Free Speech

Regulating the Raunchy? Free speech and obscenity under Miller v. California

One of the most interesting aspects of being a technology lawyer is that it necessarily requires a strong understanding of Internet regulation and digital rights, including the right to express yourself online.  As such, free speech is one of my favourite areas of legal history and theory.  Coincidentally, two major US Supreme Court cases regarding free speech were decided on this day —  21 June! This post takes a look at one of them: Miller v. California [1973].  In a later post, I’ll explore a second landmark free speech case decided on 21 June: Texas v. Johnson [1989]. The Constitution in Court.   Most…

Law School and Careers

On taking the “scenic route” to becoming a lawyer

According to the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society of England & Wales, the average age of a qualifying solicitor now is 29. However, despite the fact that more and more lawyers are joining the profession in their late 20s or even early 30s, it’s still common for many prospective lawyers to feel like outliers – or even outsiders – if they take a “scenic route” to qualification. I know I certainly did! Inspired by the recent #TimeToTalk day, here is some advice and perspective on being one of those slightly older junior lawyers. For readers who are not familiar…

Deepfakes / Image Rights

DeepFakes and False Lights: what does the law say?

What do Scarlett Johansson, cyber intelligence experts and some law makers have in common? Their shared concern about AI-generated videos. This post is from February 2019. For more recent commentary, view the deepfakes tag. Known as “Deepfakes,” these videos can have damaging impact on reputations, emotional health, and even national security. But what is the legal status of this disruptive – and oftentimes disturbing – technology? Deepfake – which combines “deep learning” and “fake” – is commonly defined as an artificial intelligence-based human image synthesis technique. Put simply, it’s a way to superimpose one face over another. In December 2017, an anonymous…

Privacy Law

Privacy Day 2019

In 2006 the Council of Europe officially recognised 28 January as a data privacy holiday, to celebrate the date The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data was signed in 1981. Also known as Convention 108, this document remains the only international treaty in the field of personal data protection. In honour of this year’s Privacy Day – also called Data Protection Day – here are a few excerpts from some of my favourite English and American legal cases about privacy. In 1762, the King George IV’s Chief Messenger Nathan Carrington and others broke into the home…