Internet On Trial

Internet On Trial

Modern Day Litigation, Cyber Defamation, and Law in Sports & Entertainment

Sutton Knocks Another One Out of the Park, Shuts Down $19 Trillion Suit Against Google

Posted in Cyber-defamation, Defamation, Internet & Media Law, Litigation & Appeals

Pro tip: If ever you Google yourself, and are unhappy with the results, don’t sue Google. Why not? Because under a federal law known as the Communications Decency Act, websites and/or services that only republish or display content created by third-parties — i.e. sites that don’t create their own substantive content — are not liable for the substance of that third-party content. It makes sense, right? The person/entity that should be liable is the one who is responsible for creating it. It almost follows the old adage — don’t shoot the messenger….

Apparently Colin O’Kroley never got that memo. After plugging his own name into the popular search engine, back in 2012, O’Kroley was shocked to see this as the top result in Google: Continue Reading

Government “Appeals” Judge Orenstein’s Ruling

Posted in Litigation & Appeals, Privacy Law, Technology Law

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (that’s Brooklyn, for everyone in the rest of the world) has filed an “appeal” of Magistrate Judge James Orenstein’s order denying its motion to compel Apple to develop software to bypass the security measures built into iOS to withstand a brute force attack. Why is “appeal” in quotes you ask? Continue Reading

NY Federal Judge Gets it Right, Rules in Favor of Apple

Posted in Internet & Media Law, Privacy Law, Technology Law


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The Government’s War on Encryption, Backdoors, and What in the World Would Antonin Scalia Do?

Posted in Internet & Media Law, Privacy Law, Technology Law

EFF to Support Apple in Encryption BattleEarlier this week, the anti-encryption discussion got elevated to a war. No, a federal court judge did not order Apple to crack the encryption on the dead terrorist’s iPhone 5C, though you’d be forgiven if that’s what you heard or believed, since mainstream media outlets as big as NBC are reporting it that way. Thanks to Mike Masnick (@mmasnick) at Techdirt, I don’t have to explain the difference between what the order entered by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym says versus the way it’s been widely reported in the news. Continue Reading

How Secure Are Your Text Messages?

Posted in Privacy Law, Technology Law

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Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. every single day. That’s 6,000,000,000. Ninety-seven percent of Americans send at least one text message per day. The average Millennial exchanges 67 texts per day. Text messaging is rapidly becoming the preferred method of communication for many people. But just how private are those messages? Do you know? Do you even care? Continue Reading

Don’t Become a Statistic: Fight Copyright Trolls Now

Posted in Copyright, Internet & Media Law
Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Copyright trolls like Malibu Media, Voltage Pictures, Dallas Buyers Club, TCYK, and Manny Film LLC now account for over 40% of all copyright infringement lawsuits in the United States. Over the last half decade, these and other vexatious litigants have devised a scheme to outmaneuver the legal system by exploiting the nexus of antiquated U.S. copyright law — which has miserably failed to keep up with the technology and capabilities of the Internet — with the paralyzing social stigma of being accused of stealing, in federal court, and the relative costs of paying for a legal defense versus paying the copyright troll to “settle out of court.” While it is true that existing copyright law allows up to a $150,000 statutory penalty per single act of willful infringement, copyright trolls aim for much lower hanging fruit; Continue Reading

NJ Supreme Court Limits Eligibility for Expungement

Posted in Litigation & Appeals, New Jersey

Ex-spongebob-mentIf you needed another reason not to break the law, here’s one: Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that expungements are no longer available for individuals with multiple convictions for a “single spree” of crimes. Expungement is the process of erasing a criminal conviction from a person’s record. The way it works is, typically, after a first-time offender is convicted of a crime and successfully completes the sentence ordered by the court, they are made to wait a 5–10 years during which they must not commit any further crimes or offenses, and at the end of that period they can apply to the court for an order of expungement. The theory behind expungement is that it is available in limited circumstances to people who made just a single mistake, a single lapse in judgment, or Continue Reading

You know you can go to jail for stuff you post on Facebook, right?

Posted in First Amendment, New Jersey, Social Media Law

Police arrested a 30-year-old New Jersey resident for aggravated assault, and making terroristic threats, because he posted something on Facebook, which implied that he condones violence against abusive law enforcement officers that harass innocent citizens.

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Avvo Ruling Doesn’t Create a Green Light for Anonymous Defamation

Posted in Cyber-defamation, Defamation, First Amendment, Internet & Media Law


People are making much ado about this week’s decision out of a Washington state appellate court surrounding a negative online review on the popular lawyer website But it’s really much ado about nothing. The Avvo decision didn’t change the law; its chief holding is that people who post to the Internet anonymously can remain anonymous under protections granted by the First Amendment, that you cannot unmask the anonymous poster unless you show the court evidence to support the underlying defamation claim. The holding does not give a green light to Internet trolls everywhere to engage in malicious cyber-defamation campaigns at will.

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Über Policy Updates Raises Privacy Concerns

Posted in Privacy Law

über – definition

I’m a huge fan of Über — the mobile app that gives you instant access to a chauffeured Town Car, SUV, or eco-friendly hybrid vehicle, 24 hours a day, in over 300 cities worldwide. As an Internet & privacy law attorney, however, I’ve had to convince myself to look the other way regarding its privacy policy, which permits the company to collect massive amounts of data about its customers. I was able to do so because in my own personal experience I’ve always found the company to be very responsible — i.e. in every city I’ve used them (except Chicago) Continue Reading