I have started using an email encryption program, Citrix ShareFile. I decided to give it a try in light of all the talk lately about secure communications. I’m told it is already widely used.
ShareFile is easy to use. If I send you an email that says I have sent you an encrypted message and has a green button labeled “view encrypted message,” all you have to do is click on that button, then type in your name and email address and click “continue.” A window containing the email message will open.
Don’t worry, nothing is going to be done with your name and email address. All that happens is the ShareFile program validates that the email address you enter is the same as the email address in the “to” line on the email that I sent.
If I am sending you an email with a file attached, the file is also encrypted, and the process for receiving the file is essentially the same.
The email message, and any attached files, are sent with what ShareFile describes as AES 256-bit encryption. That means the information is being sent with enhanced security, and without the typical restrictions on file size for email attachments.
I would appreciate receiving comments on your experience with ShareFile, and your feedback on the topic of encrypted communications generally.
MY MARCH REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE IS ABOUT ARIZONA’S DESIGNATION OF PROPERTY IN THE TUCSON AREA AND ELSEWHERE AS “TERRITORY IN THE VICINITY OF A MILITARY AIRPORT”
It may or may not be a big deal to you, but to some people it apparently is a big deal, so you should at least be aware of it if you live or own property in Tucson or other localities in Arizona that are in the vicinity of a military airport. Read all about it in my Real Estate Law Update, posted in the publications section at deconcinimcdonald.com.
They call the idea “hoteling.” I’m not sure I like the name, but the concept is intriguing. Some law firms are using it, I presume as a way to reduce office rent expense. Office rent is a major overhead item for law firms.
The idea is that if you have fewer than 100% of the lawyers in the office each day, why have a permanent individual office for each of them? Instead, you have a number of offices that corresponds to the maximum number of lawyers expected to be in the office each day, and make those offices interchangeable, so it doesn’t matter who uses which office on any given day.
The concept probably only works if you have a truly paperless office, with all documents stored in a central server and available on a linked computer terminal. I’m certainly not there yet, and perhaps never will be, but for some reason I find the concept attractive. Maybe someday.
I DON’T THINK YOU NEED TO BE A FIRST AMENDMENT EXPERT, OR A POLITICAL JUNKIE, TO FIGURE THIS ONE OUT
From an AP article that appeared today on the web sites of both the Arizona Daily Star and the Detroit News, we get this: “Candidates for public office in Ohio can lie and get away with it under a recent federal court ruling that struck down a state law banning false statements in campaigns, an attorney says.”
Really? A candidate for public office can lie and get away with it? Wow.
Even worse, a lawmaker admitted, “I think the law should encourage people to tell the truth, but I don’t know that there’s a lot we can do.”
There’s not a lot lawmakers can do about candidates for public office not telling the truth? Say it isn’t so!
Laying aside the free speech implications, how can a public official fail to see the irony of lamenting that candidates lie, and that lawmakers can’t make a law to stop them? When has a lawmaker ever acknowledged that there’s a problem they can’t fix?
But here’s the money quote from the article:
“[T]he U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals a few weeks ago upheld the 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black that found the law violated the First Amendment….
“Black wrote that ‘lies are bad,’ but with some political speech, ‘there is no clear way to determine whether a political statement is a lie or the truth, and we certainly do not want the government deciding what is political truth.’”
At least the judge seems to have some grasp of the First Amendment.
I don’t get it. Why would there be resistance to self-driving cars? Is it that people think the objective, a self-driving car that is safer than a human-piloted car, is impossible to achieve? They probably also think the moon landings were a hoax.
IF EVERYONE HAD TO SIT DOWN AND WRITE A CHECK TO THE IRS AND THE COUNTY TREASURER EVERY YEAR, I GUARANTEE THAT PUBLIC ATTITUDES ABOUT TAXES WOULD CHANGE DRAMATICALLY
I have been saying this for a long time: if there were no withholding for income taxes, or no mortgage impound accounts for property taxes, so that everyone who pays those taxes had to write a check to the IRS or the county treasurer annually, or even quarterly, I guarantee that public attitudes toward those taxes would change. There would be much more scrutiny given to how much government costs and how tax money is spent. There might even be an open revolt against the way government finances currently work. I have wondered why this subject is rarely mentioned in discussions about tax reform.
A paper was presented yesterday at UCLA on the history of tax withholding and how it came to be so accepted that, as the author of the paper recognizes, it is rarely even questioned anymore. I’m glad someone else is at least asking that question.
IF YOU DIDN’T FILE A FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN FOR 2012 BUT WOULD’VE BEEN ENTITLED TO A REFUND IF YOU HAD, IT’S NOT TOO LATE
My headline describes a somewhat surprising message from the IRS that’s linked on the front page of irs.gov under “News.” If you didn’t file a return for a prior year, you can in most situations claim the refund by filing a return within three years from the original due date, hence the reference back to 2012.
In the message, there’s this helpful quote from the IRS Commissioner: “Don’t forget, there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re due a refund.” Less helpfully, the message also says:
The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2012 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2013 and 2014. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS, or their state tax agency, and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.
Don’t forget, your 2016 return is due the middle of next month (but not on the 15th).
I don’t watch college basketball much, and even if I did I wouldn’t be interested in participating in a tournament pool. But since I know many people who do participate in such pools, I took notice of a pronouncement by Arizona’s chief gambling official about when a pool crosses the line into an illegal enterprise.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.