Legal Research in the Age of Cloud Computing

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This presentation discusses the impact of the mass communication technologies including the Internet and Cloud Computing on the practice of law and legal research. This presentation was given the Advanced Legal Research class at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota of August 23, 2013 by Neal R. Axton, JD, MLIS.

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Legal Research in the Age of Cloud Computing

  1. 1. Advanced Legal Research Week One: Law in the Internet Age Neal R. Axton & Simon Canick, Information Resources
  2. 2. Introductions & Expectations • Instructors • Students • Auditors • Technology – Gmail – Blackboard • Quizzes • Research Assignments
  3. 3. • http://www.pewinternet.org/
  4. 4. Pew Internet & American Life Project (2010)
  5. 5. Tablet Ownership Exploding
  6. 6. Are you smarter than your phone?
  7. 7. Internet Citation • Typewriters – 1714 & 1867 • Bluebook • Practitioner Style – Typewriters = Underlining • Law Review Style – Type Setting • Small Caps • Italics • Font? • Size?
  8. 8. Online Resources
  9. 9. More formats • 18.2.2 Direct Citations to Internet Sources • 18.2.3 Parallel Cites – available at • 18.3 Commercial Databases • 18.3.1 Cases – Unreported • 18.3.2 Constitutions and Statutes • 18.3.3 Legislative, Administrative & Executive Materials • 18.3.4 Books, Periodicals, Other Secondary Sources • 18.4 CD-Rom • 18.5 Microform • 18.6 Film • 18.7 Audio – Podcasts
  10. 10. Websites
  11. 11. Other Sources
  12. 12. Direct Citations • Hard copy “practically unavailable” – e.g. Rule 18.1’s Conference Report • Cite directly – Due Diligence Required? • Worldcat.org – Hard Copy Not Cataloged and/or not Published (e.g. Press Release) • Citing to Westlaw for current statues • Minn. Stat. Ann. 169
  13. 13. Some Legal Innovations • WestlawNext – Federated Search • Fdsys – Federated Search • Electronic Court Filing System – PACER/ECF – Bloomberg’s Docket Search – Minnesota moving online too… • Save Money, Reduce Staff
  14. 14. Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
  15. 15. The Online Menagerie • Hacktivists • Hackerspaces • Black Hats • White Hats • Cypherpunks • Cyberpunks • Wikileaks – Bradley Manning & Julian Assange • 4chan, anonymous, lulzboat & lulzsec • Edward Snowden & Glenn Greenwald • Pirate Bay & Pirate Party
  16. 16. Attorney Job Security What’s new [to the music industry] is this amazingly efficient distribution system for stolen property called the Internet — and no one’s gonna shut down the Internet. — Steve Jobs, Rolling Stone, Dec. 3, 2003
  17. 17. http://wikileaks.org/
  18. 18. Julian Assange on Fear “Fear exists largely in the imagination. That’s what powerful people prey on. It simply isn’t possible to police the world’s citizens, so what they rely on is fear. Once you realise that fear exists largely in your own mind, then you are on the way to liberation. Also I have this righteous indignation. It spurs me on. Makes me feel invincible.” Daily Mail: http://bit.ly/qCpYSx
  19. 19. Jurisdiction The geometrically-enhanced capabilities of the emerging web technology spotlights the long-ignored issues of who owns the worldwide web, who manages the worldwide web, and who has jurisdiction over the worldwide web? The answer now is: nobody! - Gene Stephens, Future Challenges of Cybercrime 13 (2010) (FBI and Police Futurists Int’l Working Group) http://bit.ly/pA51OV.
  20. 20. •http://bit.ly/12vQ4k1
  21. 21. Those leftists at the Economist…
  22. 22. A Higher Moral Order?
  23. 23. Ruminations 1. States passive and reactive 2. NGO's running the show 3. Media autonomous of nation-state 4. States no longer in control of "normative frameworks" 5. Concept of Spying obsolete 6. Polycentric Governance
  24. 24. Implications • Global Citizens cf. United Nations • Information Wants to be Free! – What do We Want for Information? • Technology Changes Us – Information Technology – Mass Communication – Internet & Cell Phones – Firearms?
  25. 25. Ethical Compliance http://lprb.mncourts.gov/Pages/Default.aspx
  26. 26. MN LPRB Opinion 22
  27. 27. Tracked Changes Metadata
  28. 28. More on Metadata • Metadata – Data about Data – Industrial Strength Organizational Data – Telephony Metadata • Originating Phone Number • Dialed Phone Number • Duration of Call • Call Waiting • Call Forwarding • Cell Phone Tower used during Call • Cell Phone Transfers During Call • Signal Strength During Call
  29. 29. Scintilla of Knowledge • Black Boxes –Irreducible Complexity –Invisible Data • Metadata • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke
  30. 30. Location Data
  31. 31. Distinctions with a difference • Applying GPS device = 4th Amendment Violation – aka Bird-dogging • Using Cell Phone Tower Metadata = Okey-Dokey • Reasonable Expectation of Privacy – Katz v. U.S., 389 U.S. 347 (1967) – Fiat Declaration – One Size Fits All
  32. 32. Social Network Analysis • Pivot People & Opinion Leaders
  33. 33. Complex Social Networks
  34. 34. Cloud Computing
  35. 35. Search for Cloud Computing on LPRB site
  36. 36. Cloud Computing and Legal Ethics
  37. 37. Ethical Pitfalls • [T]he use of technologies such as cloud storage will never lessen—and may, in fact, increase and make more complicated—an attorney’s obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct. • As an initial matter, an attorney must have at least a base-level comprehension of the technology and the implications of [cloud computing’s] use.
  38. 38. Head in the Clouds • Cloud computing – Software as a service – Infrastructure & Bandwidth • Client-Server Architecture Computing Platforms • Thick Clients – PC with local Central Processing Unit (CPU) • Thin Clients – e.g. Smart Phones – Push Everything Possible to the Cloud
  39. 39. Root DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS ISP Servers Users/Clients IXP Root Root ISP ISPISP
  40. 40. FBI Intercepts • Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, Pub.L. 103–414, 108 Stat. 4279 (1994) codified at • 47 USC §§ 1001-10. • FBI’s older Carnivore system • DCSNet and DCS-3000 – Captures VOIP – Mobile Cell Tower Vans
  41. 41. Combining Topics • Search Incident to Arrest • Seize iPhone • Access iCloud • Can law enforcement access contacts on a phone? • Can law enforcement access everything on the defendant’s iCloud?
  42. 42. Lawyering in the 21st Century • E-Discovery – Costs impact litigation – Smoking Gun • Legal Blogging – Lawyer Advertising? – Blog Consultant • Social Networking – Due Diligence – Discrimination? • Social Networking Independent Reviewer • False and Misleading Statements • Unauthorized Practice • Privacy implications of email
  43. 43. Geek Speak and Lawyering “One of the primary reasons that electronic data is lost is ineffective communication with information technology personnel. By taking possession of, or otherwise safeguarding, all potentially relevant backup tapes, counsel eliminates the possibility that such tapes will be inadvertently recycled… Counsel failed to communicate the litigation hold order to all key players. They also failed to ascertain each of the key players' document management habits… This case represents a failure of communication, and that failure falls on counsel and client alike.” Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, 229 F.R.D. 422 (S.D.N.Y.2004) (aka Zubulake V)
  44. 44. History of Mass Media • Typewriters • Telegraph • Teletype Machines • Advertising • Female Typists – Context of AMC’s Mad Men Show • Newspapers • Postal Service – Bribing Postmasters – Transit Fees – International Relations and Subservience
  45. 45. Theoretical Frameworks • Social Contract Theory • Rights Theory – Rights Enforced by a Sovereign • Ethics – Intentionalism vs Consequentialism • Privacy – Secrecy • Trade Secrets – Transparency • Data Practices Act – Security • Privacy • Network Theory

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