Jonathan W. Leeds
The objective of this article is to provide an overview
of legal issues involving the use of the Internet, with
a focus on commercial users of the Internet, such as merchants
and other businesses. Many of the issues discussed in
this article relate to areas that are common to different
nations and jurisdictions. Where applicable, reference
has been made to existing Thai law and proposed draft
legislation in Thailand. However, the law of the United
States has been referred to liberally, because the United
States is both the world leader in the technology behind
the Internet and also in terms of legislation and case
law relating to Internet law issues.
Liability and Exposure
of the Problem
and Privacy of Email: Often, persons may feel a false
sense of security when using email. Many believe that
email has assurances of privacy and confidentiality that
it does not in fact have. Every email sent is typically
copied in several places, including:
(b)the service provider's computer;
(c)the recipient's computer; and
(d)if one uses a commercial email provider, by that company's
system computer as well.
a result of this misplaced confidence in email, persons
may transmit communications that they would otherwise
be more cautious about sending.
Concerns: Employers' concerns include:
preventing their employees from leaking sensitive, confidential
or insider information;
(b)detecting employee theft and crime; and
preventing vicarious liability based on the tortious acts
of their employees.
groups and bulletin boards are a related problem: Chat
groups and bulletin boards are areas where Internet users
post messages in public forums concerning special areas
of interest. Employers have challenged employees posting
messages concerning their business's confidential information
on Internet chat groups and bulletin boards. Legal challenges
by employers have focused on breaches confidentiality
or the disclosure of trade or other commercial secrets.
Legal cases in the United States have involved suing chat
room service providers to disclose the identities of employees
posting sensitive information.