Last week, the Associated Press reported that the Department of Justice had obtained confidential phone records for more than 20 telephone lines used by the staff of the Associated Press while investigating leaks of classified information.  Only days later, news surfaced that the DOJ had also accessed the phone records and emails of James Rosen

Well, another day, another email hacking story. This one involves the Bush clan, with reports that a hacker who goes by the name Guccifer accessed private emails and photographs, telephone numbers and addresses sent between members of the Bush family, including both former presidents. Among the data released are catty emails about Bill Clinton, photographs

Sealed Court Documents.jpgOver the past few days we’ve dealt with two cases where our clients were deeply invested in the question of whether or not the contents of sealed court documents could be made public. And our answer to both of them was the same: If someone knows about the documents, some of the information might

Among the pros (and cons) of having a cell phone is that you don’t have to stay chained to your desk anymore. Now you can do business anywhere you have phone coverage. But sometimes we are so consumed by the convenience of being able to conduct business on the go that we forget the risks.
Continue Reading We Can All Hear You Now: The Dangers of Doing Business in Public

Unbeknown to most cell phone users, just turning your cell phone on reveals your location. That’s because once turned on, your cell phone constantly “pings” (bounces a signal off of) nearby cell phone network towers. This data is collected by the cell phone company and can be traced to reveal your location.

Short of turning your cell phone off and pulling out its battery, there’s nothing you can do about this: This is just basic cell phone technology at work. Technology that can determine your physical whereabouts for as long as your cell phone is turned on, which for most of us means 24 hours a day.
Continue Reading Ping a Cell Phone, Cross a Line

Attorneys know that one of their primary obligations to their clients is to protect client confidences. Therefore, great pains are taken to make sure that clients’ highly personal information stays in safe hands. But what happens when attorneys are the ones passing along their personal information? Well, unfortunately lawyers are far less careful with their own confidential information than they are with their clients’.
Continue Reading Personal Data and Service Contracts: How to Protect Your Personal Information

“Three may keep a secret,” wrote Benjamin Franklin, “if two of them are dead.” While attorney-client privilege confers a lot of power on lawyers and their agents to keep a secret, the privilege is never absolute. It can be waived by the client anytime, and can be breached in all sorts of ways.
Continue Reading Confidentiality in Interviews: What You Can Promise and What You Can’t

As investigators, we can’t always get exactly to the evidence we want to prove. Sometimes it merely doesn’t exist. Often, ethical and legal constraints keep us from being able to obtain the facts we definitively need to prove what we are investigating.

It’s easy to get lost searching for the unsearchable, pining for that one nugget that will help everything fall into place. But investigators don’t have that luxury.

So, we sometimes have to do what the computer scientists have done by pinpointing a font as a sign of trouble: We have to take a step back and look for clues elsewhere. We may not have direct evidence of wrongdoing, but we can scour the evidence in order to detect patterns that suggest wrongdoing. Alternatively, we can review the facts to see if we can find any that correlate with what it is we’ve been asked to help prove or disprove.

This is not about making assumptions–we never say that because x exists, therefore y. Instead, it is about being able to look for solutions that advance our clients’ knowledge, even if they fall short of the ideal solution.
Continue Reading Direct and Indirect Evidence: Learning from Computer Scientists