The recent hard copy issue of Washington Lawyer arrived in my mailbox this weekend. After being amused at the fact the content is being delivered via regular mail on paper, I was struck by the cover story and imagery. The story is captioned “A Flawed Record: The Fragility of Eyewitness Memory”; the imagery, however, displays a visualization of the electronic connections, synapses, and measurement output that are processed by a human brain. The article by Sarah Kellogg is superb at explaining how memories can be shaped and altered by our biases, our experiences, and our preferences for a particular outcome. For me, the most telling insight from the article was the observation that DNA testing of blood samples and other … Read More
On August 1, 2014, I crashed while riding my bicycle and was seriously injured. It was one of the misfortunes of bad circumstances we all possibly fear—something knocked my front wheel out of control and a normal fall to the ground became much worse as I fell, instead, over the side of a bridge and plunged nearly 20 feet into a deep creek gully. The ensuing discovery of my breathing, talking, but broken body, and the recovery, transport, and surgical repair that followed did something simple to state and profound in its meaning—teams of EMTs, helicopter pilots, trauma center doctors and nurses, and one kick-ass neuro-surgeon saved my life. I was conscious through much of the rescue and trauma activities—none … Read More
Beginning October 13, 2014 I will be teaching a new graduate-level course at the University of Oxford, entitled Building Information Governance. This course will include exposing students to chapters from my new book and will enable them to improve their leadership and analytical skills at governing digital information assets. It is great fun to acknowledge that every course goes by its acronym; hence, I am the BIG guy on campus!
In January, when the course was first approved and posted for registration, it was stunning to see the course sell out within 10 days! I am truly humbled by the companies and countries from which the students will be travelling to participate in the course. In preparing for the course, … Read More
A fascinating legal theory is beginning to come out of the oven that may change how we think of digital information as property. What do you think?
An unauthorized computer access event occurs. System logs and other operating data provides evidence that personal information records were accessed. The logs indicate that the information records were copied and exported; however, there is no further evidence, including from named individuals, that the personal records have been improperly used, such as for identity theft.
A second variation involves the physical theft of a laptop or other computer equipment on which personal information was stored, perhaps even in unencrypted formats that would allow fairly easy access and use of the information. Again, there is … Read More
I have accepted the invitation of the Electronic Signature & Records Association to speak at their annual 2014 Conference, Nov 12-13, New York City. I actually have been invited to address the Conference on two occasions.
First, it will be my privilege to join Professors Amy Boss and Patricia Fry on a panel featuring us in discussing the early history of the American legal community in promoting eCommerce and developing the enabling legal frameworks.
Second, I will be speaking on “Building Digital Trust: Conquering the Last Frontier”. My remarks will emphasize the continued potential for vendors and standards organizations to accelerate the development of the additional rules needed to allow digital records to be truly trusted as the most … Read More
I am very excited to confirm my participation as the opening keynote speaker for LawTech Europe Congress 2014. This will represent my first opportunity to speak about digital trust outside the United States and I am quite gratified to be given the opening slot.
My speech is entitled “Building Digital Trust: The New Authors of the Rules for Digital Evidence of the Truth”. I will be showcasing how technology standards and software solutions are displacing traditional legal mechanisms for creating and maintaining the reliability of evidence, and present new strategies for building trust in digital records.
The organizers are doing an amazing job anticipating, and responding to, the fast-paced migration of the complexities of e-discovery to Europe and, in … Read More
Two posts ago, I speculated on the future need for real witness chairs and suggested that the birth of quantitative law was nearing. In quantitative law, compliance would be measured, not judged. The recent indictments against Chinese government employees provoked the discussion. Now, a new development accelerates the need to ask, “What digital information can be trusted as evidence of the truth?”
Many press reports covered the indictment and arrest in Canada of Su Bin, described as a Chinese citizen and permanent resident living in Canada. Su is accused of stealing production data from Boeing’s systems on several military aircraft and then attempting to sell that data to Chinese buyers. The US government asked Canada to arrest him and extradition … Read More
Yesterday, I was surprised to receive an email from one of the reviewers of the text of my new book. The email was introducing me to one of the reviewer’s colleagues and encouraging a meeting to discuss the synergies and potential behind some of the ideas presented in my book.
It was actually very humbling, for the reviewer had copy, cut and pasted into his email three paragraphs from my book that he felt were worth quoting. What were those words? They appear below, part of a much more complete presentation on the emergence of systems law, enabling governance of systems entirely from within the rulebases that are part of the system themselves.
"The collision of sovereign interests in regulating … Read More
It is my pleasure to be sought out by law students on occasion wishing my advice on a great law journal note to write as part of their journey through law school. Last week, I was asked about the recent announcement of indictments against Chinese government employees for computer hacking. What were the tough issues that an aspiring digital lawyer could analyze?
In our exchange, we looked at various angles—international law, “minimum contacts” for criminal law enforcement, and sovereign immunity were just three. But then we confronted another question: what would be the evidence used to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the conduct that was the basis for the indictment?
It became quickly clear that the only evidence that was … Read More
On June 30, the eminent columnist for the New York Times, David Brooks, authored a column captioned, “The Evolution of Trust”. I could not be more pleased. Brooks emphasizes how AirBnB and other peer-to-peer business exchanges are succeeding by introducing “a new trust calculus” that enables strangers to develop trust in other strangers that displace the trust which traditional corporate institutions and regulations otherwise strive to sustain.
What Brooks infers, but does not expressly discuss, is that each of these businesses are succeeding by authoring, and enforcing, the rules of engagement. Those rules are published, transparent, and easily monitored. As a result, the companies are proceeding forward without first confronting top-down regulations.
This phenomenon is exactly what my new book … Read More