Of Interest

  • Techdirt Podcast Episode 174: How Private Agreements Recreated SOPA

    One of the most dangerous aspects of SOPA and other copyright proposals is the idea of moving enforcement and liability further down the stack of technology that powers the internet, even all the way to the DNS system. Although SOPA's DNS-blocking proposals were heavily criticized and the bill ultimately defeated, the idea of deep-level copyright enforcement has lived on and been implemented without changes to the law.

  • Lawmakers Don't Grasp the Sacred Tech Law They Want to Gut

    Date published: 
    July 17, 2018

    "Nowhere in the statute does it say that tech companies are prohibited from making editorial decisions if they want Section 230 protections. Quite the opposite. "It urges companies to filter and to block offensive content," says Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and author of the book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace. "Congress wanted to let companies filter dirty words and shield kids, without being held responsible for doing it incompletely. The idea that 230 requires neutrality is to fundamentally misunderstand it.""

  • How AT&T’s plan to become the new Facebook could be a privacy nightmare

    Date published: 
    July 16, 2018

    "“It’s tens of billions of dollars on the table, at a minimum. So of course they want to be in this market,” says Jonathan Mayer, an assistant professor at Princeton University who studies the intersection of technology and law. “It’s plausible because they have untapped data,” he adds. “They have info about what their customers do when they use home internet connections.

  • Bots of the Internet, Reveal Yourselves!

    Date published: 
    July 16, 2018

    "Mr. Calo cited as an example a driverless car law passed by Nevada in 2012, which met with protest from luxury carmakers. They were miffed that the technologies in their cars fell under the loosely drawn definition of autonomous vehicles. The bill was revised and passed the following year.

    “Embarrassingly it was the first definition of artificial intelligence I’ve ever seen in a state statute, and they had to strike it out and rewrite it,” Mr. Calo said."

  • The Inconsequential Choice-Of-Law Question Posed By Jesner V. Arab Bank

    Beth Van Schaack
    Publication Date: 
    June 16, 2018
    Publication Type: 
    Academic Writing


    In Jesner v. Arab Bank, the United States (U.S.) Supreme Court has taken up the question of whether victims of human rights abuses can sue corporations and other legal entities for violations of the law of nations under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS).

    Download available at ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law. 

  • How Wireless Carriers Get Permission to Share Your Whereabouts

    Date published: 
    July 15, 2018

    "“That was a green light for telecommunications carriers to monetize customer location data,” said Stanford University law professor Al Gidari, who helped draft the location-data guidelines that wireless industry group CTIA used to self-regulate. He said the FCC has been “woefully inadequate” at policing the carriers’ use of location information."

  • 'Data is a fingerprint': why you aren't as anonymous as you think online

    Date published: 
    July 13, 2018

    "“Once our data gets out there, it tends to be stored forever,” said Arvind Narayanan, a Princeton computer science professor. “There are firms that specialise in combining data about us from different sources to create virtual dossiers and applying data mining to influence us in various ways.”"

  • US: Government Has Planted Spy Phones With Suspects

    Date published: 
    July 13, 2018

    "Even if authorized by a warrant, the dissemination of vulnerable devices could create a risk of significant harm. Riana Pfefferkorn, a cryptography fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, told Human Rights Watch it would be “frightening to use a wiretap order to authorize seeding compromised devices among people.” She suggested that anyone who might accept such a tactic when the targets are suspected drug traffickers should consider a hypothetical scenario in which agents secretly gave such non-secure devices to “journalists or activists.”"

  • Two Senators Call for Investigation of Smart TV Industry

    Date published: 
    July 12, 2018

    "“In terms of practical things the F.T.C. could do, one is filing additional enforcement actions, which, in addition to curtailing individual companies’ practices, can send a powerful ‘clean up your act’ message to industries,” said Jonathan Mayer, an assistant professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University and a former technology adviser at the Federal Communications Commission."

  • The Cybersecurity 202: Privacy advocates blast Kavanaugh for government surveillance support

    Date published: 
    July 11, 2018

    "Kavanaugh could be a “potential vote for retrenchment on privacy and the Fourth Amendment,” said Albert Gidari, director of privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. As Kavanaugh moves through the confirmation process, he added, “I don't think there will be any surprises, as his unabashed view that national security trumps privacy is pretty clearly articulated in Klayman.”

    “In short,” Gidari said, “the privacy community isn't having cocktails over this one.”"


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