CLIP-ings: September 20, 2019

Internet Governance

France, Germany, Announce Opposition To Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency: Following a meeting of G7 Finance Ministers and the European Central Bank’s governors in July, France and Germany have determined that Facebook’s Libra proposal fails to address issues such as financial security, investor protection, money laundering, and terrorist financing; the countries also urge the European Central Bank to accelerate its own digital currency project.


Amazon Targets Third Party Apps For Privacy Policy Violations: Amazon has begun to crack down on third-party app developers who rely on its Marketplace Web Service API to create apps that assist Amazon sellers in ways that violate Amazon’s privacy policy, such as by using API data to create targeted advertisements.

Private Surveillance Company Captures More Than Nine Billion License Plate Scans: A Motherboard investigation reveals that Digital Recognition Network, which manufacturers license plate-reading tools, has built a database of over nine billion license plate scans through which private or government investigators can potentially track the movements and locations of vehicles over a long period of time; the company crowdsources its data from repo men, who affix scanners to their cars and passively capture and upload data about license plates they drive by.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Database Vulnerability Exposes Records About Most Of Ecuador’s Citizens: A misconfigured database provided access to 20.8 million records sourced from both the government and the private sector; the records included those related to notable figures such as Ecuador’s president, as well as those related to children, family trees, and car ownership.

Russia Breached Encrypted FBI Communication in 2010: a Yahoo News exclusive reveals that in 2010, Russian counterintelligence engaged in a “very broad effort to try and penetrate” FBI technologies and communications that had far-reaching effects on U.S. intelligence efforts; the breach may have served as an additional incentive for the Obama administration to banish almost three dozen Russian officials from the U.S. in 2016.

Intellectual Property

Amazon’s Audible Claims “Fair Use”: In a lawsuit filed by seven major publishers alleging Audible’s new service displaying text captions along with audiobook playback violates their copyrights, Audible has argued that the practice constitutes fair use; Audible cites to a 2015 Second Circuit ruling allowing Google to display snippets of scanned books, and the dispute is expected to ignite another animated debate about the nature of “transformative use.”

Free Expression & Censorship

Draft House Bill Proposes Task Force And Commission To Study How Social Media Companies Police Online Content: The bill, which will be introduced next week, would establish a national commission to review how tech companies protect users from harmful content and to propose appropriate legislation; the bill’s introduction follows a Senate hearing on Wednesday at which representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter were questioned about whether their platforms have become conduits for violent speech.

On The Lighter Side

Stay And Watch The Game: The University Of Alabama has rolled out a location-tracking app designed to entice students to stay in the stands for the duration of football games by offering improved access to playoff tickets for those who remain.


Fellowship Opportunity: The Fletcher School and Tuft’s Department of Computer Science are seeking a postdoctoral or JD candidate with a background in privacy law for a research fellowship studying privacy implications of communications metadata usage.

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Alison Gordon
Lawrence Keating
Editorial Fellow