Instant Messages May Byte Too

An interesting discussion contrasting the technology, data storage characteristics and the discovery process of e-mails with instant messages (IM) appears in an article by attorneys Michael B. de Leeuw and Eric A. Hirsch in the “E-Discovery” special section of the November 5, 2007 New York Law Journal.

IM is quickly becoming the medium of choice for informal communication in the workplace, offering far greater efficiency, speed and immediacy than e-mail.

The article points out that although IM typically are stored locally in individual hard drives rather than in servers, some users of IM have found themselves in trouble because they … Read the rest

New York Attorney General’s Office Issues Tips to Parents to Keep Their Children Safe On the Internet

In connection with the settlement of its consumer fraud investigation of Facebook, the New York State Attorney General’s Office issued advice to parents to take preventive steps to keep their children safe from sexual predators and issued tips on “How to Occupy Space on Social Networking Websites Safely”:

* Be cautious about sharing your personal information online that can be used to locate you offline. This includes your screen name, personal photos, hobbies, social security numbers, address, phone number, bank or credit card number. Remember, websites for underage users are not permitted to request personal information without a parent’s permission.… Read the rest

Facebook Settles New York Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Investigation

Facebook will step up the policing of pornography, harassment and inappropriate behavior on its social networking site, settling a consumer fraud investigation by New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. Investigators posing as minors on Facebook were repeatedly solicited by adult predators, and the site did a poor job of responding to complaints from investigators posing as minors or their parents.

The settlement implements a new model to enforce safeguards aimed at protecting its network members, especially children and adolescents, from sexual predators, obscene content and harassment.

Under the terms of the agreement Facebook will, amongst other steps: … Read the rest

New York Attorney General Issues Subpoena to Facebook Amid Concerns for Safety of Its Underage Users

The Office New York State Attorney General (“OAG”) Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed Facebook for documents related to Facebook’s safety and security representations and complaint resolution mechanisms. The OAG stated that it is concerned that Facebook’s public statements and advertising may be materially misleading and may constitute violations of General Business Law 349 and 350 and Executive Law 63(12). According to the OAG’s letter to Facebook, the OAG, after a preliminary review of Facebook.com, has uncovered evidence demonstrating that (1) underage users are targeted by sexual predators on Facebook, (2) there is widespread pornographic and obscene content of Facebook, and (3) Facebook’s … Read the rest