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The Mishpat-Update #11


Welcome to the eleventh issue of the weekly Mishpat-Update, Law on
the net from http://mishpat.net

This newsletter is sent only to subscribers. If you no longer wish
to receive the Mishapt-Update, follow the unsubscribe instructions
at the bottom of this message.

--------------------------------------------------------

In this issue:

1. What's New
2. Electronic Evidence
3. Award Winner Review
4. Cyberlaw News

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################
1. What's New
################

I would like to welcome the 15 new subscribers who joined the list this
week. 

The Mishpat Update archive (updates 1-8) can be found at:
http://mishpat.net/mailing-lists/update

In update #8 I told you about Citigroup's (an international financial
services firm) suit against a porn site using the address
wwwcitibank.com (without a period after the three w's) to direct users
to X-rated advertisements (Citibank's site is located at
www.citibank.com). In update #9 we reviewed the ruling against a Miami
based Internet entrepreneur who had registered the domain name
wwwpainewebber.com, (an omitted period away from the financial
company's own address www.painewebber.com) and used it for redirecting
visitors to a pornographic web site. 
It turns out that not only porn sites use these cybersquatting tactics
(described in the WIPO decision reported in update #10). 
Someone set up a pro-filtering site (encouraging the use of anti
pornography filtering software) under the web address
http://www.peacefire.com. That address is very similar to
http://www.peacefire.org/ home of PeaceFire - "The Youth Alliance
against Internet Censorship" an anti-filtering site that includes
directions on how to disable blocking software.


Next weeks issue will be sent earlier (Thursday) because of the Jewish
holiday "Shavout".


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#######################
2. Electronic Evidence
#######################

Ever since well publicized email blunders like the internal Microsoft
correspondence that made its way into the federal antitrust trial as
evidence, e-mail and other computer files have gone big time in
courtrooms across America. Whether someone is sending child porn or
posting a bad rumor or tasteless joke, the user leaves indelible
electronic trails through the Net. Those trails have become prime
fishing grounds for lawyers waving broad subpoenas and law enforcement
officials armed with search warrants. Electronic evidence has become a
hot new tactic in many cases especially in employment related cases
such as sending out trade secrets, passing along customer lists,
harassment, etc. 

The arrest of David L. Smith, alleged creator of the Melissa virus, and
the subpoenas issued after anonymous postings on Yahoo's business
message boards are just a few examples reviewed in previous issues of
the Mishpat Update.

An interesting article describing the usage of electronic evidence was
published in the online version of USA Today, available at:
http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/ctf110.htm
Another story about catching hackers and other computer criminals (such
as virus authors) by Bruce Meyerson from Infowar:
http://www.infowar.com/hacker/99/hack_050499b_j.shtml

An interview with Tom Galligan, an expert in retrieving digital
evidence is available from CNN
http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9905/13/detective.idg/



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#######################
3. Award winner review
#######################

This section is devoted to sites that won the Mishpat Award for legal
sites. To apply for the award or view the winning sites, visit
http://mishpat.net/awards

Site Name:
HARP - Health Administration Responsibility Project

URL:
http://www.harp.org/

Description:
The site is devoted to helping patients and their lawyers obtain
justice from Managed Health Care Organizations. It consists of over 100
cases, plus litigation theories, practice hints, links to consumer and
legal aid groups, and more. 

Site review:
HARP is concerned that in the headlong rush to "Efficient" Medical
care, the organizations involved are losing sight of the "Quality" of
the care they provide. In an attempt to alleviate some of the what HARP
sees as "obstacles to just resolution of patient suits", the
organization developed a Political Agenda which it will attempt to see
enacted. 
The web site is an impressive collection of resources including full
text of relevant cases and codes, theoretical analysis, articles and
links to related online resources. The site's focus is the US federal
and the state of California laws.

The site has a very simple "text only" design - this enables fast
loading of the different pages but makes the navigation through the
many different resources available a little more difficult and is less
aesthetically appealing.

The Mishpat Award isn't the first award HARP has received. It has also
won the Dow Jones Business Directory award and the California Nurses
Association award. 

For patients, doctors, and attorneys seeking to establish the liability
of Managed Health Care Organizations this site gets a "Must Visit"
recommendation.

http://www.harp.org/

To apply for the Mishpat Award or view the winning sites, visit
http://mishpat.net/awards



####################
4. Cyberlaw Updates
####################

Each week Mishpat-Update brings you the latest news about
online and computer law, with links to the full reports available
on the web.


* EU approves Internet tapping rules *
The European Parliament endorsed a controversial effort by EU
governments to detail the technical requirements of law enforcement
agencies that intercept Internet and other HiTech communications. The
text asserts that an earlier resolution, which calls on network
operators and service providers to install certain equipment and
provide various services, applies to Internet, satellite and other new
technologies. The parliament proposed several amendments designed to
protect privacy and ensure that the cost of the technical requirements
do not drive Internet service operators out of Europe.
http://www.infowar.com/class_1/99/class1_051099b_j.shtml


* White house site hacked *
The White House Web site was shut down to determine whether hackers who
tried to tamper with the site managed to do so. There have been a
series of politically motivated raids on US government sites,
undertaken in protest of last week's NATO bombing of the Chinese
embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. 
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2257708,00.html
The White House web site was back on line Wednesday after being 
disabled Monday at 8 p.m.
http://www.infowar.com/hacker/99/hack_051499a_j.shtml
The white house wasn't the only target many other official US agencies'
sites were hacked including the U.S. Embassy in China and the sites of
the Departments of Energy and the Interior. Many private US sites were
also hacked and showed pictures of the Chinese journalists killed in
what NATO has said was an accidental bombing.
http://www.seattletimes.com/news/local/html98/hack_19990510.html


* Work relations in HiTech companies *
A former Lotus Development executive has accused the company (which is
a unit of IBM) of allowing its president and his longtime executive
assistant to harass female managers.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/Textonly/0,25,36437,00.html
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals handed Microsoft Corp. yet
another loss in its long running battle to keep free-lancers and agency
workers from participating in its lucrative employee stock purchase
plan. The ruling in Vizcaino v. Microsoft Corp. expanded a class that
Microsoft is liable to from about 500 workers to more than 5,000.
http://www.lawnewsnet.com/stories/A1400-1999May12.html


* Another Playboy trademark lawsuit *
Playboy has already been involved in many online trademark disputes so
it is no surprise that they sue again.
Robert Weber created a WWW site called Playboyonline.com. He
approached Sean Saladino the club director of a well known Miami Beach
night club called Chaos, offering to stage a talent search for models
at the club. The two struck a deal. Chaos would host a Playmate Search
on April 29, Weber would provide the advertising and work out most of
the details. About a week before the event was to take place, Saladino
says, he became suspicious. He wondered why a Playboy marketing
director he knew in Miami had nothing to do with the contest. And how
come the famous Playboy rabbit head logo on event letterhead did not
have the trademark symbol on it? 
The model search went on as planned, but both the club and the
publishing house circulated fliers distancing themselves from Weber and
his Web site. Three days earlier, Playboy sued Weber and his company,
Global Site Designs. The suit accuses Weber of using the Playboy name,
good will and trademarks in order to make money. A U.S. District issued
a restraining order against Weber, forbidding him to use Playboy's name
and trademarks. 
http://www.lawnewsnet.com/stories/A1381-1999May12.html


* UK ex-spy posts secrets online *
Britain identified Richard Tomlinson, an embittered former spy as the
author of a list of more than 100 alleged secret agents published on
the Internet but said the information is "riddled with inaccuracies."
Tomlinson had maintained a Web site hosted by IP worldcom in Lausanne,
Switzerland. On 30 April, the UK Treasury Solicitor's office obtained
an order against Tomlinson, who removed the site. A week later,
Tomlinson launched another site, this time at California based
GeoCities, where he promised to post a map of all the MI6 offices
worldwide. Attorneys for the Crown showed GeoCities the Swiss
injunction and GeoCities' legal department shut down Tomlinson's site.
http://www.wired.com/news/news/politics/story/19620.html


* The White House wants to Keep chemical reports off Net *
Under the Clean Air Act of 1990, US's roughly 66,000 chemical companies
must provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with risk
management plans that include an "off site consequence analysis"
projecting the devastation and lives lost if a plant experienced its
worst possible accident. The reports are due June 20 and were supposed
to be made public. The FBI and a growing faction in Congress don't want
the "worst case" reports widely disseminated over computer networks for
fear they could be used by terrorists to map out targets.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/Textonly/0,25,36532,00.html


* UK will give employees email privacy *
Under the UK Data Protection Act, which comes into force later this
year, the Data Protection Registrar has new powers to draw up a code
that employers will be expected to follow or risk legal action. Under
the guidelines, which are expected to be adopted by the registrar,
firms would be unable to dismiss, redeploy or discipline staff purely
using information from automated systems such as computers or
surveillance cameras. Employers will also be banned from intercepting
employees' e-mails.
http://www.infowar.com/class_1/99/class1_051299a_j.shtml


* NSI gets antitrust immunity, again *
Following the reasoning of courts in similar cases, a federal judge in
Indianapolis, dismissed antitrust claims filed against Network
solutions Inc. (NSI), which until recently had sole authority to
register Internet addresses ending in ".com".  Noting a cooperative
agreement between NSI and the U.S. Commerce Department, Judge Hamilton
ruled that immunity provisions in antitrust laws clearly applied to
"private entities acting pursuant to agreements with such federal
agencies." 
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,36478,00.html?st.ne.fd.mdh.ni
A special report on previous rulings was published in Mishpat Update #4
available at http://mishpat.net/mailing-lists/update/update4.shtml


* Theft from eToys *
Theft of inventory at eToys' distribution center in Commerce
California, near Los Angeles sliced 4 percent off gross margins in the
quarter that ended March 31. The company said someone stole ,000 in
merchandise from its warehouse. eToys operate etoys.com (a giant
internet toy store) and babycenter.com (a resource for pregnancy and
baby information and products).
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0%2C4%2C36321%2C00.html?dd.ne.txt.0510.13

If you know of any cyberlaw updates, please send them to
mailto:news@mishpat.net

That's all for this time,
see you next week

Yedidya M. Melchior 
Editor 

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