No Dinner for LinkedIn: After refusing to comply with a Russian law requiring all websites to store personal data on servers located within Russia, LinkedIn has been banned from Russia even though the company has previously complied with other similar regulations; for instance, in China, LinkedIn operates as a completely separate site and hosts its data within the country.
Poachers Feasting on Profits: Vietnamese wildlife traffickers are selling illegal products made from at least 907 elephants, 225 tigers, and 579 rhinos, as well as various other dead animals to China and southeast Asian countries through WeChat and Facebook, violating both the latter’s policies and possibly an international treaty.
No More Cooking Up Memes: Spreading “images that infringe the honor of a person” without the person’s consent may become a crime in Spain if a new piece of legislation proposed by the Prime Minister passes into law; the proposal—endorsed by the Popular Party which has a history of trying to limit people’s freedom of speech—has been met with only increased internet mockery.
Google Play Music Stuffing More into Playlists: In an effort to keep up with other music streaming services, Google Play Music will begin to suggest new music to users based on user behavior including not only user listening patterns but also user location, user activity, and the weather.
IDNYC a Recipe for Disaster: Mayor de Blasio has vowed to fight the federal government from accessing any data stored in the database for IDNYC, a program that had been implemented as a means for providing identification for New York City residents—many of whom are undocumented immigrants—to be able to use certain services, such as opening bank accounts; a kill switch for the program would prevent law enforcement from gaining access to the data.
Information Security and Cyberthreats
A Cornucopia of Duplicate Accounts: A new report studying the Twitter and LinkedIn accounts of over two-hundred Fortune 500 CEOs has found an abundance of duplicate accounts on these two platforms, exposing these executives to thieves behind these accounts who use them to send attack emails and conduct phishing schemes on unknowing enterprises and individuals.
Be Thankful You Haven’t Been X-Posed: In possibly the largest hack of 2016, a recent breach has leaked account information of over 412 million users of various websites belonging to the FriendFinder Network, including usernames, passwords, and email addresses, over 80,000 of which are registered under .gov and .mil emails.
Chess-nuts Roasting on an Open Website: The organizers of the World Chess Championship lost a bid for exclusive streaming of the chess moves in the ongoing 12-game series between world champion Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin after the website operators of Chess24.com argued in federal court that the chess moves are not protected by copyright law but rather are in the public domain.
Oh, the Lawsuits You’ll File: Dr. Seuss Enterprises is attempting to block a small group of artists’ Kickstarter project that parodies the classic “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” with Star Trek, despite the artists insisting that their work is protected as a fair use.
Free Expression and Censorship
Squashing the Alt-Right: In an effort to combat harassment and hateful conduct on its platform, Twitter has banned the accounts of several alt-right conservative figures who advocate white ethno-nationalism, including Richard Spencer, Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn, and John Rivers, although it is unclear whether specific tweets or incidents prompted the ban, especially in light of the fact that Twitter recently allowed a white supremacist group to promote itself through the platform.
Bon Voyage, Fake News: In response to the recent controversy surrounding the circulation of fake news stories that possibly influenced the U.S. presidential election, Google and Facebook will limit their advertising features to prevent the dissemination of these stories, with Google preventing fake news websites from employing its AdSense advertising network, and Facebook similarly updating its advertising policy to include fake news in its ban on deceptive and misleading content.
Thanks for Giving Away My Age: IMDb is challenging the constitutionality of a new law that allows paying subscribers to demand to have certain personal information removed from their IMDb profiles; the law seeks to fight age discrimination after a failed lawsuit brought by actress Junie Hoang who was passed over for a job when producers discovered her age on the site.
On the Lighter Side
Turkey-Brained Robot: A research robot has failed to reach scores high enough to gain admission to the prestigious University of Tokyo, earning a mere 511 out of 950 on the standardized admissions test, quashing any fears of an impending rise of the machines.
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