Frequently asked questions
The main dangers of online shopping are information theft and fraud. Minimise these dangers by buying from reputable sellers. In addition, pay attention to security. When entering credit card or other payment information, the web page address should begin with "https" rather than just "http" (as the "s" indicates that information you send via the web page is encrypted). Also, protect your computer with good and up-to-date security, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. And remember: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
As a general rule, an employer cannot read an email without the consent of both the sender and recipient. Exceptions include intercepting business emails to: (1) ascertain regulatory compliance; (2) detect unauthorised use; and (3) prevent/detect criminal activity. Your employer should take all reasonable measures to avoid opening personal emails -- even those sent from a workplace email account. Moreover, if your employer monitors your use of email and collects personal data, it must tell you how it intends to use the information and use it only for that purpose.
The practical answer is no, you cannot write whatever you want online. You need to bear in mind a myriad of potential legal issues, including the laws of defamation, privacy, intellectual property and contempt.
Online scams come in all shapes and sizes. They aren't always obvious, but the objective is always the same: to con you out of money. Identity theft and phishing scams in particular are on the increase. A phishing scam involves a criminal sending you an email pretending to come from a genuine company to trick you into disclosing personal information. There are several places to go to learn more about scams and phishing, including: Consumer Direct; Get Safe Online; Bank Safe Online; and Card Watch.
The technology available today enables a person to use peer-to-peer websites to copy and distribute music, films, games, software and other copyright material quickly and at virtually no cost. There are, however, risks in doing this. Copyright holders (or organisations representing them) can track you down and seek compensation for copyright infringement. They can also force ISPs to stop providing internet service if you repeatedly violate copyright laws.
Buying online can be fast and convenient, and can enable the tenacious shopper to find some excellent bargains. Unfortunately, though, the internet also provides plenty of opportunity to scammers, hackers and thieves.
The UK has a tradition of civil rights and civil liberties dating back at least to the Magna Carta in the 13th century. Whilst successive governments have repealed most of the Magna Carta over the past 200 years or so, its guarantee of due process of law remains in effect.
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Europe: Study claims two-thirds of UK laws have been made or inspired by EU
A study conducted by a Euro-sceptic campaigning group reveals that two-thirds of Britain's laws are made or influenced by the European Union, The Telegraph reports. Amid concerns that European Union (EU) bureaucratic 'red tape' is harming businesses, a Euro-sceptic campaigning...
Immigration law: Government bids to halt 'sham' marriages
The government has introduced a new law increasing the length of the required legal notice of intention to marry, The Guardian reports. In an effort to give immigration authorities more time to investigate suspected 'sham' marriages, the government has introduced...
International: Samsung voice-recording 'smart' TVs may fall foul of US privacy law
The US Electronic Privacy Information Center is calling for an investigation of Samsung over claims that its voice-recording 'smart' TVs breach privacy laws, The Guardian reports. An independent non-profit research centre in Washington DC is pushing for a federal investigation...
Northern Ireland: Amnesty International rejects 'conscience clause' Bill in 'gay cake' debate
Amnesty International is calling for withdrawal of proposed legislation to insert a 'conscience clause' into equality law, the BBC reports. Amnesty International has gone on record to reject a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Private Members' Bill, which aims to insert...
Immigration law: Parliament votes for visa law change to protect foreign domestic workers
The House of Lords has voted for an amendment to the visa law, providing increased protection to overseas domestic workers, the BBC reports. In a commitment to prevent the abuse of foreign domestic workers, the House of Lords has voted...
International: South Korean court ruling de-criminalises adultery
The Constitutional Court of South Korea has ruled that adultery is no longer a crime, the BBC reports. The Constitutional Court of South Korea has struck down a law, which criminalised adultery in South Korea for more than 60 years....
International: Egypt sentences activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah to five years in prison
Alaa Abdel-Fattah, an Egyptian activist involved in the 2011 uprising, has been sentenced to five years in prison reports the Huffington Post. The trial, which took place in the lecture hall of a police academy in a Cairo suburb, found...
Consumer law: Ticket touts could be stung by £5,000 fines under new law
The government has agreed to support legislation regulating the market for re-selling unwanted event tickets, The Guardian reports. In a government U-turn, ticket touting is to be made more difficult and could result in fines of up to £5,000 being...
Telecoms law: New law clamps down on 'cold call' companies
The government looks set to introduce a new law removing barriers to the Information Commissioner's Office imposing substantial financial penalties on 'cold call' companies, the BBC reports. Following soaring numbers of complaints about 'cold calling' - particularly among the elderly...
Policing: Court rules the removal of a teenager's clothes by police while in custody was legal
Appeal judges have ruled the removal of the clothes of a 14-year-old girl by police while she was in their custody has been considered legal, reports the BBC. In 2010 a 14-year-old girl was brought to a police station in...
Motoring law: 'Millions' could be returned to drivers over illegal parking fines
A report concerning private parking companies and the fines they issue could see motorist recoup millions of pounds, reports the Guardian. The report was compiled by barrister John de Waal QC and Jo Abbott on behalf of the RAC Foundation....
Criminal law: Labour Party panel proposes 'victim's law'
A Labour Party taskforce has outlined 14 recommendations for improving how victims are treated by the criminal justice system, the BBC reports. A panel dedicated to improving the handling of victims by the criminal justice system has published a set...
International: Belgian Privacy Commission says Facebook still violating privacy law
Privacy law: Government admits monitoring privileged conversations by intelligence agenices unlawful
The British government has released a statement confirming the monitoring of legally privileged conversations by intelligence agencies such as MI5 and MI6 were unlawful, reports the Guardian. The British government have reviewed the policies of the intelligence agencies and have...
Tax law: Chief Secretary of the Treasury wants new offence of 'corporate failure to avoid preventing economic crime'
Liberal Democrat politician, Danny Alexander, lays out plans to introduce a new offence of 'failing to avoid the prevention of economic crime,' the BBC reports. The chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, intends to push for a new offence...