Criminal Justice: Causes Worth Fighting For


Right now, Sony and Microsoft are dealing with a DDoS attack directed at the networks they manage for their respective game consoles. Prior to this major story, Target was the victim of a breach that leaked the personal information and credit card numbers of its customer base. These are two recent incidents in a long line of legal concerns that will require changes to our legal system.

Attorneys will be responsible for setting precedence for these important causes, helping society to regulate and enforce the law. These are some of the causes the lawyers of the future are likely to encounter.

Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is of growing concern to schools and parents, and has some harsh consequences. Kids may become introverted, or may experience extreme anxiety. Sometimes to the point of considering suicide. It is something that extends beyond the school or work place. In extreme cases, it can border on identity theft and slander.

Bullies can follow victims around to different social networks, sometimes posting defaming pictures or video about them in the process. All of this activity leaves behind a trail that police and criminal forensics units can detect given the right tools and proper skills. Gwynedd Mercy U is one of a growing number of schools offering bachelor’s degrees in forensic testing. Graduates of these schools will be able to process that information and build solid case work to assist in the prosecution of these bullies.

Online Spam

Online spam is of growing concern for Americans across the country, because it leads people toward businesses with compromised ethics. Online spam isn’t just about cheap drugs or enhancements; it now tries to sell you mortgage loans or car insurance. Spam uses the discount as a method to lure customers into businesses that take advantage of loopholes in the law and levy additional fees onto customers.

Lawyers will need to understand how the laws of an industry really work, on both sides. Consumers will need protection from these companies when they find themselves faced with terms they did not agree to. Attorneys will also need to help honest companies comply with the law and form legal entities that use email and Web marketing effectively.

Invasion of Privacy

Facebook is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to privacy laws. The NSA reveal alone will have implications we have not begun to understand. Google is notorious for accidental leaks of personally identifiable information through services like “Maps” or “Google +.” Consumers will also need assurances that the information they do hand to private companies will stay that way. They will also need to have more control over their personal information, and how it is gathered.

There is also the question of Internet history, and how that will be dealt with in the future. If someone is taken to court, and then cleared of charges, Google remembers any negative publicity that person may have accumulated through no fault of their own. This presents a problem for both sides. How do we balance fairness to the individual with access to public information?

Attorneys will need to understand the implications of this personal information being misused. There will undoubtedly be more lawsuits regarding the unintended consequences of following consumers around the Web. The law does not yet provide for consumers to opt out of data gathering practices, nor does it specify what is or is not considered intrusive. However, they are investigating the practices.

Final Thoughts

Technology brings us the benefit of efficiency, but at some serious philosophical and legal costs. How society deals with these issues will be determined largely by the case work of attorneys and law enforcement. Schools will need to adapt to the future and offer more coursework designed to deal with our usage of, and reaction to technology.

Featured image credit: Hands of the prisoner on a steel lattice close up/ShutterStock

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