What is Auction Fraud?

Auction fraud happens when the purported seller misrepresents material facts to the buyer. For example, the seller may defraud the buyer by not disclosing the truth about the product’s description, price, delivery date, or other material fact related to the transaction.

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What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communication technology that can be used to interconnect with electronic devices. The IEEE has standardized this technology as IEEE 802.15.1. Now, it is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group.

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What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing makes use of remote servers for processing and storage needs that individuals or companies may have as opposed to using local servers. The advantages of using cloud computing, include, data protection from local hardware failures, lower costs for data storage and management, and the ability to access files from anywhere.

There are few disadvantages associated with cloud computing, such as, limits on bandwidth which can be problematic when using the cloud for video and audio. The security of any data stored in these remote servers is in the hands of the service provider, which poses a major concern because sensitive information is unlawfully accessed more frequently these days.

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What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection provided under 17 U.S.C. Sections 101, et seq. to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works. This protection is available to published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the Copyright Act generally gives the copyright owner the exclusive right to do and authorize others to do the following:

  1. To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
  2. To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  3. To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  4. To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  5. To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
  6. In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description. It would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine.

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by copyright laws. However, these rights are not unlimited in scope. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One major limitation is the "Fair Use Doctrine" which carves out an exception to the rules. In other instances, the limitation takes the form of a "compulsory license" under which certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions.

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What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a way of obtaining funds from other individuals, without going through accredited investors. This can be achieved through equity crowdfunding or non-equity crowdfunding.

Equity crowdfunding is a new form of crowdfunding approved by the JOBS Act. It allows an entity to sell equity (e.g., corporate shares) to others. The JOBS Act then would allow unaccredited investors with lower income to invest a small percentage of their income in private companies. It also caps funding at one million dollars per year.

Non-equity crowdfunding is a form of crowdfunding where no equity in a company is given, but instead there are gifts or other non-monetary rewards for funding. This is commonly seen on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.

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What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying takes place when the victim, who is usually a minor, is targeted by known or unknown individuals on the internet. For example, the culprits may create a website under their victim’s name and post embarrassing comments or pictures. They may also send embarrassing emails to third parties and include their victim in those messages.

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What is Cybercrime?

A cybercrime takes place when an individual, or a group of individuals, use the internet, and related technologies, to instigate a crime. The criminals may initiate their actions in order to seek money from a third party. For example, they make steal the victim’s identity to open bank accounts or obtain loans.

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What is Cyberextortion?

Cyberextortion happens when the culprit communicates with the victim by using the internet and makes a threat against the victim unless money is paid beforehand.

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What is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking happens by using the internet to stalk, harass, or threaten the victim. It usually takes place by transmitting emails, text messages, or online posts. In some cases, the culprit creates a website to annoy, harass, intimidate, torment the victim.

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What is Cyberterrorism?

Cyberterrorism usually takes place for political, religious, or ideological reasons. The culprit uses computers, including, but not limited to, special software programs to target critical infrastructures in order to intimidate the government. In some cases, the culprit may cause financial damages to persuade a group (or state agency) to change its policies.

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What is Cyberwarfare?

Cyberwarfare takes place between state-sponsored groups in order to cause network disruption or other similar problems. The involved parties are usually government agents that use the internet to cause financial damages to other government agencies. In most cases, there is also an armed attack between the parties which includes physical attacks.

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What is Cyber law?

Cyber law is a term that encapsulates the legal issues related to use of communicative, transactional, and distributive aspects of networked information devices and technologies. It is less a distinct field of law in the way that property or contract are, as it is a domain covering many areas of law and regulation. Some leading topics include intellectual property, privacy, freedom of expression, and jurisdiction.

Our firm's expertise and accomplishments in these fields include:

  • Preparing royalty agreements for companies engaged in online training to establish the standards by which online content providers can assure ownership, distribution rights, copyrights, and trademark and copyrights to content.
  • Negotiating strategic marketing agreements with America Online for the provision of online impressions and cooperative cross-marketing of goods and services over the Internet and the parties' Web sites. This agreement addressed Internet-specific issues such as the creation, maintenance and ownership of Web site content, hyperlinks, Web site aesthetics and functionality; online advertising issues such as quantity, quality and placement of online impressions; brand names; consumer privacy; government regulation, and standard financial and legal terms and conditions.
  • Working with website developers, Internet service providers, and entrepreneurs so to obtain and protect domain names and website content.
  • Providing information about recently enacted Domain Name Dispute Policies and the Rules adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") for the implementation and enforcement of policies.
  • Providing information as to the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”). ACPA is also known as the Trademark Cyberpiracy Prevention Act and is codified under Title 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d). It relates to trademark infringement and Lanham Act violations.
  • Preparing Website disclaimers and "click-wrap" licenses to assist clients to protect their intellectual property and avoid costly disputes.

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What is Denial-of-Service?

A denial-of-service (also referred to as “DoS”) takes place when the culprit prevents the users from accessing a specific service. The attack is initiated by sending a significant amount of authentication requests which overwhelms the network resources and causes a disruption. Ultimately, the disruption prevents legitimate requests to come through the network system.

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What is Digital Currency?

A digital currency (also referred to as “cryptocurrency” or “virtual currency”) is a digital form of currency that has no physical form. It can be used as fiat currency to purchase products and services on the internet. A digital currency is unique and usually impossible to double spend it.

It is usually stored on a digital currency wallet and can be transferred between individuals by using special software. The digital currency wallets are special software programs that can securely store digital currencies for an indefinite period. A digital currency is created through mining in the blockchain system which is an automated public ledger of the transactions.

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What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) is a federal statute that includes five separate titles and imposes the following: It imposes rules prohibiting the circumvention of technological protection measures. It limits copyright infringement liability for online service providers. It expands an existing exemption for making copies of computer programs. It updates the rules and procedures for archival preservation. It mandates a study of distance education activities in networked environments. In addition, it mandates a study of the effects of anti-circumvention protection rules on the First Sale Doctrine.

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What is a Digital Signature?

Digital signatures are more complex e-signatures, relying on a form of encryption to ensure that the individual signing the contract is indeed that individual. It does so by creating two “encrypted keys,” one for the individual signing, and another for all other individuals.

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What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the address of a web site that is intended to be easily identifiable and easy to remember, such as, or These user-friendly addresses for websites help connect computers - and people - on the Internet. Because they are easy to remember and use, domain names have become business identifiers and, increasingly, even trademarks themselves, such as By using existing trademarks for domain names -, for example - businesses attract potential customers to their websites. (See

Domain name disputes arise largely from the practice of cybersquatting, which involves the pre-emptive registration of trademarks by third parties as domain names. Cybersquatters exploit the first-come, first-served nature of the domain name registration system to register names of trademarks, famous people or businesses with which they have no connection. Since registration of domain names is relatively simple and inexpensive - less than $100 in most cases - cybersquatters often register hundreds of such names as domain names.

As the holders of these registrations, cybersquatters often then put the domain names up for auction, or offer them for sale directly to the company or person involved, at prices far beyond the cost of registration. Alternatively, they often keep the registration and use the good name of the person or business associated with that domain name to attract business for their own sites.

There is no agreement within the Internet community that would allow organizations which register domain names to pre-screen the filing of potentially problematic names. The reasons vary ranging from allowing easy registrations to stimulate business to the practical difficulties involved in determining who holds the rights to a name or the principle of freedom of expression. The increasing business value of domain names has led to cybersquatting which may result in more disputes between the cybersquatters and businesses or individuals whose names have been registered in bad faith. Please visit the World Intellectual Property Organization's website for information on domain name dispute resolution services.

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What is E-commerce?

E-commerce is described in the American Heritage Dictionary, as “Commerce that is transacted electronically, as over the Internet.” Simply put, e-commerce is the online transaction of business, featuring linked computer systems of the vendor, host, and buyer. Electronic transactions involve the transfer of ownership or rights to use a good or service. Most people are familiar with business-to-consumer electronic business (B2C). Common illustrations include,,,, and

E-commerce can be divided into:

  • E-tailing or "virtual storefronts" on Web sites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall"
  • The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data e-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospects and established customers (for example, with newsletters)
  • Business-to-business buying and selling (B2B)

E-commerce Disputes

Disputes are inevitable in the course of the life of a business, whether online or offline. The business disputes which the enterprise may encounter include the following:

A) Contractual disputes

  • Disputes between the enterprise and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or web-hosting services provider, including disagreements over interruptions in service, breach in data security etc.
  • Business-to-business (B2B) disputes between the enterprise and its suppliers such as non-performance of contractual obligations, misrepresentations, and complaints from customers regarding services provided by suppliers.
  • Business-to-consumer (B2C) disputes between the enterprise and its customers such as non-payment for goods or services, non-performance of contractual obligations, poor performance of contract, misrepresentations, breach of the privacy policy, and breach of security of confidential information. It is between the enterprise and its customers that lies the greatest possible scope for disputes.

B) Non-contractual disputes

These are the common kinds of non-contractual disputes that may arise in an online enterprise.

  • Copyright - The enterprise might be liable for copyright infringement if it uses copyrighted material in excess of fair use, and without permission.
  • Data protection - The enterprise may be liable for sharing or revealing confidential data on customers, as discussed in the segment on Privacy.
  • Right of free expression - The enterprise may be subject to defamation suits for defamatory material posted online.
  • Competition law, Domain name disputes - The enterprise may be subject to trademark infringement suits if it infringes a registered or otherwise legally recognized trademark. If the enterprise has registered a domain name which corresponds to a registered or common law trademark, it may be subject to a complaint under ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), or the U.S. federal Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

Sites Where Dissatisfied Consumers May Report Internet Fraud

  • United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at for international e-commerce disputes. Consumers from any jurisdiction may file complaints involving fraud and similar activities involving online transactions with foreign companies.
  • United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at

    See "Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Internet Investment Scams" (October 1998) at

    An online complaint form is provided for online securities fraud. Go to

  • National Fraud Information Center, Internet Fraud Watch of the National Consumers League. A U.S. nationwide toll-free hotline for advice on telephone solicitations and how to report telemarketing fraud. The Internet Fraud Watch section provides tips and information on how to avoid fraud, protect privacy, and surf the Internet safely at

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What is Economic Espionage?

Economic espionage takes place when the culprit steals trade secrets (e.g., confidential or proprietary information) from a commercial enterprise for the benefit of a foreign government, instrumentality, or agent. So, it is usually conducted by foreign governments, or their agents, to obtain valuable information such as manufacturing techniques, or research and development secrets. These violations may take place by using special tools and resources like malware or other specialized software programs to infiltrate the victim’s computer network.

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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 an E-Signature?

Electronic signatures, or e-Signatures, are signatures for contracts you may execute on the web in order to indicate assent to a contract. This may be accomplished by using a check box or requiring an individual to type his/her name.

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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 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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