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Archive for the ‘social media’ tag

Federal Action Renews Privacy Questions

October 29th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, police privacy issue, DEA, An recent report discussed federal action in a drug case involving the use of a fake social media account seemingly belonging to a criminal defendant who had been charged with numerous drug crimes. Allegedly, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent set up a false account using photos and other personal information taken from a criminal defendant’s cell phone in order to get others to reveal incriminating information. Although the Justice Department is purportedly reviewing the case, a federal lawsuit ensued and the case was set to be heard in a New York Court in mid-October, but may now be mediated.

Privacy Considerations

This case is just one example of the privacy concerns that have been raised in different states across the country – including Illinois – specifically regarding the protection of privacy in light of developing technology. The law is clearly struggling to keep up with the changing world of social media, cell phones, and other technological developments. While the use of some of these technologies may be acceptable and legal within the context of a criminal investigation, it seems the line can easily be crossed into raising important privacy issues that both courts and law enforcement may find difficult to address.

Legal experts, too, seem to be struggling with the privacy in the age of evolving technology issue. Many of the rules of law regarding privacy protections are severely outdated compared to the technologies that are readily available to average members of the public in today’s society. The problem arises when trying to make new technologies fit these older rules. These technological advancements are prompting those in the legal field to question how they see items such as a phone and social media profiles.

Case at Hand

The case at hand presents an interesting set of facts for the court to consider in making a decision, if it comes to that. While law enforcement officials may routinely set up false social media accounts and profiles in their investigations, this case reportedly involves an agent using another person’s identity and information to do so without her consent. In addition, the defendant is arguing that she cooperated with law enforcement by turning her cell phone over, but not with the understanding that they would use the information they obtained in a different context other than looking for evidence of a crime.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Issues with police procedure can arise in any type of criminal case. It is important to enlist the representation of an attorney who can identify legal issues in your case and advocate for your rights. The dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients in many types of criminal matters. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

Illinois Lawmakers take Aim at Revenge Porn

February 22nd, 2014 at 12:03 pm

social media & Revenge PornThe increased and widespread use of technology and social media has brought up a whole new host of issues regarding conduct online. While we still struggle to define appropriate online behavior in some aspects, it can be argued that perhaps the law is struggling to keep up with actions that occur on the web. When discussing the damaging effects of online behavior, we often hear key words such as “cyber bullying” and “sexting,” but what it really comes down to may be described as harassment in the legal arena.

What is Revenge Porn?

Lawmakers in Illinois are taking notice and taking action to address these problems. According to an article recently published by the Chicago Tribune, the state is taking steps to give victims of revenge porn an outlet in court. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, revenge porn refers to the act of an individual posting an inappropriate photo or video of their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend online as a way to get back at them after the failure of the relationship.

Proposed Law

Lawmakers in Illinois are trying to prevent such an embarrassing event by proposing a new measure that would make it illegal to post such content on the internet without the consent of the subject of the photo or video. Senator Michael Hastings, who is sponsoring the proposal, compared the publishing of such explicit material to harassment, and said it was the worst kind of cyber bullying.

Proponents say the law is necessary because current Illinois statutory law fails to provide criminal sanctions as a consequence for such behavior. The state’s statutes do not protect the victims of such crime, who most likely consented to the photo or video initially, as the image was recorded in the context of a private, trusting relationship.

The proposed law would make it a felony to post nude and sexually explicit images of another party without their permission to do so. In addition, under the law, it would be a crime to request a fee in order to remove such images from a website. The penalties associated with the law would include a maximum of three years in prison and a $25,000.00 fine. However, judges would maintain discretion to order a lesser sentence if they thought doing so was appropriate.

Opposition

Those who are opposed to the law argue that making such action a criminal offense would infringe on the constitutional right to free speech. Specifically, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois takes the position that the state’s civil laws may be more appropriate to address such behavior, and should be considered as a solution to the issue before the activity is made a crime under state criminal law.

Criminal law and procedure may change more than the average public person is aware. That is why engaging the services of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Illinois is so important. Contact us today if you have been charged with a crime, and let us protect your rights.

Cyberbullying Teachers Now Crime For Students

March 18th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

ChristineWe all have had a teacher, or two, who we just could not stand. Yes, we might have said a mean thing or two, but did to take it to the internet? Make fake accounts to humiliate those teachers? Spread awful rumors that could potentially harm their career and even harm their families?

North Carolina legislators have said students bullying educators has reached its limit. Harassing, intimidating, or tormenting teachers online has now become against the law. For example, posting pictures of teachers stating they are pedophiles, homosexuals, violent individuals. Also, setting up fake online accounts such as Twitter and posting things as if they were stating things is illegal as well. The law states that it is not allowed to create fake profiles for teachers; however, it is a crime to post real images or make any sort of statement online, true or not. If caught, students could spend up to one month in jail and pay up to $1,000 fee.

The ACLU of North Carolina says the law is too broad, making it too harsh for someone who just might make a dumb mistake. Being punished for speaking out on any government official restricts the First Amendment Right of freedom of speech making it according to some legal experts another way to criminalize speech.

Regardless, of the opinion of legal experts, no one deserves to be bullied, harassed or tormented. If you have been accused of bullying online you have rights as well. If you are in a situation where you are, please find a criminal lawyer who will be able to stand up for your rights and work for your freedom. A criminal defense attorney in Illinois will be able to assist you.

 

 

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos

Toll Way tweets holiday traffic

December 27th, 2012 at 5:09 am

Toll Way tweetsWith the increased use of social media and smart phones, the Illinois Toll Way has decided to create a Twitter account. The toll way tweets to provide drivers with information for each of the four toll ways: the Tri-State, Jane Adams Memorial, Reagan Memorial, and Veterans Memorial toll ways.

Travelers now have to option to follow each of the toll ways on Twitter and can receive real-time roadway incident information, according to the Illinois Toll Way.

The Illinois Toll Way Executive Director Kristi Lafleur shared in a news release, “Toll Way Trip Tweets will help us connect to our customers in a new way and, hopefully, give them the information they need to be able to plan their trips based on what’s happening on the road.”

The tweets include updates such as information on roadway conditions, accident reports as they happen, and updates on congestion, according to the toll way.

Details in the tweets may include real-time information about the type of incident, the location based on the nearest crossroad and milepost and the subsequent impact on traffic, such as lane closures, said the Illinois Toll Way. It was reported that as many as three messages may be sent using Twitter for each incident. The final tweet will be the conclusion and clearing of the incident from the roadway.

Toll Way Trip Tweets are issued automatically from the agency’s Traffic Operations Center, Traffic and Incident Management System, which is staffed from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.

To follow Toll Way Trip Tweets, you can visit the Too Way’s website and click the Toll Way Trip Tweets “Follow Us” button. Or, visit www.twitter.com to set up an account, and then follow: TollwayTrip90, TollwayTrip94/294, TollwayTrip88, and TollwayTrip355

Even with many extra precautions being taken this season to keep drivers safe, there will still be accidents. If you find yourself at fault of a traffic violation this season, contact a traffic law attorney for help today. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help you today.

 

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