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News & Analysis as of

Data for the Taking: Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Combat Web Scraping

“Web scraping” or “web harvesting”—the practice of extracting large amounts of data from publicly available websites using automated “bots” or “spiders”—accounted for 18% of site visitors and 23% of all Internet traffic in...more

Website Operator Not Liable for UGC; Also, Sun Rises in the East

Last month, the Sixth Circuit ruled that website operators are not liable for content provided by others (User Generated Content or UGC) because of Section 230 immunity under the Communications Decency Act in the Jones v....more

Reviews Posted Under a Pseudonym Could be Defamatory

As written on this blog before, plaintiffs often have difficulty when alleging claims of defamation against anonymous defendants. Unsurprisingly, websites that provide a forum for anonymous commentary are loathe to reveal the...more

Is There A Right To Be Forgotten? The Court of Justice of the European Union Says “Yes”.

Since Google, a web search engine provider, became a multi-billion dollar company, it has steadfastly refused to remove internet search results on a discretionary basis. In fact, Google support expressly provides that...more

California May Soon Be Calling You

Recently California amended its privacy laws requiring website privacy notices for businesses outside California’s borders. If your business operates a commercial website that collects consumers’ personally identifiable...more

Status Updates - July 2014 #3

..A relatively new site called Wanelo combines the features of a social media site and an e-commerce site by permitting users to “save” products that they are interested in, and showing them to their online friends. The site...more

FFIEC Establishes Cybersecurity Web Page and Announces Commencement of Cybersecurity Assessment Program of Community Banks

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (the “FFIEC”) announced that it had established a web page on cybersecurity (the “Web Page”), which is designed to serve as a central repository for current and future...more

Court Orders Google to Remove Site from Worldwide Search Results

In a recent decision by the British Columbia courts (Equustek Solutions Inc. v Jack , 2014 BCSC 1063), Google has been ordered to de-index a website selling goods that were the subject of intellectual property (IP)...more

FFIEC Debuts Web Page on Cybersecurity

On June 24, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) launched a Web page on cybersecurity. The press release stated that the FFIEC members are taking a number of steps to raise awareness of cybersecurity...more

FFIEC Launches Cybersecurity Resources Web Page

On June 24, the FFIEC unveiled a new web page that will serve as a central repository for current and future FFIEC-related materials on cybersecurity. Although the FFIEC did not release any new resources, the launch shows the...more

Will the FCC allow online disclosure of contest rules? Stay tuned

Anyone who watches television or listens to the radio has heard a fast-talking announcer race through the abbreviated rules for a sweepstakes or contest . Or perhaps you’ve seen a copy of the official rules for only a second...more

The New ADA Design and Construction Issue: Website Accessibility

- The DOJ has indicated that it plans on issuing a separate regulation to address website accessibility. However, no official action has been taken since it first sought comments on its proposal for addressing website...more

I Caught Someone Copying My Website. Now What?

You just discovered that a new entrant to your existing market copied your website FAQs, but changed them a little. Your site has “© ABC Corporation 2009-2014? on the bottom. What do you do now....more

Sixth Circuit Holds Website Cannot Be Liable for Postings, Reversing Lower Court

In an important decision issued today, the Sixth Circuit held that the operators of www.TheDirty.com could not be held liable for postings by third parties on the website. The decision reversed the decision of the Eastern...more

Can ad auction site take brands to the big leagues?

The easiest way to think of Instant Sponsor is as the eBay of sports advertising but without the second-hand merchandise and garage sale leftovers. The California-based company runs an online auction platform that...more

Sixth Circuit Reinforces CDA Immunity – Reverses Lower Court in Jones v. Dirty World

On June 16th, 2014, the Sixth Circuit reversed the lower court’s holding that the gossip site, TheDirty.com, was responsible for its users’ defamatory posts and could not rely on immunity under CDA Section 230. The appeals...more

California Attorney General Issues Privacy Policy Guide

On May 21, 2014, California's Attorney General Kamala D. Harris issued the "Making Your Privacy Practices Public" guide (the "Guide") to provide businesses with guidance on creating more transparent privacy policies that...more

Manual Link Penalties are Temporary

If you received a manual action or unnatural links penalty on your website, it is not forever. The penalties, which may range from months to years, do have an intrinsic end date and are related, according to Distinguished...more

RAC Program Update: CMS Appoints Provider Relations Coordinator

On June 2, 2014, CMS posted a brief update on its Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program website announcing the creation of a “Provider Relations Coordinator” position within CMS. The announcement states that the role of...more

Week in Review

Move over World Cup. Discipline based on employee social media activities is taking center stage this week. Well, maybe the World Cup has a few more headlines, but you can follow the links below to read four articles from...more

California AG Provides Important Guidance on Do-Not-Track Legislation and Disclosures

On May 21, 2014, the California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, released guidelines entitled "Making Your Privacy Policy Public"[1] to help websites and mobile app operators comply with their obligations to disclose...more

You’re Only As Good as Your Source: Make Sure to Consult the Right Versions of the ITAR and EAR

These days when we’re in need of information on an unfamiliar topic our first thought is often to “Google it.” Usually, these initial searches generate plenty of useful results. But actually differentiating between the...more

Websites Hit With Demand Letters on Accessibility Issues Despite Courts’ Rejection of Claim

In recent weeks, numerous businesses have received letters asserting that their websites are not accessible to persons with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s Unruh Act. These...more

Making Privacy Practices Public: the California Attorney General’s New Guidelines Keep the Focus on the Consumer’s Perspective and...

In 2013, the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) was amended to require web sites and other online services to make additional privacy policy disclosures related to online tracking transparency. Within the...more

“Our Website Is Down” Does Not Suspend Compliance

The economy being what it is, a young relative of mine was thrilled to get a job in the coffee bar of a local bookstore. What’s more, they were short-handed and promised her a lot of hours. However, their new-employee...more

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