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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Social Data Discovery and Proportional Privacy

Agnieszka McPeak


Social Data Discovery and Proportional Privacy


Social media platforms aggregate large amounts of personal information as “social data” that can be easily downloaded as a complete archive. Litigants in civil cases increasingly seek out broad access to social data during the discovery process, often with few limits on the scope of such discovery. But unfettered access to social data implicates unique privacy concerns — concerns that should help define the proper scope of discovery.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended in 2015, already contain the tools for crafting meaningful limits on intrusive social data discovery. In particular, the proportionality test under Rule 26 weighs the burdens of discovery against its benefits, creating important boundaries on discovery’s scope. Privacy burdens should be part of the proportionality analysis. By considering the privacy implications of social data discovery, courts can fashion fair and meaningful limits on its scope.


Did A Former National Parks Employee Violate The CFAA By Tweeting About Climate Change?


Did A Former National Parks Employee Violate The CFAA By Tweeting About Climate Change?

As you may have heard, over the past few days, there’s been a lot of talk about various US government Twitter feeds “going rogue” in what many believe is an attempt at a bit of civil disobedience following gag orders being sent from the White House to various federal departments and agencies, with a particular ban on social media. Soon after that came out, the Twitter feed of the famed Badlands National Park in South Dakota, started tweeting about climate change.


State Appeals Court Says Unlocking A Phone With A Fingerprint Doesn’t Violate The Fifth Amendment


State Appeals Court Says Unlocking A Phone With A Fingerprint Doesn’t Violate The Fifth Amendment

As was hinted heavily three years ago, you might be better off securing your phone with a passcode than your fingerprint. While a fingerprint is definitely unique and (theoretically…) a better way to keep thieves and snoopers from breaking into your phone, it’s not much help when it comes to your Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.

‘Juror’ Blog Posts During and After Trial Lead to Evidentiary Hearing (U.S. v. Mark Zimny)

First Circuit

‘Juror’ Blog Posts During and After Trial Lead to Evidentiary Hearing (U.S. v. Mark Zimny)

In U.S. v. Mark Zimny, a jury found the defendant, Mark J. Zimny (Zimny), guilty of five counts of wire fraud, five counts of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, two counts of filing false tax returns, and one count of bank fraud. Zimny appealled, raising several arguments. The First Court of Appeals addressed only one of those arguments: that the district court’s inquiry into Zimny’s claims of juror misconduct (blogging) was inadequate. The court agreed with Zimny and remanded for an evidentiary hearing, leaving for another day the other issues that Zimny raised.

Here is the alleged juror post that most directly led to the evidentiary hearing

Boy this is getting comical. I’ve been following it on and off, and was also on the jury. Mama June, and those who were there know what I’m talking about,[5] was spouting about the “shots in the dark” blog since day one. Its [sic] why she conveniently got ‘sick’ and didn’t finish her service. Several other jurors told her to stfu[6] and got annoyed. ‘[I]diot’ doesent [sic] describe the half of it.

According to the First Circuit Court of Appeals,

…the additional juror comment raised a colorable claim of juror misconduct: that, contrary to Juror No. 8’s testimony, she discussed the blog post with other jurors.

Suit claims arrests over social media posts and rap lyrics violated First Amendment rights


ABA Journal: Suit claims arrests over social media posts and rap lyrics violated First Amendment rights

Two men arrested and detained by San Diego police because of rap lyrics and social media posts have filed a federal lawsuit for alleged violation of their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

One of the plaintiffs in the Jan. 10 lawsuit (PDF) is rapper Brandon Duncan, known as Tiny Doo, according to a press release. The other is Aaron Harvey, who was studying to become a real-estate agent at the time of his arrest. Duncan and Harvey are represented on a pro bono basis by lawyers at Morrison & Foerster.

The men had been accused of promoting gang violence in violation of an obscure California law that makes it a felony to promote and benefit from a gang that is engaged in criminal activity. The arrests in June and July 2014 may have been the first time the law was used in San Diego, and possibly in California.

Attorney Position with Snap


Attorney Position with Snap

We’re looking for an Associate General Counsel – Product to join Team Spectacles! We are looking for someone to lead the legal work of the Spectacles team, delving deep into the engineering, design, hardware, logistics, and commerce spaces to guide the development and launch of Spectacles into new markets. We’re looking for someone who is collaborative, quick, creative, and can easily spot problems before they arise. You’ll be asked to review design concepts, flag legal issues, and loop in the right colleagues to assess them.

Your ability to connect the dots across legal disciplines will be critical, as you’ll help the Spectacles team understand technologies that didn’t exist yesterday, and determine how they might be regulated tomorrow. Working from our Venice, CA headquarters, your work will play a critical role in determining what the Spectacles team at Snap Inc. will look like one, three, and five years into the future.

What You’ll Do: 

  • Work closely with the Engineering, Product, Design, Marketing, and Content teams to understand and assess new products and technologies, from early development stages through launch

  • Analyze potential legal risks and regulatory requirements applicable to new products and technologies

  • Work with legal colleagues to ensure regulatory compliance, including those related to hardware, import/export, international requirements, etc.

  • Help scale the Legal team and develop innovative processes to support the Engineering, Product, and Design teams

What we’re looking for:

  • J.D. with excellent academic credentials

  • Experience in scaling consumer hardware products, factory operations, and customer service

  • Membership in at least one state bar

  • 10+ years of experience practicing law (in-house experience required)

  • Experience across a range of legal disciplines related to hardware (IP, regulatory, marketing, e-commerce, retail, privacy) preferred

  • A quick study who is comfortable mastering new areas of law and tech

  • Excellent legal and business judgment, as well as strategic thinking and drafting skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders across the company on complex, multifaceted issues

  • A detail-oriented, business-friendly team player with the ability to think creatively and accommodate tight deadlines

  • Someone with a strong work ethic and the ability to work independently

  • Someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously 🙂

Google, Facebook Face Tighter EU Grip With New Privacy Law

Google, Facebook Face Tighter EU Grip With New Privacy Law

Google, Facebook Inc. and other Internet companies will be covered by strict new European Union privacy rules that seek to limit access to consumers’ data.

The EU proposed in a draft law unveiled in Brussels Tuesday giving online users more control of their settings and limiting the “overload of consent requests” for cookies people encounter when browsing the web. The rules would extend the EU’s ePrivacy law beyond telecommunications operators to include “new providers of electronic communications services, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Gmail, iMessage, or Viber,” the regulator said…