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[vox-tech] Legal Ethics Tech Question
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[vox-tech] Legal Ethics Tech Question



I need some help on a legal ethics question.  I occasionally take my laptop to 
the Sacramento Public Law Library to use its public access wireless 
connection for some great online resources.  Right now the California State 
Bar has a formal ethics opinion up for public comment:

http://calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/public-comment/2009/Prop-Opin-Tech-Confidentiality.pdf

With regard to a hypothetical where "Attorney A" used a public wireless 
connection the opinion concludes:  

"that due to the lack of security features provided 
in most public wireless access locations, Attorney A risks violating his 
duties of confidentiality and competence in using the wireless 
connection at the coffee shop to work on client X's matter unless he 
takes appropriate precautions, such as using an adequate encryption 
device and a personal firewall." 

The opinion goes on to state that the attorney generally "should not use 
any unsecured public wireless connection that does not require a 
password for access."  The opinion states that the attorney might get 
his client's informed consent to use the unsecured wireless connection.  
Footnote 15 notes that a hacker can gain access to a client's 
confidential information on a computer even if the file pertaining to the 
client is not open.

I've got a dual boot laptop, but I have to use Windows for my legal work.  
Supposedly Windows XP has a firewall, though I've never used it.  But note 
that the opinion talks about having to use both a firewall and an encryption 
device.  So what is an "encryption device" that I can use to comply with the 
ethics opinion when I am using Windows Internet Explorer to connect to the 
web?  

Thank you.  (And thanks for making your answers simple since I'm not a 
techie.)

Bob




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