A Moment of Panic

I pride myself on being prepared for just about anything when it comes to my laptop PC.  I've successfully recovered my data after dropping it on a concrete floor, shorting out the keyboard, and corrupting the hard drive.

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Feds to U.S. Border-Crossers: We Own Your Laptop

It's bad enough that when you cross a U.S. border, you must consent to an intrusive search of your luggage.  But now, courtesy of a decision from a federal appeals court, the government also has the right to copy everything on your laptop—and use it for whatever purpose it seems fit.

Read More Feds to U.S. Border-Crossers: We Own Your Laptop

For Sale in Thailand: Girls, Guns,…and Fake Passports

If you've got the money, and know where to look, just about anything you want—legal or illegal—is available in Bangkok. In recent years, Thai police have cracked down against trade in drugs, prostitution, and weapons.

Read More For Sale in Thailand: Girls, Guns,…and Fake Passports

UK: Anti-Terrorism Law Used to Investigate Dog Poop

As wacky as some of the anti-terrorist initiatives that I've written about in the good ol' USA, they don't hold a candle to those advanced in the United Kingdom.

Read More UK: Anti-Terrorism Law Used to Investigate Dog Poop

Feds Put Billionaire Expat on No-Fly List

Each year, a few hundred Americans give up their U.S. nationality and passport.  It's a radical step, not to be taken lightly.  Most of those that do so have foreign-sounding names, as indicated by the list of expatriates published quarterly in the Federal Register.

Read More Feds Put Billionaire Expat on No-Fly List

Government Stings: How not to Get Stung

Could you be arrested for stomping your foot in a restroom? Prosecuted for accepting "hot money?" Or imprisoned for clicking your mouse on a hyperlink that pops up in your Internet browser?

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Science Arrives in New Jersey Courtrooms

Trial lawyers in New Jersey, beware.  The state Supreme Court has ruled that a trial judge can determine whether evidence submitted is "scientifically reliable," or not.

Read More Science Arrives in New Jersey Courtrooms

Your Cat May Make You a Terrorist Suspect

In these halcyon post-9/11 days, we've learned apparently innocent actions can instantly convert us from "law-abiding Americans" into "terrorist suspects."

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The USA Declares War on Iran

No, there haven't been any nuclear missiles launched, at least not yet.  No mobilization of U.S. forces on Iran's border. But on March 20, the United States launched the equivalent of an invasion of Iran, in the world of global finance.

Read More The USA Declares War on Iran

Don’t Go to Jail to Protect Your Assets

Asset protection isn't a game.  It's not something to do casually, either.  Do it right, or you risk losing your assets…or occasionally, being imprisoned for your efforts.

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Did the USA Outsource Passports to Terrorists?

It's almost unbelievable, but it's true.  The U.S. government outsources key aspects of the production of its supposedly ultra-secure electronic passports, to numerous foreign countries. 

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It’s Enough to Make You Quake in Your Boots

Suppose you own a commercial property.  It's an old building; one that's susceptible to damage by earthquakes.  But under applicable law, you have until 2018 to renovate the building for seismic safety.

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Even Elliot Spitzer’s No Match for the “Bank Secrecy Act”

Talk about comeuppance.  New York governor Elliot Spitzer, the poster boy for ethics on Wall Street and elsewhere in the financial markets now finds his political career in ruins.  And it's all because of an almost-unknown law: the Bank Secrecy Act.

Read More Even Elliot Spitzer’s No Match for the “Bank Secrecy Act”

It’s Open Season for the Government to Snoop on Your Postal Correspondence

Historically, postal mail—especially letters sent "first class"—has enjoyed greater legal protection under U.S. law than other types of correspondence.  But, thanks to the "War on Terror," that protection has greatly eroded in recent years.

Read More It’s Open Season for the Government to Snoop on Your Postal Correspondence

Avoid the “Anti-Terrorism Clearance Certificate” Scam

In the last few months, I've received several e-mails requesting assistance in obtaining an "Anti-Terrorist Clearance Certificate."  They supposedly need the certificate to claim a monetary award, generally for US$100,000 or more, purportedly from an offshore source.

Read More Avoid the “Anti-Terrorism Clearance Certificate” Scam

Yes, You are a Criminal

If you live or do business in the United States, you're almost certainly a criminal, even if you don't know it.

Read More Yes, You are a Criminal

The Future for Offshore Financial Centres

The economics of offshore financial centres (OFCs) are shaped by classic competitive advantage. Historically, OFC banks have been more innovative, and the OFC's laws more flexible, than banks and laws in other nations.

Read More The Future for Offshore Financial Centres

Mind the Snail Mail!

We seem to be very conscious of e-mail security, but are often oblivious to the security of the "snail mail" we receive at our homes and offices. Recently, in our role as consultants in the due diligence arena, we were asked a series of questions relating to personal and corporate snail mail security. The answers bear repeating for a wider audience.

Read More Mind the Snail Mail!