Drone Law (or the Lack Thereof)

ThinkstockPhotos-452549881This following is a guest blog post by George M. Moore, PhD, JD, a Scientist-in-Residence at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California, where his course in Drones and Surveillance considers both the technical and legal aspects of drone use and its impact on privacy issues. Dr. Moore is a member of the California and Colorado state bars.

The crashing of a drone on the White House grounds among other recent incidents have shown that drones may pose direct threats to our security, but perhaps a greater long-term threat of drones is to our privacy. A collision between safety, security, privacy rights, and commercial utility is about to happen, and the legal community needs to be prepared to recognize and address the issues that will surely arise. Continue reading

Supreme Court Takes Up Federal Right to Same-Sex Marriage

153140057From the former capital of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, comes the spark for a Supreme Court decision that could extend same-sex marriage to all fifty states within a year. Continue reading

The Green Rush: Can City Regulations Keep Up?

MedicalMarijuanaMedallionThe Los Angeles Times calls it “The Green Rush,” referring to the newly-lucrative cultivation of premium marijuana to serve the “discriminating consumers who frequent medical cannabis dispensaries.”  California laws permitting medical marijuana have spawned an industry that has moved from remote, clandestine locations to our city centers. But what’s become a boom for growers and sellers is causing a headache for many city regulators. Continue reading

Everything You Tweet Can Be Held Against You!

Judges throughout the country wrestle with the legal ramifications of evolving new technology, including personal information privacy in the use of social media. A New York criminal court recently put a big hole in any privacy expectation on tweets when it upheld a subpoena duces tecum and required Twitter to provide a defendant’s tweets to the district attorney. Continue reading

Privacy for Your Guilty Viewing Pleasures

This post goes under the category of “good to know.” It’s probably not something most of us are concerned about, but it’s still comforting to know that the law protects the privacy of our video preferences. Continue reading

Cyber-Slamming

The seemingly anonymous world of the Internet leads many of us to say things there that we would never say in person. But watch out, libel laws follow you into cyberspace. Continue reading

Was BART’s Cutting Cell Service a Violation of Free Speech?

For what seems to be the first time in the United States, a government agency cut off mobile-internet and phone service to quash a protest demonstration.  Was this a valid and reasonable way to protect public safety or an unlawful infringement on free speech rights protected under the First Amendment? Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: