The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
The European Commission is making major steps forward in its new Digital Single Market strategy. One important part, the Platform Liability consultation, pointedly asked whether Internet intermediaries should “do more” to weed out illegal or harmful content on their platforms – in other words, to proactively police the information posted by users.
In the wake of recent reporting of Facebook’s alleged liberal curation of its trending newsfeed and Sen. John Thune’s subsequent letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking answers about these allegations and demanding a meeting, constitutional scholars, press advocates, and civil libertarians have mobilized the First Amendment in the company’s defense. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) Sophia Cope argued that the letter constitutes “an improper intrusion into editorial freedom,” and Stanford Law lecturer Thomas Rubin wrote in Slate that “we should be concerned about this federal intrusion into an independent organization’s editorial process.”
The Email Privacy Act is moving forward in the Senate. S.356, which currently has 28 cosponsors, would require a warrant for stored content -- essentially codifying current law and practice over the last six years. The House passed H.R. 699 overwhelmingly with 314 cosponsors, passing unanimously by a vote of 419-0.
The Facebook Trending Topics controversy has been analyzed from many angles, but there's been virtually no attention paid to the single most troubling aspect of the story: a Senate inquiry into Facebook's editorial decision-making process. My Slate column on the issue is here.
Jonathan Taplin’s op-ed (Do You Love Music? Silicon Valley Doesn’t) in the May 20 edition of The New York Times perpetuates a powerful dichotomy that has come to dominate debates surrounding copyright reform, specifically with respect to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): you’re either for the "creative" types, or you’re for the "technology" types. Pick a side.
This blog continues the analysis of how to respond to terrorist activity (including recruitment and planning of attacks) using network information technology, in particular social media. As noted earlier, I think promising avenues to investigate include three areas:
1) Countering misinformation
2) Active recruitment to alternative missions
3) Areas beyond communication - e.g., algorithmic adjustments by social media platforms
While information technologies, and the business platforms that deploy them have a central role, the core of the best responses to violent extremism may turn out not to be tools, but people.
The FBI produced a short film in July 2015 about an Chinese-backed attempted trade secret theft prosecution that actually occurred. Somehow I missed it; perhaps I was focusing on opposing the just-signed Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which was merely fledgling legislation a year ago. Having been referred to this film today, I'd planned to watch it under a doctor's supervision (for fear of blood pressure issues) this weekend. Instead, it beckoned me like the latest episode of Veep, so I watched it this afternoon. I was not disappointed.