Thursday, February 18, 2016

SLS Intern Contribution: Motor Voter Decoder

By SLS Legal Research and Writing Intern Matt Adamo

"VOTE" by Theresa Thompson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

     Have you ever wondered how we can positively impact our futures by exerting minimal effort? Everyone wants to change the world, but no one knows where to begin. A representative democracy allows each citizen to influence any political decision that may or may not immediately affect their personal lives. With that knowledge, how come political participation among young adults is so lackadaisical?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

SLS Intern Contribution: Hazing and UC San Diego

By SLS Legal Research and Writing Intern Sandy Garcia

A new quarter marks the beginning of on-campus organizations' recruitment of new members. While getting involved on campus is highly encouraged, it is also important to be safe. Both student leaders and new recruits should have an understanding of hazing. After all, hazing violates both California state law and UCSD policy.  For these reasons, it is important to understand what hazing is, how to be able to identify it when it happens, and understand its consequences. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

SLS Intern Contribution: The UC San Diego Bike Guide

By SLS Legal Research and Writing Intern Devon Brooks

"architecture: geisel library" by Jonathan Cohen is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

          With classes that are 10 minutes apart and a campus that is 1,900~ acres, traveling by bike is convenient.  However, before you unlock your bike and pedal on over to Center Hall, there are some legal tidbits you should know.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

SLS Intern Contribution: Patent Trolls

By SLS Legal Research and Writing Intern Brynna Bolt

"New-Troll-1" by EFF Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Chances are you, or someone you know, has probably had an idea for a new mobile app. Before you take the development of your idea any further, though, there are some things you should know about patent trolls.

Patent trolls typically do not manufacture new products or develop new ideas, but instead purchase intentionally broad patents from bankrupt companies in need of funds. Then, when these patents are inevitably infringed upon, the troll can threaten or use litigation to force infringers to pay for their use of the patented technology or idea.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Case Highlight: Google's Right to Read Your Emails Shot Down

Thought your Gmail account was private? It was not before, but it may be now.

Not only did Google admit to reading user emails for content to target its advertising campaigns to its users, but Google argued in federal court that Gmail users had no expectation of privacy regarding their email accounts. Thus, it was total legal for Google to scan Gmail account users' emails without the users' knowledge or permission.

Google argued in its brief: "Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient's [email provider] in the course of delivery.'" (Motion to dismiss, Page 19)

Privacy activists, however, rejoiced when Judge Lucy H. Koh rejected Google's argument. In her decision, Judge Koh ruled that reading emails is not a necessary part of Google's business operations and that California's Invasion of Privacy Laws apply to opening and reading online communications without consent.

Or more simply, Google violates privacy laws when it scans our personal emails to determine what ads to show us based on our emails' content.

Though this decision is exciting and new, the real-life implications of this decision have yet to be felt. Google will almost certainly appeal the decision, and there is no reliable prediction as to how federal appeals courts may handle the issue. You can check back in with Student Legal Service's blog in the future for any developments on this case!