There was a lot going on this week, so the Monday Morning JETLawg has been broken down into topics. Monday is cybercrime and cybersecurity; Tuesday is copyright, intellectual property (IP) policy generally, government technology, and government IP; Wednesday is surveillance and censorship; Thursday is sports, entertainment, and the arts; and Friday is e-currency, e-discovery, e-law, and the technology industry.

Electronic Currency:

  • Bitcoin: Security researches at Cornell show that the ‘cryptocurrency’ Bitcoin is vulnerable to a new kind of attack, which would allow a relatively small number of Bitcoin ‘miners’ — who are normally involved in distributed verification of Bitcoin transactions, for which they are rewarded with a newly created Bitcoin — to subvert the mining process. [H/T @CyberExaminer]
  • Liberty Reserve: The creator of another electronic currency, Liberty Reserve, pleads guilty to money laundering and operation of an unlicensed money transmission business. US Attorneys indicted and charged Vladimir Kats, and shut down the Liberty Reserve website, back in May. [H/T SANS]


  • Close to sanctions for non-searchable production: A judge in the Northern District of California declines to enter a default judgment based on the production of non-searchable TIFF images, but does order the re-production of the same information in searchable format (with metadata included). [H/T Bow Tie Law Blog]

Technology in Legal Training and Academia:

  • Open source law: We have the nonprofit Legal Information Institute for statutes, and Google Scholar for (recent) case law, but what about open sourcing the development and extension of legal arguments? Mootus is a company that offers a pioneering online legal issue mooting service. You create a profile, argue issues by citing cases, statutes, and regulations, and build your credibility. After trying it out for a few weeks (profile here), I can say that there is a lot of opportunity for improvement (some of which they have actually implemented in the last seven days), and an even greater opportunity to help draw the legal world into the 21st century by challenging the way lawyers develop and write legal analysis. The legal world needs new ways to think about and structure its information, and Mootus can lead us in that direction.
  • An expert’s wiki: Scholarpedia promotes its mission of “wikifying scholarly canons” and decries the value of closed-access journal articles as expensive and degrading in value over time. If successful, this project would essentially become a Wikipedia curated by verified experts. (Another website, Citizendium, was a spinoff of Wikipedia and also has the explicit goal of becoming a wiki curated by experts. Its contributions, however, lag far behind Wikipedia’s.) Could something similar work in legal academic circles? [H/T Slashdot]

Technology Industry:

  • Blackberry: The Globe and Mail, a leading Canadian newspaper, reports that Chinese-owned company Lenovo’s interest in purchasing the smartphone manufacturer Blackberry, was quashed by Canadian officials. [H/T CRN]
  • Twitter: Microblogging service and advertising provider Twitter’s IPO was an initial success, with the company’s shares rising in value from an initial offer price of $26 to more than $46.
  • Facebook: Social media behemoth Facebook tests an advertising data analytics initiative that tracks mouse cursor movement (not just clicks) to try to determine which ads people like and which they dislike. [H/T Reddit]
  • Disney + Netflix + Marvel: Disney partners with Netflix to bring the Marvel universe to the streaming service.
  • Enterprise social media: Google brings private “social enterprise” communities to Google Plus, which allows the owner of a community (e.g., a private company) to keep all posts within that community private.
  • Augmented reality: Google releases its “augmented reality” game Ingress, which is a capture-the-flag type game that involves traveling to physical locations (with your Android device in hand) to claim virtual “portals” and the territory around them.

–Brad Edmondson

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