Feb 282011
 February 28, 2011  Posted by  Court, Online

Michael Cameron, in-house counsel for the New York Post, writes:

What if the world no longer needed libel lawyers?

This was the frightening concept that greeted attendees at the biennial Media Law Resource Centre (MLRC) media law conference held in Virginia in October 2010.

On the face of it, the news was grim for the women and men who make their living litigating over the reputations of the good, bad and unappealing.

However, the outlook in the longer term may not be that bleak, given the burgeoning phenomenon of digital defamation and the privacy implications of social media.

In 2009, out of the hundreds of filings in various state and federal courts, just nine defamation matters went to trial in the USA, a staggeringly low number in historical terms.

Read more on Inforrm’s Blog.

Feb 282011
 February 28, 2011  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Youth & Schools

Jennifer Clark writes:

On March 1, the Court will hear one hour of oral argument in the consolidated cases of Camreta v. Greene (No. 09-1454) and Alford v. Greene (No. 09-1478).


Bob Camreta, a social worker employed by the state of Oregon, had information from a third party that S.G. and K.G., two minor girls living at home with their parents, were being sexually abused by their father.  Camreta, accompanied by Deputy Sheriff James Alford, went to S.G.’s school, took her out of class and to a school conference room, and interviewed her for one to two hours to determine whether she was being sexually abused at home.  Camreta did not seek either a warrant or consent from S.G.’s parents for the interview.  Camreta asked all of the questions during the interview, while Alford – who was in uniform and armed – stood nearby.

Read more on SCOTUSblog.

Feb 282011
 February 28, 2011  Posted by  Business, Online, Youth & Schools

Jim Puzzanghera reports:

Facebook said Monday it was “actively considering” whether to allow third-party applications to request mobile phone numbers and addresses from users younger than 18.

The ability of applications to request that information from users of the social networking site has been the subject of controversy since Facebook first allowed it in January. Facebook disabled the feature a couple of days later after criticism from some users and privacy experts.

In a letter to lawmakers released Monday, Facebook said it was working to “re-enable” the feature but with changes. In addition to possibly disabling the feature for minors, Facebook said it was considering revising the permission screen that users see before they give their approval to an application to make it clearer what information they are sharing.

Read more in the L.A. Times.

Feb 282011
 February 28, 2011  Posted by  Surveillance

Dava Castillo reports:

As of last week, any person arrested and fingerprinted in California will now undergo an automatic immigration check. Biometric security measures are in widespread use, yet many issues are still debated – including privacy concerns. In this article, we are going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of biometric security measures from both a technical and a social perspective.

California became the ninth state in which each county has activated Secure Communities, a fingerprint data-sharing program between local law enforcement offices and federal immigration enforcement agencies. Other states with complete activation include Texas, West Virginia, Florida, Arizona, Delaware, Virginia, Wisconsin and New Mexico.

Read more on AllVoices.com