CLIP-ings: February 28, 2020

Internet Governance

China Cracks Down On Sharing Of Coronavirus Information: The Chinese government has started censoring posts related to the coronavirus outbreak on platforms like WeChat and Twitter, even if such posts are benign or uncritical of the government’s response.


New Study Quantifies Value Of Online Privacy: The study by the Technology Policy Institute asked Facebook users across six countries how much they would want to be paid in exchange for Facebook to be able to share their personal information with third-parties; German users valued privacy the highest overall by desiring around $8.00 per month for Facebook to have the right to share their contact information.

ICE Runs Facial Recognition On Millions Of Maryland Drivers: Immigrant rights and privacy advocates are alarmed after the state of Maryland, which permits undocumented immigrants to obtain special driver’s licenses, allowed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to search millions of driver’s license photos without a warrant. 

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Facial Recognition Technology Startup Clearview AI Lost Entire Client List To Hackers: The client list, which was obtained through a security flaw that Clearview says has since been fixed, includes law enforcement agencies, police departments, and banks; the startup has been subject to scrutiny for scraping billions of photos from social media platforms for its facial recognition technology. 

Intellectual Property

Uber Forced To Face $1 Billion Trade Secrets Suit: The trial will proceed to a second phase, in which a new jury will decide the merits of plaintiff Kevin Halpern’s claims that leaders at Uber “made off with his trade secrets,” after lawyers for the ridesharing platform failed to convince a jury that Halpern’s suit was time-barred. 

Free Expression and Censorship

John Oliver Episode Criticizing Indian Prime Minister Modi Blocked By Disney: The episode was blocked on India’s largest streaming service, Disney-owned Hotstar; India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which regulates media distributed in the country, has said the government was not involved in the censorship of the episode.

Practice Note

Google Prevails Against Conservative Group In YouTube Censorship Suit: The Ninth Circuit ruled against conservative non-profit Prager University in its suit alleging that Google unconstitutionally censored its videos by tagging those “on such topics as abortion, gun rights, Islam and terrorism for its ‘Restricted Mode’ setting” after finding that YouTube is not a government entity and therefore not subject to First Amendment scrutiny.

On the Lighter Side

Landlord Throws Out Drug Dealer’s Codes For $58 Million In Bitcoin: After he was convicted for drug-related crimes, many of the possessions in Clifton Collins’ Ireland apartment were sent to a dump by his landlord, including a fishing rod case containing the codes to $58M in Bitcoin; Collins may take some comfort in knowing Ireland’s Criminal Asset Bureau had already planned to seize the cryptocurrency.

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