Tag Archives: Internet Law

Sextortion 101: A Legal Primer

20-20-defamation-sm
First, revenge porn hit the scene. Now, sextortion is also on the stroll. “Sextortion,” you ask? A hybrid crime of extortion and hacking, sextortionists use malware to gain control of web cams, and then take nude pictures and videos of victim’s without their knowledge or consent. After that, the perpetrator usually contacts the victim and demands money in exchange for not publishing the material. Unlike revenge porn, sextortion is illegal everywhere. If you get caught, you’re going to need superb lawyering to keep you out of jail. Teenage Sextortionist Could Face Over A Year In Jail Nineteen year old Jared James Abrahams of California recently found out the hard way that sextortion will land you in a heap of trouble with the law. After successfully using malware to commander the web cams of several women, including Miss Teen USA Cassidy ...
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New Tech Tax In Massachusetts

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Listen up tech industry people in Massachusetts! Your state government recently passed a new tax that directly affects your business. In order to fund statewide transportation upgrades, the standard 6.25% sales tax will now be required on most computer software services, including website development. A cabal of tech industry and taxpayer associations has banded together to fight the tax, but lawmakers seem intent on sticking to their decision. Why The New Massachusetts Technology Tax? Why is Massachusetts adding a new tax? State representatives say it’s all about mending the ailing transportation system. And since transportation upgrades usually involve technological advancements, legislators buried the tax in a recent transportation bill – a statute most tech folks didn’t notice. Lawmakers estimate the new tax will bring in $160 million in revenue for the state. Opponents to the tax think it will bring ...
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Google Antitrust On The Menu Again?

Google Lawsuits
Just when Google thought their antitrust worries had washed away with a wave of other campaign-year  flotsam, the Federal Trade Commission has fired up the bat signal and are summoning the proverbial “A Team.” Their focus, once again, seems to be on the Khal of Search, Google. A new marketing czar is now at the helm of the FTC. Moreover, judging from early reports, it seems the commission is focusing on the logistics of Google’s ad exchange program, instead of organic SERP results, like last time. Could these two variables result in a bad outcome for Google this go round? The Google Antitrust Legal War Google is no stranger to the antitrust litigation ring. The first unfair competition arrow was shot from the SS FTC in 2007. Back then, the commission concerned themselves with the tech company’s acquisition of a ...
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Arizona Business Law: Serving Notice

startup legal advice
A new Arizona business law judgment should be viewed as a significant new chapter in the annals of interstate litigation. What is the new Arizona business law? If you live in another state and want to enforce a judgment on someone in Arizona, make sure every administrative “T” is crossed and “I” is dotted in your jurisdiction. Why? Because recently an Arizona appeals bench ruled that in order to impose a ruling on an individual or business in the Grand Canyon State, all procedures in the originating state must be followed exactly. Texas Plaintiff Wants To Enforce Summary Judgment In Arizona Earlier in the year, Hillcrest Bank – a Texas-based business – brought a claim against Mr. Richard J. Sodja of Phoenix, AZ. Presumably, the latter had engaged in business with the former. The case went down in Texas and ...
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Can You Serve Notice Online?

email privacy law
You’re suing someone for defamation, but you only know your detractor’s screen-name. So, the burning question is: Can you serve notice online? In a word, yes. That said, before a court will issue permission to serve notice online, you’ll have to prove you attempted various other methods before resorting to the use of social media or other digital service options. Precedence For Serving Notice Online Earlier this year, a US court agreed to let the Federal Trade Commission serve a pair of potential scam artists in India. Specifically, the two gentlemen were served notice via email and Facebook. The road to this outcome, however, was a long one. Before attorneys for the FTC could secure the online service approval, they exhausted every other avenue. It took months. In addition to searching high and low for ways to serve the suspects ...
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Biz Opp Alert: The FTC Is Watching

FTC Regulations
The nation’s consumer protection agency is actively enforcing their new Biz Opp rules. On October 31, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission, in conjunction with other federal task forces, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Attorneys General in Arizona, Colorado, California and Indiana filed 108 new legal actions against Biz Opp companies that authorities allege are unfairly scamming would-be entrepreneurs. Operation Lost Opportunity: The FTC’s Latest Crackdown On Biz Opps With a 3-0-2 vote, the FTC put operation lost opportunity into action. Seventy civilian actions and 38 criminal actions were filed in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida against a slew of companies offering “be your own boss” prospects. Specifically, a group of companies that offer mystery shopping, credit card processing, website operation, and government insurance refund processing opportunities are being charged with violating various consumer protection rules. ...
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Mother Pens Cyberbullying Memoir

Cyberbullying is most often associated with children. But many adults also suffer online harassment. Lesli Catsouras, 46, is one such adult, and she’s sharing her harrowing story in a new memoir entitled, “Forever Exposed.” A deeply personal tale, Catsouras’ book is about the cyberbullying she and her family experienced after her 18 year old daughter was killed in a car crash. It all started on Halloween afternoon of 2006. After having lunch with her parents, Nikki grabbed the keys to her father’s porche, the one she was not supposed to drive, and escaped out the garage. Panicked, Nikki’s mother immediately called her father, who tried to warn the police, but it was too late. Nikki lost her life after crashing into an unmanned toll booth. As you can imagine, it was an incredibly difficult time for the Catsouras family. All ...
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New Internet Law: Facebook Freedom of Speech Schools

An aggressive new Internet law was introduced in North Carolina, making it a criminal offense for a student to release statements online with the intention of intimidating or tormenting school faculty. In Minnesota, a U.S. District Court maintained that compelling students to hand over access to their social media accounts is a violation of their rights under the First and Fourth Amendments. The case involves a 12-yer-old girl who posted one comment about a school employee on Facebook at home, and followed it up with another. School officials promptly questioned the student, which resulted in disciplinary actions. She also had to provide access to her email accounts, which they searched. Based on Tinker v. Des Moines and other precedents, the court maintained that school authorities could not punish statements made away from school, which are guaranteed by the First Amendment, ...
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Six Strike Illegal Downloading Warning System

Update Feb 2013: Welp, it’s a go! The six strike illegal downloading system went into effect at the end of February 2013. Update Nov 2012: Due to issues associated with Hurricane Sandy, implementation of the “six strike” anti-piracy program, which is intended to thwart illegal downloading, is delayed until 2013. European countries love illegal downloading laws. Most use a three-strike system, meaning users get two piracy warnings before being slapped with sanctions. In Europe, if a person is caught in the act after two warnings, the punishment is usually suspension of Internet service for up to a year. Since the US justice system is based on the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ premise, laws like the EU’s three-strike method are considered unconstitutional by many. The argument being that people are stripped of rights without first being found guilty of an actual ...
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Updates To The Electronic Communications Privacy Act?

Internet Law
Internet law news alert! The House and Senate are finally getting around to updating the woefully outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If Sen. Patrick Leahy’s new bill passes, it will be that much more difficult for law enforcement entities to get their hands on personal email correspondences. Give Me The Quick Low Down On The Electronic Communications Privacy Act Enacted in 1986, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act was passed into law to, well, do exactly what its name suggests – protect the privacy of electronic communications. But if you can think back to 1986, you’ll remember that email wasn’t exactly commonplace. In fact, back then, most politicians considered e-mail to be transitory and therefore not all that private. As such, the act classifies electronic communications as “business records” and the ECPA only requires officials to obtain an easily acquirable administrative ...
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