Site Map - Legal Issues


- 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.


- Several new bills introduced by lawmakers focused on helping states respond to acts of terrorism. The bills would have established grant programs to help fund states' first responder activities; the bills also would have established grants for terrorism-related training and technical assistance for state officials. 

School security

- A bill (S. 620) that would have provided federal grants to install sprinklers or other fire suppression or prevention technologies in college and university dorms died in committee. The funds could have been used by public and private institutions to provide fire-safety equipment in all campus housing including sorority and fraternity houses. 

Security equipment

- Several bills introduced in the 108th Congress would have given companies tax breaks or incentives to purchase security equipment. Such equipment included physical security devices and fire-safety technology. 


- One bill (S. 1350) considered by lawmakers would have required that companies victimized by an electronic security breach notify customers that their information may have been compromised. The bill, which was similar to one that took effect in California this year, was considered in committee, where hearings were held, but was not brought to a vote.

Beyond Print

SM Online

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