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With the realization of how important social media has become and will continue to be in consumer decisions, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has updated the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, pulling bloggers under the guidelines' umbrella. The new guides require bloggers to disclose "material connections" they have with advertisers when they have been given cash, products, or other consideration for publishing a post related to the advertiser.

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- - Freedom of Speech

While we can be thankful that the right to freedom of speech allows us to share our opinions through blogging, we may not have the luxury of doing so anonymously. Until recently, many bloggers and blog commenters assumed that if they wrote under an alias or anonymity, their comments couldn’t be traced to them. In light of recent court rulings though, bloggers should think twice about how they exercise their perceived freedom of speech.

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- - Supreme Court

For many of us, the idea that a high school coach could legally request a student's personal password for Facebook and then punish her for her private online exchanges is absurd. And yet, taking high school junior Mandi Jackson's assertions as true, this is exactly what happened at Pearl High School in Mississippi—and that's why she's suing the school district for violating her right to privacy and freedom of speech.

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- - Freedom of Speech

Everyone's familiar with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech: the right to speak freely on any subject without government restriction or penalties. But what does it actually mean? Can you really say or write anything you want? more...

- - Freedom of Speech

How do you know your food is safe? Many Americans trust the FDA to protect them and their families. But what the FDA can't do may have a greater affect on food safety than what they can do. more...

- - More US Law

You want to hack your phone to get additional functionality. Your phone service carrier wants to stop you. Who's right? more...

- - Technology

Most of us assume that prison life precludes any private contact between inmates and their significant others. After all, that's one of the penalties of going to prison. But then what about conjugal visits? Do they still exist? And who is entitled to them? more...

- - Marriage & Domestic Partnership

Earlier this year, a Chicago judge allowed Alison Miller to file a wrongful death suit against the fertility clinic that inadvertently destroyed the couple's frozen embryo. Three Rhode Island women have also been awarded compensation for emotional distress and loss of property three years ago. Now Missouri and Louisiana have laws protecting the legal rights of embryos. With laws like these on the books, couples with embryos frozen in fertility clinics face serious legal and ethical dilemmas when trying to decide what to do with remaining embryos. more...

- - Equal Protection

If you've watched television over the last few years, you've probably seen one or two of the more controversial anti-smoking ads that run during prime viewing hours. In one commercial, the camera zooms in on fatty deposits squeezed from the aorta of a 32-year old smoker. Another commercial features cowboys and models, traditional tobacco icons, cuddling up to body bags. So why aren't the tobacco companies outraged by these advertisements? more...

- - More US Law

The battle over vanity plates centers on whether vanity plates is actually individual and private expression or government speech. Government officials say that because they issue the plates, they can regulate the messages. If plates are classified as private speech, however, the government does not have the power to restrict an individual's license plate viewpoint. So what are the lines of acceptability? It depends on your state. Generally, what is "offensive to good taste and decency" is off limits. more...

- - Lifestyle