Is Your March Madness Tournament Pool Illegal?

Right now, a cultural phenomenon is sweeping through the country – March Madness. The NCAA tournament causes such a nationwide buzz each year that even President Obama has picked out his tournament bracket. As remaining teams dance their way to the Final Four this April 2, you might be surprised to hear that your March Madness Tournament pool is actually illegal. Although the NCAA encourages fans to fill out brackets for the fun of the Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup — March 11th, 2016

Google uses Geolocation to Implement Right to Be Forgotten Ruling Google will use IP address data and other geolocation signals to determine whether a Google Search user is located in Europe. If so, Google will delist search results covered by the European Court of Justice’s “Right to be Forgotten” rulings. Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel at Google, released a blog post on a company blog on March 4th, detailing some specifics of the implementation. Previously, Continue Reading →

Arson Jurisprudence: Going Up in Flames

The relationship between forensic science and the courts has been a tenuous one.  Seemingly every few years a scientific breakthrough combined with ambitious journalism reveals that some sort of agency or court has been investigating or sentencing innocent people using techniques that are nonsensical.  These techniques can range from hair sample analysis to bite mark analysis.  Although multiple facets of forensic science have been thoroughly disproved or discredited by rigorous scientific methodology, one of the most Continue Reading →

United States v. Valle: The Second Circuit agrees with the Fourth and Ninth Circuits on the Meaning of “Exceeds Authorized Access” under the CFAA

If an employee used their work computer in a way prohibited by their employer, should that be a federal crime? What if it was a police officer looking up women in a police database? This issue was recently addressed by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Gilberto Valle[1], decided on December 3rd, 2015, also known as the ‘Cannibal Cop’ case. Valle, a policeman in the NYPD, often used his computer to Continue Reading →

WikiLeaks Reveals the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Expansion of International Copyright Law

WikiLeaks Publishes TPP IP Chapter As the Trans-Pacific Partnership or “TPP” moves closer to becoming a reality , leaked documents of the international trade agreement published by WikiLeaks have sparked concerns that the treaty’s re-envisioning of intellectual property rights could prove detrimental to citizens of signatory nations. The latest version of TPP’s intellectual property chapter, hosted on WikiLeaks servers,[1] details a series of sweeping modifications to the international status quo in regards to copyrights as well as Continue Reading →

The Legal Response to Revenge Porn

It is not uncommon for couples to break up on less than stellar terms. There is quite a difference, however, between deleting an ex’s phone number and posting nude pictures or videos of him or her on the Internet in order to cause embarrassment or fallout with friends and family. This phenomenon, known as revenge porn, has increasingly received attention from the nation’s lawmakers and pro bono attorneys. This attention culminated in October of 2013, Continue Reading →

Facial Recognition Technology and the Next Generation Identification System

Facial Recognition Technology requires a photographic camera combined with face recognition software. The software identifies human faces captured by the camera, and quantifies them using an algorithm. The algorithm measures “nodal points” on the face, such as the distance between the eyes, cheekbone shape, nose width, and jaw shape. The combination of the nodal points becomes a person’s “faceprint”. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced that it will use Facial Recognition Technology in Continue Reading →

The Problem of Overbroad Technology Legislation

The charges Aaron Swartz faced may have caused his untimely death. Those closest to Aaron certainly believe so. His family, in a statement, decried the “intimidation and prosecutorial overreach” of the US Attorney’s Office. At the funeral, Aaron’s father remarkedthat his son had been “killed by the government.” On the other hand, it has been widely documented — perhaps no more poignantly than by Aaron, himself — that the young programmer had long suffered from depression. Regardless, we Continue Reading →

Forced Decryption and the 5th Amendment: Analytical Issues in the 11th Circuit’s Recent Decision

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal and Volokh Conspiracy reported that the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently decided that forcing a suspect to decrypt and provide a hard drive when the government did not already know what it contained violates the suspect’s Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. While most of the Court’s analysis seems correct, I have a few problems with some parts of the analysis and have tried addressing these issues Continue Reading →