Review Portals Have to Verify Anonymous User Reviews, Says the German Supreme Court

In a recent decision, the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), the highest court in the system of ordinary jurisdiction in Germany, established a case of intermediary liability for anonymous reviews published in review portals, which are under the obligation to verify the accuracy of the review upon request. This case departs from previous case law, which has usually seen review portals prevailing in court.

New Article: How Governments Can Promote Automated Driving

My recently completed article presents steps that governments can take now to encourage the development, deployment, and use of automated road vehicles. After providing technical and legal context, it describes key administrative, legal, and community strategies. It concludes by urging policymakers to facilitate automated driving in part by expecting more from today’s drivers and vehicles. 

The SEC Play for a Backdoor to Your Email

The FBI demand for access to a locked iPhone by compelling Apple to write new software to undo its security features has sucked the oxygen out of the surveillance-privacy debate over the last few weeks.  So much is this the case that coverage of the markup of H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, tentatively scheduled for March 22, seems sure to be lost in the oral argument on Apple’s case, which is scheduled to be heard the same day.  But the Email Privacy Act is incredibly important and it deserves attention.

State And Local Cyber Security: The Rapid Growth of Cyber in Fusion Centers

Tracking the institutional response of state and local governments to cyber threats is relatively tough in many cases.  Security concerns, rapid changes, and limited transparency all collectively make finding official and primary sources challenging.  As such, when there are useful data sources to help understand these issues, they’re worthy of note.  One such set of data comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Annual Fusion Center Assessmen

Tool Without a Handle: Tools for Terror, Tools for Peace

Much consideration has been given to the role of tools in recruitment to extremist violence, the desirability of restricting the use of tools for those purposes, the collateral effects of such restrictions, and the opportunity to use tools for alternative narratives.

This blog concludes that in some cases, restrictions on such uses can be desirable. At the same time though, with few exceptions, the choice of such restrictions should be left to the private sector, and carried out in a way that advances liberal principles. Moreover, there is unlikely to be a solely technological solution to the problem of radicalization or its products, including planning of terrorist attacks. Ultimately, it may be people rather than tools, that are the most effective resource for curtailing extremist violence.


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