Of The Law and the Hacker Spirit

On June 21st 2018, Professor Jonathan Askin (Brooklyn Law School) and Special Agent Bryan Randall (the US Department of Homeland Security) visited the Brickfields Asia College (BAC) PJ campus as  guest speakers co-organised by the US Department of Justice – Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance & Training.

Previously a criminal investigator for nine years, Special Agent Randall is a subject matter expert in cryptocurrency and dark web related cases. He currently heads the HSI Detroit Dark Web group which focusses on dark web and cryptocurrency related crimes. Special Agent Randall covered, in great detail, topics such as transnational crime, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and his role in Homeland Security.

Professor Jonathan Askin teaches tech, telecom and entrepreneurial law & policy at Brooklyn Law School and is the Founder of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic as well as the Co-Founder of the iLINC Network of European Startup Law Clinics, the Legal Technology Laboratory and the Legal Hackers Movement. In his dynamic presentation, Professor Askin used the Zax Bypass as an example to explain the importance of equipping lawyers with the necessary tools to manoeuvre change and disruption in the industry.


“It was a fantastic session with plenty of insights into legal technology. Professor Jonathan Askin made a pertinent point about how law students and junior lawyers shouldn’t be afraid that their jobs will be replaced by robots,” said Pang Jo Fan, Head of Marketing & Communication Strategies for CanLaw. “As much as computers can process 1s and 0s, it can never understand nuances and the concepts of justice and equity, which is exactly what lawyers are trained to do. It should be good news for young lawyers that the repetitive tasks can be outsourced to automation so they can focus on what they studied law for – to uphold the cause of justice without fear or favour!”

The session concluded with a lively discussion where Professor Askin along with his fellow delegate Special Agent Randall fielded questions from the audience. Among the issues discussed included the existing relationship between virtual currencies and traded drugs, the increasing prevalence of Artificial Intelligence and the use of blockchain technology to solve global crises like undocumented refugees amongst others.

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Events such as this are an enriching part of campus life. BAC, in recognition of the distinct and permanent influence that these events have on students, launched the all-new 360 Education Ecosystem which is designed to provide students with a holistic education thus delivering an engaging experience for students looking for a balance between studying and fun. These activities are provided by the college’s related entities which include Asia Law Academy, the Language Centre, Skills Academy, the Career Centre, MonsterFit and Rock Academy amongst others.