A "black hat" is a term usually applied to someone who breaks or cracks into a computer system with malicious intent. The term has come to be something of a elite (l33t) badge of honor, and the Black Hat Briefings are a l33t gathering of folks on the cutting edge of technology and cyber-security.
John Benson keeps a small blog and is an e-discovery consultant out of Kansas City.
He had some great quotes for his IT-centric crowd regarding how to deal with today’s landscape of electronic discovery:
"The world left the legal profession in the dust years ago. Attorneys are just coming to the realization that people have computers and have important information on them. I spend a good deal of time dragging attorneys kicking and screaming into the 20th century."
"Be aware of e-discovery security issues. You’re giving your data over to third parties — your e-discovery processing vendor, your law firm, your opponent’s law firm and its processing vendor. They all may be hacker targets, and it’s a good bet security’s not high on their priorities."
"Technology will, over time, change the way legal system works, but that will only happen if there is good, meaningful communication between legal and IT communities. Through that communication, we’ll drive the cost of litigation down. That’s not necessarily a good thing for law firms, but it’s certainly a good thing for corporations."
I agree with Charles Skamser that while many attorneys may have been in the dark ages about e-discovery back in 2006-2007, the legal profession has taken "a much more aggressive embrace of technology over the past 18 months." We still have a ways to go, but there are some definite improvements.
And the fact that an e-discovery expert is speaking at a Black Hat event shows that the IT world is starting to take more notice of how the legal industry is interacting with technology.
Link to story.