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  • Computer / Internet Crimes in Both State and Federal Court

    At the start of a criminal investigation, one of the biggest questions is whether the case will be prosecuted by state or federal authorities. This is not always clear from the outset. One of the surprises for most clients is the fact that many types of alleged criminal conduct can be prosecuted under both state and federal law. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that a person can be prosecuted ...
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  • Dating website scam? "Someone contacted me and demanded payment!?!?!"

    Is this a dating website scam, or am I about to get arrested? As an internet sex crime defense lawyer, I am regularly contacted by people who have found themselves in variations of the following generalized hypothetical situation: “I was on a dating website, or Craigslist, and I met a female who is 26 years-old. Her profile indicated she was 26 and she told me she was 26 in our online chats. I had ...
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  • What if the Government Fails to Preserve, or Destroys, Digital Evidence During an Investigation?

    Given the proliferation of data storage devices, ranging from computers and cell phones, to Fitbits and gaming systems, it should come as no surprise that criminal investigators often focus on securing digital evidence from these devices. Law enforcement utilizes a variety of methods to secure digital evidence, including extracting data, or making a forensic copy of the data from a device. When ...
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  • Packingham v. North Carolina: Registration, Social Media and the First Amendment

    In Packingham v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a North Carolina law that made it a felony for registered sex offenders to engage in certain internet activity. The court stressed that the "sweeping law" would bar those on the registration from visiting sites such as Facebook & Twitter, but also a multitude of sites ranging from Amazon to WebMD, as well as the sites of ...
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  • Should I Provide my Password to the Police or FBI? : Encryption, Passwords & the Law

    According to reports, a recent survey revealed that the average person has over 27 different passwords for their online accounts. With the rise of applications for every area of life (banking, e-mail, social media, chipotle), this should come as no surprise. Within the justice system, it is becoming quite common for law enforcement, or other opposing parties, to seek to gain access to a ...
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  • What Should you do if the Police or FBI Search your Home?

    When it comes to cases involving allegations of computer crime or Internet crime , especially cases involving allegations involving the possession or distribution of child pornography over the internet or a peer-to-peer program , the authorities generally execute a search warrant at a residence or business in order to gather and secure evidence. Typically, these searches occur very early in the ...
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  • Artificial Intelligence & Robot Lawyers?

    A multi-national law firm recently announced that its bankruptcy unit has acquired an “artificial-intelligence attorney” or “AI lawyer.” The “robot” is identified as ROSS. ROSS reportedly will be used by the law firm’s bankruptcy division and is, in essence, a highly advanced research tool. This news has catapulted to the forefront the debate over the impact technology may have on the legal ...
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  • Federal Court Orders Woman to Unlock iPhone with her Finger

    Fresh off the controversy surrounding the FBI and the DOJ's legal battle over the iPhone at the center of the San Bernardino investigation, a federal judge has authorized a warrant that reportedly orders a woman to unlock her iPhone with her fingerprint. The identity theft suspect in the case is required, per the warrant, to comply with the request. According to media reports, it remains unclear ...
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  • Smart Mattresses with "Infidelity Detection Systems" : The Internet of Things & the Law

    The Smarttress In the market for a smart mattress that alerts your mobile phone whenever someone is using your bed in a questionable way? Well, of course, there's an app for that. The smart mattress, advertised as the Smarttress , is currently being marketed and sold by Durmet, a Spanish Company. Billed as the first mattress that detects deception, the Smarttress has sensors within the springs ...
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  • Questioning the "Biography" of a Digital File & Why It Matters

    Digital technology has played an increasingly important role in the justice system. One of the many challenges when dealing with digital evidence is the sheer volume of data that can be contained in a single hard drive or flash drive. There can be thousands of files nested within each other, which can amount to literally hundreds of pages of discovery. It can also take hours to review the data, ...
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  • Investigations of Online Sex Crimes

    With the prevalence of technology, law enforcement officials today are devoting a significant amount of resources into investigating sex crimes on the internet and over social media. Law enforcement officials are currently employing efforts to monitor social networks, social media, peer-to-peer file sharing programs, forums, and more. Common ways that law enforcement officials identify alleged ...
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  • Law Enforcement - "There's an app for that." Criminal Investigations over the Internet Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Networks

    Our reliance upon technology is nothing new, but in recent years our use of technology seems to be escalating in all aspects of life. For many, simply driving without GPS or going a day without accessing the internet is unbearable. Ideally, the use of technology improves our quality of life in some fashion. Oftentimes, it allows us to operate in a more efficient and effective manner. It should ...
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