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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.

Background Screening

- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a background screening case in which 28 employees of the California Institute of Technology, under contract to do work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), have claimed that the government’s screening policy is too intrusive. The policy was implemented in 2004 under a government homeland security directive.

Legal Report

- An employee is awarded $1.5 million in a retaliation suit, and parents sue their son's school after learning that officials spied on him via Webcam. Also, legislation on cruise ship safety, airport security, biometrics, and firearms. 

Attorney Requests Access to Computers of Possible "Voyeur" School Administrator

- An attorney for a student who was surreptitiously photographed via a school-issued laptop has requested additional discovery after learning that the school took thousands of photos of other students.

State Legislation: Indiana: Firearms

- A new bill (S.B. 25) pending in the Indiana General Assembly would make it illegal for a company to prohibit employees from keeping firearms locked in their cars on company property. The bill would also apply to contract employees. Exemptions are provided for schools, penal institutions, and domestic violence shelters.
 




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