Site Map - Legal Issues

Video voyeurism

- The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill (S. 1301) that would make it illegal to surreptitiously videotape or photograph people in certain situations. Under the provision, which applies only in federal jurisdictions such as military bases, recording anyone naked or in a state of undress without that person's consent in situations where privacy can reasonably be expected would be illegal. The bill must now be approved by the full House of Representatives before it can be presented to the president for his approval.

Border protection

- A bill (S. 2295) introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would establish a program for using advanced technology to meet border protection needs has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. It must now be taken up by the full House of Representatives to move forward.


- A bill (S. 1053) that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of genetic information has been approved by the Senate and has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. However, the committee is unlikely to consider the bill because of the backlog of funding and appropriations measures that must be considered by the committee before year's end.

Legal Reporter

- Was a violent attack on a concertgoer foreseeable? Plus cases on retaliatory discharge and libel, maritime regulation, and a bioterror law.


- The Texas Attorney General has issued an opinion (No. GA-0228) that federal laws governing the use of e-signatures do not require county clerks to accept them for land records. The opinion states that federal law does not apply to real estate filings with the state. The opinion also notes that while the laws do apply to transactions between consenting private parties, there is no duty for county recorders to accept electronic signatures created in these private transactions.

Identity theft

- A bill (S.B. 117) that would have limited the use of Social Security numbers by companies has been vetoed by Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich. Ehrlich noted that one provision of the bill would make it more difficult for citizens to do business with insurers. Opponents of the bill had argued that it would have prohibited companies from using the Social Security numbers of consumers on electronic transmissions even with the owner's approval.


-  The Ontario Court of Appeals has ruled that a libelous posting on the Internet causes more damage than a similar statement that appears in traditional print media. The appeals court increased the trial judge's damage award from $15,000 (Canadian) to $75,000 and added $50,000 in punitive damages. In increasing the damage awards, the court noted that Internet defamation is more pervasive and more dangerous to the reputation of those maligned because it is interactive and immediately available world- wide. (Barrick Gold Corporation v. Jorge Lopehandia, Court of Appeal for Ontario, No. C39837, 2004)

Retaliatory discharge

- (Reeves v. Safeway Stores, Inc., Court of Appeal for the State of California, No. H024375, 2004)

Premises liability

- (Maheshwari v. City of New York, New York Court of Appeals, No. 54, 2004)

Legal Reporter

- A wrap-up of security legislation considered by the 108th Congress.

Legal Report

- Rulings on data security and religious discrimination; plus legislation on fire safety, security guards, and food safety.

The Privatization of Police in America: An Analysis and Case Study

- An attorney and former police officer, the author is particularly strong on legal issues. He raises questions about the applicability of constitutional rights when private security personnel take action, an opportune inquiry at a time when the government looks to the private sector as a major homeland security resource.

No More Corporate Cash for Militias

- U.S. companies must be cautious in dealing with foreign militia groups as the government cracks down on payment schemes.

Beyond Print

SM Online

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