotel Room Ruse Violated Fourth Amendment

In a case testing the boundaries of how far the government can go when creating a ruse to access a suspect’s premises, a U.S. District Court in Nevada concluded that the government’s disruption of internet service to a hotel...more

California May Limit Law Enforcement’s Warrantless Data Collection

Eager to retain its spot among the principal laboratories for domestic privacy legislation, California’s legislature is set to debate Senate Bill 178, legislation restricting state law enforcement agencies from requesting...more

Massachusetts High Court Upholds Cyberharassment Conviction Based on False Craigslist Ads

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has upheld the conviction of an Andover couple for violation of the Commonwealth’s criminal harassment statute by, among other things, posting fake ads on Craigslist. In brushing...more

Subscriber Does Not Have Fourth Amendment Privacy Interest in Own IP Data

In 2012, the Supreme Court decided the case of United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012). Jones involved the government's use of a GPS tracking device on a vehicle and the information gleaned therefrom. The holding was...more

Apple Strengthens Privacy Protections

Apple recently changed its privacy policy which has made headlines – it will no longer unlock iPhones and iPads for law enforcement. Prior to this change, Apple would assist law enforcement in unlocking Apple devices when...more

A Moment of Simple Justice - Snitching Ain't Easy [Video]

Nov. 3, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- The DEA gets into the business of making fake Facebook profiles of informants and Scott sorts through the damage....more

Drone on Drones: Government Regulation of Drones in Law Enforcement

While a controversial proposed state bill that would restrict law enforcement agencies’ use of drones is drawing criticism, the federal government is also tackling ways to regulate the use of this new technology. These...more

Court protects privacy in ruling on warrantless searches of cellphones

Every now and then The Nine agree on something. Among the unanimous rulings the U.S. Supreme Court issued in the final stretch this year was Riley v. California, which held that law enforcement officials may not make a...more

A Moment of Simple Justice - Revenge Porn  [Video]

August 18, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- As revenge porn laws crop up across the United States, Scott talks about some of the unintended consequences that can result from criminalizing such a broad swath of online activity....more

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