Posted On: September 29, 2010

Correcting Mandatory Injustice: Judicial Recommendation of Executive Clemency

A significant note from the Duke Law Journal by Joanna Huang with the above title has been posted today September 29 on the Sentencing Law and Policy blog According to Ms. Huang, "...in 1987 the United States political and social systems lost trust in the judiciary and severely limited its authority by enacting the Federal Sentencing Guidelines." She goes on to observe that in 2005 trust was restored in the judiciary when United States v. Booker made the Sentencing Guidelines advisory; and that, although Booker provides for increase in judicial discretion, judges are still unable to correct sentences imposed during the intervening eighteen years because Booker does not apply retroactively.

For more, we recommend that you go to the Sentencing Law and Policy blog

NOTE:

Readers interested in this topic may also be interested in Final Report on the Impact of United States v. Booker on Federal Sentencing, United States Sentencing Comission, March 2006.

Posted On: September 28, 2010

From the Brennan Center: The Federal Judiciary

.Following up on our postiing about U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Bryer, we wanted to share with you the following excerpts from news and commentary sent to us by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School

September 24, 2010.

1.. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee again voted to approve four of President Obama's nominees for federal judgeships. Goodwin Liu, a Berkeley law professor for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Louis Butler Jr., a former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward Chen of California, and lawyer John McConnell Jr. of Rhode Island - all of whom had been previously approved by the Senate panel but never received a final vote on the Senate floor - were approved along party lines. The Blog of Legal Times says the vote indicates a partisan showdown in the weeks before the heated mid-term elections. Two opposing editorials illustrate how divisive the issue is: a New York Times editorial recently blasted "An Extreme Judicial Blockade" by Senate Republicans while a Washington Times editorial stated that a "GOP Senate [is] needed to block bad judges."

David Ingram, Democrats Push Forward On Goodwin Liu, Other Judge Nominees, The Blog Of Legal Times, September 23, 2010; An Extreme Judicial Blockade, The New York Times, September 22, 2010; Editorial: GOP Senate Needed To Block Bad Judges, Washington Times, September 15, 2010.


2.. "These delays are excessive . . . . The timeliness of information enhances its value. If un-elected administrators can impose an arbitrary 10-day waiting period, what's to stop them from deciding 30 days or three years might be even better?" So says an editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which decries the difficult and slow process of obtaining judicial disclosure statements. The topic of judges' disclosures of their financial holdings - and whether those holdings should disqualify judges from ruling on specific cases - received national attention earlier this year after the public discovered that the federal judge tasked with ruling on the Obama administration's deepwater drilling moratorium held shares of Exxon Mobil. According to the Associated Press, a routine disclosure statement from the judge, Martin Feldman, revealing his oil industry stock ownership, would have signaled a potential conflict of interest in the drilling case - but wasn't available because "Judges' disclosures [are] hard to get." The article juxtaposes judicial disclosure statements with those filed by legislators and concludes that while the public can read Senators' and House members' statements from a computer, concerned citizens should "be prepared to wait" to see a federal judge's disclosure statement because it can take two weeks for such a report to be provided, the reports are not posted on the judiciary's website, and judges are notified when someone asks for a copy.

Mark Sherman, Inside Washington: Judges' Disclosures Hard To Get, Associated Press, September 20, 2010; Editorial: Waiting Period, Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 22, 2010.


Posted On: September 23, 2010

CLLB Information Security Newsletter

Volume 3 Number 9 September 2010.

September 2010

Detecting and Avoiding Fake Anti-Virus Software

From the Desk of David Badertscher

Your Computer Is Infected with Malware!

You may be familiar with this or similar messages appearing on a website, urging you to take action purportedly designed to clean your allegedly infected computer. Unfortunately, these messages are often scams that attempt to install malicious software (malware) onto your computer. Such software is referred to as rogue (fake) anti-virus malware, and the incidents are increasing. Last year, the FBI reported an estimated loss to victims in excess of $150 million from this type of scam[1][1].

How can my system get infected?

These types of scams can be perpetrated in a number of ways, including via website pop-up messages, web banner advertisements, spam and posting on social networking sites. Scams are also appearing via the use of “tweeting.” The rogue software scam generally uses social engineering to make the user believe his or her machine is infected and that by taking action (clicking on the link provided) the machine will be cleaned. If you click on the malicious link, you may be downloading malware onto your machine. The names of the fake programs sound legitimate, and often, in a further attempt to make the malware appear legitimate, the programs may prompt you to pay for an annual subscription to the service.

Some varieties of rogue anti-virus programs will also get installed on your machine without any interaction by you: your machine could be compromised just by you visiting a website with a malicious ad or code and you wouldn’t know.

What is the impact from rogue anti-virus software?

Rogue anti-virus software might perform many activities, including installing files to monitor your computer use, steal credentials, install backdoor programs, and add your computer to a botnet. The installation of malware could result in a high-jacked browser (i.e., the browser navigates to sites you did not intend), the appearance of new or unexpected toolbars or icons and sluggish system performance. Additionally, another concern related to rogue anti-virus software is the false sense of security you may have, erroneously believing your machine is protected by anti-virus software when in fact it is not.

What can I do to protect my computer?

Applying computer security best practices will help protect your machine and minimize any potential impacts.

1. Don’t click on pop-up ads that advertise anti-virus or anti-spyware programs. If you are interested in a security product, don’t try to access it through a pop-up ad; contact the retailer directly through its homepage, retail outlet or other legitimate contact methods.

2. Don’t download software from unknown sources. Some free software applications may come bundled with other programs, including malware.

3. Use and regularly update firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware programs. Keep these programs updated regularly. Use the auto-update feature if available.

4. Patch operating systems, browsers, and other software programs. Keep your system and programs updated and patched so that your computer will not be exposed to known vulnerabilities and attacks.

5. Regularly scan and clean your computer. Scan your computer with your anti-spyware once a week.

6. Back up your critical files. In the event that your machine becomes infected, having backups of your important files will facilitate recovery.

NOTE: Regarding the above recommendations, many organizations have formal processes that automatically update and patch appropriate software, scan computers and perform file back-ups. In these cases, no end user action is necessary.

For more information, please visit:

Partial Listing of Rogue Security Software: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_software

Free Security Checks: www.staysafeonline.info/content/free-security-check-ups

Malware: www.onguardonline.gov/topics/malware.aspx

Spyware: www.onguardonline.gov/topics/spyware.aspx

For more monthly cyber security newsletter tips visit:
www.msisac.org/awareness/news/

The above information is from tips provided by the Multi-State Information and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). To learn more about MS-ISAC go to http://www.msisac.org/ . This information is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization’s end users and to help them behave in a more secure manner within their work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve the organization’s overall cyber security posture

MORE NEWS AND INFORMATION:


The Data Liberation Movement
By Rob May
TechNewsWorld
09/17/10 5:00 AM PT

Despite the advanced portability of data, the world's largest cloud computing vendors are fighting to lock their customers within their proprietary formats. But it does not need to be this way. Data liberation is a movement that is gaining momentum among enterprises and cloud vendors alike. These progressive businesses and consumers desire to control their data regardless of its location.

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/The-Data-Liberation-Movement-70844.html


Database Security Survey by Oracle: Budget is Top Concern of Administrators
By Brian Prince on 2010-09-16

Database administrators have a busy job keeping up with the mountains of data being created and managed by enterprises every day. Unfortunately, security can sometimes get the short end of the stick on the list of IT priorities. In its annual survey, the Independent Oracle Users Group discovered many of the issues that database professionals confronted in 2010 are virtually the same as the issues they tackled in 2009. The survey, conducted by Unisphere Research, polled 430 data managers and IT professionals in the user group. The report found a numbers of problems in how databases are managed, including a lack of monitoring, encryption and user management. These issues impacted database environments both big and small. However, the good news is that the percentage of respondents whose IT security spending went up was greater in 2010 than in past years. So just where should enterprises spend their security money when it comes to databases? The answer is that help is needed in several areas. Here, eWEEK takes a look at what those areas are and how IT managers can deal with these issues.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Database/Database-Security-Budget-Top-Admins-Concerns-Oracle-User-Survey-Says-786379/?kc=EWWHNEMNL09212010STR5


Defuse the Data Breach Time Bomb

By Linda McGlasson. Agency Insider Blog of Banking Information Security, September 20, 2010.

It's the hidden data breach threat to which everyone has access, and it is probably very near your own office.
I'm talking about the ubiquitous printer, copier, and fax machine that everyone uses. It's also a ticking time bomb. Last week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued new guidance on stopping this risk in the FDIC Bulletin, Guidance on Mitigating Risk Posed by Information Storage on Photocopiers, Fax Machines and Pronters (FIL-56-2010), September 15, 2010.

http://blogs.bankinfosecurity.com/posts.php?postID=716&rf=2010-09-23-eb Article.

Posted On: September 22, 2010

Using Google Scholar Library Links to Locate Journal Articles Online

Theodore Pollack, Senior Law Librarian at our public access law library writes: "Here is an interesting feature for Google Scholar regarding attempting to locate journal articles that are not easily available in Westlaw, Lexis, or HeinOnline. If you set the preferences in Google Scholar to libraries that you have access to, Scholar is supposed to inform if the article is available online thorough a digital subscription."
http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/librarylinks.html

Posted On: September 22, 2010

U.S. National Archives Puts 3,000 Historic Documents Online*

The National Archives has created a new online public website that features more than 3,000 historic documents, photos and videos available for download, along with applications for teachers to create and share history lessons about the items, officials announced.

The new website, DocsTeach.org, offers historic items such as a short newsreel of American war planes attacking Japan in 1944, photos of President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration and a court document on the conviction of activist Susan B. Anthony for voting before it was legal for women to vote....

Click here to see complete article.

__________________________
*Source: Liebowicz, Alice. "National Aarchives Puts 3,000 Historic Documents Online. Federal Computer Week. Sept 21, 2010.

Posted On: September 20, 2010

Book Review: Making Our Democracy Work, By Justice Stephen Breyer*

I often find there is little time to read all of the books I would like, or even need, to and therefore find myself resorting to book reviews. Last Sunday I read a review that to me seemd exceptional and would like to share it with you.

David Badertscher

REVIEW::

Evolving Circumstances, Enduring Values
By JEFF SHESOL
Published: September 17, 2010
A Supreme Court justice sees judges not as indifferent observers, but as partners in preserving American democracy.

An excerpt from the Review:

"...Breyer embraces, indeed relishes, complexity. Like a law professor, he proceeds mostly by inductive reasoning, offering specific examples — including some of the most contentious Supreme Court cases of recent years — to show how judges can patrol constitutional boundaries while, at the same time, giving people room to govern themselves. Here, as in his previous book, 'Active Liberty,' Breyer places emphasis on the purposes of statutes and of constitutional provisions, the real-world consequences of judicial decisions and the need to apply the Constitution’s basic values to changing circumstances."
----------------------------------------------
*As a bonus for those who are interested, here is a link to an video/audio of Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer in conversation with Jeffrey Rosen and Pul Holdengraber on September 20, 2010 at the New York Public Library.

Posted On: September 20, 2010

Should Cost be a Significant Factor in Sentencing Convicted Criminals?

Apparently the court system in Missouri thinks so. In her article, Missouri Tells Judges Cost of Sentences, publsihed in the September 18 New York Times, Monica Davey reports that "When judges here [Missouri] sentence convicted criminals, a new and unusual variable is available for them to consider: what a given punishment will cost the State of Missouri". According to the article "legal experts say no other state systematically provides such information to judges, a practice put into effect here last month by the state’s sentencing advisory commission, an appointed board that offers guidance on criminal sentencing." Smart Sentenciing Volume 2 Number 5 August 17, 2010 A Bulletin of the Missouri Sentencing Commission includes a discussion of cost of sentencing as a variable when determining sentences. According to the Bulletin the Missouri Sentencing Commission has added data about the risk of being reincarcerated and the costs of sentences to its online application as a variable to enhance the availability of objective inform I found it somwhat surprising that "....no other state systematically provides such information to judges". On alternative for those interested in pursuing this subjct further would be to start by following a search I conducted on the National Center for State Courts website using the terms cost and incarceration. David Badertscher
Posted On: September 20, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries:Criminal Law and Procedure

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

September 13-17, 2010.

Criminal Law & Procedure

United States First Circuit, 09/14/2010
Merlonghi v. US
In plaintiff's suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), for the actions of a U.S. Special Agent, involving an automobile accident, district court's grant of government's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is affirmed as plaintiff's claim under 28 U.S.C. section 1346(b)(1) was properly dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the agent was not acting within the scope of his employment when he crashed into plaintiff during a car chase. .

United States First Circuit, 09/16/2010
Fusi v. O'Brien
District court's denial of defendant's request for habeas relief from his rape conviction is vacated and remanded as the district court should have dismissed the petition without prejudice because the defendant failed to exhaust his ineffective assistance of counsel claim in state court. .

United States First Circuit, 09/16/2010
Gautier v. Wall
Defendant's application for a certificate of appealability is denied and the judgment of the district court is vacated as the court lacked jurisdiction to consider defendant's second or successive petition without authorization, and not one of defendant's claims meets the gatekeeping requirements of section 2244(b).

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

Posted On: September 20, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law

United States Second Circuit, 09/14/2010
Chase Grp. Alliance LLC v. N.Y. Dep't of Fin.
In an action claiming that plaintiffs' right to due process was violated by liens placed upon their properties by the City of New York, dismissal of the action is affirmed where the complaint alleged that New York law afforded appellants a right to notice and access to a tribunal to assert their objections before the liens were imposed, and thus, appellants' right to due process was not violated. ..

United States Second Circuit, 09/17/2010
Faghri v. Univ. of Conn.
In an action claiming that defendants unconstitutionally retaliated against plaintiff for his exercise of his right to free speech in violation of the First Amendment and violated his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment when they removed him from his position as dean, a denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity is reversed where plaintiff had no clearly established right to remain as dean while voicing opposition to the policies of the team he was hired to be part of.

United States Second Circuit, 09/17/2010
Van Allen v. Cuomo
In an action challenging New York Election Law sections 5-210 and 5-304, which prevented plaintiff's enrollment in a party from becoming effective until after the November 2007 general election, dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where plaintiff did not indicate that he currently intended or had already attempted to change his party enrollment again, and thus his claims were moot.

Continue reading " Findlaw Case Summaries: Constitutional Law " »

Posted On: September 17, 2010

ABA Criminal Justice Section Iniated or Co-Sponsored Resolutions*

Approved by the ABA House of Delegates

Sept. 2010

At the 2010 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the House of Delegates approved resolutions that the Criminal Justice Section initiated or co-sponsored regarding the following issues (click on the relevant REPORT # to view the full text of the resolution and the background report):

REPORT 100A* (Investigations and reports of professional misconduct of U.S. Justice Department Attorneys)

Urges the United States Department of Justice to continue in its commitment to investigate allegations of professional misconduct on the part of the Department’s lawyers and to release as much information regarding completed investigations as possible, consistent with privacy interests and law enforcement confidentiality concerns.

REPORT 100B* (Prosecutorial “misconduct” and “error”)

Urges trial and appellate courts, in criminal cases, when reviewing the conduct of prosecutors to differentiate between “error” and “prosecutorial misconduct.”

REPORT 100C* (Funding for defense advice about immigration consequences)

Urges federal, state, territorial, tribal and local governments to provide funding to state and federal public defender offices and legal aid programs specifically for the provision of immigration advice about the immigration consequences of criminal proceedings to indigent non-U.S. citizen defendants, and about any available relief from such consequences.

REPORT 100D* (Funding for forensic science research)

Urges federal, state, local and territorial governments to provide sufficient funding and resources necessary to facilitate basic and applied scientific research to improve and/or further develop forensic science disciplines.

REPORT 100E* (Funding for standards, accreditation, examinations of forensic laboratories)

Urges the federal government to provide funding and resources sufficient to facilitate the examination of existing standards, accreditation and certification for government and private laboratories, examiners/analysts in government and private laboratories, and identified forensic science service providers who offer examination conclusions and/or interpretations of forensic laboratory results.

REPORT 100F* (Funding to integrate forensic sciences into homeland security)

Urges the federal government to provide the funds, resources and other support necessary to effectively integrate the forensic science community into the nation’s system of homeland security.

REPORT 100G* (Funding for mandatory medico-legal death accreditation, certification)

Urges federal, state, and territorial governments to provide funding and enact legislation necessary to support requiring that all offices charged with conducting medico-legal death investigations meet mandatory accreditation, certification or professional practice standards within a reasonable timeframe.

REPORT 100H* (Funding re fingerprint identification and ballistic information networks)

Urges Congress to enact legislation and authorize and appropriate funds necessary to achieve nationwide interoperability of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and improve the effectiveness of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network.

REPORT 100I (Funding for testing and re-testing evidence and for expert assistance)

Urges federal, state, local and territorial governments, legislative bodies and courts to provide the funds and other resources necessary to assure that in criminal cases an accused: 1) is able to obtain testing or retesting of evidence, and 2) is provided expert testimonial or other assistance when necessary to assure a fair trial or sentencing proceeding.

REPORT 115** (Micro-stamping of semi-automatic pistols)

Urges federal, state and territorial governments to enact laws requiring that all newly-manufactured semi-automatic pistols be fitted with microstamping technology which would enable law enforcement to identify the serial number of the pistol and hence the first known purchaser of a weapon used in a crime.

REPORT 116** (Money laundering and terrorist financing)

Supports the U. S. Government’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and observes that voluntary, risk-based and updated guidance would assist legal professionals to avoid money laundering and terrorist financing risks when providing services to clients and adopts the Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
_________________________________
* A service of the ABA Criminal Justice Section.

Posted On: September 17, 2010

Ten Ways IT Departments May Enable Cybercrime

Kapersky laboratories has produced a special whitepaper focused on how IT unknowingly enables cybercrime by giving cybercriminals access to systems and data through a series of misconceptions and false assumptions. To view this paper click on the link below:

Ten Ways IT Departments Enable Cybercrime


Posted On: September 17, 2010

About Justce John Paul Stevens

Justice John Paul Stevens’ career offers many lessons for those interested in learning about the attributes of a good judge, maintains an editorial in the July-August issue of Judicature, the journal of the American Judicature Society. As the editorial explains, Justice Stevens is someone who sets high personal standards, demanding much of himself. He personifies traits such as candor, civility, integrity, courtesy, and responsibility. In short, he is the embodiment of what has come to be known as professionalism.

The editorial also notes that he is characterized by virtually everybody as open-minded, and a
good listener, as genial and humorous, as warm and welcoming and kind, as gentle and
possessing a generousness of spirit. He is a modest, humble, and unpretentious person,
notwithstanding all that he has accomplished in life, and a man possessing empathy for those
who are less fortunate. Former clerks all portray him as a wonderful teacher and role model.

The July-August issue also contains reminiscences of Justice Stevens by three former law
clerks from different time periods, and a review of John Paul Stevens: An Independent Life.

Summary

Posted On: September 17, 2010

At Age 103, A Judge Has One Caveat: No Lengthly Cases

Judge Wesley E. Brown, is a spry, active 103 year old Federal District Court judge in Kansas. He still hears a full complement of criminal cases, but warns lawyers preparing for lengthly court cases that "he may not live to see cases to completion...." adding "At this age I'm not even buying green bananas."

For more, see the September 16 New York times article: At 103, a Judge Has One Caveat, No Lengthly Trials by A. G. Sulzberger

For more information about Judge Brown go to Wesley E. Brown Inn of Court. This source includes both biographical information and a videw, made when Judge Brown was just 22 years old!

Posted On: September 14, 2010

Criminal Jurisdiction

Click on link below for various information sources related to criminal jurisdiction collected through the Google News Alert Service, September 13, 2010.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE TIMOTHY COLE ADVISORY PANEL ON WRONGFUL ...
By john Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair
Current Eyewitness Identification Procedure Reinforce False Memories and Lead to Wrongful Convictions By: Houston Criminal Lawyer John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair There have been 258 DNA exonerations in this country over the last two decades, according to the New ... Even conservative, law-and-order minded Texans have grown weary and disgusted with repeated, highly publicized cases of innocent people being wrongfully convicted and who have spent decades in prison. ...
CRIMINAL JURISDICTION - http://www.johntfloyd.com/blog/

Posted On: September 14, 2010

Selected Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports Posted September 14, 2010*

CRS Issue Statement on Terrorism
Issue Statement No. IS40398
Subjects: Terrorism
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/5/2010; Posted: 9/14/2010)
---------------------------------

CRS Issue Statement on Voting and Elections
Issue Statement No. IS40405
Subjects: Elections
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (7/19/2010; Posted: 9/14/2010)
---------------------------------

Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847
Report No. R41292
Subjects: Terrorism; Emergency Management; Health Policy
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (9/2/2010; Posted: 9/14/2010)
---------------------------------

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate
Report No. RL31989
Subjects: Congress; Law; Presidents
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (9/3/2010; Posted: 9/14/2010)
---------------------------------

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
Report No. RL33110
Subjects: Terrorism; Defense Economics; Defense Policy; Afghanistan; Iraq
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (9/2/2010; Posted: 9/14/2010)
________________________
*Congressional Quarterly, Inc. (CQ).September 14, 2010.

Posted On: September 10, 2010

Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports*

A selected list of CRS Reports posted between August 11, 2010 and September 10, 2010. Although almost all of the CRS Reports in the following list relate in some way to crime and criminal justice, a few addressing other topics where readers have expressed an interest have also been included.:

Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions
Report No. R40852
Subjects: Criminal Justice
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (7/28/2010; Posted: 8/11/2010)

United States v. Comstock: Supreme Court Review of Civil Commitment Under the Adam Walsh Act
Report No. R40958
Subjects: Criminal Justice; Law
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (7/26/2010; Posted: 8/11/2010)

Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
Report No. RL33753
Subjects: Drug Abuse; Immigration; Defense Policy
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (7/29/2010; Posted: 8/13/2010)

The Americans with Disabilities Act: Application to the Internet
Report No. R40462
Subjects: Disabled Persons; Telecommunications
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/5/2010; Posted: 8/18/2010)

Garcia v. Vilsack: A Policy and Legal Analysis of a USDA Discrimination Case
Report No. R40988
Subjects: Agriculture; Civil Rights and Liberties; Minorities; Women's Issues
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/2/2010; Posted: 8/18/2010)

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Report No. R41370
Subjects: Civil Rights and Liberties; Criminal Justice; Environmental Protection; Law
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/16/2010; Posted: 8/23/2010)

Federal Cocaine Sentencing Disparity: Sentencing Guidelines, Jurisprudence, and Legislation
Report No. RL33318
Subjects: Criminal Justice; Drug Abuse
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/5/2010; Posted: 8/23/2010)

Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol
Report No. RL32562
Subjects: Terrorism; Immigration
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/11/2010; Posted: 9/1/2010)

Gun Control Legislation
Report No. RL32842
Subjects: Criminal Justice
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/11/2010; Posted: 9/1/2010)

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
Report No. RS22373
Subjects: Terrorism; Defense Policy
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/17/2010; Posted: 9/2/2010)

Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues
Report No. RL31994
Subjects: Families; Law; Minorities
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/18/2010; Posted: 9/8/2010)

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
Report No. R41161
Subjects: Budget; Criminal Justice; Science Policy; Trade
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/24/2010; Posted: 9/8/2010)

Medicare Payment Policies
Report No. RL30526
Subjects: Health Policy
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/18/2010; Posted: 9/8/2010)

Supreme Court Nominations Not Confirmed, 1789-August 2010
Report No. RL31171
Subjects: Law
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/20/2010; Posted: 9/8/2010)

Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 - 2010: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President
Report No. RL33225
Subjects: Congress; Law; Presidents
CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/23/2010; Posted: 9/10/2010)
_____________________________
* SOURCE: Congressional Quarterly:CQ Roll Call Group Service. Sservice. For additional information see: http://corporate.cqrollcall.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=79

Posted On: September 9, 2010

Same Sex Marriages: Legal Issues

Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues
BY: Alison M. Smith, Legislative Attorney
Report No. RL31994
Subjects: Families; Law; Minorities
Congressional Research Service Reports, 111th Congress (8/18/2010; Posted: 9/8/2010)

Summary

The recognition of same-sex marriages generates debate on both the federal and state levels. State legislators in Vermont and New Hampshire have legalized same-sex marriages. At the same time, federal and state courts are beginning to address the validity of statutory and constitutional provisions limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. State courts in New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, and Iowa have held that denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry violates their state constitution. Some state courts have also found that domestic partnership/civil union laws are not the constitutional equivalent of civil marriage. These variations raise questions concerning the validity of such unions outside the contracted
jurisdiction and have bearing on the distribution of federal benefits
.
Questions regarding same-sex marriages figure prominently in California. After the state supreme court’s decision finding that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated the state constitution, voters approved a constitutional amendment (“Proposition 8”) limiting the validity and recognition of “marriages” to heterosexual couples. Subsequent court challenges ensued. In Strauss v. Horton (207 P.3d 48 (CA 2009)), the California Supreme Court found that Proposition 8 is a properly enacted limited constitutional amendment. However, the court found that the amendment applies only prospectively, and does not affect the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages that occurred prior to the amendment’s passage. Proposition 8 opponents subsequently challenged the amendment on constitutional grounds. On August 4, 2010, a federal court judge in the Northern District of California found that Proposition 8 violates both the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. In Perry v. Schwarzenegger (2010 WL3025614 (N.D. Ca. August 4, 2010)), the court found that the federal constitutional right to marry applies equally to same-sex couples and that Proposition 8 is not rationally related to any legitimate government purpose. This is the first time a federal court has recognized such a right.

Currently, federal law does not recognize same-sex marriages. The Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), P.L. 104-199, prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows
individual states to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in other states. Section 3 of
DOMA requires that marriage, for purposes of federal benefit programs, must be defined as the
union of one man and one woman. As federal agencies grapple with the interplay of DOMA and
the distribution of federal marriage-based benefits, lower courts are beginning to address the
DOMA’s constitutionality. On July 8, 2010, a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts found section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional in two companion cases (Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, 699 F.Supp. 2d 374 (D. Mass. 2010) and Massachusetts v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 698 F. Supp. 2d 234 (D. Mass. 2010)) brought by same-sex couples married in Massachusetts. At issue were a myriad of benefits. In one case, the court found that DOMA exceeded Congress’s power under the Spending Clause and violated the Tenth Amendment. In the other case, the court held that Congress’s goal of preserving the status quo did not bear a rational relationship to DOMA and thus, violated the Fifth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. It is unclear whether the government will appeal either of these cases.

This report discusses DOMA and legal challenges to it. It reviews legal principles applied to
determine the validity of a marriage contracted in another state and surveys the various
approaches employed by states to enable or to prevent same-sex marriage. This report also
examines House and Senate resolutions introduced in previous Congresses proposing a
constitutional amendment and limiting federal courts’ This report also
examines House and Senate resolutions introduced in previous Congresses proposing a
constitutional amendment and limiting federal courts’ jurisdiction to hear or determine any
question pertaining to the interpretation of DOMA.
.

Posted On: September 9, 2010

ABA: Justice is the Business of Government (JBiz) Taskforce

In September 2009, the Executive Committee of the ABA Board of Governors (“BOG”) approved the formation of a joint Task Force of the ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence (“SCJI“) and the National Center of State Courts (“NCSC”) to follow up on recommendations made at the May 2009 ABA Summit Conference, "Justice is the Business of Government,” in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Justice is the Business of Government (“JBiz”) Task Force is co-chaired by Mary C. McQueen, President of the NCSC; H. Thomas Wells, Jr., ABA President (2008-2009), and Edward W. Madeira, Jr., SCJI Special Advisor. Jack L. Brown, immediate past Chair of the ABA Judicial Division (“JD”), chairs the JBiz subcommittee on principles and standards relating to state court funding.

JBiz members additionally include: David Adkins, Executive Director, Council of State Governments; Hon. Louraine C. Arkfeld, Presiding Judge (retired), Tempe Municipal Court (1994-2010); Hon. Russell Carparelli, Colorado Court of Appeals; Hon. Ernestine S. Gray, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court; Steven C. Hollon, Administrative Director, Supreme Court of Ohio and past President, Conference of State Court Administrators (2009-2010); Hon. David A. Horowitz, Chair, ABA JD Lawyers Conference; Donald Murray, Senior Legislative Director, Justice and Public Safety at National Association of Counties; David Quam, Director, Office of Federal Relations at National Governors Association; William T. “Bill” Robinson III, President-Elect, American Bar Association; William K. Weisenberg, Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs and Government Relations, Ohio State Bar Association and Chair, SCJI; and Robert N. Baldwin, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, NCSC.

The focus of JBiz is to address and advance the cause of adequate funding for our state courts. Towards that end, the NCSC acts as the staffing component of the Conference of Chief Justices (“CCJ”), recognizing that the courts must plan "to do more with less." The NCSC, working to establish the value of courts in the administration of justice, has engaged in a "re-engineering" project implicating case administration, court governance, the functions of state courts, and principles for funding...
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Source: Excerpts from ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence E-mail, September 7, 2010.

Posted On: September 9, 2010

CLLB Information Security Newsletter

Volume 3 number 8 August 2010.

From the Desk of David Badertscher

Protecting Children Online.

What are the threats online?

Children are spending more of their time online than ever before. According to one study, 8-18 year-olds spend an average of 1.5 hours a day using a computer outside of school[1]. As use of the Internet and online technologies becomes more ingrained into our everyday lives, it is important we ensure that our youth understand how to use these powerful tools and how to protect themselves from becoming cyber victims. Children of all ages face online risks, including the following:

· Inappropriate Contact: Children may come in contact with individuals with malicious intent, such as bullies and predators.

· Inappropriate Content: Children may be exposed to inappropriate content while online, such as violent or sexually explicit material.

· Inappropriate Conduct: Children have a sense of anonymity while online and may do things that they would not do when face to face with someone.

· Identify Theft: Because of the perceived sense of anonymity online, children may post personal or identifying information that can then be used by identity thieves.

How do I keep my children safe?

There are steps parents, educators and others who work with children can take to help keep children safe on-line:

· Computer Location: Keep your computer in a central and open location in your home.

· Supervise Access: Supervise computer access for children and monitor the types of sites visited. Consider using parental control tools on your home computer. These tools are provided by some Internet Service Providers or are available for purchase as a separate software package. You may be able to set some parental controls within your browser. As an example, in Internet Explorer click on Tools on your menu bar, select Internet Options, choose the Content tab, and click the Enable button under Content Advisor. (For other browsers, contact the vendor to determine what parental controls are included.)

· Establish Rules: Create guidelines for computer use. Include the amount of time that may be spent online and the type of sites that may be visited. Post these rules near the computer.

· Personal Information: Teach children not to post or share personal information such as their photograph, address, age or activity schedule. Create a safe screen name that does not reveal personal information about the child.

· Web Filtering: Use web filtering software that restricts access to inappropriate websites and content.

· Communication: Maintain an open line of communication. Encourage children to come to you if they feel threatened online.

· Cyberbullying: Teach children not to respond to cyberbullies. Report incidents of cyberbullying to school administrators and local law enforcement when appropriate.

Here are some resources focused on protecting children online.

· NET CETERA: Chatting with Kids About Being Online: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/tech/tec04.pdf

· iKEEPSafe Internet Safety Coalition
http://www.ikeepsafe.org/PRC/
·
StaySafeOnline
http://www.staysafeonline.org/content/protect-your-children-online
·
GetNetWise
http://kids.getnetwise.org/safetyguide/

· Netsmartz
http://www.netsmartz.org/index.aspx

The above information is from tips provided by the Multi-State Information and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). To learn more about MS-ISAC go to http://www.msisac.org/

For additional monthly cyber security newsletter tips visit: www.msisac.org/awareness/news/

MORE NEWS AND INFORMATION:

Free Webinar:Hacking Exposed Live! September 2010, 11:00 AM PDT / 2:00 PM EDT

Web 2.0: New avenues for blended attacks

In this FREE webcast, McAfee Senior Systems Engineer, Erik Elsasser will join Hacking Exposed co-author and McAfee Senior Vice President and General Manager, Risk and Compliance, Stuart McClure to analyze the stages of a blended attack. While today's blended attacks use a number of avenues including social media to deliver malicious payload, they often follow a similar pattern. In this webcast, they will discuss and demonstrate the attack stages

Click here to Register and obtain additional information.

Highlights:Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, Local Pain
08/30/2010 Highlights of exclusive InformationWeek Analytics research as it appears in "Global Threat, Local Pain," our report assessing whether the high-profile infiltration of corporate networks worldwide (Google China leaps to mind) is forcing execs to reconsider their security strategies and pony up related resources

White Paper: Cloud Based Security Survey.

Summary:
If you aren’t frightened by the changing threat landscape, you should be. Security threats are on the rise and cybercriminals are finding new ways to take advantage of Web ubiquity to scam users, breach personal information, and steal billions of dollars.

What needs to be done and how? This white paper concludes:

• The threat landscape is changing.
• Exsisting solutions are no longer enough.
• Large organizations need to join cloud-based security communities.


Posted On: September 9, 2010

No Crackdown but Questions in Europe About Data Protection and the Cloud

By Alex Williams / September 4, 2010 11:18 PM*

German authorities have recently expressed skepticism about cloud computing and the potential it has for breaking data protection laws.

According to the Information Law Group, there is no imminent danger of a European crackdown, but legal experts are advising international companies to address these potential concerns in their planning and

To see complete article, click here.
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* Source: Read Write Cloud Channel, Posted by Alex Williams, September 4, 2010.

Posted On: September 9, 2010

New York: How Fast (Or Slow) Is Your Broadband?

Take a speed test:

According to a recent survey by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 4 out of 5 Americans have no idea what the speed of their Internet connection is.

The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany is partnering with the New York State Office of Cyber Security (OCS) to collect actual broadband speeds from New York State residents. OCS has received funding to do carry this out through a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

New York State is asking residents to take a fast, simple broadband speed test. By taking the speed test at home, you will be getting real-time information about the quality of your broadband connection and better awareness about the speed you need to access content and services over the internet. You will also be supporting New York's effort to accurately map current broadband speeds across the state to help drive future policy decisions and funding. Better broadband means greater opportunities for all New Yorkers.

Let your speed be heard! The speed of our broadband directly impacts what we can do online. Let's join together to do more. Take the speed test at http://www.nyspeedtest.org

Note: We would like to know if any other states have similar programs.
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Source: E-mail from NYLINK, September 9, 2010.

Posted On: September 8, 2010

Book Review:The Conservative Assault on the Constitution

TITLE: THE CONSERVATIVE ASSAULT ON THE CONSTITUTION
SUBTITLE:
AUTHOR: Erwin Chemerinsky
PUBLICATION DATE: October 5, 2010
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
PAGE COUNT: 305 pp. + index
ISBN: 978-1-4165-7468-2
PRICE: $27.00

A prolific author and law school dean, Chemerinsky brings his expertise in Constitutional law to his fifth book on the topic, as he analyzes recent trends in modern American jurisprudence which he believes are tipping the legal scales too far to the right. The author shows how historically accepted principles of American Constitutional law, such as separation of church and state, have been diluted by a new conservative mentality that is political, not legal, in nature and has thus resulted in a new brand of political jurisprudence in Constitutional law that is more an offspring of the ballot box than the natural and organic evolution of legal theory, thus allowing, for example, public displays of religious symbols that would have been banned by earlier, more liberal, courts. Chemerinsky also asserts that the implementation of the death penalty is fraught with unfair procedures and ineffective representation by counsel, conditions that are exacerbated by an increasingly conservative Federal judiciary and legislation enacted by a conservative Congress that makes it harder for individuals, even those wrongly convicted, to gain relief from the federal courts. Aimed at a scholarly audience, the author clearly makes the case that conservative ideology has invaded, and thus diluted, traditional Constitutional rights and liberties. Recommended for academic, public, and law libraries.

Philip Y. Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Law Library, First Judicial District, New York, New York

Posted On: September 8, 2010

CRS Report: U.S. Mexican Security Cooperation - the Merida Iniative and Beyond

CRS Report No. R41349; 8/16/2010; Posted 9/7/2010
Author(s): Clare Ribando Seelke, Specialist in Latin American Affairs; Kristin M. Finklea, Analyst in Domestic Security
Subject(s): Mexico; Criminal Justice; Drug Abuse
No. of Pages: 35

SUMMARY:

In recent years, U.S.-Mexican security cooperation has increased significantly, largely as a result of the development and implementation of the Mérida Initiative, a counterdrug and anticrime assistance package for Mexico and Central America that was first proposed in October 2007 With the recent enactment of the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 4899/P.L. 111-212), Congress has provided almost $1.8 billion for the Mérida Initiative. Congress provided $248 million of that funding to Central America and included an additional $42 million for Caribbean countries. However, Congress has dedicated the vast majority of the funds—roughly $1.5 billion—to support programs in Mexico, with an emphasis on training and equipping Mexican military and police forces engaged in counterdrug efforts. Escalating drug traffickingrelated violence in Mexico and the increasing control that Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) have over the illicit drug market in the United States have focused congressional attention on the efficacy of U.S-Mexican efforts and related domestic initiatives in both countries.

With funding for the original Mérida Initiative technically ending in FY2010 and new initiatives
underway for Central America and the Caribbean, the Obama Administration proposed a new
four-pillar strategy for U.S.-Mexican security cooperation in its FY2011 budget request. That
strategy focuses on (1) disrupting organized criminal groups; (2) institutionalizing the rule of law;
(3) building a 21st century border; and (4) building strong and resilient communities. The first two pillars largely build upon existing efforts, whereas pillars three and four broaden the scope of
Mérida Initiative programs to include new efforts to facilitate “secure flows” of people and goods
through the U.S.-Mexico border and to improve conditions in violence-prone border cities. The
Administration’s FY2011 budget request includes $310 million for Mérida programs in Mexico.

Congress is likely to continue overseeing how well U.S. agencies and their Mexican counterparts are implementing the Mérida Initiative and the degree to which both countries are fulfilling their pledges to tackle domestic problems contributing to drug trafficking in the region. Congress may also examine the degree to which the Administration’s new strategy for U.S. programs in Mexico complements other counterdrug and border security efforts, including the $600 million in supplemental funds for Southwest Border security efforts provided in (H.R. 6080/P.L. 111-230). In addition to questions about the four pillars proposed, Congress may also debate how best to measure the success of current and future Mérida Initiative programs. A July 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that the State Department develop better performance measures to track progress under Mérida. Another congressional interest is likely to focus on whether human rights conditions placed on Mérida funding are appropriate or sufficient. Congress is currently deciding what types and amounts of funding to provide for future U.S.-Mexican counterdrug and anticrime efforts initiated under the Mérida Initiative in the FY2011 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.

For related information, see CRS Report RL32724, Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress;
CRS Report R41075, Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover
Violence; CRS Report R41237, People Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection
Policies, by Chad C. Haddal; and CRS Report R41215,

Posted On: September 7, 2010

LEH Copyright, New Media Law, and E-Commerce Newsletter

Volume 14, No. 4. September 1, 2010
ISSN 1489-954X

Published and Distributed by the Office of Lesley Ellen Harris. 2010 is the 15TH year of publication of the LEH Newsletter. All back issues are archived at http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/202/300/copyright-a/
1. Studies, Legislation and Conventions
Canadian Copyright Reform Bill
U.S. Exemptions from Prohibition against Circumvention of Technological Measures

2. Legal Cases:
Google/YouTube Win Viacom Legal Suit
Teaching Materials Subject to a Tariff in Canada
Disney Sues “Mookwalks”

3. Of Interest:
Oxford Dictionary in Electronic Form Only?

4. Seminars and Publications:
The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter
Special Issue on Copyright Jobs
Fall 2010 Online Courses
Webinar on Licensing Tips

1. STUDIES, LEGISLATION AND CONVENTIONS:

CANADIAN COPYRIGHT REFORM BILL – The Canadian Government introduced Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, on June 2, 2010. Discussions on this bill will take place in the Fall, 2010. Further information at www.copyrightlaws.com.

U.S. EXEMPTIONS FROM PROHIBITION AGAINST CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES – On July 27, 2010, the Librarian of Congress announced six classes of works that are now exempt from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyright-protected works. Details at www.copyright.gov/1201/.
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2. LEGAL CASES:

GOOGLE/YOUTUBE WIN VIACOM LEGAL SUIT – On June 23, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Louis Stanton ruled in favor of Google that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) protects Google-owned YouTube from copyright infringement. Stanton wrote that “mere knowledge of prevalence of [infringing] activity in general is not enough.” The DMCA grants a “safe harbor” to service providers who are not aware of specific copyright infringements and who fix copyright infringements when they learn about them.

TEACHING MATERIALS SUBJECT TO A TARIFF IN CANADA - On July 26, 2010, the Federal Court of Appeal (in Canada) confirmed a Copyright Board of Canada decision after a six-year legal battle. This decision gives Canadian creators and educational publishers the right to receive reasonable compensation for the reproduction of copyright-protected teaching materials that are used in the classroom. See www.accesscopyright.ca.

DISNEY SUES “MOONWALKS” – On August 26, 2010, The Walt Disney Co., Sanrio Co., and DC Comics initiated an action in a federal court in Chicago against a company that supplies inflatable enclosures for children-related events. Chicago Moonwalks is accused of deliberately infringing trademarks and copyrights including Snow White, Cinderella and Ariel, Hello Kitty and Batman. The plaintiffs are seeking destruction of all allegedly infringing products and promotional material, monetary damages of $200,000 for each trademark infringed, $150,000 for each copyright infringed, additional damages as high as $2 million, and three times the profits from each act of infringement, attorney fees and litigation costs.
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3. OF INTEREST:

OXFORD DICTIONARY IN ELECTRONIC FORM ONLY? – The first edition of the full multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary (“OED”) was published in 1928 and the second edition in 1989. Eighty lexicographers are now preparing the third edition of the OED which will likely be ready in a decade. OED publisher has not yet made a decision as to whether the third edition will be available in printed form, and the decision will be made closer to the time of publication. OED Online is updated every three months with revised and new entries.
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4. SEMINARS AND PUBLICATIONS:

THE COPYRIGHT & NEW MEDIA LAW NEWSLETTER SPECIAL ISSUE ON COPYRIGHT JOBS – The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter, Volume 2010, Issue 2, is now available in print and PDF. This special issue summarizes interviews with various non-lawyers who work on copyright and licensing issues including librarians, educators, and an employee of Creative Commons and Copyright Clearance Center. This unique publication provides plain English copyright compliance and licensing information aimed at a diverse audience including librarians, educators, government employees, publishers, digital content creators and distributors, and lawyers. The PDF version of this issue only of the Newsletter is available under a Creative Commons license at www.copyrightlaws.com.

FALL ONLINE COURSES – September 27, 2010 is the start date for two online courses. Managing Copyright Issues is a 16 e-lesson course with interaction through a discussion blog. Developing A Copyright Policy is an assignment-based course in which participants draft a copyright compliance policy/guidelines. Register at www.acteva.com/go/copyright. If you are interested in a series of mini online copyright courses on digital copyright issues including Web 2.0, e-publishing, online courses, permissions and licensing e-content, email contact@copyrightlaws.com.

WEBINAR ON LICENSING TIPS – September 16, 2010 is a free webinar for SLA members as part of the quarterly Ask the Copyright Experts: Licensing Tips – 10 Ways to your Comfort Zone When Licensing E-Content. Lesley Ellen Harris will present, followed by a panel with Fred Haber, Copyright Clearance Center, Keith Kupferschmid, Software and Information Industry Association, and Adam Ayer, LicenseLogic. Register at www.sla.org/content/learn/members/webinars/2010/091610CUL.cfm.
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This newsletter is prepared by Copyright Lawyer Lesley Ellen Harris. Lesley is the author of the books Canadian Copyright Law, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill), Digital Property: Currency of the 21st Century (McGraw-Hill), Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians, 2nd ed. (ALA Editions), and A Canadian Museum’s Guide to Developing a Licensing Strategy (Canadian Heritage Information Network). Lesley edits the print newsletter, The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter. Lesley may be reached at www.copyrightlaws.com.
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If you are looking for further topical and practical information about copyright law, obtain a sample copy of the print newsletter, The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter, from editor@copyrightlaws.com.


Posted On: September 2, 2010

Digitizing the World's Laws: Authentication and Preservation

BY: Claire M Germain, Edward Cornell Law Librarian and Professor of Law Cornell University and Director, Dual Degree Programs, Paris & Berlin

Publishers Note:

Claire Germain is interested in all aspects of legal information, from rare books to digital libraries, and often writes on these topics, most recently "Digitizing the World's Laws: Authentication and Preservation." the topic of this posting. For several years she has been actively advocating for effective measures to bring about authentication and improved preservation of digital law locally, nationally, internationally, and globally.

In the United States we especially appreciate her efforts as AALL President in 2006 when she commissioned an AALL Fifty State Survey, which revealed that a significant number of the state online legal resources were deemed official, but none were authenticated by standard methods. As I write this in 2010, work continues on efforts to adopt the findings and recommendations of this Survey in all fifty states. With her paper "Digitizing the World's Laws: Authentication and Preservation", Claire Germain continues her tradition of advocacy from a global perspective.

David Badertscher

Rather than provide a lengthly discussion we have chosen to highlight the paper by presenting the following excerpts.and let you click here and enjoy reading the entire paper.
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Abstract:
Many countries now provide online access to statutes, codes, regulations, court decisions, and
international agreements. Digital law issues that have emerged include authentication of official
legal information and preservation for long term access, particularly for born digital legal
information which has no paper equivalent. This article is part of a chapter forthcoming in
“International Legal Information Management Handbook” (Ashgate 2010).
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Official and Authentic Digital Legal Sources
The terms “official” and “authentic” are sometimes used interchangeably but mean
different things. An online official legal resource is one that possesses the same status as
a print official legal resource. In the United States, for instance, the definition of an
official version of court opinions, statutes, session laws, or regulatory materials is one
“that has been governmentally mandated or approved by statute or rule. It might be
produced by the government, but does not have to be.” (American Association of Law
Libraries 2007) This definition is firmly rooted in the print world. Courts and public
officials turn to official legal resources for authoritative and reliable statements of the
law and require citation to such sources in the documents that come before them. By
itself, an online official legal resource offers no such automatic assurance.

Authenticity refers to the quality and credibility of the document. It means that the
text is provided by competent authority and that it has not undergone any alteration in
the chain of custody.2 An online authentic legal resource is one for which a government
entity has verified the content by to be complete and unaltered from the version approved
or published by the content originator. Typically an authentic text will bear a certificate
or mark certifying that the text is authenticated. The standard methods of authentication
include encryption, especially digital signatures and public key infrastructure (PKI), or
similar technologies.3 Authentication of digital law varies by country; some provide
authentication through a digital signature or PKI infrastructure, others through secure
servers and certificates (Hietanen 2007).
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Authenticity matters because in an environment where online sources are replacing
official print versions of legal information, citizens need to be able to trust digital
versions of the law, in the same way that they have trusted print. Because the digital
medium is vulnerable to errors in management and control, corruption, and tampering, it
is of utmost importance to make digital legal information not only official but authentic.
What is at stake is the transmission of official documents, "the word of the law," to
future generations (Germain 1999).
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Conclusion
As legal information systems mature worldwide, authenticity is seen as an essential
issue by some who want to guarantee the integrity of official information. There is a
great role for librarians as the research experts in providing access to legal information
and as custodians of information for the long term, in any format, print or digital. The
successful advocacy efforts of the American Association of Law Libraries in the USA
show that librarians can influence information policy decisions for the benefit of all
citizens. There is a great interest in bringing this advocacy to the international level to
develop international standards, possibly within the International Federation of Library
Associations, a major stakeholder for information policy.