CLIP-ings: October 27th, 2017

Internet Governance

ADmendment: Senators are writing an amendment to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2012, named the Honest Ad Act, that would require online platforms to make reasonable efforts to prevent foreigners from purchasing political ads to influence American elections and impose the same disclosure requirements of political ads on TV and radio to paid digital and internet ads.

Stopping the Search: A new bill called the USA Rights Act introduced in the Senate would modify U.S. government surveillance techniques by closing the “backdoor search loophole” that currently allows warrantless searches of domestic communications collected by the National Security Agency and by improving judicial oversight, among other reforms.

Sharing is Caring: Officials from the United States and the United Kingdom are reportedly developing a data sharing agreement, which would allow law enforcement from either country to access data stored or controlled by companies domiciled in either country.

Privacy

Common Concerns: A recent study conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance found that teens, as well as parents, hold the same concerns regarding digital privacy, online safety, identity theft, and fake news.

Delivery Doubts: Amazon has launched a new service called Amazon Key that combines a smart door lock, a security camera, and a mobile app to allow couriers to drop off deliveries inside the house, raising concerns as to the trustworthiness of the service and Amazon’s new access to video feeds of customers’ homes.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Insurance Encouragement: Merck’s insurers are estimated to pay $275 million for the pharmaceutical giant’s global production losses resulting from the June 27th “NotPetya” worldwide cyberattack, serving as a reminder that companies should strongly consider acquiring cyber insurance.

Failure Bureau? The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has said that the agency failed to gain access to some 7,000 encrypted mobile devices, acknowledging the importance of encryption but lamenting that it hinders the agency’s investigative efforts.

Intellectual Property

Auto Against Amazon: Amazon has been sued for trademark infringement by Mercedes-Benz’s parent Daimler AG for allegedly selling counterfeit wheel center caps bearing the Mercedes-Benz logo, with Daimler claiming that Amazon has refused to take reasonable steps to monitor intellectual property infringement.

Doctrinal Distress: A recent Federal Circuit decision highlights the difficulties of winning an infringement claim based on the doctrine of equivalents, an alternative method of bringing a patent infringement claim, as there are many limitations to the application of the doctrine, including the use of the public dedication rule, prosecution history estoppel, the all-limitations rule and specific exclusion rule, and the ensnarement rule..

Free Expression and Censorship

Commission Concessions: The Federal Trade Commission has stated that it will not take enforcement action against companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple that allow children under 13 to give voice commands to their smart assistants and smart speakers, so long as these companies address how they plan to collect, use, and delete the audio data in their privacy policies.

Practice Note

Fair Use With Seuss: Past cases alleging copyright infringement of the works of Dr. Seuss provide guidance on how the fair use doctrine applies to parodies: rights holders should consider licensing a variety of uses of their original content, new content creators can avoid infringement by providing commentary or criticism of the original work, and copyright practitioners should development arguments around the purpose and character of the challenged use as well as the effect of the use on the potential market.

On The Lighter Side

PHONEy: The nonprofit Common Sense Media provides a trio of thought-provoking PSAs calling out our obsession with phones, especially at the dinner table.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

EU Clash Over Tech Tax: President Macron’s plan to increase taxes on large technology firms in Europe was opposed at an EU summit last week by Ireland, Luxembourg and other small countries that believe the tax would hinder investment; Macron is adamant that higher taxes would not cause US tech giants to exit the EU market, but France needs the unanimity of all twenty-eight EU Member States for the tax to happen.

Quick Response: Two French hackers watched an interview where entrepreneur Roger Ver offered Bitcoin cash coins worth $1000 to whichever viewer was first to scan an on-screen QR code; the France 2 channel blurred out the code, but the hackers caught several small portions and were able to decode the private key in about twelve to sixteen hours—they describe the process in detail in this blog post.

Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

Fighting the Dietrologia Diet: In advance of the upcoming Italian elections next year, the Italian government is including lessons on detecting fake news and conspiracy theories in Italian school curriculums, especially as a general sentiment of distrust in authorities—known as dietrologia—has increasingly pervaded the Italian landscape.

Buying Art With Bitcoin: Sant’Agostino, an Italian auction house, will begin to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, starting with an auction this week on furnishings and design objects; as awareness of the cryptocurrency in Italy is gaining momentum, the auction house hopes to attract younger international buyers through accepting Bitcoin.


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

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Rilana Wenske
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: October 20th, 2017

Internet Governance

Overseas Obstacles The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments in “Microsoft Ireland,” a high-profile data privacy case between Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the ease with which U.S. law enforcement can access information stored overseas.

Debated Directive: Amendment 13 of the European Union’s Copyright Directive proposal, which would require the monitoring and filtering of user-created content on online platforms such as YouTube, WordPress, and Dropbox, is under attack by 57 civil society organizations because they believe it infringes on the fundamental rights of the European citizens.

Privacy

Australia on Alert: The Australian government has launched the pilot phase of a national reporting and support system to combat revenge porn that allows victims to notify law enforcement and technology companies hosting the content, and that tracks the content across the internet.

Remit Recommendations? The United States Deputy Attorney General and the officials of other nations are increasingly recommending the use of responsible encryption, which provides law enforcement with secret keys to read encrypted data from various private entities, yet experts warn that these keys can be stolen and used by hackers.

Candid Cameras: A new video billboard display in London’s Piccadilly Circus will use hidden cameras to detect the age, gender, emotional expressions of nearby pedestrians, and even the make and model of passing cars; the display will respond by serving targeting advertisements, although the display owner’s claims that it will not collect or store any personal data.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Hack Back: A new bill called the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act would legalize, for the first time, limited retaliatory strikes against domestic cyberattacks, authorizing “cyber defenders” to identify the attacker and destroy any stolen data, but raising concerns of potentially destructive internet vigilantism.

Unsafe Universities: Universities face a unique set of cybersecurity considerations including regarding the array of sensitive data that these institutions process, each network’s various users such as parents of students and university staff, the challenges of imposing effective cybersecurity compliance across these populations, and the increased frequency of hacks against universities.

Intellectual Property

Loopholing Librarians: The Internet Archive seeks to reproduce and distribute books copyrighted between 1923 and 1941 for the public via protection from the Copyright Act’s Section 108(h), which allows libraries and archives to reproduce and distribute published works that are not actively sold and are in their last twenty years of copyright protection, without fear of allegations of infringement.

Angry Apple: Apple will appeal a $439.7 million judgment against it for allegedly infringing on four recently-invalidated patented technologies used in FaceTime and other iOS apps, continuing a five-year patent battle between Apple and the company holding those patents.

Free Expression and Censorship

Disrupt At Your Own Risk: In an effort to promote the free speech of others on their campus, the University of Wisconsin has adopted a new policy allowing it to discipline and even expel students who interfere with the free expression of others via violent or disorderly misconduct, or frequently disrupt speakers during engagements on campus.

Practice Note

Medical Monitor: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued final guidance addressing the design and development of connected medical devices that can exchange highly sensitive data with other medical equipment, urging manufacturers to identify anticipated users, potential misuse scenarios, and to conduct product testing to mitigate the unique security risks of their devices.

On The Lighter Side

Mapping Out Planets: A fun new feature on Google Maps allows users to explore the surface of sixteen celestial bodies, including local planets and moons.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

Online Voting by 2020? French President Emmanuel Macron recently announced that he intends to implement electronic voting for the next consular elections in 2020, as the 2017 elections included a “notable absence” of French voters overseas; however, approval of an online voting system will likely be contingent on a debate about its privacy and security standards.

Twitter is Just the Starting Point in France: As in the United States, French women have been using social media to expose male sexual harassment; this may lead to new legislation as the French government discusses proposals to fine men for aggressive and lecherous behavior towards women in public, planning to consult legal experts and present Parliament with measures before next year.


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

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Rilana Wenske
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: October 13, 2017

Internet Governance

TTYWill: An Australian court has ruled that an unsent text message can qualify as an official will, after a draft message found on one man’s phone authorized the transfer of his assets to his brother and nephew despite his wife’s otherwise legitimate claim to his estate.

Helium Help: This week the FCC granted an experimental license to Alphabet’s Project Loon to operate in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands via helium balloons providing the territories with emergency LTE cellular reception.

Privacy

Connected Kids? A new social media app called Kudos will target users aged eight to thirteen as an alternative to platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, aiming to teach these users about the importance of navigating social media responsibly and offering twenty-four hour human moderation; meanwhile Mattel’s plan to release a smart speaker designed to interact with younger users has been thwarted by pushback from child advocacy groups and members of Congress.

Data Deceit: Last week’s arrest of a cyberstalker was made possible through surveillance of Virtual Private Network (VPN) logs of his online activities, a discovery that highlights the dangers of using ISP-alternatives like VPNs that falsely claim to not log your data and to be completely secure.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Vote of Confidence: An anti-hacking coalition comprised of hackers, academics, and U.S. governors will endeavor to secure U.S. elections by identifying vulnerabilities in voting machine equipment and election-related computer systems to assuage ongoing concerns that elections can be compromised.

Relentless Russians: Recent reports suggest that Russian government-backed hackers, one of whom was a former National Security Agency (NSA) Contractor, stole cyber secrets from the NSA in 2015 using antivirus software from Kaspersky Labs.

Intellectual Property

Angry Ali: A promotional video shown before the 2017 Super Bowl featuring images, audio, and life highlights of the late boxer Muhammad Ali has prompted the company holding his intellectual property rights to sue Fox Broadcasting Co. for $30 million for allegedly using Ali’s identity without its authorization.

Patent Patrol: A bill was proposed in the Senate to close the loophole that affords Native American tribes the defense of sovereign immunity in inter partes reviews of a patent, after Allergan successfully circumvented patent review of its drug Restasis by selling the patent to the St. Regis Mohawk tribe and having the patent licensed back to them.

Free Expression and Censorship

Tutorials’ Turmoil: As a response to the Las Vegas shooting, YouTube updated its community guidelines regardings its prohibition of harmful and dangerous content to ban the posting of tutorials that teach viewers how to modify guns to fire like automatic weapons.

No-Charge Knowledge: A partnership between the Wikimedia Foundation and a regional telecommunications provider will expand the Wikipedia Zero initiative to Afghanistan, providing anyone in the country with free access to Wikipedia through their mobile devices.

Practice Note

Obstructive Opinions: ESPN’s suspension of Jemele Hill has raised concerns that the network may have violated a Connecticut law that affords employees greater protections than the First Amendment when commenting on matters of public concern; companies should consider implementing social media policies in employee handbooks to protect themselves when taking disciplinary action against employees.

On The Lighter Side

Solar Salvation? Elon Musk and the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, are reportedly discussing Musk’s desire to restore power to the territory using solar technology, which has proven successful in powering other small islands in the past.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

Digital Diplomacy: President Macron met with Apple CEO Tim Cook in Paris, presenting a “constructive dialogue” in the face of increased pressure on tech leaders as Macron continues to defend France’s proposal to tax tech giants on turnover per country rather than profits from subsidiaries and favors the recent European Commission decision to take Ireland to court to reclaim 13 billion Euros in taxes from Apple.

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

A 5-Star Hack: An Italian political party called the 5-Star Movement, which first entered the Italian Parliament in 2013 and which promotes internet-based direct democracy, recently had its website hacked by a group that has gained access to a secret list of members and donors; the hack has threatened the public’s confidence in the security and strength of the 5-Star Movement whose hallmark is its internet basis.

Really Made in Italy! After Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba signed a memorandum of understanding about a year ago whereby Alibaba’s Intellectual Property Protection platform would consider takedown requests and use AI to scan product listings falsely labeled “Made in Italy,” the head of Italy’s ICQRF—the government body in charge of protecting Italian agricultural food products—has praised the effects of the collaboration as having a “huge” effect in preventing inauthentic products from being sold.


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

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Rilana Wenske
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: October 6, 2017

Internet Governance

No Drone Zone The Federal Aviation Administration announced that, beginning this week, unmanned aircrafts or drones will be prohibited from entering the airspace of the following ten Interior Department sites: The Statue of Liberty, Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Independence National Historical Park, Folsom Dam, Glen Canyon Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, Hoover Dam, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Shasta Dam.

Spy or Modify? A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives has introduced legislation that aims to place restrictions on the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program, which would increase privacy protections for citizens but upset proponents of government monitoring of suspicious communications.

Privacy

Monitoring MoscowRussia has officially begun utilizing its facial recognition software on as many as 4,000 of its 160,000 CCTV cameras around the city of Moscow; the cameras hold five days of footage and the software is currently being used for law enforcement inquiries and to hold civil servants like police officers and garbage collectors accountable.

Tinder’s Troves: A European user of popular dating app Tinder who requested access to her personal data was surprised to receive an 800-page report detailing sensitive information, in a startling display of how information that users willingly disclose is used not only to study user behavior and preferences but also to sell to third parties.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Quantum Call: The Chinese Academy of Sciences has successfully placed its first long-distance video call using a quantum communications network that transmits data embedded in light particles and that is reportedly so secure that any attempt to infiltrate the network will immediately expose the hackers.

Dataless Drones: After the U.S. Army placed a blanket ban on drones manufactured by Chinese technology company DJI, the company introduced a “local data mode” feature that blocks transmission of internet data on its devices in an appeal to enterprise customers like the U.S. Army that might use DJI products to perform sensitive operations.

Intellectual Property

Keeping Tabs: Levi Strauss and Co. is adding to its queue of IP lawsuits alleging trademark infringement against Vineyard Vines for use of a similar looking pocket tab on its jeans and pants.

Reverse Dating Rumble: An inventor of a “reverse dating” app must defend the enforceability of her patent against another inventor accusing her of stealing the idea for the app after it was allegedly disclosed to her in 2006.

Free Expression and Censorship

Mean Muggin’: A federal judge in Illinois rejected the free speech defense of defendants Mugshots.com and Unpublish.com in a proposed class action lawsuit against them because their online posts of individuals’ criminal records served the purpose of inducing the individuals to pay the sites for removal of the information.

Commission Caution: The European Commission has published hate speech guidelines for social media platforms like Facebook and Google, such as removing illegal content faster and investing in technologies to automatically remove prohibited speech, warning that noncompliance could lead to eventual monetary fines.

Practice Note

Deadly Drama: Recent right of publicity lawsuits by celebrities and their estates have highlighted the importance of jurisdiction when considering a right of publicity claim; most jurisdictions do not allow for a post-mortem right, with the exception of Virginia, Indiana, and Oklahoma, while California allows for post-mortem claims only for celebrities.

On The Lighter Side

Talking Tattoos: Researchers from Harvard and MIT have created biosensitive ink that they incorporated into a body tattoo prototype that detects changes in body chemistry, such as an increase in blood-glucose levels, and that responds by changing color to alert observers.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

EU to Implement France’s Tax on Tech? Ten EU Member States have signed a letter supporting France’s plan for a new EU law that would authorize governments to tax tech giants’ revenues rather than impose a standard corporate tax on profits; however, EU ministers are concerned that the tax plan, said to be a “quick-fix” solution, would need to be evaluated and agreed upon at a global level.

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

With the Pope’s Blessing: Following a recent series of sex abuse scandals involving the Catholic Church, Rome is hosting a summit with the support of Pope Francis to bring together world leaders in science, education, crime fighting, and child protection to discuss how to shield children from online pornography threats.


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

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Rilana Wenske
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP