Email Electronic Communications

News & Analysis as of

Federal Computer Hacking Laws Apply to Executive's Unauthorized Access to Coworkers' Emails

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the Stored Communications Act (SCA) were enacted to protect U.S. businesses and individuals from computer hacking and industrial espionage. In recent years, employers and...more

Land Court Finds that Texting Can Bind Parties

The Massachusetts Land Court has held that text messages may form a binding contract in connection with the sale of real estate!! While neither punctuation nor colorful texting acronyms can make this decision more noteworthy...more

2017 Practical Advice Series, Part II: The Tongue is an Evil Serpent and Email and Tweets are Even Worse

I’ve commenced this series because employers and employees seem to make many of the same mistakes over and over again, and technology has created new ways for one to screw up. On some level, most of us are aware that we...more

E-Mail Communications: The Devil is on the Server

It is hard to imagine how prosecutors were able to bring cases before there was email communications. When I was a prosecutor, we looked for evidence in a lot of other sources, internal memos, calendars and other places where...more

Court Finds Airport Cannot Fly Under the Radar on Employee’s Email Privacy Claims

A federal district court in Virginia recently grounded an airport’s attempt to escape liability for accessing an employee’s email account. (Hoofnagle v. Smyth-Wythe Airport Commission.) The decision, which delivered a mixed...more

This is a Non-Political Post: eDiscovery Trends

At the outset, I feel that I should state that, given that this post is about the Hilary Clinton emails and the FBI handling of them. In his latest post (E-Discovery Lessons from the Huma Abedin E-Mails), Craig Ball...more

Alleged Wiretap Act and CIPA Violations Held to Satisfy Spokeo Test for Standing in Latest Gmail Privacy Class Action

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), lower courts have begun to address whether alleged violations of statutes intended to protect privacy suffice, in the absence of...more

Tales from the (Quantum) Crypt

The dream of hack-proof communication just got a little closer to reality. On August 16, 2016, China launched the world’s first “quantum satellite,” a project the Chinese government hopes will enable it to build a...more

Litigation Alert: The Sixth Circuit Expands Potential Federal Wiretap Act Liability for Developers and Sellers of Cloud-Based...

Last week, the Sixth Circuit expanded potential liability for violations of the Federal Wiretap Act for manufacturers of devices that can be used for wiretapping, like monitoring software, in reversing the dismissal of a...more

Illinois AG Rules That Public Employees' Personal Emails Are Public Records - Messages Pertaining to Public Business in Personal...

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a binding opinion under the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that email messages sent or received through public employees' personal email accounts may be public...more

E-Message Patents Survive Alice Challenge

Common computer technology has fallen victim to Alice in many recent cases. It is therefore noteworthy that the District of Massachusetts declined to invalidate e-mail management patents under §101 in Sophos v....more

Employees Behaving Badly – Ten Signs (S)He’s Just Not Into You

There are many computer behaviors which, in a certain light, might suggest that an employee is skimming the accounts, paying bribes, pushing deals to friends or relatives, or planning to steal company IP to compete with them....more

Second Circuit Holds that the U.S. Government Can’t Order Microsoft to Disclose Customer Emails Stored in Ireland

In a case closely watched by privacy advocates, on July 14, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) does not authorize U.S. law enforcement authorities to order U.S.-based companies...more

Traps for the Unwary: Text Messages, Authorized Agents, and Binding Letters of Intent

A recent Land Court decision strongly suggests that sellers should proceed with caution when negotiating real estate transactions via email and text messages. In determining whether a contract was formed between two companies...more

New Florida Law Facilitates Access to and Management of a Person's "Digital Estate" After Death

A new Florida law facilitates access to and succession of a person's "digital assets" (that is, electronic records that may include photos stored on online servers, email and online bank accounts) through appointed...more

House Sends Email Privacy Act Amendments to Senate

On April 29, 2016, in a 419-0 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to amend the 30-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) to eliminate an exception to the government warrant requirement...more

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 Enacts CalECPA, Requiring a Search Warrant to Obtain or Access Users’ Electronic Information

On Thursday, October 8, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (the “California ECPA”). This legislation, which takes effect on January 1, 2015, has been heralded by...more

California Joins Other States with the Passage of CalECPA

Law enforcement requests for electronic information, particularly from technology companies such as Google and Twitter, have skyrocketed in recent years. In response, several states—Maine and Texas in 2013, Utah in 2014 and...more

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing To Discuss Reforms To The Electronic Communications Privacy Act

The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing to discuss reforms to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) proposed in Senate bill S. 356, The Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of...more

Nothing to See in This Story about the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Check out this story. In it, we learn this: "Andrew Ceresney, director of the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, [told] the Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary at a hearing on Wednesday...more

PAC Upholds Board Action: No OMA Violation for Private Emails

In June, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion holding that board members of a school district did not violate the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when partaking in intermittent private email exchanges...more

Collusion Course: The Limits of Hot Documents

Discovery in antitrust cases often involves a search for smoking-gun documents. Those documents can consist of emails proving that competitors conspired to raise prices, removing the difficulties faced by prosecutors or civil...more

Email Notice Without Consent Is Not Notice

The California General Corporation Law unequivocally authorizes the giving of notice of stockholder meetings by electronic transmission. Section 601(b) provides “Notice of a shareholders’ meeting or any report shall be given...more

Status Updates - March 2015 #2

Out with the inbox? The overwhelming popularity of workplace-specific platforms that facilitate coworker communication—commonly referred to as “enterprise social media”—is undeniable. But are these platforms poised to someday...more

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Cybersecurity

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