1. May 15, 2017

    Ransomware: An Ever-Evolving Cyber Threat

    BY: Tiffany Tran, Cathie Fields

    Ransomware is a profitable criminal enterprise that continues to expand while targeting the education sector. Ransomware is a form of damaging software used by hackers to prevent or limit users from accessing the user’s own system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the files. It’s called ransomware because the attackers demand to […] more

  2. April 3, 2017

    Statements on Public Social Media Can Be Protected Under SLAPP Laws

    BY: Amy Estrada, Cathie Fields

    California’s SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) laws are intended to prevent litigation filed for the improper purpose of censoring, intimidating, or silencing critics. (Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16.)  A defendant in a lawsuit that may improperly silence his speech may file an “anti-SLAPP” motion in the case, designed to be an efficient and […] more

  3. March 22, 2017

    Publicly Accessible Online Content May Require Closed Captioning

    BY: Shawna McKee, Cathie Fields, Sharon Ormond

    Beginning in 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice investigated complaints against the University of California, Berkeley, that Berkeley’s free audio and video online content was not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. The primary complaint was filed by the National Association for the Deaf on behalf of members of the public who alleged they could […] more

  4. January 30, 2017

    New Schoolbus Safety Requirements Include Child-Alert Technology

    BY: Alyssa Ruiz de Esparza, Cathie Fields

    Senate Bill 1072, approved by the Governor in September 2016, brings to fruition efforts to guard against students being left unattended on a schoolbus. (Statutes of 2016, ch. 721.) By the 2018-2019 school year, schoolbuses and other qualifying vehicles must be equipped with an alarm system that essentially forces bus drivers to check the bus […] more

  5. August 18, 2016

    FCC Issues Declaratory Ruling on “Robocalls” and Text Messages Sent by Schools

    BY: Sharon Ormond, Lisa Allred, Shawna McKee, Theo Lieu

    The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991 to lessen the impact of calling practices that invade consumer privacy and threaten public safety.  One such intrusive calling practice is known as a “robocall.”  Robocalls are made either with an automated telephone dialing system (autodialer) or with a prerecorded or artificial voice.  The TCPA […] more

  6. March 7, 2016

    Mass Emailing Can Expose Employers to Defamation Liability

    BY: Alyssa Ruiz de Esparza, Cathie Fields

    On February 11, 2016, a federal district court in New York allowed a former executive to proceed with his defamation lawsuit against the company that terminated him. (McCusker v. Hibu PLC (E.D.N.Y. 2/11/16) 2016 WL 538472.) This lawsuit was spurred by the company’s circulation of a mass email informing all current employees, beyond senior management, […] more

  7. February 18, 2016

    Update on Department of Justice Website Accessibility Regulations

    BY: Cathie Fields

    On August 25, 2015, we discussed the U.S. Department of Justice’s expectation for making websites accessible to disabled individuals, even in advance of the DOJ issuing any accessibility regulations. (See “Department of Justice Accelerates Expectations for Website Accessibility”) Late last year the DOJ released its Fall Statement of Regulatory Priorities. The statement announced the DOJ […] more

  8. January 25, 2016

    Technical Difficulties with an Online Meeting Agenda Does Not Always Constitute a Brown Act Violation if the Meeting Proceeds

    BY: Scott Danforth, Jessica Armijo, Mark Bresee

    On January 19, 2016, the California Attorney General issued Opinion No. 14-1203, which concluded the Brown Act’s online agenda-posting requirement for regular meetings is not necessarily violated if the local agency’s website experiences technical difficulties (e.g., power failure, cyber-attack, or other third-party interference) that cause the agenda to become inaccessible to the public for a […] more

  9. January 5, 2016

    New Data Breach Notification Requirements Now in Effect

    BY: Sharon Ormond, Tina Kannarr, Lexe Davidson

    Materials distributed during our Education Law Technology Symposium in September 2015 included pending federal and state bills, the passage of which would affect colleges and universities, community colleges, and K-12 school districts in California. Governor Brown signed into law two bills mentioned in those materials, Senate Bill 570 and Assembly Bill 964, which relate to […] more

  10. December 18, 2015

    May Your Days Be Merry and Bright, and Your Drones be Registered for Flight

    BY: Sharon Ormond, Jacquelyn Takeda

    On December 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a “final interim rule” for registering unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, just in time for the holiday season.  (Note: Although the new rule goes into effect on December 21, 2015, the FAA has also created a second “notice and comment” […] more