Welcome to JHTL

at Suffolk Law

JHTL is student-run by an Editorial Board of past JHTL staff members. Students who become JHTL staff members are able to receive academic credit for working on a piece for publication, cite-checking, and writing a book review. The Editorial Board coordinates and supervises the research and writing development for all JHTL staff members. Staff members are selected through the summer write-on competition, and membership is open to all students who qualify, not just those concentrating in Intellectual Property.

A unique feature of JHTL as a Suffolk Law Honor Board is its ability to publish all articles online, which allows members to publish their materials while still at Suffolk. Making articles available on Westlaw, Lexis, and the JHTL Web site allows members of the legal community direct access to our timely articles, notes, and case comments.

For more information about the JHTL, please contact us at jhtl@jhtl.org.

If you are interested in submitting an Article for publication, please review our policy on Article Submissions.

Welcome to JHTL

Verizon’s Internet Throttling: Customer Service Mix-Up or Part of the Net Neutrality Debate?

In light of Verizon’s recent Internet service throttling incident, lawmakers have begun to explore how the early-June rollback of net neutrality may have impacted these events. When Verizon slowed California firefighters’ Internet service in the midst of efforts to contain the giant Mendocino Complex fire, it raised issues of whether net neutrality could have prevented this slowdown and whether the FTC is in a position to take action to disincentivize similar conduct from companies like Verizon. This blog discusses these issues and introduces the ways in which lawmakers have begun to address them moving forward.

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Is Facebook Preventing Grandma from Getting a Job?

Recruiting techniques of employers have become more sophisticated with technology. Social media is an ideal platform to target the demographic a company is looking for in an ideal candidate. The level of automation in targeting that candidate prevents potentially qualified persons from ever seeing the ad. How ethical (and legal) is this practice?

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When Gun Control Becomes a First Amendment Issue

Defense Distributed is a Texas-based, non-profit organization that develops digital blueprints of firearms. On August 1, 2018, Defense Distributed scheduled the release of firearm schematics to the general public. These schematics allowed any buyer to download and print real firearms using any three dimensional “3D” printer. The U.S. government ordered the blueprints to be taken down in 2013 after they were distributed for free. Founder of the organization, Cody Wilson, filed suit in 2015 citing the First Amendment.

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InfoWars, Defamation, and Social Media Companies

Alex Jones, the founder of “Infowars” who claimed the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a hoax, has faced a series of defamation lawsuits from the parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Now that a federal judge in Jones’ home state of Texas has ruled that at least two of the lawsuits adequately state a claim for defamation, some commentators have asked whether social media companies could also be held liable because they were aware Jones was spreading defamation on their platforms. While a social media companies’ knowing failure to remove defamation could satisfy the prima facia case for defamation under traditional tort law, Section 230 of the federal “Communications Decency Act” gives social media platforms total immunity from litigation arising out of defamation created by website users.

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Book review

2015 – 2016

Anticipating Child Exploitation due to Blurred Boundary Lines by Media and Society

Written by Holly A. Smith and reviewed by Angelica Diaz

e-Discovery: The Untold Story of my Quest for Justice

Written by Laura A. Zubulake and reviewed by Caroline Murphy

Podcasts

In conjunction with Suffolk Law’s Intellectual Property Concentration, and under the guidance of Professor Andrew Beckerman-Rodau, JHTL produces a series of podcasts on topical issues of law, technology, and IP:

Introduction Podcast

Welcome to the JHTL Podcast 2015-2016 series! In this episode we introduce the creators and interviewers Jerry Chapin, Andrew Glenny, and Olivia Vaché, all students at Suffolk University Law School interested and/or studying technology in law.

JHTL Blog
  • Verizon’s Internet Throttling: Customer Service Mix-Up or Part of the Net Neutrality Debate?
    In light of Verizon's recent Internet service throttling incident, lawmakers have begun to explore how the early-June rollback of net neutrality may have impacted these events. When Verizon slowed California firefighters' Internet service in the midst of efforts to contain the giant Mendocino Complex fire, it raised issues of whether net neutrality could have prevented this slowdown and whether the FTC is in a position to take action to disincentivize similar conduct from companies like Verizon. This blog discusses these issues and introduces the ways in which lawmakers have begun to address them moving forward.
  • Is Facebook Preventing Grandma from Getting a Job?
    Recruiting techniques of employers have become more sophisticated with technology. Social media is an ideal platform to target the demographic a company is looking for in an ideal candidate. The level of automation in targeting that candidate prevents potentially qualified persons from ever seeing the ad. How ethical (and legal) is this practice?
  • When Gun Control Becomes a First Amendment Issue
    Defense Distributed is a Texas-based, non-profit organization that develops digital blueprints of firearms. On August 1, 2018, Defense Distributed scheduled the release of firearm schematics to the general public. These schematics allowed any buyer to download and print real firearms using any three dimensional “3D” printer. The U.S. government ordered the blueprints to be taken down in 2013 after they were distributed for free. Founder of the organization, Cody Wilson, filed suit in 2015 citing the First Amendment.
  • InfoWars, Defamation, and Social Media Companies
    Alex Jones, the founder of “Infowars” who claimed the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a hoax, has faced a series of defamation lawsuits from the parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Now that a federal judge in Jones’ home state of Texas has ruled that at least two of the lawsuits adequately state a claim for defamation, some commentators have asked whether social media companies could also be held liable because they were aware Jones was spreading defamation on their platforms. While a social media companies’ knowing failure to remove defamation could satisfy the prima facia case for defamation under traditional tort law, Section 230 of the federal “Communications Decency Act” gives social media platforms total immunity from litigation arising out of defamation created by website users.
  • Is the fear of identity theft enough to establish Article III standing in the wake of a data breach?
    The 9th Circuit recently held that fear of identity theft in the wake of a data breach satisfies the requirements of Article III standing of the Constitution despite the Supreme Courts holding in Clapper v. Amnesty. The District Court relied on Clapper's holding that the fear of future harm be certainly impending, which they determined to be the case since the customers at issue faced a substantial risk of identity theft, as determined at the time of filing of the complaint, regardless of whether the plaintiff's actually experienced harm at the time of trial. The 9th Circuit joins the District of Columbia, Sixth and Seventh circuits in allowing data breach class actions versus the Eight and Fourth Circuits, which have taken a narrower approach.
  • BUMP STOCKS WHY ARE THEY LEGAL?
    Technological advances are seen most of the time as breakthroughs for society, advancing some aspect of our human lives. This has not always been a proven the case. There are pieces of technology that without an appropriate control or regulation can generate devastating consequences. Bump stocks are a relatively new piece of technology that when attached to a legal semi-automatic weapon increases the fire velocity of the gun turning the gun into a quasi-fully automatic weapon. Under current Federal law and, the National Firearms Act and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulations these devices are not regulated and therefore accessible without restriction to the public.
  • Are We In For a “Cloudy” Day When It Comes To Data Privacy?
    The CLOUD Act was just approved in both the House and Senate. Using the CLOUD Act, U.S. law enforcement officials at any level, from local police to federal agents, can force tech companies to turn over user data regardless of where the company stores the data. Specifically, it involves data stored in foreign jurisdictions. The U.S. can enter into bilateral information sharing agreements with foreign countries that would give both parties access to data stored within their borders. Some believe this act would have adverse effects to pending litigation as well as the future of our privacy.
  • The Awkward Conversation
    In an effort to reduce confusion during intimate encounters, app developers are introducing affirmative consent applications. Recent movements such as #timesup and #metoo are propelling affirmative consent to the forefront.
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