CLIP-ings: January 19, 2018

Internet Governance

The State of Net Neutrality: A coalition of twenty-two attorney generals around the country filed a petition for review of the FCC’s recent repeal of the net neutrality rules arguing that the FCC’s decision was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” and that it preempted state and local laws.

Revenge Porn Damages: In a landmark civil privacy suit, the United Kingdom’s High Court of Justice awarded American YouTube star Chrissy Chambers substantial damages against an ex-boyfriend for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, and harassment, after he uploaded videos of the couple having sex to a porn site.

Privacy

Face-Off: The wildly popular Google Arts & Culture app, which matches users’ selfies to historical artworks, is blocked for many residents of Texas and Illinois because of state privacy laws that ban the collection of biometric data, such as “face geometry,” without a user’s consent.

Health App Data = Murder Evidence? In Germany, Apple’s Health app—which records a user’s steps, nutrition, sleep patterns and heart rate—provided critical evidence in the trial of a refugee accused of killing a medical student by locating the accused’s movements, and recording two spikes in physical activity on the day in question, which the app identified as “climbing stairs.”

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Lebanese Spy Agency Phone Hack: Mobile security firm Lookout and digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported this week that Lebanon’s intelligence service may have used phishing attacks to turn the Android smartphones of thousands of targeted users into monitoring devices through which they could steal victims’ data undetected.

Lawmaker Requests Briefs on Microchip Flaws: Ongoing concern about the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in microchips that could allow hackers to steal data from most computers and devices prompted California Representative Jerry McNerney to request briefings on the vulnerabilities from microchip makers including Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices, and Softbank-owned Arm Holdings.

Intellectual Property

Competition Over Digital Movies:  After Disney’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block Redbox from selling digital movies at its kiosks, Redbox filed an opposition to the injunction arguing that the case is Disney’s attempt to diminish competition for its digital streaming service and invoking the first-sale doctrine as support for the lack of merit in the suit.

TWiT v. Twitter: Internet broadcaster This Week in Tech (“TWiT”) sued Twitter alleging Twitter breached written and oral agreements and is infringing on TWiT’s trademark by setting plans to deliver original, premium video content exclusively from its platform; in its suit TWiT alleges that in 2007 Twitter’s co-founder Evan Williams agreed with a TWiT creator that Twitter would not expand into audio or visual under its brand, and thus allowed both brands to co-exist.

Free Expression and Censorship

Phillipines’ Press Crackdown: The Philippines’ government revoked the corporate registration of Rappler, an independent online news site that has reported aggressively on President Rodrigo Duterte’s troll army and police abuses in the government’s war on drugs, further emphasizing the issue of press freedom in the Philippines.

Practice Note

Ninth Circuit Ruling on Automated Downloads: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held this week in Oracle v. Rimini Street that the download of online data in violation of the host’s terms of use did not violate California’s Comprehensive Data Access and Fraud Act.

On The Lighter Side

Drone Saves Lives: A drone used for shark-spotting saved two swimmers caught in Australian rough seas by tracking the stranded duo a half-a-mile from shore and dropping them a flotation device.


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:

5G Test Phase: Arcep, France’s telecommunications regulator, will begin issuing temporary authorizations to use 5G-related frequencies to gather information on the “benefits and usage” of the mobile internet; the country’s five largest telecom operators purchased permits to be the first to use the frequencies, but Arcep’s chairman wants to avoid a “hasty allocation” without fully understanding the new technology.

Au Revoir, English Tech: Resisting the ubiquity of English words in the French language, the Journal officiel de la République française published alternatives to tech-related phrases such as “dark net” (“internet clandestin”) and “hashtag” (“mot-dièse”); most recently, the Commission for Enrichment of the French Language recommended use of the term “mobile multifunction” instead of “smartphone.”

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

No Pictures Please! As part of divorce proceedings involving the boy’s parents, a Roman court held that the mother is subject to a €10,000 fine if she posts Facebook pictures of her 16 year-old son without the son’s consent; under Italian law, the image’s copyright belongs to the subject rather than the photographer.


Job and Fellowship Opportunities

From time-to-time, CLIP-ings will highlight career opportunities in the information law field. Please note the following:

Summer 2018 Law, Policy & Technologist Intern at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)

Summer interns work closely with CDT policy experts, technologists, and attorneys on an array of civil liberties and international human rights issues related to technology and the internet, including online free expression, electronic surveillance, digital copyright, cybersecurity, internet governance, and consumer privacy.

For more information see here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until March 15, 2018.

Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is hiring a communications associate, policy counsel and policy fellow.

The Future of Privacy Forum brings together industry, academics, consumer advocates, and other thought leaders to explore the challenges posed by technological innovation and develop privacy protections, ethical norms and workable business practices. The positions may be done on a part-time basis by current law students or recent graduates.

For more information about the specific positions, follow the links directly above.

Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*) Conference is looking for volunteers.

The FAT* Conference, which brings together researchers and practitioners interested in fairness, accountability, and transparency in socio-technical systems, is looking for student volunteers to help with check-in, registration, and other logistics. There may also be an opportunity to prepare a write-up of the conference. Volunteers will be able to attend both days of the conference for free.

The conference will take place on February 23-24 from 8 AM-5 PM at NYU Law School.

If you’re interested in serving as a student volunteer, please send Amanda Levendowski (levendowski@nyu.edu) a short email expressing your interest, providing your availability during the conference, and saying a few words about why you’d like to be a student volunteer by Friday, January 19 at 8 PM.

ATRIP Essay Competition 2017 for Young Researchers in Intellectual Property Law

ATRIP is currently accepting essays for its annual competition for young researchers in intellectual property law. The paper may pertain to any topic related to intellectual property law.

For more information see here. Entries should be submitted to admin@atrip.org  no later than February 15, 2018.

Please feel free to send us any position announcements at CLIP@law.fordham.edu CLIP@law.fordham.edu.


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

Idalys Núñez
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Erin Shahinfar
Subrina Chowdhury
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

 

CLIP-ings: January 5, 2018

Internet Governance

Mobile-Friendly Government: Congress passed the Connected Government Act requiring all federal agencies to ensure “to the greatest extent possible” that websites aimed at public use are mobile-friendly; the act aims to keep up with technological advances and enhance citizen engagement.

France v. Fake News: Emmanuel Macron, France’s President, expressed his desire to implement a new law intended to curb the rise of “fake news” by requiring websites to disclose funding sources, capping the money websites may receive from sponsored content, and authorizing the French government to block websites promoting fake news.

Privacy

WeChat Virtual ID: The Guangzhou government in China launched a pilot program allowing users of the smartphone app WeChat to use the app’s virtual identification to apply for government services and register in hotels without the need to present a physical ID card; the app uses facial recognition and machine-learning technology to verify applicants before their virtual ID cards get authorized.

Privacy Web: The New York Times uncovered that some apps, including children’s apps, employ a software allowing it to use a smartphone’s microphone to track audio signals while the app is in use, whether prominent or in the background, allowing the app to identify and aggregate the audio to sell to advertisers who use the information to better target their ads; the software company contends that the program does not detect human speech and that its practice is detailed in its privacy policy which consumers “knowingly” opt in to.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Internal Data Breach: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suffered a data breach affecting more than 240,000 current and former employees; DHS claims the breach was not a “cyber-attack by external actors” but rather stemmed from an unauthorized copy of the department’s “investigative case management system” held by a former employee.

Aadhaar Access For One, and For All: Aadhaar, the largest identification system in the world containing numerically identifying codes connected to Indian residents’ personally identifiable information, has been accused of being compromised after Indian journalists contend that they paid eight Indian rupees to access the database from a man on WhatsApp.

Intellectual Property

Typo-Targeting Injunction: A German court issued a preliminary injunction against Amazon ordering it to stop displaying ads of knock-offs of Birkenstock shoes to shoppers entering misspellings of the brand on Google.

Spotify’s A Billy Problem: Wixen Music Publishing sued Spotify in a California court alleging that Spotify failed to secure the proper licenses for music streamed on its platform by making “insufficient efforts” to “identify the rights holders of songs it licenses from labels” further emphasizing the issue of splitting streaming rights compensation between labels and publishing companies.

Free Expression and Censorship

Preventing Adpocalypse: Dissatisfied with YouTube’s lack of regulation of its online content, JP Morgan developed an in-house algorithm using YouTube’s API aimed at ensuring that the bank’s online ads do not appear in videos not in line with its brand. 

Iran’s Internet Crackdown: In an effort to control nationwide protests, the Iranian government blocked access to various online applications including Telegram, the nation’s most used app for private encrypted messaging, forcing users to turn to “proxies to circumvent the ban or to using WhatsApp,” which has yet to be blocked.

On The Lighter Side

Psychedelic Funk: AI would not have fared well in the 1970s.


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

Idalys Núñez
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP