A new Code of Practice for Automated Vehicle Trialling reaffirms the Government’s desire for new transport technology to be invented, designed and used in the UK. This follows from the introduction of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 which extended mandatory motor insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles so that victims of an accident caused by a fault in the automated vehicle will be covered.

A recent major IT failure on the Ministry of Justice network, which reportedly led to the disruption of thousands of cases, highlighted how reliant courts already are upon technology. Commenting in the wake of the fallout, Richard Atkins QC, the chair of the Bar Council, noted that “it illustrates how vulnerable the delivery of justice is with reliance on weak IT systems in our courts.” Although HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) has big plans for online justice beyond the physical courtroom, it is worth first considering the various technologies currently being used by the courts.

12 March 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal envisioning a unifying structure for linking information across different computers using hypertext, which by 1991 had been developed and became known as the World Wide Web. The day was marked by three celebratory events around the world, all attended by Tim: at CERN in Switzerland, at the Science Museum in London, and in Lagos, Nigeria.

The House of Lords, in its 9 March report Regulating in a digital world concludes that “the digital world does not merely require more regulation but a different approach to regulation.” It proposes “an agreed set of 10 principles that shape and frame all regulation of the internet, and a new Digital Authority to oversee this regulation with access to the highest level of the Government to facilitate the urgent change that is needed.”

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook seem to be in the news all the time at the moment, from Facebook’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica saga to Mark Zuckerberg’s failure to appear before the “international grand committee of elected officials” in the Houses of Parliament in late November last year.

The issues that Facebook face seem, on the face of it, to be very varied and different. Fake news. Extremist speech. Political advertising. A failure to deal with trolls. Invasions of privacy. Use of big data. Empire building through the acquisition of the likes of Instagram and WhatsApp and the potential for monopolistic practices that come from this. Despite appearances, however, these things are all very closely connected – and understanding that connection could be the key to finding some solutions, or at least ameliorating some of the problems. That connection is privacy.

Twitter is the social media platform of choice for journalists, free speech campaigners, Russian trolls and American presidents. On the social media spectrum of formality, it sits somewhere in between professional networking colossus LinkedIn and lolcat empire Facebook.

Twitter is essentially a “social” messaging service which enables you to maintain a minimalist profile, broadcast short “tweets” to your followers and view and respond to tweets of those you choose to follow, which are displayed in your “timeline”. It’s deceptively simple but at the same time somewhat of an enigma.

There are important differences that distinguish Twitter from Facebook and LinkedIn and give it its distinctive “personality”.

Here are 10 quick checks you can undertake on aspects of your website that may be affecting your website’s presence in search engine results. All the tools that I suggest in this guide are free, easy to use, easy to understand and, most importantly, actionable.

The areas this SEO health check covers and the tools I recommend you use are:

In May 2018, the Government announced revised laws on drone regulation. This was met with concern by many who said it didn’t go far enough. The British Airline Pilots’ Association felt it wouldn’t make drone use near airports safe, giving the example that the new law provided drones could be flown up to 400 ft within 1 km of an airport boundary – highly dangerous when an aircraft would already be lower than 1 km from the ground at this point on approach to an airport.

What seemed like a fairly basic lack of consultation and drafting was highlighted only 6 months later when, in the week before Christmas, Gatwick airport was shut first for 36 hours and then again for half a day only two days later after reports of drones being sighted near the airport.

The inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, and others advocated that the underlying code for the web should be made open – publicly available on a royalty-free basis, forever. His employer, CERN, concurred and announced this in April 1993, thus sparking a global wave of creativity, collaboration and innovation on a scale not seen before.

Delia Venables’ long-standing and, many would say, iconic Legal Resources website has been relaunched at www.venables.co.uk. First published in 1995 when the legal web was in its infancy, it has grown continually in scope and size and now contains several hundred pages of listings, describing tens of thousands of websites. It remains one of the most useful legal portal sites on the web for the UK and maintains very high authority and trust rankings.

This new incarnation of Venables Legal Resources is published and managed by infolaw, with me at the helm. As long-time publishing partners, Delia and I have collaborated on our respective websites since 1995 and jointly edited the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers and the Internet for Lawyers CPD service for barristers and solicitors for over 13 years.

I have lived with the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers for 20 years. I started it as an adjunct to the Venables website www.venables.co.uk but it soon developed a life of its own. It was of course only provided in printed form originally. I remember how it had to be written, printed, collated, packed up and addressed on my kitchen table, stamps stuck on and taken down to the post office in big bundles, together with associated admin relating to managing the subscriptions. It was very “physical” work but a great deal of fun and I felt very advanced.

A snapshot of the type of content provided by the Newsletter in its early days is reproduced below from an old page on Delia’s site, retrieved courtesy of the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine. It is notable that the range of topics covered is similar to today’s mix. The main difference is that the internet was all very new back then and there was more of a focus on new sites. Delia’s Newsletter served as an essential guide to the emerging wonders of the (legal) web.