Canada: Learning From Past Security Breaches: Drafting It Security Policies - Part 1

Last Updated: July 15 2008
Article by David Wotherspoon and Anna Silver

Please click here or on the 'Next Page' link at the end of this page to continue reading the rest of this article and its footnotes.

1. Introduction

In August 2007, announced a security breach that affected approximately 1.4 million victims. Hackers accessed the resume database using legitimate usernames and passwords, which were likely stolen from professional recruiters and human resources personnel.1 The hackers stole resume IDs, names, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses and phone numbers. The hackers then used the stolen information to send "phishing" e-mails to spread malicious software. Once installed, the worms enabled the hackers to monitor their victims' computers for online banking activity; they can record user names and passwords when the victims log into their bank accounts.2 waited 5 days to inform their customers, and when the breach announcement was made on August 17 2007, it is suspected that the attack had been going on, unnoticed, since July or earlier.3

The Internet has had a phenomenal impact on the vast majority of people around the globe. It revolutionized many things, how we buy books, hire employees, deal with our banks, access information, how we communicate with one another. Its existence has spawned entire industries: many of them fantastic, others loathsome.

There is now an industry of buying lists of social security numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, bank account records and credit cards on the electronic black market.4 The last three years alone have seen some of the largest known security and privacy breaches5, in spite of the use of more sophisticated security systems and technology.

Arguably the largest security breach to date is that which affected TJX Companies Inc. ("TJX"), the parent company to Winners Merchants Inc. and HomeSense in Canada. On January 18, 2007 TJX issued a press release to announce that it had suffered an unauthorized intrusion into its computer systems that process and store information related to customer transaction. The intrusion involved the portion of TJX's computer network that handled credit card, debit card, cheque and merchandise return transactions for customers.6 TJX revealed that the breach actually occurred in May of 2006 but was not discovered until December.7 TJX did not notify Canadians until after media reports of the incident, two or three months after the initial discovery of the breach. TJX estimated that as many as two million Canadian credit cards may have been accessed by the hackers.8

TJX claimed that data was stolen from 45.7 million card accounts.9 The final total of customers estimated to have been effected were as high as 94 million, according to VISA.10 VISA officials estimated the losses to banks that issued cards to be between $68 million to $83 million. A group of banks and financial institutions brought legal action against TJX to recover an unspecified amount. TJX reached a settlement with MasterCard Inc. of approximately $24 million11 and settled with VISA for approximately $40.9 million. TJX said that the cost of its settlements were included in the $256 million set aside to pay for computer work and other costs associated with the breach.12 However some experts have reported that TJX "may spend, in the end, upwards of $500 million on litigation fees, government fines and more"13

In March 2008, TJX also reached a settlement of charges brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Under the terms of the settlement, TJX must upgrade and implement comprehensive security procedures and must submit to audits by third parties every other year for twenty years.14 The Canadian response came in the form of a joint report issued in September 2007 by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta. The report revealed that TJX did not properly manage the risk of an intrusion against the amount of customer data that it collected and did not meet its duty to monitor its computer systems vigorously.15 The joint report also revealed that TJX collected too much information, kept the data for too long and relied on weak WEP encryption technology.16

What the joint report pointed to was a common thread among security breaches: the lack of effective risk assessment, management and remediation. While companies scrambled into damage-control mode, many experts and columnists were asking what steps these companies could have taken to prevent the breaches in the first place. The pressure is on to develop mechanisms in order to protect sensitive data, mitigate public and corporate embarrassment, ensure prompt and complete disclosure in the event of a breach. The starting point for all organizations is an IT security policy that assesses the risk and puts an effective plan in place in the event of a breach.

2. IT Policies: A Primer

(a) Definition

Often the terms "policy," "standard," and "guideline" are used to refer to documents that fall within the policy infrastructure. For clarity, a policy is typically a document that outlines specific requirements or rules that must be met. In the information/network security realm in particular, policies are often point-specific, covering a single issue. A "Password Protection" or "Acceptable Use" policy would cover the rules and regulations for creating passwords or the appropriate use of the computing facilities, respectively. The policy provides a set of mechanisms by which information security objectives can be defined and achieved.17 At their core, "[p]olicies allow organizations to set practices and procedures in place that will reduce the likelihood of an attack or an incident and will minimize the damage caused (...) should one occur."18

Corporate security policies "provide a standard baseline of security policy modules and checks, based on the organization's information security policies and standards."19 Corporate security policies are often split into a number of smaller policies that each address a specific issue or system.

(b) Anatomy Of A Policy And Its Place In The Organization.

"The only effective network security strategy is one that permeates the enterprise, including people, processes and technology."20 An IT security policy therefore should fit into every aspect of the organization. A corporate security policy should be grounded in some fundamental principles. Each organization must establish an overarching security framework that exists separate and apart from any specialized policies.21 A security philosophy explains what the security objectives of an organization are, and why the organization does what it does with respect to those objectives. A security strategy explains how the organization intends to achieve its objectives within the framework of the policy. Security policies set up the rules – the 'dos' and 'don'ts' of information security. Lastly, practices define the 'how' of the policy; they provide a practical guide regarding what to do to achieve security and how to do it.22

Policies are risk-control mechanisms; "[t]hus, a comprehensive risk assessment exercise must be the first phase of the policy development process."23 The first step of the exercise is to explicitly identify information assets and functions that are critical to the success of the organization. The best practice in this regard is to look at all aspects of electronic communication and data manipulation throughout the enterprise. Include all instant messaging, file transfer, chat, e-mail, online meetings and webinars, as well as all data creation, change, storage, deletion and retrieval.

Second, assess the risks to which this information is potentially exposed, with respect to confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy. Third, establish acceptable thresholds for those risks. Fourth, identify and implement information security strategies, policies, and controls involving people, process, and technology to mitigate known risks and maintain these risks at acceptable levels.24

IT risk is a business risk.25 It is the responsibility of upper management to initiate and lead the policy-making process and not to consider it a task for IT personnel. The role of policy is to guide users in knowing what is allowed, and to guide administrators and managers in making choices about system configuration and use.26 The policy must serve multiple levels of any organization and look beyond the technical aspects of IT security to consider the role of management, employees and any other users who may directly or indirectly affect the organization's security. Most businesses are not in the IT business, rather IT enables the business. IT is a necessary evil and one of the most significant elements to this evil is the risk of a security breach.

As the examples in this paper illustrate, there are multiple points of vulnerability in each business with respect to the opportunities for security breaches to occur. Theft or loss of property, unsecured networks, improperly stored data and malfunctioning systems are just a handful of means through which security breaches can be effected.

(c) How Can Companies Benefit From Having A Policy And Why Simply Having A Policy Is Not Enough

There are many ways that companies can benefit from an effective IT security policy. Because policy-creation is the responsibility of upper management, "the development of a policy includes the ancillary benefit of making upper management aware of and involved in information security."27 The policy also gives IT staff the backing of management; IT staff can enforce decisions without having to justify themselves to system users. The message is clear that the policy is coming from the top-down and that security is a priority for management, not just some technical issue to be dealt with by IT specialists.

A security policy also demonstrates a company's commitment to security, which may be helpful in attracting potential clients and investors. A published policy also gives the company something to point to in order to prove due diligence with respect to any confidential information that may have legal protection. Customers or clients who engage with the organization can be assured that their sensitive information is protected under a clearly articulated scheme and that appropriate efforts will be taken to protect their information and to communicate with them in the event that security is compromised. Further, when a company can show that it has a clearly articulated policy in place that is followed to the best of their ability and a breach nonetheless occurs, the existence and compliance with the policy could serve to mitigate damages.

Policies ensure consistency in security systems "by giving a directive and clearly assigning responsibilities and, equally important, by stipulating the consequences of failing to fulfil those responsibilities."28 Responsibility extends on multiple levels. In the most basic sense, the policy imparts responsibilities on individual users:

By clearly defining what can and cannot be done by users, by pre-establishing security standards, and by ensuring that all users are educated to these standards, the company places the onus of responsibility on users who can no longer plead 'ignorant' in case of transgression of the policy.29

Responsibility also extends to the creation of positions with very specific roles in the policy implementation process. A policy should identify persons in charge of auditing the policy, investigating suspected breaches and notifying the relevant authorities and/or the public when a breach has occurred.

Lastly, a policy is "the perfect standard against which technology and other security mechanisms can be measured." The company can check if software it installed is implementing the controls stipulated in the policy and IT staff can educate users as to which applications are acceptable to be downloaded onto company workstations. Employee transgressions against the policy can also be punished according to the terms of a pre-established agreement signed by the employee. Within the policy, the company can establish disciplinary measures that apply to contraventions of the policy so that discipline need not be conducted on a case-by-case basis. The employees will know what to expect if they breach the policy but more important, a good policy will also tell the employees exactly why it is imperative that the policy be obeyed.

Policies themselves are ineffective if they do not receive support from the organization; "[o]ne of the biggest challenges facing security people is to convince management of the importance of their involvement in the process."30 Policies are driven from the top down and if management support is lacking, the policy will fail. Policies are also ineffective if the employees and users do not know about them. Without proper education and training, the employee will not know about password creation guidelines or why they should not open unknown attachments or upload programs to their work computers.31 Overly technical and dense policies are also ineffective. A successful policy, and one that will benefit the company the most, will be concise, simple and practical. To be of greatest use to the organization, the policy should be easy to manage and maintain and easy to access by people seeking specific information.32

3. Issues Addressed In IT Policies

Once the overarching security framework has been established, the organization will have a strong foundation on which to develop an IT security policy and can begin to identify the specific issues that will have to be addressed by the policy.

As noted earlier, many organizations will create multiple policies, each addressing a particular issue. The preferred approach is to create multiple sub-topics within an all-encompassing policy. Regardless of the means of execution chosen, the following are some more of the more common policies or sub-topics that should exist in most organizations:

(i) Physical Security

In drafting IT security policies, physical security arises as an important issue, particularly in light of the growing mobility of workers, workstations and Internet access. Mobile workers, laptops and removable media place sensitive data at risk because of the inability to isolate and protect them.

On January 18, 2007 CIBC announced that while in transit between company offices, a file containing confidential information of 470,000 customers of its subsidiary, Talvest Mutual Funds, was lost.33 The federal Privacy Commissioner had to force CIBC to announce the security lapse and the Commissioner announced that she was launching an investigation into the breach to determine if there was a contravention of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).34

The loss of physical components of the organization must be guarded against in the security policy by creating rules regarding safe storage and transportation of equipment. Network and software security approaches, such as data backup and encryption, can then address the protections available to an organization in the event that a portable device containing sensitive information is lost or stolen.

(ii) Network/Software Security

Considering how many laptops come and go from an organization on a daily basis, it is also important to consider how many of those are running a firewall and have anti-virus software up to date with a full system scan.35 When an organization allows users to access its network from the outside, they should consider setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows the organizations to close VPN tunnels when equipment is no longer under the organization's control, be it because of theft, loss or employee termination.

Companies must consider threats from outside, typically mounted over the Internet, and within, and develop security policies that adequately guard against both. A proper and effective policy will therefore set out clearly the software requirements for all users as well as prohibit certain applications or programs from being downloaded on company equipment or equipment used to access company networks. As hackers grow increasingly sophisticated in their network attacks, organizations will have to review their network controls and tighten them up as appropriate.

(iii) Authentication/Password Protection

Organizations may set up a series of programs that require user passwords and authentication. Taking into account the purposes that the passwords serve, a corporate security policy should identify how frequently passwords should be changed. The more frequent passwords are changed, the more secure the data. In addition to password changing requirements, an effective security policy should set out guidelines to assist users in creating secure passwords. The policy should also remind users of the importance of selecting passwords and of keeping their password information confidential, particularly when not all users have access to the same information.

Depending on the size of the organization and the complexity of information dealt with, a policy may include developing an information classification system. The system ranks information according to its level of confidentiality and the access users are given to it.36 The policy will establish clearance levels for users and potential users.

(iv) Encryption

Much of the identity theft that occurs is achieved by accessing systems that are not encrypted.37 Encryption transforms information using an algorithm, making the information unreadable to anyone except those possessing the ability to decrypt the information. Encryption is used to protect confidential information and it protects the information from threats from the outside as well as threats from the inside in the instance where not all users are authorized to view the same data. When organizations choose to encrypt data, upper management should be involved in deciding when encryption is to be used. The organization also needs to put policies in place for key storage and password access so if ever the keys and passwords are lost by the end users, they will have a way back in to decrypt the information and reset the keys or change the passwords. Data will be useless to organizations if they do not securely store decryption codes. One example arises in the situation where a disgruntled employee is terminated and encrypts their data prior to leaving the organization. Without the decryption codes, and in the absence of appropriate data backup systems, the organization will lose the data the employee had been working with. Encrypted data will also be useless to potential hackers: "If a laptop with confidential records is stolen, but the thief doesn't have the password or key to decrypt the data, it will be useless to them."38 Encryption is therefore integrated with issues of authentication and password protection.

(v) Acceptable Use Policy

In April of this year, a security breach left crucial evidence in an RCMP investigation into a national auto-theft ring exposed to theft and tampering.39 In the wake of the announcement, the defense lawyer for four men accused in the auto-theft ring argued that their charges should be stayed due to the breach. The RCMP had isolated six computers which were dedicated to processing evidence in the case40 and the breach occurred as a result of an RCMP officer's unauthorized use of those computers; the officer connected the computers to the Internet and used them to download software programs, videos and music files, in addition to visiting pornographic sites and dating websites. The computers were infected with at least 4 viruses over a 20-month period, one of which caused one of the computers to become part of a Zombie Network, which sent out thousands of spam messages to other computers. More significantly, the viruses opened a "backdoor" allowing the computer to be controlled by an outside person, which would give them "the ability to view, copy, delete or alter any file on the infected machine."41

The RCMP security breach is an example of the type of situation that an acceptable use policy should govern. Acceptable use of IT systems must be addressed in any organization's policy. Acceptable use policies restrict the way that networks may be used and it is within the acceptable use policy that things like instant messaging, e-mail, program downloads, and general Internet use will be covered. This aspect of the policy governs users on a daily basis and it must be clearly worded so that the user is made aware of the reasons why they may not use instant messaging software, browse on public information-sharing websites like Facebook, or participate in online gambling on work computers, as examples. It is for this reason that acceptable use policies often contain the organization's philosophy on IT security so as to make it clear why the users are restricted in the ways identified.

(vi) Security Awareness

A way of making sure that users are informed of acceptable use policies and other policies is to build into the security policy an awareness program so that users are regularly informed of the policy and any changes made to it. This can come in the form of mandated training seminars for new staff, quarterly meetings to review policies and the largest threats to security, or regular newsletters. In addition, most policies require organization employees, contractors, and other staff to either sign the policy itself or to sign a document stating their understanding and acceptance of the security policy. This form of acknowledgement forces users to be aware of the policy and gives the organization recourse in case of a breach.42 Conversely, this approach puts a great onus on the organization to ensure that the acknowledgement is signed in each case. If an employee involved in a breach either did not sign the acknowledgment form or their form cannot be located because they are not stored in one location or according to an organizational system, the organization can not rely on the acknowledgment.

(vii) Compliance

Organizations must be prepared to enforce every stipulation in their policy, and policies should clearly indicate that there are consequences to be paid for violations of the policy. By setting out strict and clear compliance standards, organizations will have an established set of disciplinary measures available to them that can be applied consistently and can reflect the gravity of the breach. If policies are not followed without recourse, the policy might as well not exist. And if a policy is continually violated, it might be a sign that it needs to be reformulated to better meet the organization's needs and the user's expectations. Compliance is critical if the policy is to be effective. As earlier mentioned, a properly enforced policy can serve to mitigate damages in the event of a breach.

(viii) Auditing And Review

Hand in hand with compliance provisions are those that provide for an internal audit or review of security policies. The policy should state whether, when and how security reviews will be performed. The joint report of the federal and Alberta Privacy Commissioners with respect to the TJX breach emphasized that "once in place, security measures must be actively monitored, audited, tested and updated when necessary."43 The audits should evaluate the efficacy of the policy, the degree of compliance and the strength of the systems in place. Bearing in mind the overarching framework, audits should ensure that the measures taken are achieving the goals set out by the organization. Regular audits and reviews keep upper management involved and reinforce the importance of the policies to lower end users and IT staff. The audits will also reveal how quickly and effectively the organization will be able to deal with the unexpected.

(ix) Incident Response & Disaster Contingency Plan

Part of the incident response and disaster contingency planning provision involves the designation of roles and responsibilities to those who would play a role in the event of an incident or disaster. The policy should clearly set out who within the organization is invested with the powers to investigate suspected breaches as well as who has decision-making powers when a course of action is required. Members of the organization should be able to look to the policy to know who they should contact in any number of circumstances. If a policy set out the steps to be taken in the event of a suspected breach, risks can be minimized as much as possible and those with the appropriate training and knowledge can be promptly alerted and be in a position to contain damage and give further instructions as needed.

(x) Disclosure/Notification

The risk of bad publicity creates incentives for businesses to take effective security measures that prevent data breaches in the first place. However in the event of a breach, the organization should have in place standards respecting notification. Notification provisions can establish the threshold events requiring notification as well as the parties to whom notification must be given.

The federal Privacy Commission expresses the following:

organizations are encouraged to report material privacy breaches to the appropriate privacy commissioner(s) as this will help them respond to inquiries made by the public and any complaints they may receive.44

The Privacy Commission also notes that organizations should consider whether there is any applicable legislation that may require notification and whether the personal information is subject to privacy legislation.45 The PIPEDA is one such piece of legislation that governs the use of and disclosure of certain information.

Dozens of U.S. states have enacted security breach disclosure legislation. The California Security Breach Information Act (SB-1386) requires companies to notify customers if personal information maintained in computerized data files have been compromised by unauthorized access. California consumers must be notified when their name is illegitimately obtained from a server or database with other personal information such as their Social Security number, driver's license number, credit or debit card number, or security code or password for accessing their financial account.46

Canada is considering implementing legislation of this kind.47 As of the time of writing, Canada does not have any requirements to force companies or governments to disclose to individuals when personal data is lost, stolen or otherwise improperly accessed.48 The recommended standard for requiring individual notification is "high risk of significant harm to individuals or organization." The threshold for notification to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner is "major loss or theft of personal information".49

(xi) Other Issues

In addition to disclosure, document retention was an issue in relation to the June 2005 CardSystems breach. CardSystems', a credit-card processor, IT system was breached and thieves made off with data on as many as 40 million accounts affecting various credit card brands, including MasterCard.50 MasterCard's anti-fraud systems detected the breach which MasterCard estimated to have potentially affected one out of every seven of all credit cards issued in the U.S.51 Shortly after the breach announcement, a class action suit was filed in California against CardSystems and other defendants, claiming that CardSystems was negligent in the way it maintained consumer credit data. The lawsuit did not seek monetary damages other than legal fees; the class asked the court to order the defendants to give notice to the consumers affected.52 Complicating matters, CardSystems admitted that it should not have been keeping the records that were breached and that it had improperly retained them for "research purposes."53

Depending on the sophistication of the organization and the extent to which it may have a document management department, the security policy may also address the issue of document storage and retention. This issue can relate to both the type of information stored and the length of time the information is stored. Many observers of the recent security breaches have commented that organizations have the tendency to store more data than they need for unnecessarily long periods of time and that this adds to the risk posed. The organization should somewhere establish policies and systems for storing information and to determine the amount and type of information that needs to be retained, with a view to only retaining the most necessary of sensitive information.


1. Gregg Keizer, "The mess" (24 August 2007), online: InfoWorld

2. Vito Pilieci, "Monster job site breached" CanWest News Service (21 August 2007), online:

3. Supra note 1.

4. Gary S. Miliefsky, "The 7 best practices for network security in 2007" Network World (17 January 2007), online: Network World

5. A privacy breach occurs when there is unauthorized access to or collection, use or disclosure of personal information: Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, "Key Steps for Organizations in Responding to Privacy Breaches" (28 August 2007), online: Resource Centre

6. Howard Fohr and Barbara McIsaac, "Canada: Privacy Commissioners Rule on High-Profile Privacy Breach" McCarthy Tétrault LLP (28 March 2008), online:

7. "When companies lose customer data" CBC (26 January 2007), online:

8. Michael Geist, "Privacy breaches expose flaws in law" The Toronto Star (22 January 2007), online:

9. Ross Kerber, "Details emerge on TJX breach" The Boston Globe (25 October 2007), online:

10. Martin H. Bosworth, "TJX Settles with FTC Over Data Breach" (1 April 2008), online: Consumer

11. "TJX Settles Data Breach for $24 million" Law Day Newsletter (3 April 2008), online:

12. Ibid

13. Illena Armstrong, "Survey 2008: Guarding against a data breach" SC Magazine (31 January 2008), online:

14.Supra note 10.

15. Supra note 6.

16. "TJX breach was preventable: privacy commissioner" CBC (25 September 2007), online:

17. Charl van der Walt, "Introduction to Security Policies, Part One: An Overview of Policies" (27 August 2001), online: Security Focus

18. Ibid.

19. "Importance of Corporate Security Policy" Symantec, online:

20. "Nortel Unified Security Framework for corporate and government security" Nortel, online:

21. Charl van der Walt, "Introduction to Security Policies, Part Three: Structuring Security Policies" (9 October 2001), online: Security Focus

22. Supra note 17.

23. Ibid.

24. "Report of the best practices and metrics teams" Corporate Information Security Working Group (17 November 2004), online:

25. Supra note 13.

26. Supra note 19.

27. Supra note 17.

28. Ibid.

29. Ibid.

30. Charl van der Walt, "Introduction to Security Policies, Part Two: Creating a Supportive Environment" (24 September 2001), online: Security Focus

31. Gary S. Miliefsky, "The 7 best practices for network security in 2007" Network World (17 January 2007), online: Network World

32. Supra note 21.

33. Supra note 7.

34. "Privacy Commissioner launches investigation of CIBC breach of Talvest customers' personal information" Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (18 January 2007), online: Media Centre .

35. Supra note 31.

36. Supra note 30.

37. Ibid.

38. Ibid.

39. "RCMP exposed evidence in theft case, lawyer says" The Globe and Mail (2 April 2008), online:

40. "RCMP computer security breach may have compromised trial evidence" CBC (3 April 2008), online:

41. Ibid.

42. Supra note 30.

43. Supra note 6.

44. Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, "Key Steps for Organizations in Responding to Privacy Breaches" (28 August2007), online: Resource Centre

45. Ibid.

46. Supra note 31.

47. Tom Wappel, "Statutory Review of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA): Fourth Report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics" 39th Parliament, 1st Session (May 2007), online:, 41-45.

48. "Submission to Industry Canada Considering the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics' Report on the 2006 Review of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)" Public Interest Advocacy Centre (15 January 2008), online:

49. "CIPPIC Submission to Industry Canada re: PIPEDA reform issues" Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) (15 January 2008), online:

50. Robert Lemos, "MasterCard warns of massive credit-card breach" (17 June 2005), online:

51. Ibid.

52. Robert McMilan, "Lawsuit filed over CardSystems data breach" (28 June 2005), online:

53. Ibid.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

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