CLIP-ings: June 21, 2019

Internet Governance

Senate Calls Facebook To Testify About Cryptocurrency: In response to the expected 2020 release of Facebook’s Libra, a blockchain-enabled global cryptocurrency project, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a hearing to gather information about the project and to assess potential data privacy and consumer concerns; European regulators are also calling for scrutiny of the planned financial system, while Facebook has claimed that the project will provide financial inclusion to unbanked populations in developing countries.


YouTube Under Investigation For Potential Violations Of Children’s Privacy Laws: After complaints by parent and consumer advocacy groups that YouTube collected data from children under 13 without parental consent and made inappropriate search engine recommendations, the F.T.C. is investigating whether the video-streaming platform has violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Georgia Supreme Court Addresses Car Data Privacy: The Georgia Supreme Court will determine whether a Georgia man’s reckless driving conviction should be reversed on the basis that law enforcement’s collection of data from his vehicle’s “black box” at the time of the crash required a warrant.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Database Of Medical Information Left Exposed By Marketing Company: An online marketing company that helps law firms generate leads from prospective personal injury claimants maintained an unsecured database of nearly 150,000 records containing private health and financial information submitted by potential clients; the database was taken down after researchers discovered the vulnerability.

Intellectual Property

Movie Sanitizing Service Is Liable For Copyright Damages: A jury determined that movie streaming service VidAngel, which ripped movies from DVD copies, scrubbed them of sex, violence, or similar content, and then streamed sanitized versions for a family audience, must pay $62 million in damages to Warner Brothers, Disney, and Twentieth Century Fox for copyright infringement.

Free Expression & Censorship

Twitch Sues Anonymous Users For Uploading Objectionable Content: The live-streaming platform is suing 100 anonymous users for allegedly violating its terms of service by uploading content such as video footage of the Christchurch mosque shootings and hardcore pornography; Twitch seeks to identify the individuals involved, ban them from its service, and obtain damages for the losses it incurred as a result of the objectionable content.

Practice Note

Email Services Not Subject To European Telecommunications Regulations: The European Court of Justice has ruled that email services such as Gmail are not “electronic communications services” and therefore not subject to strict EU telecom privacy obligations; the Court distinguished a recent ruling that Skype’s voice-over IP function qualifies as an “electronic communications service” on the basis that Google—unlike Skype, which contracts with telecoms to deliver calls—merely uploads and receives data and does not provide a means of transmitting messages for the purposes of telecom regulation. 

On the Lighter Side

Cat Filter Enhances Pakistani Media Conference: Cat ears and whiskers were “accidentally” applied to the face of Pakistan’s Provincial Information Minister during livestream coverage of a media conference.

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