CLIP-ings: April 12, 2019

Internet Governance

Britain Looks To Fine Social Media Companies For Harmful Content: Online safety laws proposed in the wake of growing concerns over the effects of harmful content on minors would place a duty of care on “any company that allow[s] users to share or discover content or interact online” and would impose fines and personal liability on corporate bosses for failure to eradicate “damaging material.”


Ankle Monitor Youth Surveillance: Hundreds of Chicago Youth who are awaiting trial are being required to wear ankle monitors with embedded microphones and speakers; though the stated purpose for the communication capability is to alert wearers when their monitor is low on battery, concerns over the possibility of persistent surveillance have caused law enforcement officials to disable the devices’ recording features pending review. 

Alexa, Does This Look Like A Rash To You? A recent report revealed that Amazon improves its Alexa devices by employing human listeners to evaluate and categorize recorded user data; the report comes shortly after news that Alexa-enabled devices are now able to follow HIPAA compliance guidelines and handle personal medical information.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Assange Arrested And Charged: After WikiLeaks officials claimed that Julian Assange was being spied on while in the Ecuadorian embassy, the controversial figure was arrested by British authorities and now faces a charge in the United States for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion stemming from his agreement to help Chelsea Manning crack a password to a classified Defense Department computer.

The DEA Secretly Spied On Americans: The Drug Enforcement Administration secretly surveilled Americans who bought money counters between 2008 and 2014 by issuing administrative subpoenas for purchaser information to companies that sold the counters; the bulk data consisted of tens of thousands of names, addresses, and phone numbers, and allegedly helped the DEA seize over $50 million.

Intellectual Property

IBM Alleges Portal Patent Infringement: In a new lawsuit, IBM alleges that travel company Expedia infringed three of its patents related to “graphical user interfaces for customer self-service search systems and customisable portal pages”; IBM claims that the lawsuit is necessary due to Expedia’s unwillingness to negotiate a license agreement for the technology.

Free Expression & Censorship

YouTube Shuts Down Comments During Congressional Hearing: YouTube shut down the comments section on the livestream of a congressional hearing about white nationalism after the section filled with hateful remarks concerning white pride, anti-Semitism, and multicultural societies.

On the Lighter Side

Roomba Burglar: Oregon police responded to a 911 call claiming that someone had broken into a house and found the “suspect” to be a Roomba Robotic Vacuum Cleaner.

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP  

Praatika Prasad
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP