Posted On: February 25, 2010

Separation of Powers Regarding Judicial Funding in the State of Connecticut

Two days ago I posted information on this blog related to the New York Court of Appeals decision (Maron v. Silver, 16 ' Larabee v. Governor, 7 ; Chief Judge v. Governor, 18) addressing judicial compensation in that state within the framework of separation of powers. Today I have learned that the State of Connecticut is also confronted with separation of powers issues related to its judiciary. These issues relate at least in part to the unilateral reduction of Other Judicial Expense line items (where the law libraries are placed) by the Office of Policy and Management (Executive Branch) after the initial budget allocations have presumably been agreed upon.

Of special concern to many readers of this blog is the severe negative impact these judicial line item reductions are having on judicial law libraries in the State of Connecicut, as indicated in testimony of the Connecticut Chief Court Administrator to the Appropriations Committee included in this post and by the many expressions of concern among Connecticut citizens as reported elsewhere.

The Chief Court Administrator of Connecticut, Judge Barbara M. Quinn has argued before the Appropriations Committee on February 9 that the unilateral reduction of Other Judicial Expense line items by the Executive Branch infringes on the Separation of Powers and can be remedied by OPM simply transmitting the Judicial request unchanged to the legislature. Two sections of Judge Quinn's testimony are especially important and are highlighted below in this posting. The section on Law Libraries which highlights the importance of law libraries in Connecticut to both the Judiciary and the public has relevance both in Connecticut and throughout the nation. A second part of Judge Quinn's testimony highlighted below is her statement on "Concurrence in Allotment Reductions and Rescissions," which frames the issue nicely.

Sections of Testimony Highlighted:

Law Libraries
"The Governor's proposed budget provides no funding for law libraries. If this provision is enacted, it will be the second year in a row of zero funding. This is a critical gap; law libraries cannot function without updated research materials.

Let me explain something about law libraries that makes them different from your local library where perhaps you could curtail purchasing new books for a while and then start up again. Because the law is constantly evolving, the most up-to-date information must be made available to anyone who has cases pending before the court. Up-to-date legal research tools, in both electronic and printed form, are essential in order for judges to render rulings that are consistent with law and legal precedent because case law is only as good as the last case decided. And that case law is updated daily. This is what makes law libraries distinct from other libraries - just not buying the latest books is not an option"

Concurrence in allotment reductions and rescissions
Undoubtedly, the most critical budget reform that we seek is one that would curb the unilateral and increasingly untenable budget reductions that are imposed upon the Branch after the Legislature has adopted the budget. Virtually all of our budgetary problems over the past 2 years, and in particular this year, are the result of allotment reductions and rescissions about which neither the Branch nor the Legislature were consulted. I would respectfully propose to you that in the future, any post-budget adoption reductions that are made to the Judicial Branch should require the concurrence of the Legislature. The Branch will be submitting legislation for your consideration that would implement these vital budget reforms.

A bill, "An Act Concerning Funding For the Judicial Branch" (No. 5148) which seeks to correct the matter has recently been introduced in the Connecticut legislature.

Below are links to the full text of both the Testimony and pending legislation referred to in this posting.

Testimony of Chief Court Administrator to Appropriations Commett

An Act Concerning Funding For the Judicial Branch

Posted On: February 23, 2010

Eben Moglen's Speech: "Freedom in the Cloud"

The webcast of Eben Moglen's speech 'Freedom in The Cloud' is proving
to be one of most popular ever, and has received over 20,000 hits
representing about a 1000 views since Feb 14. In the talk Eben
challenges the tech community to provide the public with the means to
recapture its privacy from social media/cloud juggernaut through the
development of personal social media servers operating in a robust
distributed network.

Note that free DVDs of this talk are available to libraries,
educators, and other interested in running screenings - email and ask for DVD1710.

From: ISOC-NY Announcements February 23, 2010

Posted On: February 23, 2010

New York Court of Appeals Decision Regarding Dispute Over Judicial Compensation

February 23, 2010

In a 5 - 1 decision the New York Court of Appeals found that the legislature and the executive branches had undermined the independence of the judicial branch by tying judges pay raises to unrelated legislation, including bills to raise legislators own salaries, thereby violating the separation of powers doctrine. The last pay raise for New York judges was in 1998.

In his dissent Judge Robert S. Smith stated that while he shares his colleagues' dismay at the Legislature's behavior in dealing with, or rather failing to deal with, judges' salaries, he "cannot agree that any of its actions or inactions are unconstitutional...."

The current Chier Judge of the Court of Appeals, Jonathan Lippman, recused himself from the deliberations because he was a plaintiff in one of the cases the ruling addresses.

Public Statement of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, delivered on February 23, 2010 at 1:PM.

Here are excerpts from the beginning and end of the decision:


"The constitutional arguments raised in these judicial compensation appeals are premised upon, among other things, alleged violations of the New York State Constitution's Compensation Clause and the Separation of Powers Doctrine. Because the Separation of Powers doctrine is aimed at preventing one branch of government from dominating or interfering with the functioning of another co-equal branch, we conclude that the independence of the judiciary is improperly jeopardized by the current judicial pay crisis and this constitutes a violation of the Separation of Powers Doctrine."

It is unfortunate that this Court has been called upon to adjudicate constitutional issues relative to an underlying matter upon which all have agreed; namely, that the Judiciary is entitled to a compensation adjustment. By ensuring that any judicial salary increases will be premised on their merits, this holding aims to strike the appropriate balance between preserving the independence of the Judiciary and avoiding encroachment on the budget-making authority of the Legislature. Therefore, judicial compensation, when addressed by the Legislature in
present and future budget deliberations cannot depend on unrelated policy initiatives or legislative compensation adjustments. Of course, whether judicial compensation should be
adjusted, and by how much, is within the province of the Legislature. It should keep in mind, however, that whether the Legislature has met its constitutional obligations in that regard is within the province of this Court (see Marbury v Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 [1803]). We therefore expect appropriate and expeditious legislative consideration.

Accordingly, In Maron, the order of the Appellate Division should be modified, without costs, by remitting to Supreme Court for - 35 - No. 016; 017; 018 - 35 - further proceedings in accordance with this opinion, and as so modified, affirmed.

In Larabee, the order of Appellate Division should be modified, and in Chief Judge, the judgment of Supreme Court and the order of the Appellate Division should be modified, without costs, by granting judgment declaring that under the circumstances of these cases, as a matter of law, the State defendants' failure to consider judicial compensation on the merits violates the Separation of Powers Doctrine, and by allowing for the remedy discussed in this opinion, and, asmodified, affirmed.


New York Court of Appeals Judicial Compensation Decision February 23, 2010

Continue reading " New York Court of Appeals Decision Regarding Dispute Over Judicial Compensation " »

Posted On: February 22, 2010

President Obama's Health Care Proposal


The President's health care proposal as released on February 22 purports to put "...American families and small business owners in control of their health care. To help those who are following this issue we are providing in this post, links to a 10+ page Summary prepared by the White House. This document provides a good overview and discussion regarding provisions in the proposed legislation.


Exploring the Proposal

This is a link for those who want to really explore the President Obama's Health Care Proposal through more comprehensive Section by Section analysis .

Both of the above links will lead you to very useful information. We would urge everyone to explore these documents.

Posted On: February 19, 2010

White House Develops Its Own Health Care Bill

The quest for health care reform continues. According to Roll Call the White House has developed its own version of a merged House-Senate health care reform package and plans to have it online for public review by Monday in advance of a bipartisan health care summit scheduled for Feb. 25. As reported, the White House has taken what it considers the best of the House and Senate bills and come up with their own proposal.

Roll Call article.

Posted On: February 19, 2010

ABA Journal Newsletter

Top Ten Stories for Week Ending February 19, 2010.

Family Law
Law Student Charged with Contempt for Exposing Daughter to Christianity
Feb 17, 2010, 06:46 am CST

Will Deferred Associates Idea Backfire for Law Firms?
Feb 16, 2010, 09:33 am CST

Law Practice Management
Firm Hit Over Partner's Hiring Question: How Can We Identify New Mom's Commitment?
Feb 16, 2010, 09:05 am CST

'Scary' Jurors Spur Switch to Bench Trial, Highlighting Growing Problem
Feb 16, 2010, 05:29 am CST

Solos/Small Firms
BigLaw Lawyers Jump to Small Firms, Law's Fastest Growing Sector
Feb 16, 2010, 06:00 am CST

Plus: 2 Partners of Well-Known Firm Downsize, Now Answer Own Phones at Own Shop
Attorney Fees
McGuireWoods Denied Fee in $49M BAR/BRI Settlement; Conflict Cited
Feb 18, 2010, 07:50 am CST

Tired of Law Practice? You Can Still Work at a Law Firm
Feb 17, 2010, 09:25 am CST

U.S. Supreme Court
Scalia Opines on Right to Secede in Letter to Screenwriter
Feb 17, 2010, 08:06 am CST

Law Professors
Law Prof Backs First Amendment Over Ban of R-Word
Feb 18, 2010, 05:30 am CST

Labor & Employment
EEOC Hit with $4.5M Legal Fee Award in Losing 'Pattern & Practice' Case, Plans Appeal
Feb 17, 2010, 04:56 pm CST

Posted On: February 19, 2010

New York Profiles: Governor David Paterson, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman

From the New York Times February 17-18, 2010.

The following are two very informative profiles from the New York Times:

The first profile contains both information about Hon. Jonathan Lippman and emphasizes the impact he has had during his first year as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals:

Top Judge Sets Liberal Course for New York
Published: February 17, 2010
Jonathan Lippman has helped turn the Court of Appeals into a scrappier, more divided and more liberal panel.

The second profile discusses various perceptions of David Paterson as Governor of the State of New York:

As Campaign Nears, Paterson Is Seen as Increasingly Remote
Published: February 18, 2010
Interviews with aides, legislators and friends reveal criticism about the management and election efforts by Gov. David A. Paterson of New York.

Posted On: February 9, 2010

A Mediocre Criminal But An Unmatched Jailhouse Lawyer

A Mediocre Criminal, but an Unmatched Jailhouse Lawyer

Published: New York Times February 9, 2010


While in prison, a former bank robber transformed himself into an accomplished Supreme Court practitioner....

Mr. Hopwood spent much of that time in the prison law library, and it turned out he was better at understanding the law than breaking it. He transformed himself into something rare at the top levels of the American bar, and unheard of behind bars: an accomplished Supreme Court practitioner....

He prepared his first petition for certiorari a request that the Supreme Court hear a case for a fellow inmate on a prison typewriter in 2002. Since Mr. Hopwood was not a lawyer, the only name on the brief was that of the other prisoner, John Fellers ...

Mr. Hopwood was released from prison in the fall of 2008. Mr. Fellers was out by then, and he owned a thriving car dealership in Lincoln. ...

Here, Mr. Fellers said, presenting his jailhouse lawyer with a 1989 Mercedes in pristine condition. Thank you for getting me back to my daughter....

Mr. Hopwood now works for a leading printer of Supreme Court briefs, Cockle Printing in Omaha.


For those who want to read further about this topic, Numia Abu-Jamal has written a book, Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners in the USA which, according to Kirkus Reviews provides a series of stories based "on correspondence with two-dozen jailhouse lawyers around the country, Abu-Jamal discusses the lives and work of men and women—some educated, others barely able to read and write—who do legal research, file grievances and litigate cases, often earning reputations as troublemakers and dealt with accordingly by prison authorities. Thousands of such lawyers now work among the 2.3 million inmates of America’s prison system, 'to help, to uplift, and even to free others' "

Posted On: February 8, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to All summaries arU.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, February 03, 2010
Janosky v. St. Amand, No. 09-1012
District court's denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief in a case arising out of an armed robbery gone awry is affirmed where: 1) defendant is barred from litigating his procedurally defaulted jury instruction claim; 2) defendant's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel is rejected; and 3) defendant did not present his Sixth Amendment claim regarding a scrap of paper seized from a vehicle fairly and recognizably to the state's Supreme Judicial Court. .

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, February 03, 2010
Abrante v. St. Amand, No. 09-1020
Denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief following conviction of armed robbery and related crimes is affirmed where: 1) defendant has not offered clear and convincing evidence that the state established agency relationships with inmate informants who then elicited admissions from him without the presence of counsel in violation of his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights; 2) defendant's due process claim fails; 3) defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel claim is rejected; and 4) the issues defendant raises do not present the court with opportunity to consider his constitutional challenge to the AEDPA. .

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, February 04, 2010
Estrada v. State of Rhode Island, No. 09-1149
In plaintiffs' action challenging the constitutionality of the actions of a police officer during a traffic stop, summary judgment in favor of defendant is affirmed where: 1) the officer is entitled to federal and state qualified immunity for any possible constitutional violations that he may have committed in asking the van's passengers questions about their immigration status and in contacting ICE; 2) the officer is entitled to qualified immunity for alleged violations of state or federal laws surrounding the seizure of plaintiffs and their subsequent escort to ICE office; 3) officer is entitled to qualified immunity for both pat down searches under federal and state law; and 4) the officer is entitled to qualified immunity for all of the challenged actions with respect to the Rhode Island Racial Profiling Prevention Act
e produced by Findlaw

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law " »

Posted On: February 8, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to All summaries are produced by Findlaw

U.S. Supreme Court, January 25, 2010
Hemi Group, LLC v. City of N.Y., No. 08–969
In an action by New York City against an online cigarette seller under the civil enforcement provision of RICO, alleging that defendant's failure to file Jenkins Act reports with New York State constituted mail and wire fraud, the court of appeals' judgment reversing the dismissal of the complaint is reversed where plaintiff failed to satisfy RICO's proximate cause requirement because defendant's obligation was to file Jenkins Act reports with the state, not the city, and the city's harm of lost tax revenue was directly caused by cigarette customers, not defendant.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, January 25, 2010
US v. Alfonso-Reyes, No. 06-1484
Convictions of defendants for defrauding the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of emergency loans and incentives to qualified farmers following the damage inflicted on the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico by a hurricane is affirmed where: 1) evidence is sufficient to support defendants' convictions; 2) district court did not abuse its discretion by instructing the jury on sentencing enhancements; 3) district court did not abuse its discretion in its pre-trial disqualification of a defendant's attorney; 4) district court's imposition of a 27-month sentence defendant is not unreasonable; and 5) district court did not err in awarding a four-point leadership role enhancement on the other defendant.

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, January 25, 2010
Gray v. Brady, No. 08-2548
District court's denial of defendant's request for habeas relief, convicted of distributing cocaine and for doing so in a public park, is affirmed where: 1) defendant's arguments that the trial court mistakenly believed that defendant, because he is not Hispanic, could not object to the exclusion of an Hispanic juror is without merit; 2) defendant's argument that the state courts wrongly ignored the evidence of discriminatory animus toward the African-American jurors in finding no discriminatory animus against the Hispanic juror is without merit; and 3) defendant's argument that the state courts erred in evaluating the challenges to the Hispanic juror and the African-American jurors separately, as opposed to challenges directed at "minority jurors" as a class is without merit, as defendant has provided no evidence or authority for the proposition that "minorities" constitute a cognizable group for Batson purposes.

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure " »

Posted On: February 8, 2010

ABA Journal Newsletter

Top Ten Stories for Week Ending February 5, 2010:

Banking Law
Lawyer Sues Sallie Mae Over 'Unrelenting' Student Loan Robocalls
Feb 3, 2010, 06:53 am CST

Legal Marketing & Consulting
Thomson Reuters Buys Super Lawyers
Feb 2, 2010, 02:42 pm CST

Howrey Lays Off 29 Associates and 65 Staffers
Feb 3, 2010, 07:47 am CST

Midyear Meeting 2010
ABA Commission Proposes Independent Court to Help Fix 'Broken Immigration System'
Feb 2, 2010, 09:07 am CST

Plus: Recession Hurting Legal Profession's Diversity Efforts, Report Says
Criminal Justice
South Carolina Lawyer Is Shot and Killed Outside His Office
Feb 4, 2010, 06:29 am CST

Jones Day: NALP Plan for Delayed Job Offers Is Radical and Anticompetitive
Feb 1, 2010, 12:07 pm CST

U.S. Supreme Court
Catcalls and Muttering Keep Justice Thomas Away from State of the Union
Feb 3, 2010, 07:22 am CST

Another Attorney Leaves the Law to Drive a Cupcake Truck
Feb 1, 2010, 08:00 pm CST

Plus: Want to Leave the Law? Ex-Lawyer Explains the Upside
Legal Ethics
Judge Rapped Over Order to Pay Class Action Attorney in Store Coupons
Feb 2, 2010, 06:43 pm CST

Work/Life Balance
How Lawyers Can Help Depressed Colleagues
Feb 3, 2010, 05:30 am CST

Posted On: February 4, 2010

Abstract: The New Platforms of Westlaw LexisNexis and Booomberg Law

Prepared by Michael Chernicoff

Despite coming out with new platforms of their own, the perceived‐legal research monopoly of “Wexis” – WestLaw and LexisNexis – is facing pressure from a newly rejuvenated Bloomberg platform. Benefits of the updated Westlaw platform includes the use of a powerful natural language search in the newly‐named WestlawNext, and in the case of Lexis Nexis an intuitive display of results in their product, NewLexis.

The potential release of BloombergLaw marks the company’s expansion of their research product onto personal computers. Historically, the Bloomberg legal research product, B‐Law, was restricted to the Bloomberg Terminal. Currently still running in the Beta version in universities and select New York City law firms, advantages of BloombergLaw include its dockets search and collaboration features, citation analysis, and strength‐of‐authority indicators.

Some expect law firms to see the benefit, with increased competition expected to bring down prices for online legal services.

Point of disclosure. The New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library has participated as one of the pilot test sites for the Beta version of BloombergLaw.

Posted On: February 3, 2010

Court Reporters and Electronic Recording: An Exchange of Thoughts

We are not court reporters and normally do not become involved in discussions related to that field. Nevertheless we recently came accross an interesting exchange of e-mails which helps to identify and highlight the challenges and sometimes emotial reactions regarding how stenographic reporting and electronic recording relate to one another within the court reporting process.

The first e-mail, which we refer to as a comment, presented here in exerpted form, raises concerns about the impact of increased digitization of the process and a percieved lack of planning and resources to deal with these impacts.

The second e-mail is a response to the first. It defends some of the issues criticized in the first e-mail and presents an altervative perspective regarding the roles of stenographic reporting and electronic recording in the court reporting process.

Because of the nature of the exchange and the need to respect privacy we have deleted all identification information regarding either party


:The reports prepared by NACM or reports by other groups sponsored by the National Center for State Courts should be prepared with the help of fine court staff who have spent years and dedicated their careers to expertly recording and preparing court transcripts.

As they say in the appellate courts, there is court reporter dissent with the recommendations of the National Association of Court Management and the recommendations of the Conference of State Court Administrators.

All court reporters who have ever worked in a courtroom and recorded court proceedings will strongly disagree with above mentioned findings and recommendations by NACM and the Conference of State Court Administrators.

Professional court reporters of all types have high standards, and it is not high standards to have the proceedings of several courtrooms monitored from a remote location.

Professional court reporters have high standards and would would never recommend wrapping court reporter notes in rubber bands and storing those notes in metal filing cabinets and then having to later empty those cabinets and file the records in cardboard boxes for permanent storage.

I believe it is the duty and responsibility of those who are skilled in court reporting to challenge reports put out by NACM and the Conference of State Court Administrators when skilled court reporters believe the recommendations made by NACM and the Conference of State Court Administrators are not in the best interests of the court systems or the best interests of the taxpayers when expensive unneeded metal filing cabinets are recommended for the storage of court reporter records.

Court reporters should speak up when the court administrators recommendations give bad advice.


Lets try to remove the hysterics from this issue, ... It is not an either/or choice of stenographic reporting or electronic recording. With the exception of Kentucky, every state I am aware of that has grappled with this has ended up with a blended solution of both methods of capturing the verbatim record. As the NACM Miniguide on this subject points out, court managers should go over several considerations to determine the best method to suit the circumstances depending upon such things as case type, likelihood of the need for a transcript and available resources.

As to the other matters you raise, in order to be effective, electronic recording equipment should be monitored by qualified internal or contract staff. The Florida courts have recommended a formula for how many courtrooms a monitor could handle simultaneously, again depending upon several factors. Their report has loads of helpful information about the effective use of electronic recording, and can be found at

Finally, stenographic notes should be stored electronically, not in paper form. Who cares about the shelf life of rubber bands or whether notes should be stacked vertically or in hermetically sealed boxes?

Stenographic reporting is an honorable profession and there is a rightful place in the making of the court record for steno, especially if the reporter offers realtime and the host of technology advances that come with computer aided transcription. This combination is the platinum standard, but courts do not always need a Cadillac solution especially in these tough budgetary times.

I would much prefer that court reporters bring their expertise about the record to the table to help court management make informed decisions that benefit the system as a whole. Inflammatory rhetoric such as yours only harms this cause, in my view.

Posted On: February 3, 2010

James Lynch Receives Nomination to Head Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics

BY: Michael Chernicoff

President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has promsed to make its statistical body free from political manipulation. In making an independent statistical body, James Lynch may hope to reverse that likelihood that the BJS and its official are, "inappropriately treated in the future."

In 2009, James Lynch was a member of the Panel to Review the Programs of the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), which provided recommendations to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) on ways to improve the quality, creditability, and relevance of U.S. justice statistics. In that report, the Panel recommended that "BJS be moved out of OJP (Office of Justice Programs)," and further suggested, "that the position of BJS director be made a fixed-term presidential appointment with Senate confirmation." (A full-text copy of this report be

The Bureau of Justice Statistics was created under the Justice System Improvement Act of 1979, Public Law 96-157 (the 1979 Amendment to the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Public Law 90-351) on December 27, 1979. According to their website, the mission of BJS purpose is to, "collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systmes at all levels of government."

A hearing to confirm James Lynch's nomination was held on January 20th, 2010.


Posted On: February 2, 2010

2011 Budget of the U.S. Government- Fact Sheets

As almost everyone knows, the 2011 U.S. Budget was submitted on February 1. Since this is such a huge budget, in terms of both bulk and scope, we have decided to limit this posting largely to links to some " Budget Fact Sheets" prepared by the Office of Management and Budget. Each separately linked fact sheet focuses on a particular priority or group of priorities related to this budget request, thus enabling you to quickly "pick and choose" those areas that interest and concern you without devoting considerable time to other parts of the budget. If you wish to examine this budget request in greater detail, go to the GPO Access link at the end of this posting.

Here are links to the Budget Fact Sheets::

Keeping America Safe and Secure

Clean Energy

Suppoting World Class Education for Children

Create Industries and Jobs

Secure and Affordable Health Care

Supporting America's Military Families

Supporting America's Middle Class Families

Supporting Our Nation's Seniors

Opening Doors for College and Opportunity

Those who are interested in more extensive regarding Budget for the U.S. Governmenrt for fy 11 can go to the GPO Access site at and follow the various links at that location,

Posted On: February 2, 2010

Position: Senior Level Digital Library Programming Analyst

SigInt Technologies, LLC seeks a Senior Level Digital Library Programmer
Analyst to support a US Government Agency.

Salary range: $125,000.00 - $135,000.00

We are growing our hardcopy-centric collection to include a substantial
amount of digital content. You will have the opportunity to chart the course
as we incorporate a variety of electronic data sources into the collection
and make them available to our users. You will have the freedom to select
the tools you deem best and implement them as you see fit. You'll work
directly with library management to collect requirements and propose and
implement solutions. You will lead and direct other developers who will
assist with the implementation.

A masters degree in Library Science, Computer Science, or comparable is
required. Knowledge of Koha, MARC records, Linux, and a scripting language
such as Perl or Python is also required. Experience with PHP, Java/J2EE,
Tomcat, MySQL, STILAS, VuFind, and SOLR is preferred, but not required.

SigInt Technologies provides an outstanding compensation package, including
a Roth or Traditional 401K plan with 100% matching, full medical benefits, a
technology allowance, paid professional memberships and conferences, and a
very flexible work environment. The salary range is $125,000 - $135,000 and
depends on your level of experience. Ten holidays as well as three weeks of
vacation are included. A yearly allowance of $5,000 is provided for
technology, professional memberships, and conferences. Your contribution of
$16,250 (IRS limit) to your 401K plan will be matched by SigInt Technologies
for a total annual retirement contribution of $32,500.

The job is at Fort Meade, Maryland. You must be able to work on-site at
least three days per week. A security clearance is required. Individuals
already possessing a security clearance are highly encouraged to apply.

John S. Roberts
SigInt Technologies, LLC
John -AT- SigIntTech -DOT- COM

Posted On: February 2, 2010

CLLB Information Security Newsletter

Volume3 Number 1 January 2010

From the Desk of David Badertscher

As we begin the new year, it’s an opportune time to assess the cyber security landscape and prepare for what new challenges may lie ahead, as well as what current threats may continue.

What Are the Cyber Trends for 2010?

· Malware, worms, and Trojan horses: These will continue to spread by email, instant messaging, malicious websites, and infected non-malicious websites. Some websites will automatically download the malware without the user’s knowledge or intervention. This is known as a “drive-by download.” Other methods will require the users to click on a link or button.

· Botnets and zombies: These threats will continue to proliferate as the attack techniques evolve and become available to a broader audience, with less technical knowledge required to launch successful attacks. Botnets designed to steal data are improving their encryption capabilities and thus becoming more difficult to detect.

· Scareware – fake/rogue security software: There are millions of different versions of malware, with hundreds more being created and used every day. This type of scam can be particularly profitable for cyber criminals -- as many users believe the pop-up warnings telling them their system is infected and are lured into downloading and paying for the special software to “protect” their system.

· Attacks on client-side software - With users keeping their operating systems patched, client-side software vulnerabilities are now an increasingly popular means of attacking systems. Client-side software includes things like Internet browsers, media players, PDF readers, etc. This software will continue to have vulnerabilities and subsequently be targeted by various malwares.

· Ransom attacks occur when a user or company is hit by malware that encrypts their hard drives or they are hit with a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) attack. The cyber criminals then notify the user or company that if they pay a small fee, the DDOS attack will stop or the hard drive will be unencrypted. This type of attack has existed for a number of years and is now it is gaining in popularity.

· Social Network Attacks: Social network attacks will be one of the major sources of attacks in 2010 because of the volume of users and the amount of personal information that is posted. Users’ inherent trust in their online friends is what makes these networks a prime target. For example, users may be prompted to follow a link on someone's page, which could bring users to a malicious website.

· Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is a growing trend due to its considerable cost savings opportunities for organizations. Cloud computing refers to a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than maintaining and supporting local servers. The growing use of cloud computing will make it a prime target for attack.

· Web Applications: There continues to be a large number of websites and online applications developed with inadequate security controls. These security gaps can lead to the compromise of the site and potentially to the site’s visitors.

· Budget cuts will be a problem for security personnel and a boon to cyber criminals. With less money to update software, hire personnel and implement security controls enterprises will be trying to do more with less. By not having up-to-date software, appropriate security controls or enough personnel to secure and monitor the networks, organizations will be more vulnerable.

What Can I Do?

The following are helpful tips to assist in minimizing risk:

· Properly configure and patch operating systems, browsers, and other software programs.

· Use and regularly update firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware programs.

· Be cautious about all communications; think before you click. Use common sense when communicating with users you DO and DO NOT know.

· Do not open email or related attachments from un-trusted sources.

Additional Information:

IBM’s Top Security Trends for 2010:

Symantec’s 'Unlucky 13' Security Trends for 2010:

SANS Top Cyber Security Risks: article:

PC World:

Panda Labs 2009 Annual Malware Report:

The above comments are based on information tips provided by the Multi-State Information and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). To learn more about MS-ISAC go to


DARPA: Calling All Cyber Geneticists
Technology sought would develop cyber equivalent of DNA to identify cyberattackers

By Ben Bain
Jan 29, 2010
Federal Computer Week
"The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for technologists who can think like scientists to develop and use the cyber equivalent of fingerprints or DNA to pinpoint the origins of a cyberattack...."

False sense of cybersecurity
Paul Bell
GCN Government Computer News
January 13, 2010.
Newly appointed National Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt has a big job ahead of him. Getting individuals, businesses and government to take greater responsibility is one of three places he should start