Professor Tanina Rostain teaches the course “Technology, Innovation, and Legal Practice” at the Georgetown University Law Center. A fundamental part of it is a competition in which 4 teams of 3-4 students work together to design apps that advocates and lawyers can use to explore intricate areas of the law. The class has seen tremendous growth over the course of just 4 years.  With technology being a pivotal factor in today’s legal world, this course is ideal for law students who are interested in hands-on learning about the accessibility of important justice matters.

What began as a small project slowly spread out throughout the U.S. with involvement from organizations such as the Alaska Legal Services Corp and the U.S. Department of Justice. Its focus is centered on law as “an institution to help people”. One particular app, ADA2Go, was designed for people with disabilities to ascertain their rights in various situations.

Mark O’Brien, the executive director and co-founder of Pro Bono Net, says “Tanina has mastered getting students to do something that’s nonintuitive—the creation of specific apps during the course of a semester and delivering them to legal aid organizations and others for use.” Rostain herself said that “these apps are adaptable to a lot of paying legal work, and they’re going to proliferate.”

With the number of apps being created, the scope of the “access-to-justice” idea is already on its way to impacting many people in this profession and consumers themselves.

Article via ABA Journal, September 23, 2015

Photo: EP via European Parliament [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

In the past, only five malware-infected applications have made it into the Apple App Store. That number has grown, though, as 25 apps have been identified and pulled from the App Store for containing malware. This cyber breach is due to a program called XcodeGhost, an imitation of the program Xcode, which is the platform develops utilize to make programs for iOS and Mac. While the official Xcode program takes about half an hour to download in the United States, the time is almost triple for developers in China. Most decide to download the program from local servers, which allowed the counterfeit XcodeGhost to be substituted for the real Xcode program and downloaded in in its place. Thankfully, apps developed using this malware have not been observed to steal any sensitive information from users that have downloaded them. Still, though the apps appear to be harmless, the attack on the App Store is notable according to Palo Alto Network’s Director of Threat Intelligence, Ryan Olsen. The firm was the first to report the existence of the malware-tainted apps, and Olsen states that the cyber breach reveals that the Apple App Store isn’t impenetrable.

To prevent another cyber breach, Apple will provide a way for Chinese developers to download an official copy of Xcode domestically, and Apple is “working with the developers to make sure they’re using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps” according to an Apple spokesperson.

Article via CNETSeptember 22, 2015

Photo: Apps via Pixel Fantasy [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]