CLIP-ings: January 31, 2020

Internet Governance

UK To Allow Huawei To Supply 5G Network Infrastructure: Despite protests from the Trump Administration, which has banned the use of Huawei’s technology in the United States due to national security concerns, the UK announced on Tuesday that it will allow Huawei and other “high-risk vendors” to supply equipment for its national 5G infrastructure, citing a lack of alternatives and an existing reliance on Huawei’s technology by major network operators within the country.


Facebook To Prompt Users To Examine Privacy Settings: The social network plans to direct 2 billion users to its updated Privacy Checkup tool, through which users can learn who can see their data and adjust their privacy preferences; the platform has also given users access to its new Off-Facebook Activity tool, where they can view a summary of their data being used by third-party sites and delete that data.

London Police Begin Using Live Facial Recognition Technology To Locate “Serious Offenders”: The technology will initially be deployed in targeted areas and is intended to supplement police’s discretion in engaging with individuals; privacy groups contend that the development threatens civil liberties, and an independent review of the technology has called into question the technology’s ability to accurately identify individuals.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Over Half Of NFL Team Twitter Accounts, Along With ESPN And UFC Accounts, Hacked: Activity on the compromised accounts during the two-day hack promoted the hacking group OurMine, which later took responsibility; tweets sent out from official NFL team accounts proclaimed that the hacking collective had returned and that “everything is hackable.” 

Intellectual Property

UK Says It Will Not Implement EU Copyright Directive: Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the UK will not implement the new Copyright Directive, which it originally voted to approve in 2019, after leaving the EU; the Directive, which imposes a “link tax” and requires platforms to identify and remove infringing content, is currently being transposed into the national laws of other EU member states. 

Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook, Google, And Twitter Work To Halt The Spread Of Coronavirus Misinformation: As social media users begin to make unsubstantiated posts about the coronavirus’ spread, such as that it developed because of Chinese dietary habits or that oregano oil and colloidal silver are curative, the three tech giants are taking action to stop their powerful social media platforms from becoming echo-chambers for misinformation about the quickly spreading disease. 

Practice Note

Facebook Settles Facial Recognition Lawsuit For $550 million: In a case filed in 2015, Illinois Facebook users accused the site of violating the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act by using the platform’s photo “Tag Suggestions” function to collect and store the biometric data of millions of users without their consent; this week, the company announced that it had reached a $550 million settlement pending approval from the district court.

On the Lighter Side

Introducing Vine 2.0, Byte: For those of you who may find yourselves re-watching YouTube videos such as “Vines I Quote Every Day,” or “Iconic Vines That Changed the World,” with a yearning sense of nostalgia, look no further than Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann’s TikTok competitor and Vine spinoff, Byte, which announced on Twitter last week, “today we’re bringing back 6-second looping videos and a new community for people who love them.”

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

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Brittany Thomas
Sean Conners
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP