INFORMATION

Site Map - Legal Issues

Legal Report: U.S. Supreme Court Edition

- An update on this term's relevant cases from the U.S. Supreme Court, including those on privacy, fraud, terrorism, gun control, and the constitutionality of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Stun-gun Use Again Under Scrutiny in U.S. and England

- The use of stun guns is again a hot topic after three high-profile incidents in the past week, one involving the nephew of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Social Networking

- A high-school student who was taken out of her honors courses after she complained about a teacher on her Facebook page may pursue a lawsuit against her school. A federal court has ruled that the student’s post, which deemed an instructor “the worst teacher I ever met” contained no threats of violence and was protected under the First Amendment (.pdf). (Evans v. Bayer, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 08-cv-61925, 2010)

U.S. Congressional Legislation: First Responders

- A bill (H.R. 4992) introduced by Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) is designed to protect individual first responders from litigation costs arising from unintended consequences. Under the bill, the employers of first responders would be required to pay for any liability, including litigation costs related to claims of liability, that first responders incur in the course of their official duties. Exceptions would be made in the case of intentional wrongdoing or activities undertaken in bad faith.

Privacy

- The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that when an employee was sending e-mail from a private, Web-based account, even though the account was accessed from a company computer, the e-mails were protected. By allowing occasional personal use, the company’s computer policy could lead an employee to assume a certain level of privacy. The fact that the e-mails were sent over a password-protected Web site was also significant, ruled the court.

Legal Report

- Rulings on employment issues and privacy, plus legislation on first responders and fire safety.

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies "Honest Services" Fraud

- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a lower court must reexamine the conviction of former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling because of the "honest services" statute's vagueness.

Supreme Court Rules that Humanitarian Aid to Terrorist Organizations is Illegal

- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a law prohibiting “material support” to terrorist organizations also bans support intended for an organization’s humanitarian activities.

Supreme Court Rules Against Officers in Privacy Case

- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a police department did not violate the constitutional rights of police officers when it read through their text messages. The review of the text messages did not violate the Fourth Amendment, according to the ruling, because it was undertaken for work-related purposes and was not excessive in scope.

New Bill Would Make it Easier to Prosecute Identity Theft

- A new bill introduced in Congress would make it easier for the federal government to prosecute identity theft cases.

Amendment to Defense Bill Would Prevent Transfer of Guantanamo Prisoners

- A amendment to the 2011 defense department authorization bill would prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.

Customs Search that Uncovered Child Pornography is Constitutional

- The suspicionless search of a crewmember’s cabin aboard a ship did not violate the crewmember’s Fourth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizure.

Employment

- An amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2010 (H.R. 2701) will establish a process for ensuring that there is no conflict of interest present when employees within the intelligence community take second jobs. The amendment will also prohibit employees within the intelligence community from owning companies that sell expertise related to the employee’s government service.
 




Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.