April 2018 Sections Update

  • April 01, 2018

Criminal Justice Nanaimo

Technology has come a long way in the past 50 years, and so too has the way we use it. Paramount in crime scene investigations is accuracy and attention to detail, and with the advent of new technologies, crime scene investigators have taken leaps in ensuring precise collection and analysis of evidence. The LEICA 3D is a new tool that the RCMP on Vancouver Island has added to its toolkit for documenting crime scenes. On November 16, 2017, the Criminal Justice – Nanaimo Section welcomed Cpl. Chamberlain Zayonc of the Nanaimo Forensic Identification Section and Nanaimo Crown Counsel Frank Dubenski, to discuss the advantages of this tool in crime scenes and issues concerning its use at trial respectively. Cpl. Zaynoc explained the comprehensive functions and use of this technology: how it creates detailed 3D representations of crime scenes, and how photographs of a crime scene can be merged with scanned data and geolocation tags. The LEICA 3D has proved to be particularly useful for firearm projectile trajectory analysis, blood spatter analysis, and establishing witnesses’ lines-of-sight. As there is currently only one LEICA 3D machine on Vancouver Island (out of Nanaimo IDENT), it is primarily being used for serious persons offences, such as murder, manslaughter and serious assaults/sex-assaults. Following Cpl. Zayonc, Nanaimo Crown Counsel Frank Dubenski discussed issues with the use of this technology at trial, such as disclosure, practical issues with using features of the technology in court, marking electronic images as exhibits, and providing electronic access to juries, who may then have access to measurements or parts of the scene that were not put before the court
as evidence.

Business Law and Securities Law

In its simplest form, blockchain is a decentralized technology within which transactions are anonymously recorded, and as such, poses legal implications for the use of blockchain technology in business. On November 21, 2017, the Business Law and Securities Law Sections welcomed Ron Segev, Partner at Segev LLP, who discussed the commercial elements of blockchain technology and transactions, including how smart contracts and tokens/coins can be used to create more efficient transactions and markets. Zach Masum, head of the technology team at the British Columbia Securities Commission, discussed some of the securities law implications of blockchain, including those discussed in CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offerings, such as coin and token offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency investment funds. James Leong, Senior Legal Counsel, British Columbia Securities Commission, discussed two recent examples of transactions where securities law exemptions were granted for participants in the blockchain space.

Immigration Law

The Annual Immigration Law Conference on February 28, 2018 welcomed Kyle Hyndman of McCrea Immigration Law as one of its panelists this year. Kyle discussed technology and the advantages of its use in your practice. Kyle identified the importance of data security and privacy, and of conducting an internal audit annually of your data security measures. Leaving attendees with a tip, he highlighted that when you’re sending information to and from clients, assume regular email accounts can be easily hacked. As such, avoid sending highly confidential information by regular email, but instead use file transmission systems with advanced encryption, such as Citrix Share File or other similar systems. Kyle remarked in regards to “cloud and local networks, if you’re on the cloud, data security becomes the primary responsibility of your provider, but it’s always your responsibility to make sure that the right protocols are in place.” Following this line of thought, with respect to having your electronic devices searched at border crossings, if asked, people are required to provide passwords to their electronic devices and failure to do so can lead to having it confiscated or you being detained. You can avoid this by removing all sensitive data from your devices. If your data is on the cloud it would not be on your phone, but if you are using a local server, you may need to remove any such data in order to ensure privacy.

General Practice Lower Mainland

Hackers have become smarter in how they get access to confidential firm data. They can insert ransomware to render your firm networks unable to function, demanding ransom to get access to your data back. On March 1, the General Practice – Lower Mainland Section welcomed Andre Coetzee, Director of i-Worx, and Brian Mauch, CEO of BMC Networks Inc., to discuss firms IT security. Brian expressed that there is no silver bullet that can protect you; no layer of protection is more than 99% effective. Espousing the use of multiple layers of security, Brian urged everyone to be vigilant in setting up anti-spam and anti-virus filters for emails, hardware firewalls, secure Internet gateways for outgoing traffic, dual factor authentication, and automated on-site and off-site backup. These measures are more effective if accompanied by scheduled, complex and unique passwords for your computers, smartphones and tablets, and by locking your devices following inactivity.