Emerging Technologies

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Lark Zink, A Framework for Untangling Intents in Posthumous Sperm Extraction, 8 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 61 (2012)

"Posthumous reproduction involves the conception and birth of a child by the means of artificial reproductive technology, after the death of either parent. Through technological innovation, death is no longer a bar to the creation of new life. By means of technologies that separate reproduction from the coital act, a widow may assert a claim to the sperm of her deceased husband in order to bear his genetically-related child. While medical practice and technological advances have yielded a wide range of reproductive possibilities, the law has lagged behind in its recognition and legal characterization of such acts. In this new legal forefront, courts have generally responded to the prospect of posthumous reproduction in one of two ways: 1) by effectuating the intent of the donor, or 2) employing a constitutional balancing of rights test. This paper will trace the development of these two tests."

Justin Hinderliter, iRight:  There's No App for That, 8 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 60 (2012)

"The privacy rights at issue in this comment concern not only the contexts of smartphones and tablets, but also those relating to Global Positioning Systems ('GPS'), tracking devices and other enhanced surveillance capabilities utilized by government officials. While these two areas may appear facially distinct, both share two fundamental qualities – possessory interests in property and a reasonable expectation of privacy by its user against governmental invasion. The Supreme Court has held that ownership interests include the right to be let alone from unwanted interference. Additionally, Black’s Law Dictionary defines possessory interests as 'the right to control property, including the right to exclude others.' If ownership interests include the ability to exclude others, and possessory interests include the right to control property and exclude others from trespassing upon that property, and if these technological devices are considered property, then do they not deserve the same protection under the Fourth Amendment as other 'effects'? If this contention is logical, and precedence is followed from previous holdings, then a person‟s technological property deserves this protection that is conveyed upon 'effects' under the Fourth Amendment."

Jeffrey C. Cartmell, A Shift in the Winds:  What Outer Continental Shelf Renewable Energy Program and the Dismantling of the Minerals Management Service Mean for Offshore Energy, 7 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 55 (2011)

"Beginning in 1776, when America won its independence from England, the primary sources of energy were manpower and wood.Since then, America has undergone two drastic shifts in energy consumption. The first shift occurred in the middle of the nineteenth century. As the country expanded westward, the use of trains and construction of railways increased, which resulted in a demand for a more efficient source of fuel; that demand was answered by coal.Coal was the obvious choice due to its proximity to where railroads were being built, as well as its ability to increase the distance a train could travel and the capacity a train could carry.At the beginning of the twentieth century, petroleum, America’s next major source of energy, began to emerge, as large oil fields were discovered in Texas.The total usage of petroleum, however, would not surpass that of coal until after the Second World War.Along with the changes in energy sources, America’s energy consumption continued to increase.This rising demand did not present a problem until a gap emerged between domestic energy production and consumption in the 1960s and 1970s.7 At this point, preventative measures should have been instilled in order to forestall any potential catastrophes resulting from America’s dependence on foreign oil. Although the federal government developed initiatives to lessen America’s dependence on fossil fuels, the overall result was minimal.  While there is little argument that petroleum is a finite resource, there is still much debate over the size, lifespan, and harvest-ability of untapped reserves. We are, perhaps, in the next great transitional phase in energy consumption. America must move away from its dependency on petroleum, especially to the extent that it forces America to be dependent on foreign nations that have traditionally unstable governments."

Stephen D. Lott, Getting Under Fido's Skin:  Analyzing the Objections to Mandatory Pet Microchipping Laws, 7 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 52 (2011)

"[A] number of cities across the United States, including Los Angeles and El Paso, have instituted, or are considering instituting mandatory microchipping laws.These laws require pet owners to have microchips implanted in their pets, and in some cases pay a fine for failure to do so.  In support of such laws, El Paso city councilman Beto O’Rourke noted that his “city’s goal is ‘zero kill’ of animals, ‘which we’re nowhere near right now’ . . . . ‘We’re spending $2.5 million every year housing, feeding and euthanizing those pets, and then dumping them at the landfill.’”Likewise, Los Angeles councilman Tony Cardenas said that “[i]f animals ‘aren’t chipped, it will [take] longer for them to be returned.  It is a cost-saving measure.’”  However, not everyone is sold on the idea of mandatory microchipping.  There are those who object to mandatory microchipping laws on the grounds that forced chipping is unsafe, unnecessary, and in contravention of the rights of pet owners. Accordingly, they argue that “[t]he decision of whether or not to microchip an animal belongs solely to the owner and should not be mandated by any government entity.” This principal argument is buttressed by a variety of legal and policy-based objections to mandatory microchipping laws.  This note will conduct a brief overview of several of the most common objections and examine whether those who oppose mandatory microchipping have any legs (or paws?) to stand on."

Wes Deweese, Fracturing Misconceptions:  A History of Effective State Regulation, Groundwater Protection, and the Ill-Conceived FRAC Act, 6 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 49 (2010)

"The hydraulic fracturing process is effectively regulated by states, but there are efforts being made in the U.S. Congress to bring its regulation under the purview of the Safe Drinking Water Act.   By attempting to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this Act, the federal government will only serve to impose costly regulatory hurdles that will inhibit the development of the United States’ vast reserves of natural gas trapped in shale and tight sand formations throughout the country.  This proposed regulation is a one-size-fits-all approach, unnecessarily transferring to the federal government the regulation of an industry practice that has been effectively regulated by states.  Each state has a vested interest in the protection of its natural environment.  To that end, they have been effectively regulating the oil and gas industry since the early twentieth century.  The additional hurdle proposed before Congress is unnecessary and lacks an understanding of the technology and regulation concerning the development of the nation’s indigenous hydrocarbon resources.  Further, in a hearing before the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works, representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency testified that they had not heard of one case of ground water contamination due to hydraulic fracturing.   Imposing unnecessary federal regulations on a process that has a sixty-year history of effective state regulation would cause much of the domestic energy supply to remain unproduced, further increasing U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil and natural gas.  As US gas is developed, LNG and pipeline imports will decline."

Julie Elizabeth Myers, The Moment of Truth for fMRI:  Will Deception Detection Pass Admissibility Hurdles in Oklahoma?, 6 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 47 (2010)

"Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, as a lie-detector is especially promising,   despite the fact that other forms of lie detection technology have been held inadmissible for over eighty years.   Although there is some debate over the exact accuracy of fMRI, to date, this technology has even demonstrated the ability to recognize a specific item - such as a screwdriver or a window - that a person is thinking of merely by reading the computerized images of that person’s brain activity.   Proponents claim the ability of fMRI technology to discern truth from deception will soon be absolute.  Case law on these advanced deception detection technologies is sparse at best, but the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has had one of the few unique opportunities to  confront the early use of neuro-lie-detection evidence.   Because the Oklahoma Evidence Code parallels the Federal Rules of Evidence regarding expert testimony, an understanding of federal interpretation concerning novel science will be significant for fMRI evidence in Oklahoma.  In fact, early cases of neuro scanning evidence in Oklahoma may have great influence on the outcome of the battle over fMRI admissibility in many jurisdictions.  This comment will discuss fMRI and its chances at admissibility in Oklahoma courts and in the Tenth Circuit, which both follow the Daubert decision when evaluating novel scientific evidence, and propose an explanation of why it should be admitted as reliable."

Spencer Hale, Real Property E-Conveyanges and E-Recordings:  The Solution or Cause of Mortgage Fraud, 5 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 44 (2009)

"There is a fear that because of the increasing number of cases of identity theft and the ease with which some computer hackers can obtain sensitive information, the use of electronic recording and mortgages would open the door to an increased amount of fraud committed in the industry. This paper will discuss the foundational pieces of legislation that have promoted this electronic movement within the real property industry. It will then analyze the types of fraud that can occur in recording and mortgage transactions and the parties responsible for such fraud. After identifying the types of land fraud, there will then be a discussion as to any connections that electronic transactions have to such fraud. After determining the relationship between the electronic transactions and land fraud, this article will then analyze whether electronic transactions really improve the real property industy."

Robert Malone, Health Information Technology, E-Prescribing and Hurricane Katrina:  Could Electronic Health Records Have Made a Difference?, 3 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 38 (2007)

Mr. Malone concludes his three-part series on Health Information Technology. This article follows the second installment, entitled Health Information Technology and HIPAA: Can We Satisfy Security and Privacy Standards in the Digital Age?  In that article he considered whether this technology can co-exist with HIPAA and its concerns regarding privacy over sensitive health records.  Refer to 3 Okla. J.L. & Tech. 36 and 3 Okla. J.L. & Tech. 37 for a full copy of the first two parts in this series.  Here, Mr. Malone considers the possible benefits of employing this technology, specifically "E-Prescribing," in a situation such as the one confronted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Mr. Malone concludes that disasters such as hurricanes show how poorly equipped the healthcare industry is to handle catastrophic situations and how valuable Health Information Technology could have been.

Robert Malone, Health Information Technology and HIPAA:  Can We Satisfy Security and Privacy Standards in the Digital Age?, 3 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 37 (2007)

Mr. Malone expands upon his previous publication, Health Information Technology: Transforming the Healthcare Industry for the 21st Century, in which he considered the effects such technology could have on the problems currently plaguing the industry.  Refer to 3 Okla. J.L. & Tech. 36 for a full copy of Health Information Technology.  Here, Mr. Malone considers whether this technology can co-exist with HIPAA and its concerns regarding privacy over sensitive health records.  Mr. Malone concludes that the benefits of Health Information Technology outweigh any risks related to HIPAA, and that the technology could in fact aid HIPAA through better enforcement of its provisions.

Robert Malone, Health Information Technology:  Transforming the Healthcare Industry for the 21st Century, 3 OKLA. J.L. TECH. 36 (2007)

Mr. Malone begins the first of a three-part series of articles discussing Health Information Technology.  Here, he considers the effects Health Information Technology could have on the healthcare industry taken as a whole.  He focuses on the benefits this technology could have in improving and streamlining the provision of healthcare services.  Mr. Malone concludes that in an industry experiencing soaring costs and increasing levels of inefficiency, Health Information Technology could be an effective remedy.

Dr. Alexander Zinser, The Safe Harbor Solution:  Is It an Effective Mechanism for International Data Transfers Between the United States and the European Union, 1 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 11 (2004).

Dr. Alexander Zinser, LL.M., is a Senior Attorney at Agilent Technologies International, Sarl, Morges, Switzerland, a subsidiary of Agilent Technologies Inc., Palo Alto, California. Below, Dr. Zinser provides an overview of the European Data Protection Directive (“Directive”), with particular emphasis on international data transfers of personal information be-tween the European Union and the United States. Part I provides a comparative look into the different approaches to data protection taken by the United States and the European Union. Part II and III, respectively, discuss Safe Harbor Principles available to U.S. companies that voluntarily choose to adhere to certain data protection guidelines and the legal basis for the Safe Harbor arrangement derived from the Directive. Part IV offers a comprehensible breakdown of each Safe Harbor Principle as well as ancillary provisions regarding dispute resolution and enforcement of the Principles. Lastly, Part V defines the powers of the European states and authorities with regard to violations of the Principles.