NALP Exchange

Discussion of the Law

Month: August 2012

Internet Laws Around the World

Across the world nobody really has found a sensible way to police or control the internet.  Recently in Malaysia the latest in line of non-sensical laws has caused complaints and protests.  The Law in question is section 114A of the Evidence Act and it basically makes people liable for content published on the internet on or using their internet enabled devices.

So for example if I posted a few hateful or illegal comments on your blog – then you’d be the one who got into trouble.  If I hacked into your computer and used it to upload illegal software – again you’d be responsible.  It would make free speech almost impossible and people would be pretty much too scared to post anything or set up anything online.

There was an official day of protest where thousand blacked out their websites and blogs with black pages criticising the Evidence Act.  The Malaysian Prime Minister has promised to review the proposed changes to the 60 year old law.

There is a huge problem with what’s allowed and what isn’t online.  There are so many grey areas in copyright, censorship and filtering of the internet.  For instance many media companies block access to their content based on their location.  So Pandora only allows you to listen to music in the USA and the BBC and ITV block access outside the UK.  But there are always workarounds for instance this page shows how you can watch UK TV in the USA – click for details. But what’s the legal position, is the  copyright breached because of where you are or can you argue that it immaterial as it’s just online.  Even if a company can clarify the legality, it’s options are often limited by local laws and practices. Although there have been attempts to standardise internet criminal and commercial law – there’s still a huge variation across the world.

Why lawyers love driving Porsches

Although a few lawyers do not love driving because of a number of reasons, majority of them love to do so because they are in touch with the latest technology. The first cars that most lawyers drive do not provide them with the security that they desire and for this reason, they prefer Porsches because they are not only modern but they also provide them with a multitude of options to choose from. Although insurance for Porsches is a big challenge that prevents lawyers from fulfilling their desires, they are a favorite choice for them because they are great looking cars.
Many people prefer cars that do not cost much in terms of maintenance and those with low insurance requirements because their finances cannot allow them to exceed certain expenditure limits and consequently, they usually buy Fiat, Renault, Ford, Vauxhall and Peugeot because they are cheaper as compared to Porsches. Lawyers on the other hand prefer Porsches because they are the best possible cars in the market today. These cars, which offer optimal performance, have the best water levels, adequate water coolant agents, and brake fluids, wheels that have enough air, power steering fluids and brake disk pads. In addition, they are the most reputable and more importantly, they last for very long even without adequate maintenance.

Background article 1:
Background article 2:

Wine Laws, Hypocasy Abounds

Wine laws are among the most hypocritcal around.

Take the republican nominee for President Mitt Romney’s home state of Utah as an example.  Look, I think we all know that Utah is the home of the Mormon church and that the state boasts the highest percentage of Mormon’s of any state in the country.  One of the classic Mormon belief’s is that drinking and doing any type of drug is wrong, including alcohol or caffeine.  I find it interesting though that an online wine club can’t ship into consumer hands in Utah, but coffee and soda are sold at grocery without any type changes in the law.  If both alcohol and caffeine are bad for you, why is one treated so much differently than the other?

House Committee Approved HR 1981

The title refers to yet another new internet snooping and privacy destroying bill.  The idea this time is to make Internet Service Providers to not only keep track of all their subscirbers information but to retain it too.  Just for clarification this means – name, address, phone number, Credit card numbers, bank details and which IP address is assigned to which user.

So what is this snooping bill for apart from spying on every innocent US citizen who uses the internet?  Well it’s designed to ’protect our children from Internet Pornographers’.  It is ironic that the bill makes no distinction between the guilty and innocent – everyone gets spied on.  This information would be made available (well officially) to police and very probably attorneys investigating fraud, civil claims, divorce etc.  Doesn’t really sound like protecting our children does it?

These logs will also have the ability to identity every single digital act enacted by a US citizen online.  That is every email sent, every web site visited or video watched.  The whole country will be spied on under the pretence of catching paedophiles.  Meanwhile of course the guilty will use the various methods and technologies available to prevent this.  They’ll be using all the sorts of technologies displayed on this website about web security – – their data won’t be logged.

It’s the fundamental flaw in all these laws which are introduced eroding our civil liberties in the name of catching more criminals – they just don’t work.  You end up only monitoring the innocent who’s privacy gets eroded a little each time.  You can read more about this bill which is going through Congress now – at this web site – Demand Progress Act.


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