CLIP-ings: June 7, 2019

Internet Governance

House Judiciary Subcommittee Pushes Antitrust Investigation Of Tech Industry: Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google will be called to testify as part of a wide-ranging probe over the tech industry’s perceived concentration and misuse of market power and the resulting impact on local journalism, consumer privacy, and market entry for startups; the hearing is being conducted in addition to three separate antitrust inquiries simultaneously pursued by the executive branch, the Justice Department, and the F.T.C.

PrivacyS

New York Privacy Act Receives Pushback From Big Tech: A bill recently introduced by New York State senator Kevin Thomas that would create a private right of action and would require online businesses to act as “data fiduciaries” would become one of the strongest privacy laws in the country if passed.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

EU Embassy In Moscow Falls Victim To Multi-Year Cyber Attack: A leaked internal document reveals that the EU Embassy in Moscow was compromised by sophisticated cyber-attacks to its unclassified network as early as February 2017; the European External Action Service, the EU’s foreign and security policy agency, did not discover the attack until this April, shortly before the EU Parliament elections.

Intellectual Property

Uber Faces Patent Infringement Claim: A former Georgia Institute of Technology professor is suing the company for allegedly infringing his 2004 patent over a system that combines cellphones, GPS, and auto-billing technology to facilitate ridesharing; the former professor also sued Lyft last July for infringement of the same patent.

Free Expression & CensorshipS

EU Court Signals That Facebook May Be Required To Remove Content Worldwide: The European Court of Justice’s legal adviser issued an advisory opinion indicating that Facebook could be ordered to remove content that is identical or “equivalent” to content that is hateful, defamatory, or otherwise illegal; Facebook argues that the opinion, if followed, would have far-reaching implications for how states maintain sovereignty and uphold freedom of expression.

CNN And Reuters Fall Victim To Chinese Government Censorship: Upon the 30th anniversary of Beijing’s pro-democracy uprising and subsequent Tiananmen Square massacre, the Cyberspace Administration of China has blocked CNN and has pressured the financial information firm Refinitiv to block Thomson Reuters stories from its Eikon news software; the Chinese government has also denied visas to journalists who have published articles critical of the nation’s leadership.

Practice Note

D.C. Court Allows Privacy Case Against Facebook To Proceed: In a suit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the D.C. Superior Court rejected Facebook’s argument that the court lacked jurisdiction over the company, as well as its alternative argument that the action should be stayed pending resolution of the F.T.C.’s investigation of the company and a separate class-action; the ruling allows the D.C. Attorney General to begin obtaining evidence that Facebook has violated the District’s consumer-protection and privacy laws.

On the Lighter Side

Teens’ Use Of AirDrop Confuses Unsuspecting Adults: Adults are increasingly getting caught in the crossfire of teenagers’ use of Apple’s AirDrop feature.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Robert Chislett
Alison Gordon

Editorial Fellows

CLIP-ings: May 10, 2019

Internet Governance

Spotify And Apple Clash Over Antitrust: The EU will launch a formal antitrust investigation against Apple after Spotify complained that Apple’s practices of taking a cut of Spotify subscriptions made through the App Store and blocking Spotify from implementing “experience-enhancing upgrades” disadvantages Spotify to Apple Music’s benefit.

FTC Privacy Penalty Disagreement: According to a New York Times report, the Federal Trade Commission’s five commissioners disagree about the size and scope of the fine to be levied against Facebook for recent privacy violations, as well as about whether CEO Mark Zuckerberg should be held personally liable; the case is being watched as a litmus test for how forcefully the United States will police one of its most influential tech companies.

Privacy

State-Held Biometric Data Deletion: UK tax authority HM Revenue & Customs will delete customer voice records collected through the Voice ID biometric voice security system after being informed by the Information Commissioner’s Office that its failure to provide customers with information about how their voice data would be processed and to offer customers the opportunity to give or withhold explicit consent violated the GDPR.

Facebook Content Labeling Project Revealed: As part of a project to understand how users’ posts are changing over time, Facebook has employed contractors to manually categorize photos, status updates, and other content according to five different “dimensions”; though Facebook responded to reports of the project by ensuring that its legal teams approve all labeling efforts, some contend that the project may run afoul of the GDPR.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Team Effort To Beat Misinformation Campaigns: FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate panel that the Bureau’s relationship with Silicon Valley has “changed dramatically” over past years, and that the FBI and social media companies will continue to work together to curb foreign influence campaigns leading up to the 2020 election.

$41 Million Bitcoin Theft: Hackers employed “phishing, viruses and other attacks” to steal $41 million worth of Bitcoin from cryptocurrency Binance in what is the latest in a string of similar thefts.

Free Expression & Censorship

Fake Account Takedown Continues: As part of its effort to combat misinformation on its platform, Facebook removed 118 fake accounts tied to Russia for “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” such as impersonating others and misrepresenting the accounts’ purposes; the fake accounts were behind Facebook pages and groups dedicated to politics in Austria, the Baltics, Germany, Spain, Ukraine and the UK. 

On the Lighter Side

What Seems To Be The Problem . . . Officer? A new “telepresence robot” that extends forward from a police cruiser to a pulled-over vehicle allows for a two-way audiovisual communication between a police officer and the vehicle’s driver without either having to exit their car. 

Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: May 3, 2019

Internet Governance

Facebook Offers Data On Election Influence: The company announced that it will provide “privacy-protected Facebook data” from APIs and other sources to more than 60 academics for the purpose of researching the social network’s role in instances of election interference across the world.

Privacy

FTC And Facebook Working Toward Settlement: A week after Facebook announced that it expects to be fined up to $5 billion by the FTC for privacy violations, reports have emerged that tentative settlement terms between the parties would require Facebook to create a privacy committee, appoint an external assessor, and appoint a head compliance officer to oversee the company’s privacy compliance efforts.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Vodafone Discovered Vulnerabilities In Huawei Equipment: Newly-released 2009 and 2011 security briefings from Vodafone Group reveal that the telecom discovered hidden backdoors in software that could have granted Huawei unauthorized access to the network that provides internet service in Italy, as well as in certain broadband network gateways; Vodafone and Huawei said that they worked together to resolve the issues upon their discovery.

Florida Voting Equipment Compromised: Senator Marco Rubio confirmed that Russian hackers infiltrated at least one Florida county’s electronic voting system during the 2016 presidential election by mimicking emails from the company that provided the voting equipment; according to Rubio, the hackers were “in a position” to alter voter records.

Intellectual Property

SCOTUS Seeks Input On Google Appeal: The Supreme Court has asked the Trump administration to weigh in on whether the Court should consider the company’s appeal of a Federal Circuit ruling that revived Oracle’s case alleging that Google impermissibly copied code from the Java programming language to create Android.

Free Expression & Censorship

Clarifying What’s Tweet-able For Tesla: A federal judge approved a proposed settlement between the SEC and Tesla CEO Elon Musk that prohibits Musk from tweeting about Tesla’s finances, proposed mergers and acquisitions, and yet-unreleased production and delivery figures without first obtaining pre-approval from the company’s lawyers; this new settlement comes after Musk settled 2018 securities fraud charges related to tweets about taking Tesla private.

Practice Note

Taking Tweets With You: A Missouri federal district court declined to dismiss a conversion claim brought by a plaintiff against one of its former employees after the former employee changed the handle of a Twitter account that he used in connection with his work with plaintiff to reflect his affiliation with a new employer, the plaintiff’s direct competitor.

On the Lighter Side

Undersea Espionage: Could a GoPro harness-wearing beluga whale encountered by fisherman off Norway’s coast be a Russian spy?


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: June 30, 2017

Internet Governance

Tech Titans Tackle Terrorism: Tech giants Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Google via YouTube will further their joint counter-terrorism efforts by forming the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, centering its focus on working with other players in the fight against terrorism, commissioning research and sharing technological solutions to curtail the content’s prevalence.

Give Kids the World Wide Web: Facebook is backing a new bill proposed by the California legislature that would give internet access to youth in juvenile detention facilities and foster care homes and allow them to develop computer literacy and communication skills

Privacy

Search Warrant Stress: The fight between Facebook and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as the BCA sought access to the Facebook accounts and metadata of Philando Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, in the days following the deadly shooting shed light on the difficult position of social media companies when faced with search warrants for user data and the differences in compliance between tech and telecommunications companies with such requests.

Now You See Me: Snapchat’s new location-sharing Snap Map feature has raised concerns that users can unwittingly broadcast their exact real-world position in the app, though the company states that precise location data is deleted after a short period of time.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Public Health Policy Meets Privacy: In its 17 point framework, the World Health Organization outlines the costs and benefits, such as potential patient privacy risks and tracking spread of diseases respectively, for countries’ adoption of the guidelines but emphasizes the importance and necessity for global ethical and responsible public health information collection and analysis.

Cyber Ceasefire: In a suspected effort to be harder on China, Canada signed an agreement with China agreeing not to conduct economic cyber espionage against the other, including hacking corporate secrets and proprietary technology, but the agreement does not address intelligence gathering via state-sponsored hacks.

Muddled Motivations: After another global cyberattack caused computer systems to fail around the world but yielded a small payout for the attackers, security experts are questioning whether the prospect of financial gain takes a backseat to other goals such as spreading an attack more quickly or sending a political message.

Intellectual Property

Copying Coachella? Urban Outfitters says it did not infringe on the music festival  Coachella’s trademark, arguing that its use of the mark in advertising is not confusing to consumers and that other infringement allegations should be directed at its legally distinct subsidiary, Free People.

Tweet Takedown: Twitter suspended several popular music blogs after they tweeted footage from awards shows and another blog that tweeted the track list for a forthcoming hip-hop album, leading to both speculation that Twitter will suspend individual accounts for alleged copyright violations and calls for more transparent account suspension guidelines.

Free Expression and Censorship

Net Neutrality Noisemaker No More: In the ongoing fight for net neutrality, a voice that was once a vocal proponent is now notably silent; Tumblr and its CEO David Karp have barely engaged in the current discussion for net neutrality, and some suspect this change is due to Tumblr’s new parent company, Verizon Wireless, an opponent of net neutrality.

Halting Hate Speech: German police raided homes and interrogated 36 citizens accused of using hate speech on Facebook and Twitter, including incendiary political comments and harassment based on sexual orientation, in the midst of a pending German law that would impose a fine of up $53 million on social media platforms that do not remove prohibited speech.

Practice Note

Patent Predicament: While proponents of the proposed STRONGER Patent Act believe that the legislation will better protect patent owners’ rights, critics argue that the Act would remove a mechanism for challenging bad patents and actually discourage inventors from conducting research and development in the United States.

On the Lighter Side

Robo Reporting Gone Awry: A robot reporter used by the Los Angeles Times called Quakebot reported that a 6.8 earthquake hit Los Angeles last Wednesday, which it did but in 1925; the robot reports on earthquakes via the U.S. Geological Survey’s website but due to a USGS staffer’s mistaken alert during an update of historical data, the robot in turn messed up.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Elizabeth Martin
Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: June 23, 2017

Internet Governance

Content With a Conscience: Google offered new “Community Guidelines” for its YouTube service that places additional restrictions on content deemed offensive but not flat-out removable, such as providing a warning to users, removing user recommendations and comments, and restricting the ability to monetize the content with advertising. 

All Access: The Supreme Court ruled that it is a violation of the First Amendment to ban people from the internet, recognizing a constitutional right even for individuals convicted of serious crimes to access what the Court believes is an essential forum for free speech activities.

Privacy

Dangerous Diagnoses: A data mining company has been soliciting people to take part in drug trials based in part on information it collects from data brokers about their potential health conditions, raising concerns that big data is exploiting sensitive and sometimes inaccurate medical information to turn a profit.

Internet ID? Technology companies and humanitarian groups are calling for a global digital identification system they say would make it easier to travel, sign documents, and even seek asylum, backed by encryption technology supposedly robust enough to store fingerprints, medical records, and banking information in a single mobile app.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Data Disruption Drives $1M Deposit: A South Korean web hosting company, primarily serving thousands of small businesses, paid a $1 million ransom after an eight-day data outage cyber attack.

Meet Your Moderator: Due to a bug in the company’s system, the personal accounts of over 1000 Facebook content-moderators were posted in the groups that these administrators had removed from the site.

Intellectual Property

Moody Movie: Disney-Pixar is being sued over the idea for the 2015 film Inside Out by the co-founder of the National Childhood Grief Institute for her program designed to help children manage and understand their emotions, a program that she had pitched to Disney-Pixar annually from 2005-09.

Livestream LoserA U.S. District Judge ordered an unsuccessful plaintiff to pay the defendants’ attorneys fees as a punishment for the bogus copyright claim arising over the media outlets’ use of the plaintiff’s accidental live-stream of his child’s birth, an act protected by the fair use doctrine.

Show(room) Stopper: Fresh off the heels of its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market, Amazon has received a patent for technology that prevents “showrooming” while customers are connected to the Wi-Fi in Amazon stores by restricting access to competitors’ websites, sending targeted offers, and even alerting Amazon employees that a customer is conducting online research while in the store.

Free Expression and Censorship

Mistakenly Mature Materials: As a Pride Month Initiative, with the help of many volunteered LGBTQ employees and content creators YouTube corrected its filtration system and updated its policies for its Restricted Mode, a system designed for public institutions to prevent mature content on their computers.

Maduro Gets Mad: Twitter allegedly blocked 180 accounts linked to the Venezuelan government, pointing not to a specific violation but instead to its usual policy of blocking accounts for abuse, spam or security issues and leading Venezuelan President Maduro to say that the government will retaliate by creating “10,000 or more” accounts.

Practice Note

Government Speech No-Go: The Supreme Court ruled that the anti-disparagement clause, which prohibits trademark registration if the trademark brings disparagement or produces contempt to “persons living or dead,” is unconstitutional as it violated the First Amendment, and thereby curtailing the scope of the government-speech doctrine by clarifying that the approval of a government, such as the USPTO, does not categorize the private speech as government speech capable of being silenced if it is viewed as disfavored by the government.

On the Lighter Side

To Push Puss Press… Netflix has announced it’s developing interactive-storytelling childhood shows, using Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile and  Buddy Thunderstruck, providing viewers many opportunities to navigate the story and choose their own ending.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Elizabeth Martin
Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: June 16, 2017

Internet Governance

Paid Postgramming: Instagram unveiled a new “branded content tool” that will help users tell the difference between sponsor-free posts and paid posts that signal partnerships with influencers, and it will help influencers and sponsors collect data on how the sponsored posts perform with users.

Classified Covfefe: As the White House states that social media posts should be considered as official presidential communications, lawmakers hope to amend the Presidential Record Act via the passing of the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act.

Privacy

Capable Crusader? With the identity of the perpetrator unknown, a lawyer unsuccessfully sued Facebook after his account was hacked and compromised with revenge porn postings; the 9th Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Facebook as a third party to the hack was not liable for such conduct.

Privacy for the Pro: While professional athletes’ status as public figures substantially affects the scope of their privacy rights, at least one federal district court has articulated additional privacy protections that loosen the otherwise higher standard for athletes to show that a public disclosure of private information amounts to an invasion of privacy.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Cyberwar, cont. More than a year after launching a cyber offensive against the Islamic State that has yielded inconsistent results, U.S. counterterrorism officials are retooling their cyber warfare techniques with the goal of permanently dismantling ISIS cyber-infrastructure through more robust attacks.

Tweets from Thieves: A security research group has uncovered an international hacking scheme called the “Doubleswitch” in which hackers compromise the Twitter accounts of activists and journalists, locking the victims out of their accounts and allowing the hackers to use seemingly legitimate handles to disseminate fake news.

There Goes the Grid: U.S. intelligence officials are worried that the malware believed to have shut down part of the electric grid in Ukraine last year can be leveraged against other countries at a much larger scale, but the risk could provide the impetus for countries to better secure their power grids.

Intellectual Property

Tough Time for Trolling: Louis Vuitton is pushing back against being regarded as a “troll” as it is being sued for attorneys fees in its failed trademark infringement and trademark dilution litigation against the creator of “My Other Bag”; meanwhile, the 7th Circuit has squandered the hopes of housing copyright “trolls” who bring cases under the obscure Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990.

Free Expression and Censorship

Free Speech Frenzy? University of Wisconsin faculty and administrators are concerned about the passing of a vague state bill allegedly focused on public forums with invited speakers; while it would require the state’s institutions to remain “neutral” towards contemporaneously contested public policy issues, the unease arose due to uncertainty about the regulation of free speech on campuses, especially regarding scientific claims, if passed.

Sensitive Censorship: Pakistan’s government is taking a strong stance against negative social media, such as sentencing a citizen to death for a seemingly sacrilegious comment about the prophet Muhammad; Thailand is continuing to extend its censorship of negative commentary about the royal family by sentencing a man to 35 years in prison; China attempts to instill “socialist values” as it closed 60 gossip social media platform accounts for posting allegedly tasteless content.

Practical Note

Patent: Private or Public Property? The impending hearing of a case by the U.S. Supreme Court questions the America Invents Act’s constitutionality; the answer is dependent on the classification of patents as a public or private property right, and thus questions the constitutionality of the PTAB’s decisions; it appears that any answer suggesting private property rights or invalidating the PTAB will have reverberating effects on the world of patents.

Rushing a Right? The New York State Legislature proposed a bill that would significantly expand and make transferable the right to publicity, though First Amendment advocates see the bill as detrimental to the freedom of expression and call for more careful consideration of the scope and nature of the right.

On the Lighter Side

Communication-Free Courting: An interest-based dating app prohibits communication between potential suitors and utilizes common ideal date activities to match people, removing one of the uniquely human obstacles to setting up a date.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Elizabeth Martin
Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: June 9, 2017

Internet Governance

Airbnb Addresses A.D.A.? A new study reported that mentioning a disability renders you far less likely to be preapproved for a rental, even though Airbnb has introduced new rental options to accommodate its diverse customer base, such as “instant bookings.”

SanFran Sidewalk Ban: As the prevalence of delivery services increases, San Francisco considers a bill that would ban autonomous delivery robots from roaming the city’s sidewalks because they pose a physical safety risk to pedestrians.

Privacy

Modern Monopoly? Antitrust regulators expressed concern that existing frameworks lack protections against tech giants’ monopoly over valuable user data, citing an ongoing investigation into whether Facebook abused its dominance as a social network through unfair terms of use and calling for increased scrutiny over use of that data.

BodyCam Conversation Concerns: An intensive study of body camera footage from Oakland, California reveals that police officers use less respectful language during interactions with black people; although the behavior’s cause is unknown it is an important first step towards community driven policing.

Caller I.See: A new FCC proposal would allow law enforcement officials to uncover details about anonymous threatening callers, but the FCC must strike a balance between the privacy interest of legitimate callers and penalizing threatening callers, who the Commission says lack a legitimate privacy interest.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Revenge or Resilience: With no safeguards to ensure that victims only engage with their stolen data and issues in determining chain-of-custody and how to handle international threats, hacking back, the inspiration for the bipartisan Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act bill could do more damage than good; an alternative could be to use the power of human resilience to train cybersecurity staff and the public by using simulated phishing emails and social engineering.

Google Games to Do Good: Be Internet Awesome is the fun educational curriculum developed by Google to teach children about the dangers of the internet, such as cyber-bullying, information security, phishing attacks, and other bad internet behavior.

Intellectual Property

The Stolen Oldies? iHeartMedia Inc. will not need to pay royalties for “pre-1972s” – sound recordings generally excluded from the federal copyright system – after a federal judge in Illinois ruled that any remaining common law protection of the copyright is lost when the recordings are sold or broadcasted.

Sampling Snafu: In an unusual victory for music sampling, hip-hop artist Drake was found not to have infringed on an earlier composition by jazz artist Jimmy Smith based on the doctrine of fair use, though the case highlights the complexity of current copyright licensing law.

Free Expression and Censorship

Ruined Revenue: To appease advertisers and high-profile content creators, YouTube has disabled advertisements from running on hateful, demeaning, or incendiary videos.

Social Media Stumps Scholars: First Amendment academics are divided as to whether President Trump caused a free speech violation by blocking some of his followers on Twitter, causing a debate over whether a President’s Twitter account is analogous to a public forum or to a one-way communication channel.

Practical Note

Government Geeks: A digital civil rights organization filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI after it reportedly paid Best Buy’s ‘Geek Squad’ employees to perform warrantless searches on defective devices, causing debate over whether such searches violate the Fourth Amendment.

On the Lighter Side

APPocalypse? Apple kicked off WWDC 2017 with a short video depicting the supposed inevitable apocalypse that would occur in a modern-day app-less reality.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Elizabeth Martin
Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: June 2, 2017

Internet Governance

Testing Troubles: In response to a leak of national school exam papers Ethiopia shut down internet access across the nation in order to prevent similar cheating on another round of upcoming national exams for the third time in one year.

Congress Contemplates Overseas Data Compliance: Congress is proposing legislation to address the retrieval of data from U.S. companies held overseas, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Microsoft did not have to turn over data stored on an overseas server that pertained to a suspect in a criminal case.

Privacy

Passengers Planes & Pictures: This month JetBlue Airways plans to unveil a new process to streamline boarding by utilizing facial recognition software to confirm flight information with a photo taken at the gate.

AI Interest in Inattention: A French business school’s proposed use of facial recognition software and artificial intelligence to track student’s attentiveness during online lessons, develop customized quizzes and improve teaching poses privacy risks as it requires masses of personal data.

Streaming Execs Shrug Shoulder on Password Sharing: A study revealed that over half of video streaming viewership is conducted via sharing passwords and, despite ongoing debate, industry executives regard the practice as commonplace.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Smart Cities Step Up Security or Succumb to Susceptibilities: As the percentage of the world’s residents in urban areas grows, so does the threat of the smart systems used to manage the cities’ operations; thus safeguards are needed to protect these vulnerable systems that cities increasingly depend on.

To Hack a Heart: A pair of recent studies warn that pacemakers, insulin pumps, and other life-or-death medical equipment are prone to thousands of cyber vulnerabilities, due to bugs in their code, lack of knowledge about how to write secure code and the fact that only 17% of manufacturers have taken steps to secure their devices.

Intellectual Property

From Rags to Royalties: Spotify has reached a $43 million settlement in a class action copyright lawsuit claiming that the music streaming company failed to pay thousands of songwriters proper royalties in making their compositions available to its base of over 100 million users.

Patented Parachute: As part of its Prime Air drone delivery project, Amazon received a patent for a shipping label that includes a built-in parachute attached to an autonomous drone, even though such drones are not authorized to fly in the U.S. under current FAA rules.

Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Fuels Fight: To combat the circulation of hateful content, Facebook has employed Filipino college graduates to review and remove a never-ending stream of terror-related posts, resulting in traumatized employees and a high turnover rate; Facebook is furthering the fight against harmful content by allowing users to flag information as fake news.

Playback Problems: At least two UK-based radio stations have opted not to play a popular song with lyrics accusing British Prime Minister Theresa May of being a “liar” and untrustworthy, while the band that wrote the track sees the move as an attempt to undermine public opinion about May’s ruling party.

Practical Note

Ruling Restricts Patent Rights: The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that a patentee’s rights in the patented item will be exhausted upon sale of the item will require companies to rebuild licensing agreements and remodel product pricing, further changing the landscape of patent owners’ protections.

On the Lighter Side

North Korea Negates Novelty? North Korea’s newest release, the iPad, blatantly inspired by American tech.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Editorial Fellows, CLIP
Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay

CLIP-ings: May 19, 2017

Internet Governance

Wake-Up Call: Congress recently proposed a bill that would require the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to inform representatives of other government agencies about security holes it finds in software like the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks; in a recent blog post Microsoft called out governments for stockpiling vulnerabilities instead of reporting issues to vendors.

Privacy

Implied Consent? Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind was given access to the personal medical records of over 1.6 million National Health Service (NHS) patients in the U.K., but the data sharing agreement between the Royal Free NHS Trust and DeepMind to create a new medical app was found to have been conducted on an “inappropriate legal basis.”

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Makes Us Wanna Cry: Intelligence officials and security experts are pointing to North Korea as the source of WannaCry, the ransomware that affected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries; the ransomware locks people out of their data and demands a ransom.

More Bad News for United: A United Airlines flight attendant mistakenly posted cockpit door access codes, the codes needed to request entry to the flight deck, on a public website.

Sign Here: DocuSign, the owner of eSignature, a digital signature service, said that a database of customer email addresses was breached and used in a phishing campaign.

Intellectual Property

Google It: The Ninth Circuit ruled that “Google” has not become a generic trademark, like “aspirin”, rejecting the claim that the company lost control of its name because of widespread use of “google” as a verb.

The End of the MP3: The research company Fraunhofer IIS that holds the patents on MP3 encoders and decoders announced it had ended the “licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software”, leading many to believe that MP3 may now be a “dead format.”

Free Expression and Censorship

Bring a Book: The Department of Homeland Security is expected to ban laptops and other large electronic devices from carry-on bags on flights from Europe to the United States.

On the Lighter Side

Bad Date: A man is suing his date for texting while they were watching a showing of the movie Guardians of the Galaxy 2; he is asking for $17.31, the cost of the 3D movie ticket.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Fellow, CLIP
Elizabeth Martin

CLIP-ings: May 12, 2017

Internet Governance

Clash With Cabbies: The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union advised that Uber operates a transport service, not as an ‘information society service’, and so should be subject to taxi licensing regulations.

Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands: Seattle’s mayor implemented a rule requiring that cable internet providers obtain opt-in consent before sharing web browsing history and other data whenever it is needed for something besides essential service.

Privacy

Smile for the Camera: Google has created a “Street View ready” standard certification program so users can use 360-degree cameras to capture and upload Street View imagery directly to Google; so far 20 cameras have been certified.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Hackers, Spammers, and Comedians: The Federal Communications Commission said its website was hit by deliberate denial of service attacks and not caused by comedian John Oliver’s popular television segment urging viewers to submit online comments to the FCC to save its current net neutrality rules; additionally, a bot may be behind the posting of over 58,000 identical comments supporting the FCC’s proposal.

Election Hacking: Two days before France’s presidential election, hackers leaked emails from Emmanuel Macron’s campaign and the director of the NSA confirmed that the NSA had warned French cybersecurity officials of Russians hackers attempts to compromise some elements of the election.

Intellectual Property

“Dancing Baby”: The US solicitor general and the US Copyright Office recommended against the Supreme Court taking the Lenz v. Universal copyright case; the case has been going on for nearly a decade.

Practice Note

Choices on Geoblocking: With recent uncertainty in courts with regard to geolocation and territorially limiting conduct on the internet, internet content providers or service providers should consider the pros and cons of geoblocking, blocking access to content on the internet based on a user’s physical location, as a practice to avoid personal jurisdiction.

Free Expression and Censorship

Totally Fake: Facebook has increased its efforts to tackle fake news by burying links to low-quality websites; in preparation for the UK general elections, Facebook removed accounts it believes were involved in the spread of misinformation and published advertisements in British newspapers educating readers on fake news.

On the Lighter Side

Entertain Your Tastebuds: Smalt, the salt shaker with Bluetooth and music streaming capabilities you didn’t know you needed.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Fellow, CLIP
Elizabeth Martin