Showing posts with label internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label internet. Show all posts
, ,

Transparency fighters and the rejection of authority

Monday, December 20, 2010


What do whistleblowers, transparency fighters, file sharing activists and defectors have in common? They may all possess the same personality trait: a rejection of authority. According to Esther Dyson in project syndicate:



But you probably need to be a bit weird and callous to devote your life to transparency for others. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the imprisoned ex-CEO of what was Russia's largest oil company, is another example of a flawed, uncompromising person who challenged the flawed people in power and their unaccountability. Such people do not die for our sins; Rather, they sin on our behalf, so that we may live comfortably while they afflict the authorities at great personal risk and in disregard of (authorities' interpretation of) the law and sometimes even ethics.

Information is always used to impose and safeguard an established authority. Because knowledge is power, only the priest are allowed to read the scriptures. This is evident in the ancient Mayan civilization who restricts the ability of reading and writing into a small circle of elite class. The spread of the printing press in the European history allows the Bible to be studied by commoners and along with Luther’s writings, paves the way to protestanism, ending the Catholic church monopoly to human salvation in the Christian world. 
Within the psyche of these leakers – whistleblowers, journalists, spies-- whatever you wish to call them, is the hidden desire to achieve some sort of equilibrium and a resentment to authority. These people are anarchists.

, , , ,

e-democracia, Brazil’s Wiki Legislation Forum. What about Indonesia? (Wikislation)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wikislation is the term I used to describe bottom-up law making process using wiki. This has been implemented in one of Philipine’s region. Recently, Brazil came with the more sophiticated Wikislation idea through its website, e-democracia. 



The Techrepublic explains:


The program is a kind of crowdsourcing for legislative purpose. In particular, the e-Democracia website attracts and draws together the diffuse participation of individual citizens and minority groups. The main goal is to permit easier access to the decision-making process by citizens who are not associated with strong interest groups or corporations that usually lobby for access to the center of power in Brasilia where the national government is located.

e-Democracia is driven by a belief that the lawmaking process can benefit from the convergence of political representation and citizen participation in a virtuous cycle in which one model strengthens the other. The backbone of the initiative is its website (, which provides multiple participatory mechanisms with which citizens can:
• Share information about a problem that needs to be addressed by law;
• Identify and discuss possible solutions to the problem; and
• Draft the bill itself.


I argued in my 2006 article that crowdsourcing legislation will benefit from reduced information asymmetry and reduced cost for information interpretation. The concept and methodology for ‘wikislation’ is still far from perfect. But the tools are here. I consider that spending our legislative resources on bottom-up IT will also decrease the cost of deliberation and eventually, the cost of promulgation. To get a complete picture on the concept of wikislation, read and download my 2006 article titled “How Legislative Process Works in the Period of e-democracy”.

Legislation in the Period of e Democracy

, , ,

Indonesia Law Report to be archived by the Library of Congress

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good news and an honor for Indonesia law Report. I have received the following email from the Library of Congress:

The United States Library of Congress has selected your website for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to Legal Blawgs. The Library of Congress preserves the Nation's cultural artifacts and provides enduring access to them. The Library's traditional functions, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and the American people to foster education and scholarship, extend to digital materials, including websites.

With your permission, the Library of Congress or its agent will engage in the collection of content from your website at regular intervals over time and make this collection available to researchers both at Library facilities and, by special arrangement, to scholarly research institutions.  In addition, the Library hopes that you share its vision of preserving Internet materials and permitting researchers from across the world to access them.

Our Web Archives are important because they contribute to the historical record, capturing information that could otherwise be lost. With the growing role of the Web as an influential medium, records of historic events could be considered incomplete without materials that were "born digital" and never printed on paper.


The library of congress recently archive a number of high-quality blawgs. You can access them here. I have also accepted their proposal for off-site access. To know more about Library of Congress Web Archiving program, click here.

Hopefully, we can soon see Indolawreport to be listed there and accessible to everyone in the future. Happy blogging and participate in writing history!

, , , , ,

More on evernote for legal practice

Thursday, August 26, 2010



Here a list on what evernote can do to enhace your legal practice:

  1. As a blogging tool for legal bloggers (of course!)
  2. Research tool (collection of snippet and bookmarks) and digital filing cabinet.
  3. Customer relation management (CRM) tool
  4. Client tagging, note taking, auto forwarding from website contact form

I think evernote is good to be used for start-up lawfirms or those with SOHO (Small Office Home Office) practices. Recently I connected my inexpensive Lexmark s.305 Wi-FI printer to send scanned files (PDF or Pictures) directly to evernote so that it can sync with the system there. But if you have a scanner with autofeeder, I think it would be much faster and better to scan documents, deeds, contracts and all those boring stuffs :) No need to use expensive Knowledge Management softwares, its a waste of money!

Read our previous post: Evernote for Lawyers.

, , , , ,

Evernote for Lawyers

Wednesday, August 25, 2010



Many lawfirms are investing thousands of dollars for Knowledge Management software only to discover that their lawyers and workers find a hard time implementing it because they are not user-friendly. The reason why most KM software doesn’t work is because they are not embedded in your daily life; the inputs are tedious and time-consuming.


It’s time to liberate yourself. Someday you will quit working for that lawfirm and set-up your own (or do better things like enjoy your life) so you better have your own Knowledge Management system to satisfy your future need of information.


With evernote, you can write notes, clip web pages, take picture notes and voice notes directly from your desktop and mobile. Evernote has apps for ipads, blackberry, android and other OS. All of them are synced together in the cloud. The software is also equipped with integrated OCR (optical character recognition), so every text in the picture you take or document you scanned will be recognized. Some printers can also directly send scanned files to evernote.


Here’s a list of things that a lawyer can do with evernote:

  1. Take pictures of/scan business cards
  2. Use the voice note for interviews (using blackberry – silently :)
  3. Take a snapshot of important clauses
  4. Scan your meeting notes
  5. Scan legal documents
  6. Take pictures during site visit (and tag it in your project folder)

Evernote is linked with many other apps: your email (you can forward your mail to evernote), twitter and google reader, just to name a few. The most important of all: it’s free!
Click here to sign up.


Dropbox available for Blackberry!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Access your PC files using Dropbox for blackberry.


Dropbox is a tool for back-up and syncing files across computers. Now you can access files stored in your Dropbox using the blackberry app (beta). First of all, sign up for Dropbox here (if you click on that referral link you will get extra 250 MB). Secondly, download the jad file over the air (through your blackberry device) here.


Blackberry Splash




H.T. to: Mr.Bo

, ,

Good News Everyone: Join Dropbox and get 2.250 GB of free storage

Friday, July 16, 2010


In the previous posts, I explained two significant uses of Dropbox: to sync your MS Word Document across computers and sync your Endnote libraries, styles, filters and connections.  What I forgot to explain is what dropbox is all about.

This video explains it all:

File:Prof. Farnsworth.jpg
And, as Professor Farnsworth says: good news everyone, if you join through this referral, you will get 2.250 GB of free storage (and sync).

, , ,

Howto: Sync your Endnote libraries, styles, filters and connections using dropbox

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Hello again researchers!


Your Endnote contains the list of literatures and authorities you used for your research paper. It may also contain your research data itself, attached to the bibliography in endnote. For sure, you want it to be safe and if possible, retrievable from any location which has endnote software in it. The solution: store your endnote data in the cloud. If you use multiple computers, you might want to sync it as well so that every changes you made in one computer will be adjusted in the other. We’ll do this using dropbox.


The Three Main Folders

1. Install Dropbox.

2. Identify three main folders used in endnote: the styles folder, the filters folder and the connections folders. Click edit, preferences, folder locations. You will see three default path to folder locations.

3. Go to windows explorers, find the location of those three folders, copy them.

4. Go to your MyDropbox, create a new folder (e.g. Endnote) and paste them there in the new folder.

5. Now you need to return to your endnote, click edit, preferences, folder locations, select folder. Change the path into your new endnote folders in Dropbox.




The library file (ENL)


Normally, Endnote store your library file in MyDocuments/Documents. Go to windows explorer, find the *.enl files and copy them. Next, go to MyDropbox, paste them there (or you can paste it in your endnote folder in dropbox too, if you like). In order to change the default library location, do the following:
Click edit, preferences, libraries, open the specified libraries, click add open libraries, apply.



That’s it! Your endnote is in your dropbox now. You can work on your paper in any computer with endnote and dropbox installed. If you are using a new computer, don’t forget to adjust the paths of your endnote software into your dropbox folder.   

Related post:
Howto: Autosave your ms word doc in Dropbox

, , ,

Howto: Autosave your ms word doc in Dropbox


This is a tip to my fellow countrymen ph.d, master students, and anyone else working with MS-Word in multiple computers. As you know, dropbox is a tool to sync, store and (optionally) share your data in the cloud. It gives you a 2GB of storage capacity.

Now that’s too small for me since I consume at minimum 5 GB of space ( for my MS Office files and PDFs data) every 6 months. So I use dropbox in combination with other free cloud strorage facilities such as Skydrive (25 GB). I use dropbox only to sync and store my working files, which are mostly in MS-Word (well, occasionally lawyers use excell and visio too, but only occasionally!). The whole ms-word working files cost me less than 500 MB for one year. That should work for everyone too. Even if you manage to write and publish 50 papers in a month, that should count for less than 1 GB for the whole year! Bottomline: dropbox free 2 GB account would suffice for syncing your working files. But for your data, you may need additional backup storage from Skydrive.

Here’s how it work for MS Word:

MS Word 2003:

Click tools --- Options --- File Locations --- Modify




MS Word saves your working files in Document/My Document by default. In order to change this, click modify and point it to your MyDropbox folder (normally located in My Document).

For MS Word 2007, you need to click the Office Button, click Advanced, in the General section click File Locations, click Documents in the File types list,  click Modify and then point it to your MyDropbox location.

Done. Now there is no more need to copy-paste your file from your local computer to your MyDropbox folder. Just save it as usual, and it will store in the cloud, your local hard drive and sync with your other computers at the same time.

Later when I have time, I will provide you with a tutorial on how to sync your endnote files, libraries and styles across computers as well as storing it in the cloud, using Dropbox.

, , , ,

What does “BP” stand for?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Allrite mate, time for sum intermezzo. Here's a homework for you CSR and social media experts. That fake BPGlobalPR twitter account just crowdsource a disparaging quizz a few minutes ago. What does BP stand for? he asked. Well, here's a snippet of the answers:

, ,

Privacy concerns in cloud computing

Friday, May 28, 2010

In previous posts, I argue for the benefits of cloud computing for lawyers, lawfirms and government. However, cloud computing also posses some risks and the existing legal framework may not be adequate to tacke the problem. Read the recent ACLU publication (click on the image):

“Cloud computing”—the ability to create, store, and manipulate data through Web-based services—is growing in popularity. However, outdated laws and varying corporate practices mean that documents created and stored in the cloud may not have the same protections as the same documents stored in a filing cabinet or on a home computer. Can cloud computing services protect the privacy of their consumers? Do they? And what can we do to improve the situation?

HT @StephKimbro



Data Transfer, the DPR’s Style
6 Free collaboration tools for lawyers

, , , ,

Freedom of Information Law Web Tools

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy Freedom of Information Law Day!!!

Today, Indonesia embraces the new era of transparency by the entry into force of the FoI Law. This post will discuss exiting web tools used to enforce FoI regime around the world. The internet can be used to make transparency system more transparent! Here is how:

1. United Kingdom -- 

Whatdotheyknow is quite an ingenious web portal, designed to make transparency request transparent. This way, we will all know which government branches are lagging behind in processing their FoI. I've tried this system before and it works just perfectly. Have a look at my FoI request here.

2. United States -- acts as a database provider of the data in the US Government. For example, I want to know which factory in Nevada releases mercury. And here's the search result.

3. United States --

The US has several kinds of transparency laws. They have the Freedom of Information Act (as old as 1966) and they also have "Sunshine Laws". What are the differences? Well, the sunshine laws obligate public meetings for public officials. The law basically states that meetings for public services should not be held in secrecy, it should be held 'in the sunlight'. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, Justice Brandeis said, remember?

So, provides the software to keep record of those meetings. Have a look.

In the next posts, I will give you and update of another tools. Stay tune!

, ,

Google's exit and the Great FireWall of China

Monday, March 15, 2010

According to news agencies, it is very likely now that Google will exit China. A recent interview in the BBC revealed a targetted attack to gmail account owned by Chinesse Human Rights activists.

Will this triggers the creation of a new web-block? Will the future of the Chinese Web goes different way from the mainstream Internet? The Berlin wall did collapsed but the great firewall remains because the firewall has no direct effect on the Chinese economy. 

This could be the beginning of an entirely new internet culture.

, ,

Prita in New York Times

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Prita's story is now in New York Times:
PRITA MULYASARI became famous, as her lawyer put it, for going from “e-mail to jail.”
Her ordeal began when she sent an e-mail message complaining about the poor treatment she received at a hospital to 20 relatives, friends and co-workers. The message, forwarded from one mailing list to another, eventually fell into the hands of the hospital’s lawyers, who sued for defamation. In no time, Ms. Mulyasari, 32, a mother of two infants, found herself sharing a jail cell with murderers and facing six years in prison, seemingly yet another ordinary Indonesian caught up in one of the world’s most corrupt legal systems.

This will surely raises Omni Hospital's Public Relation budget. I have argued in my op-ed that bringing patients to court is not a good way of settling problems. The monetary damage caused by Prita's initial email to Omni's reputation is insignificant compared to the public relations disaster following her detention and trials. The public fund is used for trials and prosecution, Omni spent a lot of money (and time) to pay their lawyers and finance PR campaigns and the house of representative, the ministry of health and Tangerang mayor spent considerable time to act as a mediator to the case. In the end, nobody wins.

If only it had been settled out of court, we could have allocated these resources elsewhere.

Hat Tip to Rumi

, , , ,

Is Skype Auto Recharge setting illegal?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I am a regular skype user and found that its auto-recharge feature is annoying. Recently I found out that I am not the only one with this problem. Consider for example, this, this, this and this.

Auto recharge is of course a feature that can help many users. It can however, be illegal if it is entered into without the full informed consent of the consumer.

There is a part of the purchase page where we are supposed to tick the auto-recharge box. If this box is automatically ticked by skype, I think it will give a reason for either unconscionability challenge that may entitle consumer for liquidated damages or simply a violation of consumer protection laws.

Now, to answer the question of fact: Do you experience that skype auto recharge setting is 'by default'? Let me know your answer.

, , ,

Is Creative Commons license applicable in Indonesia?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I dare not to say 100 per cent "yes". If I am sitting in the judge chamber and have to decide on this matter, I think I would say "yes" and direct judicial interpretation in that favor. But unfortunatelly I am not a judge.

What underlies my doubt? Well, here's what the law says:

Article 45
(1) The Copyright Holder shall have the right to give a license to another party based on a letter of licensing agreement to carry out the acts as referred to in Article 2.
(2) Unless otherwise agreed, the scope of licence as referred to in paragraph (1) shall cover all acts as referred to in Article 2 for a period of the licensing agreement and is exercisable within the entire territory of the Republic of Indonesia.
(3) Unless otherwise agreed, the implementation of acts as referred to in Article (1) and (2) shall be accompanied by the obligation to pay royalty to the Copyright Holder by the licensee.
(4) The amount of royalty, which has to be paid by the licensee to the Copyright Holder shall be based on the agreement between the two parties by using the agreement of professional organization as a guide.

Article 46
Unless otherwise agreed, the Copyright Holder shall reserve the right to exercise or to give further licences to other third parties to carry out acts as referred to in Article 2.

Article 47
(1) A licensing agreement shall not contain any clauses, which may cause detrimental effect on the economy of Indonesia or to contain any clauses, which cause unfair business competition as provided for in the prevailing laws and regulations.
(2) In order to have legal consequences against a third party, a licensing agreement shall be recorded at the Directorate General.
(3) The Directorate General shall refuse any request for the recording of a licensing agreement, which contains clauses as referred to in paragraph (1).
(4) Further provisions regarding the recording of licensing agreements shall be regulated in Presidential Decree.

Letter of licensing agreement? Well, that is my rough translation of "Surat Perjanjian Lisensi".

Sure, agreements could be conducted verbally, as long as it complies with Article 1320 of the Civil Code. But is it enough to conduct a licensing agreement on copyright verbally?

Lets say that there is a guy named Tom who wants to publish his diary. The publisher has a telephone conversation in which he agreed to publish Tom's diary for a percentage of royalty. Is that sufficent? That is an agreement allright, it conforms Art. 1320. But is that a copyright licensing agreement? If Tom is a bad kid and he hires a lawyer, the lawyer will say: "My client has never conducted any agreement with you. The Copyright Law says that the Copyright Holder shall have the right to give a license to another party based on a letter of licensing agreement. If you think you had agreement with him, show me the contract".

Anyway, what it says there is that, it has to be done in written.

Now, will putting these icons on your blog constitute a "letter of licensing agreement"? You can say "yes", it is in fact a "license", there are terms and conditions, there are limitations. Is it "written"? Well, it is non verbal, so I guess, it is in a way "written".

But where are the party's signatures? If you said that it is a written agreement, there has to be a signature. Your answer: hey, this is 21st century dude, all we have to do is to click-through. You are right, there's shrink-wrap, click-wrap, browse-wrap, web-wrap, and other wrap wraps you name it.

That "I agree" button you see is a substitute of the signature. But in creative commons license, how can a signature be substituted so that the legal formalities is fulfilled? By citing it? By quoting it or putting it on your blog? Maybe. We can always theoritize that the expression of agreement is conducted when the licensee performs any action that is deemed to be within the realm of the CC agreement.

The problem of "expression of agreement" does not stop on CC alone, but to other non-conventional agreements in the internet and especially, a public license agreement.

I shall remind you that even in the US, the "wraps" agreement are subject to legal controversies. The validity of a browse-wrap agreement was denied by the San Jose Court on the case Comb v. PayPal, Inc. The Court held:

Having considered the terms of the User Agreement generally and the arbitration clause in particular, as well as the totality of the circumstances, the Court concludes that the User Agreement and arbitration clause are substantively unconscionable under California law and that arbitration cannot be compelled herein.

I'd love to hear your comment.

, , , ,

Europe entering the 'Internet of Things'

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I will go to Hannover to attend this year's CeBIT. And guess what I really plan to see: RFID stands!

I want to know what the latest RFID gadget can do and how the tech will affect regulation. The European Union has just recently unveiled its future RFID strategy and policies:
The Commission, in particular, proposes to address the privacy concerns of citizens to boost consumer confidence and Europe's position in a market experiencing 60% growth globally.
RFID Law is just beginning to evolve. Its orbit: health and environmental issues, freqency allocation and, our favourite subject, the internet of things. The EU's COM stated:
In the responses to the online questionnaire, 86% of respondents were concerned that the system for registering and naming of identities in the future "Internet of Things" should be interoperable, open and non-discriminatory.
Oh, in case you are not yet informed what internet of things means, it means that we can virtually hyperlink anything we have in the real world to the internet and locate them. That way I won't lose my keys anymore. If you want a start up info on this subject wikipedia is glad to help.

If you will be in Hannover on March 21st (that's, the last day of CeBIT), email me!