Attorney talks about internet law
By Riley Hays and Ian Gray
C.J. Lindsay, author of “The College Student’s Guide to the Law”, spoke in UW-Fox’s student union Nov. 7.
Lindsay, an attorney who also founded the Coalition for Student and Academic Rights (CO-STAR), talked to the audience about how to avoid legal problems on the internet.
“It’s much better to teach people how to stay out of trouble than it is to try and deal with the fires after they are already in trouble,” Lindsay said.
The author’s PowerPoint slideshow featured plastic action figures engaging in questionable behavior.
“At first they [audience members] think because I’m a lawyer it will be boring. It has to be funny, or no one would pay attention,” Lindsay said.
According to Lindsay, staying out of legal trouble online just requires common sense.
“If you wouldn’t do it offline, don’t do it online,” he said.
UW-Fox freshman David Cruickshank attended the presentation.
“The show was kind of nerve racking because I can’t believe there are so many people who go through such things. It seems kind of ridiculous to think that the internet has become this place of no return for many people,” Cruickshank said.
Lindsay hit the lecture circuit in 2007 as Facebook became popular.
“We’re pretty awful as a society. As soon as there is a new technology, we use it to do the worst things people can do.”
Lindsay said college students are frequently accused of online harassment, electronic stalking and software piracy.
He wants to educate people about the laws and their rights.
“Learning about the Fourth Amendment and how we as students really aren’t protected by that amendment, or it being valid in campus hearings was surprising to learn,” sophomore Jennifer Holz said. “I thought that students had more protection in these areas, but we don’t.”
CO-STAR, a non-profit organization, also provides legal advice to universities.
“There’s not that many people who really know higher education law like I do, so I’m often tapped as a resource when I’m on campus,” Lindsay said.
UW-Fox’s Campus Activities Board sponsored Lindsay’s lecture.