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The internet has been around in the mainstream since the early 90's... but cyberlaw- hmm, not so much. Finally, governments are catching on the reality of this beast called the internet. Specifically, cyber attacks, cybercrimes, and cyberbullying have been a huge fear as of late. As our world becomes more wired and interdependent, the smallest wrench in the system can cost billions of dollars as well as the loss of extremely valuable information. The internet also could easily be used as a tool to harm innocent persons.

The fear of cyberattacks specifically prompted the US to consider passing the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (also known as the 'internet kill switch'). China, to combat dissent, is creating an 'Internet real name system' to reduce anonymity on the internet. I am not advocating suppressing dissent or freedom of speech, but it's interesting to analyze the ways countries are handling the unique situations that the internet presents. For example, it is much easier to ruin someone's reputation on the internet than in print media. On print, it costs a lot more money to re-print an article and once the news is old, it is stored somewhere in a corner on a microfilm. The internet is another story. Information could be easily copied and pasted and Emailed and posted. Defamatory content could spread all over the internet in minutes. And when that news is old, it is easy google-able by employers, friends, and pretty much ...
So here I am trying to get comfy here in my little corner on the internet, but first I had to write my obligatory legal disclaimer before I could feel at ease. I looked at some other disclaimers to get an idea and it made me think of a few issues.

The main issues for me were regarding communication with prospective clients and whether my blog advertising material (whether I intend it as such or not)? My gut instinct was 'quite possibly' but sometimes intuition does not serve well in predicting professional rules of ethics so like any good lawyer, I did my research. And good lawyers know you can't just throw up a disclaimer and call it a day. ? I could only find one ISBA opinion back from 1996 that addressed the issue of websites but with the incredible changes in the internet, blogging, and social media, I was surprised I could not find anything more recent. So ISBA Opinion 96-10 will have to do (click here if you don't have access to ISBA).

There are two main concerns for me. Firstly, whether I am directly soliciting clients and secondly, whether it is advertising material. ISBA Opinion 96-10 states essentially states a website is like a 'yellow pages' and that prospective clients have willingly chosen to look it. As far as advertising, well the usual goes, just tell everyone it's advertising and don't lie.

It definitely opened up my eyes on some seemingly minor things I should be ...
Ok, this isn't quiiite law related, but it's me-related.

Check out this article on America.gov about the Islamic Society of North America's annual convention

Danya Shakfeh, who also attended the convention, said the event provides an opportunity for Muslims to meet. "It is a good platform for Muslims to get to know each other and to network," Shakfeh said.

What a Law Blog Should Be?

I admit, I admit. I've been scouting the competition trying to figure out what a legal blog should be like. I admit that most blogs I've come across are- well, with all due respect- not my cup of tea. Firstly, I want my blog to appeal to everyone: lawyers and non alike. Secondly, I want it to be fun and amusing. It's easy to just ruminate about the law in the news or up and coming legal opinions (or in some cases, just summarize), but that's boring.

So I'm asking my dear audience: everyone. What kind of stuff would you like to read about? Of course it has to be related to law in some form of another, but am looking for some creativity.

Internet as a Fundemental Right?

There has been much talk lately about the internet being a fundamental right. That basically means that the government has to go through much more hoops to take it away from you, even in the case of emergencies.

As a fun exercise of contrast:

A. Finland has declared the internet as a fundamental right.

and

B. The United States is trying to pass the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, which essentially allows the president to 'turn off' the internet in the face of perceived threat. This is why it has been dubbed the 'internet kill switch.'

There is an obvious irony in turning off the internet out of fear for a terrorist cyber attack.