What is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act?

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) is a federal statute that was enacted to expand or revise the federal wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping provisions. One of its objectives was to promote the citizen’s reasonable expectation of privacy and law enforcement agency’s legitimate needs. It has amended the Wiretap Act, and created the Stored Communications Act and Pen Register Act. It provides guidelines for law enforcement agency’s access to information. Now, pursuant to the Stored Communications Act, the government can access stored information without a warrant. It also allows the issuance of a National Security Letter (“NSL”) to compel the disclosure of basic subscriber information. What is Encryption?

Encryption is the procedure to convert information from its original form – which is called plaintext – to another form that’s known as ciphertext. It’s a cryptographic method to scramble the original information to another undetectable form. It’s used to block access to sensitive information, including, but not limited to, financial information, intellectual properties, and trade secrets.

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What is Fair Use?

Fair use is a way of using a protected intellectual property without having to pay or seek permission from its owner. This can apply to trademarks or copyrights, with different requirements. Trademarks, for example, may be used nominatively (e.g., comparative advertising) and determining fair use may include factors such as the likelihood of confusion.

For copyrighted material, fair use is determined by balancing the purpose of the work (e.g., commercial or non-commercial), nature of the copyrighted work, economic impact of the new work, and amount of the protected work taken by the third party. Ultimately, this latter example of fair use tends to be complicated and difficult to predict without proper legal analysis.

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What is a Firewall?

A firewall is a hardware device or software program that is configured in a way to block incoming network traffic. It is designed to prevent unauthorized access into the local area network. Firewall devices are designed to block access to a secure network infrastructure.

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What is Hacking?

In general, hacking is defined as the unauthorized intrusion into an electronic communication device, including, but not limited to, computers, servers, and smart devices. It is the illegal act of gaining access to another person’s computers with the intent to steal property or cause financial damages. The hackers may use password crackers to gain access to computers.

In California, Penal Code Section 502 makes hacking a crime. There is also a federal statute known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA") that’s codified under 18 U.S.C. Section 1030. In essence, it’s a pseudo civil-criminal federal statute that allows for private lawsuits.

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What is a Honeypot?

A honeypot is an intrusion detection or prevention system that is configured to detect, deflect, or defuse a third-party’s attempt to gain unauthorized access into a computer. It can be setup as a trap that the computer expert sets against the malicious hacker to obtain identifying information. It is meant to mimic a cyberattack target for the malicious hackers.

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What is an Intrusion Detection System?

An intrusion detection system allows the user to monitor the network and detect unauthorized or malicious activities. This special system helps the user prevent intruders from infiltrating the network infrastructure. It can be installed on stand-alone computers or network servers. It is different from a firewall which inherently prevents intrusions according to preset rules. However, intrusion detection systems detect the unauthorized intrusions and send notice to the user or network administrator.

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What is Internet Defamation?

Defamation is statement that harms the reputation of someone else. Internet Defamation is an online statement that harms the reputation of someone else (e.g., statement made in an email, on a blog, through chatting or other online communication system).

Courts have to balance the reputation of one person with the free speech rights of the other. Statements have to be repeated to at least another third person and must have caused damage. There are two forms of defamation: Libel and Slander.

Libel involves the publishing of a falsehood that harms someone. Slander is the same doctrine applied to the spoken word. Collectively, they are referred to as defamation. Both fall under the jurisdiction of individual states, which usually require the falsehood to be intentional.

Definition of libel in California:

Libel is a false and unprivileged publication by writing, printing, picture, effigy, or other fixed representation to the eye, which exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy, or which causes him to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation.

Slander is a false and unprivileged publication that is orally uttered. See below

Statutes: California Civil Code Sections 45, 45a and 46 define defamation as follows:

Section 45. Libel is a false and unprivileged publication by writing, printing, picture, effigy, or other fixed representation to the eye, which exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy, or which causes him to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation.

Section 45a. A libel which is defamatory of the plaintiff without the necessity of explanatory matter, such as an inducement, innuendo or other extrinsic fact, is said to be a libel on its face. Defamatory language not libelous on its face is not actionable unless the plaintiff alleges and proves that he has suffered special damage as a proximate result thereof. Special damage is defined in Section 48a of this code.

Section 46. Slander is a false and unprivileged publication, orally uttered, and also communications by radio or any mechanical or other means which:

(1) Charges any person with crime, or with having been indicted, convicted, or punished for crime;
(2)Imputes in him the present existence of an infectious, contagious, or loathsome disease;
(3) Tends directly to injure him in respect to his office, profession, trade or business, either by imputing to him general disqualification in those respects which the office or other occupation peculiarly requires, or by imputing something with reference to his office, profession, trade, or business that has a natural tendency to lessen its profits;
(4) Imputes to him impotence or a want of chastity; or 5. Which, by natural consequence, causes actual damage.

Section 47. A privileged publication or broadcast is one made:

(a) In the proper discharge of an official duty.

(b) In any (1) legislative proceeding, (2) judicial proceeding, (3) in any other official proceeding authorized by law, or (4) in the initiation or course of any other proceeding authorized by law and reviewable pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1084) of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, except as follows:

(1) An allegation or averment contained in any pleading or affidavit filed in an action for marital dissolution or legal separation made of or concerning a person by or against whom no affirmative relief is prayed in the action shall not be a privileged publication or broadcast as to the person making the allegation or averment within the meaning of this section unless the pleading is verified or affidavit sworn to, and is made without malice, by one having reasonable and probable cause for believing the truth of the allegation or averment and unless the allegation or averment is material and relevant to the issues in the action.

(2) This subdivision does not make privileged any communication made in furtherance of an act of intentional destruction or alteration of physical evidence undertaken for the purpose of depriving a party to litigation of the use of that evidence, whether or not the content of the communication is the subject of a subsequent publication or broadcast which is privileged pursuant to this section. As used in this paragraph, "physical evidence" means evidence specified in Section 250 of the Evidence Code or evidence that is property of any type specified in Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 2031.010) of Title 4 of Part 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(3) This subdivision does not make privileged any communication made in a judicial proceeding knowingly concealing the existence of an insurance policy or policies.

(4) A recorded lis pendens is not a privileged publication unless it identifies an action previously filed with a court of competent jurisdiction which affects the title or right of possession of real property, as authorized or required by law.

(c) In a communication, without malice, to a person interested therein, (1) by one who is also interested, or (2) by one who stands in such a relation to the person interested as to afford a reasonable ground for supposing the motive for the communication to be innocent, or (3) who is requested by the person interested to give the information. This subdivision applies to and includes a communication concerning the job performance or qualifications of an applicant for employment, based upon credible evidence, made without malice, by a current or former employer of the applicant to, and upon request of, one whom the employer reasonably believes is a prospective employer of the applicant. This subdivision authorizes a current or former employer, or the employer's agent, to answer whether or not the employer would rehire a current or former employee. This subdivision shall not apply to a communication concerning the speech or activities of an applicant for employment if the speech or activities are constitutionally protected, or otherwise protected by Section 527.3 of the Code of Civil Procedure or any other provision of law.

(d) (1) By a fair and true report in, or a communication to, a public journal, of (A) a judicial, (B) legislative, or (C) other public official proceeding, or (D) of anything said in the course thereof, or (E) of a verified charge or complaint made by any person to a public official, upon which complaint a warrant has been issued. (2) Nothing in paragraph (1) shall make privileged any communication to a public journal that does any of the following: (A) Violates Rule 5-120 of the State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct. (B) Breaches a court order. (C) Violates any requirement of confidentiality imposed by law.

(e) By a fair and true report of (1) the proceedings of a public meeting, if the meeting was lawfully convened for a lawful purpose and open to the public, or (2) the publication of the matter complained of was for the public benefit.

Finding Anonymous Message Posters

Most people will not know who is posting the anonymous messages. The Law Office of Salar Atrizadeh knows how to find out that information. We can file the complaint even before knowing the name of the defendant, and then use the court's subpoena powers to get the information we need. The Statute of Limitation for defamation is just one year, so it is important to file the complaint before the deadline, even if the identity of the perpetrator is still unknown.

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What is Internet Marketing?

Internet marketing also referred to as i-marketing, web marketing, online marketing, or e-Marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet. The Internet has brought media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Internet marketing in terms of providing instant response and eliciting responses is a unique quality of the medium. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to have a broader scope because it not only refers to the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media, but it includes management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems. (See

Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including: design, development, advertising, and sales.

Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies.

Disputes may arise as to any of the above-referenced services and products. Our law firm is designed to protect you against foreseeable disputes and events. We have experience with disputes regarding the World Wide Web, E-commerce, and other technologies.

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What is an Internet Protocol Address?

An Internet Protocol (“IP”) address is a unique identifier of a computer. There are two main type of IP address. First, there is a dynamic IP address that is temporary in nature and assigned from a pool of available IP addresses within a network system. Second, there is a static IP address that won’t change since it is only assigned to a specific computer.

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What is Malware?

Malware comprises of malicious software that is designed to cause damage to an electronic communication device. It is capable of infiltrating and extracting information from computers. It includes botnets, ransomware, scareware, spyware, viruses, and worms.

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What is Network Forensic?

Network forensics is a component of digital forensics which is a scientific process of monitoring and analyzing information in order to detect a security breach. A network forensic examiner will use special tools, including, but not limited to, software or hardware devices to assess a computer to determine when, where, how, or why they were compromised without authorization.

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What is Phishing?

Phishing is one kind of cybercrime where the culprits pose as legitimate companies or enterprises in an effort to extract valuable information from their victims. For example, they gain access to the victim’s social media accounts and obtain personal information. In some cases, they send out emails posing as the victim’s bank and provide instructions to lure their victims.

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What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization (a/k/a “SEO”) refers to a process where websites are made easier to find and ranked higher in various search engines. This marketing strategy makes use of information on how people use search engines, website coding, and a number of other things to increase a website’s visibility without paying for improved rankings.

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What is Spam?

The general definition for spam is unsolicited bulk messages that are transmitted to the recipients without their request or permission. They are unsolicited commercial electronic messages that are transferred to the recipients through bulk messages. The senders transmit thousands of unwanted messages to the recipients in an effort to collect information, disseminate malware, or commit online fraud. There are state and federal laws that prohibit the transmission of spam across computer networks.

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What is TOR?

TOR which is also referred to as “The Onion Router” is a free and open-source software that allows anonymous communications. The TOR project is a non-profit organization that engages in research and development in internet privacy. This technology is designed to prevent the government or other third parties from finding the user’s location or tracing online activities. It bounces the user and website traffic through relays that are operated by volunteers to make it difficult to identify the information’s source or the user’s location.

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What is Trademark or Servicemark?

A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device which is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A servicemark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms "trademark" and "mark" are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and servicemarks. Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks which are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the Patent and Trademark Office. The registration procedure for trademarks and general information concerning trademarks is described in a separate pamphlet entitled "Basic Facts about Trademarks".

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What is Virus Protection Scam?

Virus protection scam is one kind of fraud that the culprit attempts to persuade the victim to purchase fake software or download malware (i.e., malicious software) onto the victim’s computer. The malware may potentially give remote access to the victim’s computer. It’s also referred to as the “computer repair scam” where the victim receives fake calls from individuals who claim to be part of the technical support team of reputable companies.

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What is Vishing?

Vishing is one kind of fraud that the culprit makes phone calls or sends text messages to the victim in order to obtain personal or financial information from the victim. This type of fraudulent activity is executed to induce the victims to disclose confidential information that may be used to perpetrate other illegal actions – e.g., identity theft.

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What is Website Defacement?

Website defacement is one kind of attack on another person’s website that alters or replaces the website’s content without the owner’s knowledge or consent. The attack is conducted by breaking into the victim’s web server and replacing the hosted website by using tools like cross-site scripting, code injection, or phishing. The attack may cause changes to the visual appearance of the website and is usually intended to disrupt the website’s operations. There are several ways to protect against this attack. For example, conduct security audits and penetration testing. Also, learn how to defend your website against cross-site scripting and SQL injection attacks. There are also defacement monitoring and detection tools on the market.

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What are Website Terms & Conditions?

Website terms and conditions are agreements between the company and its users. So, every time you enter a website there are certain terms and conditions accompanied with its usage. For example, they include terms and conditions regarding ownership, community guidelines, usage, age limits, account access, privacy practices, warranties, and limitations on liability. Usually, the website owner or webmaster includes a link that displays certain terms and conditions associated with usage such as disclaimers.

It is important to understand and comply with the terms and conditions as long as they are within the general industry standards and associated state or federal rules. Our law firm can assist if you have questions about your legal rights. Moreover, if you are involved in a legal dispute that arises from website terms and conditions, we can assist in its resolution. Please visit our blog by visiting where we provide helpful information.

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What is a Wrap Agreement?

Wrap agreements, like clickwraps and browsewraps, both derive their origins from “shrinkwrap” agreements, where opening the shrink-wrapped product qualified as agreeing to the enclosed terms. However, these agreements rely on digital actions, either by continued use, or progression to a certain area on the website in browsewraps, or by clicking on a checkbox in case of clickwraps.

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