Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

Archive for October 3rd, 2007

Electronic Discovery is a Risky Business

Posted by rjbiii on October 3, 2007

Risky, at least, according to an article posted by Law Technology Today [free registration required to view]. DLA Piper partner Browning Marean writes of five risks associated with e-discovery:

  • The duty of competence;
  • Litigation Hold risks;
  • Ubiquitous Information Risks;
  • Budget and Project Management Risks;
  • Vendor Risks

I enjoyed the article, and think it provides an accurate, if very brief, synopsis of major risks associated with EDD. I especially agreed with the inclusion of the first and last of the items on the list, although all of them are valid. Model Rules of Conduct mandate that counsel provide competence and diligence during representation. That’s not just in the courtroom, but in all phases, including managing the process of preparing to go into the courtroom. That process includes having a certain level of knowledge on discovery rules, law, local court rules, as well as technology used for storage by clients and vendors to move data from collection through review to production.

Know your vendors and consultants. As I’ve urged in previous posts, use a solid process to select your vendors, and then monitor their progress during the project. Also, attorneys shouldn’t interfere with processes about which they know nothing. Before trying to drive, make sure those whom you trust are in agreement, or that you can at least articulate a solid counterpoint with respect as to why you went in a direction opposed by your expert.

Mr. Marean concludes with:

The growth of EDD and it attendant challenges represents one of the greatest tectonic shifts for the profession in the last 40 years. It will be interesting to watch when the law of unintended consequences intervenes. No crystal ball will provide clear answers, but the staggering costs associated with e-discovery are bound to have a profound effect on litigation. The challenge for bench and bar is to provide access to the courts at a reasonable cost. Right now the possibility of extortion by discovery is too real a prospect.

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Speech Recognition, Cheap and Easy

Posted by rjbiii on October 3, 2007

Web Worker Daily gives us the scoop:

Speech recognition has been positioned as the holy grail of computing for decades, but many people have found the off-the-shelf software solutions too prone to inaccuracies. That’s really changed with some of the newer products, though, and I’m now regularly using a digital voice recorder and Dragon Naturally Speaking software to do very accurate transcriptions of interviews and even television and radio segments, videocast segments and podcasts. If you spend a fair amount of time writing—even just writing e-mails—it’s worth looking into how accurate speech recognition is now.

Much of article, and the comments, focused on the promise of “faster than realtime” processing.

A comment made by one reader was intriguing:

Within 12 months, Dr. Rob A. Rutenbar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University believes he will have a system that can recognise 5,000 to 10,000 words in five to 10 times faster than real time… cool!

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UK Government can demand decryption of data

Posted by rjbiii on October 3, 2007

So says a new article posted by Ars Technica. What happens if you don’t? Trouble.

New laws going into effect today in the United Kingdom make it a crime to refuse to decrypt almost any encrypted data requested by authorities as part of a criminal or terror investigation. Individuals who are believed to have the cryptographic keys necessary for such decryption will face up to 5 years in prison for failing to comply with police or military orders to hand over either the cryptographic keys, or the data in a decrypted form.

The max sentence is reserved for terrorism cases; all other cases carry a two year maximum penalty. There has, of course, been plenty of criticism:

The law has been criticized for the power its gives investigators, which is seen as dangerously broad. Authorities tracking the movement of terrorist funds could demand the encryption keys used by a financial institution, for instance, thereby laying bare that bank’s files on everything from financial transactions to user data.

There’s some irony present, as well:

Yet the law, in a strange way, almost gives criminals an “out,” in that those caught potentially committing serious crimes may opt to refuse to decrypt incriminating data. A pedophile with a 2GB collection of encrypted kiddie porn may find it easier to do two years in the slammer than expose what he’s been up to.

The intent of the law is, undoubtedly, valid. How it may affect companies’ decisions with respect to housing data within the U.K. will only be seen as events unfold.

[HT: Slashdot]

Posted in Articles, Data Management, Encryption, Laws, Trends | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »