FTC v. PCCARE Inc., 12 civ-7189 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 3, 2013) is a very strange case because it shows how service of process might be altered and in what circumstances. In this case, the FTC wanted to be able to serve documents other than the Summons and Complaint via Facebook or e-mail. The Southern District of New York granted this request.
This is a very strange case. Generally, the Hague Service Convention has guidelines detailing how abroad defendants may be served. The Hague Service Convention doesn’t expressly authorize service on foreign defendants by email or social media accounts.
So why could you serve documents a foreign defendant over Facebook?
The court explained that “A court in this district has held that the Hague Service Convention only applies to the initial service of process, not subsequent documents.” See SEC v. Credit Bankcorp., Ltd., 2001 WL 666158, *4 (S.D.N.Y. Feb 14, 2011). In addition the court relied on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(f)(3), whereby it stated,
a Court may fashion means of service on an individual in a foreign county, so long as the ordered means of service (1) is not prohibited by international agreement; and (2) comports with constitutional notions of due process.” SEC c. Anticevix, 2009 WL 361739, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Fec. 13, 2009).
The court reasoned that federal courts need to keep an open mind about technology.
The court acknowledges that service by Facebook is a relatively novel concept, and that it is conceivable that defendants will not in fact receive notice by this means. But, as noted, the proposed service by Facebook is intended not as the sole method of service, but instead to backstop the service upon each defendant at his, or its, known email address. And history teaches that, as technology advances and modes of communication progress, courts must be open to considering requests to authorize service via technological means of then-recent vintage, rather than dismissing them out of hand as novel.
via FTC can serve foreign defendants via Facebook, federal judge rules – ABA Journal.
1. Use a Strong Password. You give out your email address all the time; it’s not really private information. That being the case, the only thing protecting your account from misuse is the password. A malefactor who guesses your too-weak password gains full control of your email account. Protect your account with a strong password, especially if you use a Web-based email provider like Gmail or Yahoo mail.
2. Beware Public PCs. If you check your email on a public computer in a library or Internet café, be absolutely sure you’ve logged out before leaving. Even then, you might be leaving behind traces that could give the next user too much information about you. Follow PCMag’s advice to Use Public Computers Safely.
3. Protect Your Address. It’s true that you give out your email address every time you send a message, but there’s no need to give it to the whole world. Don’t include your email address in comments on blog posts, or in social media posts. Spammers and scammers scrape pages all the time looking for new victims.
4. Lock It Up. If you step away from your desk, lock the Windows desktop or close your email client. Otherwise a sneaky co-worker could read your mail or even reset your login password. Hold the Windows key and press L to lock the desktop instantly.
5. Don’t Be Fooled. Oh, dear. Your email provider has sent you notification of a security breach, with a link to reset your password. Don’t click that link! It’s almost certainly a fraud, designed to steal your email account password. If you have any doubts, navigate to the email provider’s site directly and double-check.
6. Use Encryption. Sometimes you just have to send sensitive information by email. To keep your data safe, save it as a document and use your word processing application’s built-in encryption, or store the document in an encrypted ZIP file. Then share the password with the recipient separately. If you need encryption frequently, try a free email encryption product like PrivateSky or Enlocked.
via Six Tips for Protecting Your Email Privacy | PCMag.com.
US Senator Leahy proposes bill requiring warrants to search e-mails
US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a bill Tuesday amending the 25-year-old Electronic Communications and Privacy Act (EPCA), which he authored, to require the government to obtain a warrant before searching private e-mails and other data stored on an internet cloud. The bill removes the 180-day rule that only requires a warrant to search e-mails that are unopened and stored for less than 180 days.