Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Library Highlights: Law & Technology

I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy
Lori Andrews
HM851 .A66 2011
From the Publisher: Social networks are the defining cultural movement of our time, empowering us in constantly evolving ways. We can all now be reporters, alerting the world to breaking news, participating in crowd-sourced scientific research, and helping the police solve crimes. Social networks have even helped to bring down governments, but they have also greatly accelerated the erosion of our personal privacy rights. As leading expert on social networks and privacy Lori Andrews shows through ground- breaking in-depth research and a host of stunning stories of abuses, as we work and chat and shop and date (and even sometimes have sex) over the Web, we are opening ourselves up to increasingly intrusive, relentless, and anonymous surveillance—by employers, schools, lawyers, the police, and aggressive data aggregator services that compile an astonishing amount of information about us and sell it to any and all takers. But the legal system cannot be counted on to protect us—in the thousands of cases brought to trial by those whose rights have been violated, judges have most often ruled against them. That is why in addition to providing the best expert advice about protecting ourselves, Andrews pro- poses that we must all become supporters of a Constitution for the Web, which she has drafted and introduces in this book. Now is the time to join her and take action—the very future of privacy is at stake.

Legal Aspects of Managing Technology
Lee B. Burgunder
KF1890.H53 B87 2011
From the Publisher: This book is designed for businesspersons working with technological innovations in any field, including business, management, computer science, engineering, architecture, biology, or law. It focuses on integral technology law topics with substantial attention paid to the wide range of controversial issues regarding intellectual property rights, and coverage of all other key topics such as e-commerce, privacy, antitrust, and biotechnology. Its goal is not to make readers legal experts; rather it is too allow managers to understand the fundamental legal issues pertinent to technology management so that they can competently create strategic plans in consultation with their attorneys.

That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back
Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
BF408 .F747 2011
From the Publisher: In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in in- formation technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption— and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us.” They explain how the paralysis of our political sys- tem and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.

The Real ID Act: Privacy and Government Surveillance
William Eyre
KF4791 .E97 2011
From the Publisher: Civil society in the United States in the 21st century has seen the abandonment of American concepts of individual freedom, privacy, expression and autonomy. Eyre ex- amines the Real ID Act in this context, as an example of laws passed since September 2001 restricting civil liberties. The Real ID Act facilitates the current and future surveillance regime. Real IDs and the database(s) to which they are linked represent a de facto national ID system facilitating monitoring citizens’ movements, speech and political activities when fully operational. The Real ID Act is examined as an unfunded mandate and vehicle for unconstitutional abridgement of First Amendment guarantees including political expression.

Computer Games and Virtual Worlds: a New Frontier in Intellectual Property Law
Ross A. Dannenberg … [et al.], editors.
KF3024.C6 C625 2010
From the Publisher: As the uses and ubiquity of video games and virtual worlds expand, the legal issues they raise grow more complex and commonplace. These issues include the traditional areas of intellectual property law, namely, copyright, trademark, patent and trade secrets, as affected by contractual issues arising from the end user licensing agreements (EULA) and terms of service (ToS) promulgated by each video game and virtual world proprietor. This book explores and discusses how to obtain these traditional rights in the non-traditional settings of video game and virtual world environments, and serves as a primer for legal practitioners researching these emerging legal issues. Each chapter addresses, in order, end user license agreements, copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, as addressed by U.S. law. The book also includes a commentary on international legal issues stemming from the multi-national user-base and foreign operation of many virtual worlds.

Principles of Cybercrime
Jonathan Clough, Monash University, Victoria
K5215 .C58 2010
From the Publisher: We live in a digital age. The proliferation of digital technology, and the convergence of computing and communication devices, has transformed the way in which we socialize and do business. While overwhelmingly positive, there has also been a dark side to these developments. Proving the maxim that crime follows opportunity, virtually every advance has been accompanied by a corresponding niche to be exploited for criminal purposes; so-called ‘cybercrimes’. Whether it be fraud, child pornography, stalking, criminal copyright infringement or attacks on computers themselves, criminals will find ways to exploit new technology. The challenge for all countries is to ensure their criminal laws keep pace. The challenge is a global one, and much can be learned from the experience of other jurisdictions. Focusing on Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal principles that apply to the prosecution of cybercrimes.

Library Highlights: Law and Religion

The Mandate of Heaven and the Great Ming Code
Jiang Yonglin
KNN33 .J53 2011
From the Publisher: After overthrowing the Mongol Yuan dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), proclaimed that he had obtained the Mandate of Heaven (Tianming), enabling establishment of a spiritual orientation and social agenda for China. Zhu, emperor during the Ming’s Hongwu reign period, launched a series of social programs to rebuild the empire and define Chinese cultural identity. To promote its reform programs, the Ming imperial court issued a series of legal documents, culminating in The Great Ming Code, which supported China’s legal system until the Ming was overthrown and also served as the basis of the legal code of the following dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911). […] This study challenges the conventional assumption that law in pre-modern China was used merely as an arm of the state to maintain social control and as a secular tool to exercise naked power. Based on a holistic approach, Jiang argues that the Ming ruling elite envi-sioned the cosmos as an integrated unit; they saw law, religion, and political power as intertwined, remarkably different from the “modern” compartmentalized worldview. In serving as a cosmic instru-ment to manifest the Mandate of Heaven, The Great Ming Code represented a powerful religious ef-fort to educate the masses and transform society.

Friends at the Bar: A Quaker View of Law, Conflict Resolution, and Legal Reform
Nancy Black Sagafi-nejad
KF4869.Q83 S24 2011
From the Publisher: George Fox, founder of the Religious Society of Friends, admonished his follow-ers against “going to law.” In this fascinating, wide-ranging book, a Quaker lawyer explores the rela-tionship between Quakers and the American legal system and discusses Friends’ legal ethics. A highly influential group in the United States, both for their spiritual ideals of harmony, equality, and truth-telling, and for their activism on many causes, including abolition and opposition to war, Quakers have had many noteworthy interactions with the law. [The author] sketches the history and beliefs of the early Quakers in England and America, then goes on to look at important twentieth-century constitutional law cases involving Quakers, many involving civil rights issues. Sagafi-nejad’s survey of one-hundred Quaker lawyers shows them to be at odds with the adversarial system and highlights a legal practice that must balance truth-telling and zealous advocacy. The Quaker development of extra-legal dispute resolution to solve debates amongst Friends is discussed, along with a look at the possible future of mediation.

Hinduism and Law: An Introduction
edited by Timothy Lubin, Donald R. Davis Jr., Jayanth K. Krishnan
KNS122 .H564 2010
From the Publisher: Covering the earliest Sanskrit rulebooks through to the codification of ‘Hindu law’ in modern times, this interdisciplinary volume examines the interactions between Hinduism and the law. The authors present the major transformations to India’s legal system in both the colonial and post colonial periods and their relation to recent changes in Hinduism. Thematic studies show how law and Hinduism relate and interact in areas such as ritual, logic, politics, and literature. In doing so, the authors build on previous treatments of Hindu law as a purely text-based tradition, and in the process, provide a fascinating account of an often neglected social and political history.

Encountering Religion in the Workplace: The Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Employers
Raymond F. Gregory
KF3466.5 .G74 2011
From the Publisher: In a recent survey, 20 percent of the workers interviewed reported that they had either experienced religious prejudice while at work or knew of a coworker who had been subjected to some form of discriminatory conduct. Indeed, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Com-mission, the filing of religious discrimination charges under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion) increased 75 percent between 1997 and 2008. The growing desire on the part of some religious groups to openly express their faith while at work has forced their employers and coworkers to reconsider the appropriateness of certain aspects of devotional conduct. Religion in the workplace does not sit well with all workers, and, from the employer’s perspective, the presence of religious practice during the workday may be distracting and, at times, divisive. A thin line separates religious self-expression—by employees and employers—from unlawful proselytizing. In doing so, the authors build on previous treatments of Hindu law as a purely text-based tradition, and in the process, provide a fascinating account of an often neglected social and political history. practice during the workday may be distracting and, at times, divisive. A thin line separates religious self-expression— by employees and employers— from unlawful proselytizing.

Muslims and Global Justice
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naʻim
KBP2460 .N353 2011
From the Publisher: An-Na’im opens this collection of essays with a chapter on Islamic ambivalence toward political violence, showing how Muslims began grappling with this problem long before the 9/11 attacks. Other essays highlight the need to improve the cultural legitimacy of human rights in the Muslim world. As An-Na’im argues, in order for a commitment to human rights to become truly uni-versal, we must learn to accommodate a range of different reasons for belief in those rights. In addition, the author contends, building an effective human rights framework for global justice requires that we move toward a people-centered approach to rights. Such an approach would value foremost empower-ing local actors as a way of negotiating the paradox of a human rights system that relies on self-regulation by the state. Encompassing over two decades of An-Na’im’s work on these critical issues, Muslims and Global Justice provides a valuable theoretical approach to the challenge of realizing glob-al justice in a world of profound religious and cultural difference.

Politics, Taxes, and the Pulpit: Provocative First Amendment Conflicts
Nina J. Crimm, Laurence H. Winer
KF6449 .C748 2011
From the Publisher: In Politics, Taxes, and the Pulpit, Nina J. Crimm and Laurence H. Winer examine the provocative mix of religion, politics, and taxes involved in the controversy over houses of worship engaging in electoral political speech. The authors analyze the dilemmas associated with federal tax subsidies benefiting nonprofit houses of worship conditioned on their refraining from political cam-paign speech. The Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision invalidating federal campaign fi-nance restrictions on corporations’ political campaign speech makes the remaining, analogous restric-tive tax laws constraining many nonprofit entities all the more singular and problematic, particularly for houses of worship. Crimm and Winer explore the multifaceted constitutional tensions arising from this legal structure and implicating all fundamental values embodied in the First Amendment: free speech and free press, the free exercise of religion, and the avoidance of government establishment of religion. . They also examine the history and economics of taxation of houses of worship. The authors conclude that there exists no means of fully resolving the irreconcilable clashes in a constitutionally permissible and politically and socially palatable manner. Nonetheless, Crimm and Winer offer several feasible legislative proposals for reforming tax provisions that likely will generate considerable debate.

Library Highlights: Law & the Internet

Virtual Freedom: Net Neutrality and Free Speech in the Internet Age
Dawn C. Nunziato
KF4772 .N86 2009
From the Publisher: Communications giants like Google, Comcast, and AT&T enjoy increasingly unchecked control over speech. As providers of broadband access and Internet search engines, they can control online expression. Their online content restrictions – from obstructing e-mail to censoring cablecasts – are considered legal because of recent changes in free speech law. In this book, Dawn Nunziato criticizes recent changes in free speech law in which only the government need refrain from censoring speech, while companies are permitted to self-regulate. By enabling Internet providers to exercise control over content, the Supreme Court and the FCC have failed to protect the public’s right to access a broad diversity of content.

Nunziato argues that regulation is necessary to ensure the free flow of information and to render the First Amendment meaningful in the twenty-first century. This book offers an urgent call to action, recommending immediate steps to preserve our free speech rights online.

The Law of Virtual Worlds and Internet Social Networks
Andrew Sparrow
KD667.C65 S68 2010
From the Publisher: Virtual worlds are the latest manifestation of the internet’s inexorable appetite for development. Organisations of all kinds are enthusiastically pursuing the commercial opportunities offered by the growth of this phenomenon. But if you believe that there are no laws which govern internet social networks and virtual worlds this book will persuade you otherwise. There is law, and a good deal of it. Why would there not be?

As with many other aspects of the world wide web, this new medium is unregulated and offers many opportunities for companies to damage their reputation, run into a whole host of problems relating to intellectual property, trade marks and copyrights, and compromise the rights of individuals participating within the virtual environment. By reading The Law of Virtual Worlds and Internet Social Networks you will gain a good understanding of the legal issues which govern this expanding and fascinating world – are you ready for the leap from internet plaything to meaningful social and business tool? [this book] is an essential reference for advertising and media agencies; television broadcast producers; academic institutions including university law, knowledge and information departments. In fact, it has been written for anyone interested in virtual worlds and social networks whether commercially because you want to explore the possibilities such environments present, or for academic curiosity.

Internet Law in a Nutshell
Michael L. Rustad
KF390.5.C6 R87 2009
From the Publisher: The book begins with a review of the history, technology, and competing theories of the Internet that enables a deeper understanding of case law and statutory developments discussed in the substantive chapters. It covers the history of the Internet through the rapidly evolving Web 3.0, competing theories of Internet governance, cyber jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments, choice and conflicts of law, cybertorts, online contracting and licensing, the protection of online intellectual property assets, the protection of online privacy, criminal liability for Internet activity, and European Community directives such as the E-Commerce Directive, Brussels Regulation, and Rome I Regulation.

In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace
David G. Post
K564.C6 P67 2009
From the Publisher: In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the “complete skeleton, skin & horns” of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities contained in the strange and largely unexplored New World. Taking a cue from Jefferson’s efforts, David Post, one of the nation’s leading Internet scholars, here presents a pithy, colorful exploration of the still mostly undiscovered territory of cyberspace–what it is, how it works, and how it should be governed.

What law should the Internet have, and who should make it? What are we to do, and how are we to think, about online filesharing and copyright law, about Internet pornography and free speech, about controlling spam, and online gambling, and cyberterrorism, and the use of anonymous remailers, or the practice of telemedicine, or the online collection and dissemination of personal information? How can they be controlled?

Should they be controlled? And by whom? Post presents the Jeffersonian ideal–small selfgoverning units, loosely linked together as peers in groups of larger and larger size–as a model for the Internet and for cyberspace community self-governance. Deftly drawing on Jefferson’s writings on the New World in Notes on the State of Virginia , Post draws out the many similarities (and differences) between the two terrains, vividly describing how the Internet actually functions from a technological, legal, and social perspective as he uniquely applies Jefferson’s views on natural history, law, and governance in the New World to illuminate the complexities of cyberspace.

E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise with Forms
Ian C. Ballon
KF390.5.C6 B35 2009
From the Publisher: The revised and updated edition of this comprehensive work provides you with a complete legal authority on e-commerce and Internet law, covering business-to-business and business-to-customer issues, regulatory issues, and emerging trends. It includes practice tips and forms and its unique organization facilitates finding quick answers to your questions. This valuable resource on Internet and ecommerce issues contains nearly 10,000 detailed footnotes, plus references to more than 100 unpublished court decisions, many of which are not available anywhere else.

Privacy and the Internet: Your Expectations and Rights under the Law
Revised and updated by Margaret C. Jasper
KF1263.C65 J38 2009
From the Publisher: The Internet is the most significant medium of both commercial and financial communications and transactions. It has become the nation’s primary vehicle for the exchange of news, mail, and general information. Unfortunately, these benefits often expose Internet users to serious privacy risks which may have catastrophic results. Thus, it is crucial that Internet users understand how to safely and securely “surf the net,” without exposing themselves to criminal activities which infringe on their privacy.

This almanac discusses some of the most important security methods, including the effective use of passwords, utilizing virus software, installing firewalls, understanding encryption technology, and being vigilant about the type of information one shares on the Internet. Internet identity theft is also addressed.

In addition, this fully revised publication outlines Internet privacy policies and applicable laws placed upon various entities designed to protect private information of Internet users. A discussion of online privacy protection for children, which encompasses the governing laws are included. Finally, this almanac sets forth the role of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in enforcing privacy rights, including a review of some of the major enforcement cases brought by the FTC. The Appendix provides resource directories, applicable statutes, and other pertinent information and data. The Glossary contains definitions of the terms used throughout the almanac.

DHS Launches YouTube Channel and Redesigns DHS.gov

From the July 22, 2009 DHS Press Release:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today launched the DHS YouTube Channel and announced the redesign of DHS.gov—steps to enhance the Department’s web presence, increase transparency and provide accurate, up-to-date information to the public.

“Social media plays an increasingly large role in our engagement with the public, especially in the event of an incident or disaster,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. “These new tools will facilitate an open dialogue about the Department’s security efforts across the nation and around the world.”

The YouTube Channel, found at www.youtube.com/ushomelandsecurity, will allow DHS to use video to highlight events, speeches, public service announcements and other related content. DHS’s emphasis on web 2.0 tools such as YouTube allows the Department to provide greater transparency and access to the public and our state, local, territorial, tribal, private sector, and international partners.

DHS.gov was reorganized around Secretary Napolitano’s five major responsibilities—counterterrorism, border security, enforcement of immigration laws, disaster preparedness and response and Department unification—and redesigned based on user input and search analysis to help visitors find relevant and timely information.

Website Spotlight: MAPLight.org — making money/vote connections transparent

MAPLight.org‘s mission is to “illuminate the connection between money and politics in unprecedented ways.” The organization aims to “give citizens the tools to find out for themselves how campaign contributions affect the specific issues they care about.” Watch this 6 mins. video to learn how it works.

Some articles and other items about MAPLight.org:

Shedding New Light on Lawmakers’ Voting Records (interview on KQED) (June 18, 2009)

Mapping a better world (The Economist) (June 4, 2009)

The People’s Data (Newsweek) (February 28, 2009)

The Citizen Watchdogs of Web 2.0 (Time) (June 30, 2008)

MAPLight gets its data from:

Federal Government Takes to Social Networking

Over the last few months, the federal government has stepped up its presence on popular social networking sites. There is now a U.S. Government channel on YouTube, a revamped USAgov Facebook page, and a USAgov Twitter feed.  The White House has its own Facebook page, Flickr page, and Twitter feed which posted its inaugural tweet May 1st. For more ways to keep up with news from the federal government, consult Connect with Government, or subscribe to any of these USAgov RSS feeds

Some related stories of interest:

Implications of Recent Web Technologies for NARA Web Guidance

GovLoop Connecting the Government Community

Can Twitter, Social Networking Lead to a Renaissance in Civic Engagement?

Obama and Twitter: White House Social-Networking

Government 2.0 Meets Catch 22  

Government 2.0: How Social Media Could Transform Gov PR  

The rise of government 2.0

Website Spotlight: California Courts & California Legislature

california_courts2California Courts

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/

The California Courts website provides a no-cost, full-text, searchable database of all published California Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions from 1850 to the present. Slip opinions for recent decisions (both published and unpublished) are posted to the website within hours of being filed. The advanced search function allows for terms and connectors searching powered by LexisNexis®. The California Courts website also provides free access to Judicial Council Forms, Court Rules for all California courts, a self-help center for pro se litigants, court statistics, and other reference and informational materials.

california_legislature1California Legislature

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/

The California Legislative Counsel provides a no-cost, full-text, searchable database of the California Codes, the California Constitution, and the text, history, status of each bill introduced from 1993-present in each of its draft forms. On the California Legislature website you can also find all bill analyses prepared by legislative committees, any veto messages, all statutes enacted on or after January 1, 1993, a list of matters pending on the Assembly or Senate floor, a list of the committees and their members, Rules of the Legislature, the Legislative Calendar, the schedule of legislative committee hearings, and more.