CLIP-ings: November 22, 2019

Internet Governance

FCC Chairman Proposes Public Auction Of Spectrum With Potential For 5G Use: The C-band block of spectrum is currently used by satellite companies to deliver video and radio programming to U.S. households and is regarded as the most likely short-term source for 5G technology; major satellite providers advocated for a private sale of the spectrum to wireless providers, which drew criticism from some lawmakers.


Uber Will Start Taking Audio Recordings Of Rides: The new functionality, which will be tested in Mexico and Brazil next month before a yet-scheduled U.S. launch, is designed to ensure both driver and passenger safety; recordings will be encrypted, and while neither riders nor drivers will be able to listen to them, they may be made available to law enforcement.

Instagram Sends Cease And Desist Letter To App That Provides Access To Private Profiles Without Users’ Permission: The Ghosty app, which has been downloaded over 500,000 times since April, provides access to private Instagram accounts and also harvests users’ data to find the private profiles they follow, in violation of Instagram’s terms.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Google Confirms Camera Vulnerability Affecting “Hundreds of Millions”: The security team Checkmarx has revealed a security defect in Android mobile devices that would allow hackers to take photos, make sound recordings, and access user GPS information remotely; Checkmarx was able to develop a functional app capable of exploiting the vulnerability without requiring any special permissions from users other than basic storage access.

Intellectual Property

Supreme Court To Hear Google v. Oracle Copyright Dispute: The Court will decide whether Google is liable to pay Oracle billions of dollars over its use of Oracle’s software code in Android phones; a trial court found in 2016 that Google did not violate copyright law because it had made fair use of the code, but the Federal Circuit overturned the jury verdict last year.

Free Expression and Censorship

Iran Gradually Restoring Internet After Five-Day Shutdown: Sources report the loss in connectivity began last Friday evening, with limited and sporadic connection which is now being restored in “some areas”; protests in multiple cities across Iran began after the government announced a ration on gasoline and a price increase of at least 50%.

Practice Note

Alleged Drug Dealer Charged With Theft After Removing Police GPS Device From His Car: After realizing the device was no longer transmitting data, police obtained a warrant to search the defendant’s home on probable cause that the device had been stolen, and found both the device and methamphetamines; should the Indiana Supreme Court, which heard oral argument in the case earlier this month, find that the defendant’s removal of the device is not theft, all evidence obtained during the search will be inadmissible. 

On the Lighter Side

“Robot Lawyer” Service Launches New Tool To Help Customers Understand License Agreements: Called “Do Not Sign,” the AI tool lets users upload, scan, or copy and paste the URLs of license agreements they wish to review; it then highlights clauses that users should know about, such as data collection opt-out information or service cancellation loopholes.

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 Fellows