Addison Cameron-Huff, Blockchain Lawyer

Thoughts and opinions of a Toronto-based cryptocurrency lawyer who's worked in the industry since 2014.

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Securing Your Files with AES Encryption

My law practice is stored in an encrypted disk image. Encrypting your practice files is like locking your files in a bank vault.

How does it work? A disk image is like a directory but when it's opened it requires a password. Once opened the directory will be available until you eject it (like a CD).

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Guarding Against The Right Threats: ACH and Wire Transfers

Large law firms should assume that their systems have been compromised by hackers. Whether the danger is state espionage (e.g. Potash hacking of Bay St.), "Anonymous" or cybercriminals in California, firms are either currently being exploited or about to be.

Obviously guarding the front line (i.e. lawyer/assistant computers) is important but generally front line computers aren't the real target. Often the targets of hackers are wire and ACH transfer systems (viz. payroll).

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Law Firm Security Tip: Air Gap

Law firms often have accounting departments with access to wire transfer capabilities through online banking. There is a risk with these systems of infection with malware (i.e. keyloggers) and then unauthorized wire transfers of hundreds of thousands of dollars. A Toronto firm in 2012 had a "six figure loss" from this type of attack. These attacks are likely just the tip of the iceberg because law firms don't like to admit to having had trust funds stolen.

A good solution to the problem of attacks on accounting computers is to air gap them. The strategy is to provide a dedicated computer with a separate internet connection for wire transfers. Having a separate computer (and internet) means that any infections on the network or in an email attachments can't affect the banking computer. This method would have prevented the two attacks linked to above (and virtually any other kind of attack).

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Presenting on "Cyber Crime and Your Practice" (LSUC PD)

I'll be presenting on the 29th of January on the topic of "Cyber Crime and Your Practice" (professional development credit).

I'm honoured to be presenting with Alex Cameron (Faskens), Mark Hayes (Heydary Hayes) and George Takach (McCarthy Tetrault).

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Queen's Law Reports Publishes Article About OntarioMonitor

I was covered in an article in Queen's Law Reports, the alumni magazine for Queen's Law. Here's the relevant page and you can read the whole issue here.

The article is a bit dated because this is from an interview I did in the summer before I started my law practice. Since the article was written I opened my own practice, created, and

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EUAlerts Has Launched! has launched! It's the culmination of a fair bit of work over the last couple months and I'm excited to see where it goes.

EUAlerts is the first keyword-based government monitoring service for the European Union. The service works by monitoring for client keywords and then when they're found in new laws the client gets an email with excerpted sections and highlighted keywords.

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Uber Hires Lobbyists in Alberta

Uber (traditional cab competitor from San Francisco) has hired a lobbying firm in Calgary.

New West Public Affairs will be lobbying Municipal Affairs and the Justice & Solicitor General for changes to the Municipal Government Act and Traffic Safety Act. Presumably they'll be trying to deregulate the taxi industry in Edmonton & Calgary.

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Great Cross-Browser Testing Tools

If you've ever had to do cross-browser testing you're probably familiar with screenshot tools like Browser Shots (it's great and free).

I highly recommend checking out BrowserStack if you have to do any kind of interactive testing (e.g. Javascript, drop-down menus, etc.). I used it a few weeks ago for a project and it was easy + free.

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Ontario Considering Driverless Car Testing Regulation

Ontario is considering allowing autonomous vehicle testing (as is being done in Nevada & California by Google). The regulation that's being considered will allow for a five year testing period. Although the cars will be autonomous, they'll have to have a driver ready to take over immediately.

No driving systems that are "homebuilt conversions" will be allowed.

Read the rest of this post Written Up in Canadian Lawyer Magazine Blog was written up yesterday on the blog of Canadian Lawyer Magazine/Law Times.

The mention on their site caused about 50 extra people to visit the site (although it was published late Friday afternoon).

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Enforceability of Terms of Use (an HTML5 presentation)

I've created a presentation about terms of use and best practices for ensuring enforceability.

It works best in Chrome & Firefox: “Terms of Use: Best Practices for Enforceability”

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Online license agreements usually have warranties that are WRITTEN ENTIRELY IN CAPITAL LETTERS. This is an anachronism from the typewriter era that should be avoided according to the 9th Circuit, a leading author on contracts drafting and the deputy GC of Wikipedia.

The reason why people use all caps is a section of the UCC, an American law that codifies sales law (similar to the Sale of Goods Acts in Canada). You can read more about it here.

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SSH Keys Made Easy

Here's an easy guide for getting SSH keys set up for SSH/rsync connections to your web server:

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Converting PDFs with PHP

In order to create I had to figure out how to convert PDFs to HTML using PHP.

The trick is to use a Java program called pdfbox and run it from the shell using PHP:

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Tips for Hiring a Tech Lawyer

Here are a few questions to ask when hiring a technology lawyer:

1. Does the lawyer have a website? I wouldn't hire one who doesn't. A decent website is quite affordable in 2013 (check Craigslist!).

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The IT.CAN Conference Is Great

A week and a half ago I attended the 17th annual IT.CAN conference. The conference was more educational than I expected (i.e. less networking). Although the IT/tech bar is a fairly small group of people the conference was still accessible and open to new people like myself.

I wish I had attended IT.CAN as a student because it would have opened my eyes to the areas of practice within tech. I strongly recommend it to anyone considering the field (and there's a very cheap student rate).

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I Was Quoted in the Globe and Mail Today

I was quoted in a Globe and Mail article written by David Israelson.

The article is about Suncor's social media strategy. Here's what I had to say:

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FlatLaw: Betakit Article

My legal marketplace, was written up today on Betakit. You can read the article here.

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What Does Small Claims Court Cost? What Can I Expect to Win?

It's difficult to estimate what a case is worth. There are many variables and it's impossible to provide an exact figure but it's helpful to consider ballpark numbers (especially for settlement offers). The calculator below gives an idea of what a small claims court case could cost and what a plaintiff could get out of it (expected value).

Warning: this calculator makes a lot of assumptions and is a simplified model that overstates the odds of success (for a few reasons, such as judges not awarding the full amount claimed, non-payment by defendants [a $0 "win"], etc.). It does not include HST.

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The Ontario Court System's Secret Audio Recordings

As of a few months ago, all Ontario court proceedings are being recorded but the files are hidden from the public through court procedures.

Theoretically Ontario courts follow the "open court" principle (see e.g. Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. v. Ontario). The public is supposed to be able to see justice be done.

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There are hundreds more blog posts to read, going back to 2013:
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