Federal Appeals Court’s Affirmation That Most New York Rules on Attorney Advertising Are Unconstitutional Likely to Effect Other States

New York’s Appellate Division adopted new rules prohibiting certain types of attorney advertising and solicitation, which were to take effect February 1, 2007. The new rules barred testimonials from clients relating to pending matters, portrayals of judges or fictitious law firms, attention-getting techniques unrelated to attorney competence, and trade names or nicknames that imply an ability to get results. The amendments also established a thirty-day moratorium for targeted solicitation following a specific incident, including targeted ads on television or in other media.

A New York attorney, along with his law firm and a not-for-profit public interest organization, challenged these provisions … Read the rest

What a Maroon! Man in Crowded Train Station Loudly Speaks His Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth into Payphone

There I was in the train station, reading the newspaper while waiting for my train when I heard a man in a loud voice say, Representative. I turned to see a man using a pay phone and empathized with his plight to get a live person on the other end of the line. But then the man stated and spelled his name for the representative, said he was going to give his social security number and then did so in its entirety, and finally blurted out his date of birth. Can anybody say identity theft? Yet none of it seemed … Read the rest

Woman Convicted of Computer Fraud After MySpace Taunts Leads to Young Girl’s Suicide

The woman accused of using MySpace to bully a vulnerable teenage girl who subsequently killed herself has been found guilty of three misdemeanor charges. Lori Drew created a fake MySpace profile in the name of Josh Evans and used the persona to flirt with a thirteen year old girl named Megan Meier, who her daughter had previously fallen out with.

After weeks of flirting Drew then sent her message which said: “You’re a shitty person, and the world would be a better place without you in it.” About 20 minutes later, Tina Meier found her daughter hanging from her belt … Read the rest

They’re Marketing Prescription Medications to Our Children in Our Schools

Advocates for children are upset that Alloy Media and Marketing has run ads for prescription drugs from its Channel One website. Channel One provides free news and original programming to about 10,000 middle and high schools. Channel One is, in the opinion of many, a controversial in-school news program that makes viewing ads a compulsory part of the school day for grades six through twelve.

One of Channel One’s drug ads links to Acneheroes.com, a kid-targeted website created by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis to promote BenzaClin, a prescription drug for acne. The website features actor Cody Linley, who introduces himself … Read the rest

Do You You Know What “Hash Value” Is? New York State Uses It to Combat Child Pornography on the Internet

Every online picture has unique “Hash Values” that, once identified and collected, can be used to digitally match the same image anywhere else it is distributed. It is analogous to a fingerprint.

As part of an undercover investigation, the New York State Attorney General’s office built a library of the Hash Values for images identified as being child pornography, enabling investigators to filter through tens of thousands of online files at a time, speedily identifying which Internet Service Providers were providing access to child pornography images.

This led to five of the world’s largest Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”), AT&T, AOL, … Read the rest

Bill Introduced To Protect New Yorkers, Especially Children, From Sex Predators On The Internet

New York’s legislative leaders, at the request of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, have introduced a new and comprehensive bill known as the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) that establishes vital protections against sexual predators so that users of the Internet can more safely surf the Web.

e-STOP would require sex offenders to register their email addresses, instant message screen names and any other online identifiers, and would give access to that information to online social networking companies. Those sites would then be able to pre-screen and block access by convicted sex offenders.

According to the … Read the rest

Subpoenas Issued in MySpace Fake Identity Case Linked to Suicide of 13-Year Old Missouri Girl

Subpoenas were issued to Myspace by a federal grand jury last month. The subpoenas issued are connected to the suicide of Megan Meier, a 13-year-old girl from Missouri. Megan’s suicide is linked to Lori Drew, Drew’s teenage daughter and Ashley Grills, Drew’s former employee who set up a fake online account under the social networking site, MySpace.

Drew, her daughter, and Grills used the identity Josh Evans, a good-looking 16 year-old to befriend Megan. Josh contacted on Megan’s MySpace account one month before her suicide with friendly messages, but the final message to Megan said The world would be a … Read the rest

MySpace Agrees to Take New Steps to Protect Children from Sexual Predators and Bullies

MySpace, the country’s largest social-networking Web site, has agreed with attorneys general of 49 states to take new steps to protect children from sexual predators and bullies on its site. MySpace also agreed to lead a nationwide effort to develop technology to verify the ages and identities of Internet users. The popular online hangout will create a task force of industry professionals to improve the safety of users, and other social-networking sites will be invited to participate.

“We must keep telling children that they’re not just typing into a computer. They’re sharing themselves with the world,” said North Carolina Attorney … Read the rest

Convictions for Unsavory Use of Internet Chat Rooms Directed Towards Minors Lead to Judicial Review of Federal Statutes

The government’s use of investigators or informants posing as underage victims to ensnare sexual predators has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in United States v. Gagliardi, 064541-cr, ruling that 18 U.S.C. 2422(b) is not unconstitutionally vague and does not require that the victim be an actual minor.
The United States Supreme Court is also considering a constitutional challenge to a federal statute by an individual who used an Internet chat room for an unsavory purpose; exchanging child pornography. United States v. Williams, No. 06-6944, argued October 30, 2007.
In United States
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Attorney’s Pro Forma Notices at End of E-mails Not Worth the Bytes They’re Stored In (Beware the Employer’s E-mail Server)

It has become commonplace for attorneys and others sending faxes and e-mails to include at the end of such communications standard language stating that the contents thereof are confidential and privileged. Such standard language should provide no comfort, however, for senders and receivers of e-mails that use an employer’s server.

A decision by Hon. Charles E. Ramos of the Supreme Court, New York County, holds that a pro forma notice at the end of an e-mail message did not inure the attorney-client privilege to the e-mail when an employer’s e-mail server is used. The Court was particularly persuaded by the … Read the rest