CLIP-ings: March 6, 2020

Internet Governance

Cellphone Carriers Face $200 Million Fine For Selling Location Data: The Federal Communications Commission approved the proposed fines against T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint after finding that the carriers violated the Telecommunications Act by not protecting the confidentiality of customers’ location information.

YouTube Sees Success In Curbing Conspiracy Theories: After announcing its plan to crack down on “borderline content” in January 2019, a new study conducted by UC Berkeley finds that conspiracy theories are now 40 percent less likely to appear in users’ video recommendations.


Russian Court Rules Facial Recognition Technology Does Not Violate Privacy: A court in Moscow determined that the city’s 105,000-camera facial recognition system—most recently leveraged to enforce coronavirus quarantines and identify individuals at “mass events and protests”—does not violate citizens’ privacy.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Chinese Nationals Assisted North Korean Hackers In Laundering Stolen Cryptocurrency: After stealing over $250 million in cryptocurrency in 2018, North Korean hackers relied on assistance from two Chinese nationals to launder $100 million of it through methods such as prepaid iTunes gift cards.

Intellectual Property

Lawmakers Look To Hold Amazon And eBay Accountable For Counterfeits: Though the retail giants have spent hundreds of millions of dollars targeting the issue, products on the sites such as “knockoff beauty products that cause people’s eyelashes to fall out, and counterfeit cellphone chargers that can cause fires” still remain, prompting lawmakers to hold a hearing and introduce a bill that would make retailers liable for counterfeits sold on their sites. 

Free Expression and Censorship

Dispute Over President’s Speech Raises Questions About Facebook Fact-Checking: A Facebook fact-checking partner’s decision to flag as “false” articles on the platform concerning President Trump’s use of the word “hoax” in connection with coronavirus has stirred questions about how Facebook has designed its fact-checking procedures.

Practice Note

Ninth Circuit Rules That A Privacy Violation Is A Concrete Injury: Though the court affirmed approval of a settlement challenged by Facebook users suing the company for scanning their private messages, the court rejected Facebook’s argument that the users lacked standing, and instead found that Facebook’s conduct resulted in concrete injury under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the California Invasion of Privacy Act.

On the Lighter Side

Google Hides Musical Treat In Smartwatch: The mini drum sequencer, an Easter egg left by the tech company in its Wear OS device, allows wearers to create their own sick beats using “a colorful four-by-four grid.”

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