Thursday, May 19, 2011


The word most written on the Internet after the acronym, IANAL is "But." The acronym, if you're not familiar, stands for "I am not a lawyer." The author of the article, post, or blog will then go on to elaborate on a legal concept or issue.

The greatness of the Internet is that it allows anyone to be an expert on anything. And I'm not being sarcastic here. I really mean that.

One reason for this is that lawyers don't provide legal advice to individuals who aren't their clients. If they do give advice, then there is a danger that the individual who they gave the advice to will become their de facto client. This means the Internet is missing a wealth of advice from a whole profession...unlike other professions like Doctors who share medical advice in a variety of forums. The vacuum that lawyers leave is filled with the thoughts of others...sometimes with great insight. Unfortunately, you still need to go offline to get legal advice.

Another reason that lawyers don't give advice online is that an attorney needs to be licensed to practice in each state where they plan to work. If an attorney gives advice to an open forum across the country or across the world, he can be considered to be practicing in jurisdictions where he is not admitted to the bar. That's called malpractice (for all of you non-lawyers out there.)

All of this is to say that there is a wealth of information out there. This blog hopes to be educational on issues around information security (without giving legal advice, of course). Ultimately, I'd like to elevate the discussion around legal issues in information security, hacking, etc. by participating in the dialogue that is already happening. Hopefully someone finds it helpful and keeps the cycle going.

I am a lawyer (IAAL), but nothing that follows should be considered legal advice. What I write here should be for informational purposes only. I am not your attorney. Please consult one before making any big life decisions.