Texting With Work Phone

Be careful what you text on a company phone.  Because the real question is can your employer read your text message if you do it on a company phone.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that questions whether a California city violated a public employee’s rights by reading sexually explicit text messages on an electronic device owned by the Police Department. A decision has not been made.

Although the case involved a police officer, some legal experts said the ruling could have broad implications on how public and private employees can be monitored.

In the digital era, employees often are expected to be in constant contact with their managers. The use of cell phones and mobile internet service has skyrocketed over the last decade, and some of the growth can be attributed to companies giving cell phones and smartphones to their employees

Employees should protect themselves by keeping their personal lifes out of work communications.  If your employer has anything to do with giving you your phone – whether it is paying for it or not, its sale to assume that your text are not private so you should have no reasonable expectation of privacy towards them.

Defamation Lawsuit

There has been a raise in companies filing defamation lawsuit against anonymous poster, posting negative comments about their company.  The process is fairly simple.  The company files a defamation claim against a “John Doe”.  The complaint enables the company to issue subpoena against websites where the comments were posted asking for information concerning the  identity of the poster.  The information will come in the form of server logs, user account information and ip addresses.

These days, one’s ip address is the equivalent of one’s home address or finger print.  As each home is appointed to a unique ip address.  Once they have your ip address, they can subpoena your Internet Provider for the account associated to your ip address.

With this information, they can now connect you to the comments being made on the Internet.  They then amend their complaint to add you as a Doe.  Serve you and the lawsuit begins.

Campaign Spending Undermine

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The US Supreme Court recent ruling on campaign spending could have long time effects.  If you haven’t heard, the overturn a 63 year old law limiting political spending by labor and big business on the grounds of free speech.

The ruling paves the way for corporations, labor unions, and religious groups to give money to sway votes to push their agenda.

The ruling covers the money corporations and unions may spend from their own profits on independent ads and other advocacy efforts on behalf of candidates or issues. It does not change restrictions on direct contributions to candidates for federal office, which remain prohibited under federal law, but are allowed in New Jersey state races.

The decision essentially means that if a corporation wanted to spend millions of dollars of its own money on its own issues ads in support of a candidate, it may do so. The ruling does not change spending rules covering the thousands of political action committees by corporations and special interest groups.

Now Congress will have to decide how they want to react to the high court’s ruling.