In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: The Ripple Effects Of E-Discovery
2. Today's Top Story
- U.S. Top Court Criticizes Patent 'Obviousness' Test
- U.S. Agency To Review Role In Eavesdropping Program
- Rights Groups Argue In Court For E-Mail Privacy
3. Breaking News
- Web 2.0: Ingredients For A Site Makeover
- New Bot Exploits Months-Old Symantec Bug
- Analyst: Microsoft's Revamped WGA Puts Burden On Users
- Google Launches Holiday Site For Payment Service
- IBM To Acquire Wireless Software Provider
- Bye-Bye, Wires; Sony Wants To Send Sounds Through Your Body
- Dell Moves To Simplify Systems Management
- Hackers Prepping For New Attacks
- Most Chinese Hackers Seek Passwords
- Cyber Monday Sales Look Strong
- TiVo Offers Post-Program Ad To Beat Fast-Forwarding
- Nanotechnology Comes Home For The Holidays
4. Grab Bag
- Violent Video Game Effects Linger In Brain (Reuters)
- Work Away From Work Gets Easier With Technology (USAToday.com)
- E-Voting Stirs Suspicion In Venezuela (AP)
5. In Depth: Mobile Computing
- Crystal-Inlaid Notebooks Hit The Market
- Fashionistas Have New Options: Leather-Clad Notebook Computers
- Lenovo Launches Wide-Screen ThinkPad Laptop
- Opera Upgrades Mobile Web Browser
- Wireless 'Push' E-Mail Offered To Not-So-Smart Cell Phones
6. Voice Of Authority
- The Offbeat E-Mail Horror Stories
7. White Papers
- 17 Rules For A Successful User Management And Provisioning Project
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote Of The Day:
"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful." - Samuel Johnson
1.Editor's Note: The Ripple Effects Of E-Discovery
When I last tread this space, it was to alert readers who weren't already aware, of the Dec. 1 launch of new federal rules regarding electronic discovery. By the way, there's no new law. The new requirements are just an extension of existing rules, which you can find here.
The issues surrounding electronic discovery, and its wide-ranging impact, are a lot more interesting, and more varied, than you might think. It may seem that we're just talking about data retention, preservation, and management policies. Big deal, right? But that barely scratches the surface, according to attorney John F. McCarrick, a partner with Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and a specialist in risk management and corporate governance issues. (You can read his white paper (PDF) on the subject for more detailed informationit's aimed at insurers, but don't let that stop you.)
And you might be thinking this is nothing more than another pain-in-the-butt process. Wrong again, says McCarrick and one reader, both of whom say the thought processes and policies required by these new rules will be a boon, both to IT and the companies they serve. For one thing, having such a system in place is helpful to a company from both a compliance standpoint (think Sarbanes-Oxley certification) and a risk management perspective. For another, it forces serious thinking about the risks tied to data retention policies. Maybe sales wants to hang onto metadata, but is it worth the legal exposure? It might not be.
Also, until now, most companies have dealt with legal discovery by hiring third parties to search their data and pull all the threads together. Every case brought in another vendor. There were no cost savings as the wheel was reinvented over and over, according to McCarrick. But now that companies will have to build these systems, the benefits are multifold: greater control of data (more of which is kept inside the firewall); vendors will likely be forced to offer more sophisticated and nuanced services; and very probably, some consolidation and standardization of the services performed by those vendors.
The most important, and you might say priceless, impact, though, involves the ability to sway a jury, no matter how weak a case, and the ever-popular question of who is paying for this settlement anyway? No matter how strong your defense, if your company fails to meet its obligations to preserve and produce relevant data, a judge could (and they have) slap you with charge of "adverse inference," which gives the jury carte blanche to assume all the information you did not produce was incriminating. This can turn a jury, as it did in the Coleman v. Morgan Stanley case, resulting in staggering damages. And it gets worse. As noted in my earlier post, the insurance companies aren't going to stand idly by and absorb this. McCarrick says there's widespread discussion over whether incurring such a charge would trigger the cooperation clause that is standard in most corporate insurance. In short: If you make matters worse through your own incompetence or negligence, then they might not have to pay. There is a bright side: Those same insurers are tossing around the idea of categorizing companies by risk factors, which means a solid e-discovery policy could get you better rates, along with peace of mind.
U.S. Agency To Review Role In Eavesdropping Program
The Justice Department is launching an internal review of its participation in the Bush administration's controversial domestic eavesdropping program, the department's inspector general told congressional leaders Monday.
Rights Groups Argue In Court For E-Mail Privacy
Several cyberliberties groups are arguing in federal court that protections that shield telephone calls and postal mail from unreasonable search and seizure should be extended to e-mail stored online.
3. Breaking News
Web 2.0: Ingredients For A Site Makeover
Putting up a few links and images doesn't cut it anymore. To bring your site into the Web 2.0 world, you need to know about Ajax, ActiveX, RSS, and other key technologies.
New Bot Exploits Months-Old Symantec Bug
The bot, dubbed Spybot.acyr, includes exploits for seven vulnerabilities, including five already patched flaws in Microsoft Windows and one within Symantec's enterprise antivirus products.
Analyst: Microsoft's Revamped WGA Puts Burden On Users
Microsoft is adding a revamped wizard to provide users with more information on validation results and new tools to troubleshoot the problem when the anti-counterfeit software can't make up its mind whether the copy of Windows is legitimate or not.
IBM To Acquire Wireless Software Provider
Vallent specializes in developing software that operators of wireless telecommunications networks can use to monitor network traffic, identify bottlenecks, and guard against service interruptions.
Most Chinese Hackers Seek Passwords
More than half of the malware coming out of China aims to steal passwords, and nearly half of those attempts targeted online gaming login information during October.
Nanotechnology Comes Home For The Holidays
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnology updated its online catalog of products incorporating nanotech, ranging from the Apple iPod Nano to Zelens Fullerene C60 night cream.
Managing Privacy Issues
Learn how your peers are protecting customer data and managing privacy issues in the InformationWeek/Accenture Global Information Security survey of more than 2,000 technology and security professionals.
Windows Vista: Ready, Set, Go?
Microsoft and its customers are gearing up for the release of Vista. But will the product ship as promised? Learn how nearly 700 business technology professionals are planning to adopt Vista in InformationWeek Research's report Windows Vista: Ready, Set, Go?
New Video Show: CIOs Uncensored
Want to get the inside track on the technologies that intrigue leading CIOs? Want to know what keeps them up at night? Tune in to "CIOs Uncensored" to get up close and personal with leading business-technology executives. Watch CIOs step out of their comfort zones and share details about their challenges, their priorities, and their road maps for success. See candid conversations with CIOs like HP CIO Randy Mott, GM CIO Ralph Szygenda and Harris CTO Richard Plane. Tune in to "CIOs Uncensored" now!
Work Away From Work Gets Easier With Technology (USAToday.com)
Trying to match the convenience and efficiency of the office while on the road is an ongoing battle for business travelers. While the explosion in wireless Internet connectivity in recent years has been a huge boost to productivity, new applications of technology and a growing number of services geared to business travelers are taking matters a step further.
E-Voting Stirs Suspicion In Venezuela (AP)
Under pressure from opponents of President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's elections council has adopted safeguards for the country's electronic voting machines to prevent tampering in Sunday's electionconditions so strict that experts say they surpass some standards in the United States.
5. In Depth: Mobile Computing
Crystal-Inlaid Notebooks Hit The Market
MSI is launching a high-end laptop with a logo on the lid that is inlaid with 120 pieces of Austrian crystal. It's slated to ship in Europe and Asia in December.
The Offbeat E-Mail Horror Stories
From termites bringing down data centers to fat jokes highlighting bad pharmaceutical company practices, unlikely and likely traps and problems involving e-mail are everywhere. We'd like to hear your stories.
7. White Papers
17 Rules For A Successful User Management And Provisioning Project
Organizations are challenged by the need to improve the security of their IT systems, reduce the costs associated with managing their IT infrastructure, create appropriate safeguards to ensure that policies are enforced, and attain regulatory compliance. These "17 Rules for Successful User Management Initiatives" can help you get started.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.