Of Interest

  • Hyperloop Law: Autonomy, Infrastructure, and Transportation Startups

    In 2013, Elon Musk proposed an "open source transportation concept" of levitating vehicles zooming passengers through vacuum tubes at 760 miles an hour. It would be weatherproof, energy-efficient, relatively inexpensive, have autonomous controls. Its impact on urban and inter-city transport could reshape economies and families. 

  • Will Science Fiction Become the New Reality?

    Date published: 
    March 8, 2017

    "Indeed, panelist Peter Asaro—philosopher of science, technology, and media at The New School—said that machines aren't legal or moral agents. So if humans give robots responsibilities or rights they don't deserve, he said, it could cause problems for society.

    As humans and robots engage more frequently, it will become increasingly important for robots to develop empathy, Asaro said.

    “If they're going to interact with us socially, they're going to need to understand social structures,” he noted."


  • WikiLeaks Publishes Files It Says Are Biggest Leak of Secret CIA Documents

    Date published: 
    March 7, 2017

    "Tuesday’s document dump mirrors the one WikiLeaks carried out when it exposed cyber toolkits used by the National Security Agency, and frankly, is not that surprising of revelation at all, offers Richard Forno, assistant director at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Center for Cybersecurity and director of the Cybersecurity Graduate Program.

  • Tool Without a Handle: "Trustworthy Tools" - Part 2

    In my previous blog on propaganda, I noted private information, when stolen and published, can prove useful for propaganda efforts.  This post develops that concept in more detail, with an emphasis on privacy considerations.

    I agree with interpretations of the First Amendment finding important protections for publication of private information without consent.  And I concur that, as a matter of principle, the public interest can justify such publication.  But too often the “public interest” defense is rather often a post hoc rationalization rather than a reasoned justification.

    Contemporary analyses give insufficient weight to privacy and information security interests.  Such interests often outweigh the public interest value of making private information public without the consent of the owner or data subject, but that weight may not be recognized.  Some reasons for this potentially include media business models that reward clicks and attention, increased partisan polarity (and the utility of such disclosures for propaganda), mistrust of government, and insufficient enforcement of laws on cybercrime.  

  • A Response to Paul Vixie’s "Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale”

    Late last month, I posted to SSRN a draft of my forthcoming article, “Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name System: ICANN’s Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation.” The article takes a close look at ICANN’s role in facilitating a new program of extrajudicial notice and takedown in the DNS for domain names associated with accused “pirate sites.” The program is a cooperative, private venture between Donuts, the registry operator for hundreds of new gTLDs in the DNS, and the Motion Picture

  • IBM Gives Up Out-Of-Office Email Patent EFF Called 'Stupid'

    Date published: 
    March 2, 2017

    "Speaking by phone to Law360, Nazer said Thursday he believed the disclaimer was directly linked to his post given the timing, and the fact that IBM filed the disclaimer after it was contacted by other media outlets.

    “They file hundreds of other patents, so I guess they figured they could head off any criticism at the pass by dedicating it to the public," Nazer said."


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