Of Interest

  • If an AI creates a work of art, who owns the rights to it?

    Date published: 
    August 15, 2017

    "As it stands, AIs in the US cannot be awarded copyright for something they have created. The current policy of the US Copyright Office is to reject claims made for works not authored by humans, but the policy is poorly codified. According to Annemarie Bridy, a professor of law at the University of Idaho and an affiliate scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society, there’s no actual requirement for human authorship in the US Copyright Act. Nevertheless, the “courts have always assumed that authorship is a human phenomenon,” she says."

  • The Daily Stormer, Online Speech, and Internet Registrars

    Most people I talk to think that Facebook, Twitter, and other social media companies should take down ugly-but-legal user speech. Platforms are generally applauded for taking down racist posts from the White Nationalist demonstrators in Charlottesville, for example. I see plenty of disagreement about exactly what user-generated content should come down -- breastfeeding images? Passages from Lolita? Passages from Mein Kampf? But few really oppose the basic predicate of these removals: that private companies can and should be arbiters of permissible speech on their platforms.*

  • Why is the Internet Like a Cell Phone? Carpenter v. U.S

    If your cell phone is on, your location is known, tracked and recorded, whether you are in your home or in public. As you move around, your location history is created and stored by the carrier, numerous applications on the device, and potentially even the manufacturer of the device or operating system provider. Your consent to capture this information, whether rough location or very granular,  may be tacit, inherent in the application’s usage, or freely given when you activate, install or operate the device.

  • Should web-hosting companies restrict who's on their platforms?

    Date published: 
    August 14, 2017

    ""Legally, they don't have any responsibility around this, unless it's a federal crime [such as child pornography] or intellectual property," Daphne Keller, the director of intermediary liability at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, told CNN Tech."

  • More U.S. companies push back on foreign must-store-data-here rule

    Date published: 
    August 12, 2017

    "“Part of what made the Internet always great and the reason why it’s blossomed is because it was always decentralized and not subject to heavy-handed regulations,” says Omer Tene, vice president of research and education at International Association of Privacy Professionals. "The concern is that the Internet will be splintered into islands.”"

  • What Does the New CDA-Buster Legislation Actually Say?

    Alarm bells are sounding around the Internet about proposed changes to one of the US’s core Intermediary Liability laws, Communications Decency Act Section 230 (CDA 230). CDA 230 broadly immunizes Internet platforms against legal claims based on speech posted by their users. It has been credited as a key protection for both online expression and Internet innovation in the US. CDA 230 immunities have limits, though. Platforms are not protected from intellectual property claims (mostly handled under the DMCA) or federal criminal claims.

  • The Crypto-Circus comes to town -- again

    As part of it's 50th anniversary celebrations, the Australian university where I did graduate work recently interviewed me on a range of cybersecurity topics. At the time of our chat, Australian Prime Minister Turnbull had just proclaimed that "the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that.

  • Hacking in Hollywood: Why the Industry Needs to Shore Up Security

    Date published: 
    August 11, 2017

    "When it comes to fighting cyber crimes in Hollywood, it’s a case of pay now or pay later. Matwyshyn said the entertainment industry is a prime target for hackers because the stakes are high, and those who work in the industry may not be paying close attention to internet security practices. It’s relatively easy to send a “phishing” email to a studio executive, advising them to click on a link. And just like that, hackers are in.

  • ‘Smart Cities’ of the Future Will Require More than Big Data

    Date published: 
    August 11, 2017

    "Embedding sensors into public infrastructure without centralizing and securing the data doesn’t make a city smart or sensible. If anything, it creates more privacy concerns and security risks. “This is kind of like giving everyone an ice cream,” said Albert Gidari, Director of Privacy at Stanford’s Center for Internet & Law. “Before you know it, what sounded like something for the greater good that we all liked, is killing us,” Gidari said."

  • Can Government Keep Up with Artificial Intelligence?

    Date published: 
    August 10, 2017

    "“There is no possible way to have some omnibus AI law,” says Ryan Calo, a professor of law and co-director of the Tech Policy Lab at the University of Washington. “But rather we want to look at the ways in which human experience is being reshaped and start to ask what law and policy assumptions are broken.”"


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