The FBI is keeping a close watch on Twitter and Facebook, looking for instances of security fraud. The increased interest is all part of an on-going crack down on insider trading in the hedge fund industry. For more information read the article, “FBI Sees Facebook, Twitter as Breeding Ground for Security Fraud”, from Reuters.
It seems it’s already time for the 2012 end of year lists to start appearing. Here is one from Alex Fitzpatrick on the “7 Landmark Tech Laws Passed in 2012.” It will be interesting to see how some of these spread to other states and countries in the coming months.
Social media continues to have its role and presence in the court defined. Up until recently, social media has played more of a role in civil cases, but it is now finding its way into how criminal cases play out too. One such case is the Trayvon Martin murder case in Florida. Lizette Alvarez looks at how Mark O’Mara, the defense lawyer for George Zimmerman, is using social media in “Social Media, Growing in Legal Circles, Finds a Role in Florida Murder Case.”
by Michael Kernan
Here’s a breaking story about Linn, a Norwegian woman, whose Kindle account was recently wiped by Amazon for no apparent reason. At least, to date according to the article, Amazon has not provided a satisfactory answer for their actions. Many are seeing this as an abuse of DRM (digital rights management). Mark King’s article “Amazon Wipes Customer’s Kindle and Deletes Account With No Explanation” provides more information on the incident. However, the information that is forthcoming may indicate that Amazon is attempting to prevent copyright problems due to customers buying books under false pretenses in one country to use in another. The global nature of internet commerce makes navigating the legal issues problematic.
Social media is posing problems for ensuring fair trials in other countries. Currently, Australia has formed a working group to study the issue. The group was formed after some Facebook pages caused concern over an on-going trial. Jane Lee and Dan Oakes examine the issue in “States to Tackle Social Media Laws After Alarm Over Fair Trial for Accused.”
While states are busy passing legislation to protect your passwords from employers and schools, Americans still have little in the way of guaranteed privacy on social media sites. The police can rely on a 1986 law that was extended to the internet by the Patriot Act to conduct surveillance on social media sites without a warrant. Declan McCullagh provides more details in his article “Feds Snoop on Social-Network Accounts Without Warrants.”
First responders and law enforcement can find valuable and helpful information on social media. Information from social media can be used in conjunction with other sources of information to help gauge a situation before law enforcement or first responders are actually at the site. New tools are also allowing agencies to sift through the mountain of postings to identify social media posts that may indicate a threat to an individual or society at large. As always, the interest from these “agencies” raises questions of free speech and privacy. Dale Peet’s article “Social Media Analytics Can Aid Law Enforcement, First Responders In Civil Unrest, Disasters, Investigations” provides a thorough look at the benefits to such agencies in maintaining an active role in social media.
In a follow up to Wednesday’s post, Twitter has complied with a Manhattan Judge’s order to hand over a user’s tweets or fact a contempt of court charge. However, the tweets will remain sealed pending an appeal. Read Don Reisenger’s article “Twitter Hands Over Occupy Protestor’s Tweets” for more information.
Twitter’s days of standing between your tweets and the law may be numbered. Manhattan Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr told Twitter they have until September 14 to produce Malcolm Harris’ tweets in relation to criminal charges or be held in contempt. Christine Simmons relates more details in her article “Twitter is Given a Deadline to Avoid Contempt.”