CLIP-ings: April 10, 2020

Internet Governance

“Zoombombing” Now Considered A Federal Offense: The trend of gaining access to Zoom meetings and broadcasting disruptive content is now punishable by fines and possible imprisonment in Michigan, according to a press release posted on the state’s U.S. Attorney’s Office website; victims of teleconference hacking can report incidents to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.  

EU To Create Common Rules For Coronavirus Tracking Apps: In an effort to streamline coronavirus tracking efforts across the region while maintaining privacy and data protection standards, the EU Commission and member states are creating a “toolbox” of common rules for the creation and use of mobile apps designed to track the spread of coronavirus.


Google Releases Location Data To Assist With Coronavirus Response: The tech firm is releasing a series of “Community Mobility Reports,” which include aggregated, anonymized location history data intended to help public health officials better understand changes in trips to essential businesses and inform decisions regarding regional store hours and delivery service offerings.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

New York City Bans Zoom From Public Schools: Following a series of security and privacy issues with Zoom, New York City’s Department of Education banned the teleconference service in all city schools and is transitioning to Microsoft’s Teams service for remote learning.

Intellectual Property

France Rules Google Must Pay For Reusing News Content: The French competition authority has ordered Google to negotiate with publishers and provide them payment for its use of snippets of their content in its search results; Google had unilaterally removed snippets from search results as a way of avoiding payments to publishers under the EU’s new copyright measures, but the French authority found this tactic to amount to an abuse of Google’s dominant market position.

Free Expression and Censorship

YouTube Limits 5G-Coronavirus Conspiracy Videos: The social media company announced it would remove content connecting 5G to the coronavirus pandemic from the platform for violating its policies against videos promoting “medically unsubstantiated methods” of preventing coronavirus infections.

WhatsApp Restricts Message Forwarding To Limit Spread of False Information: Amid scrutiny for its role in spreading disinformation about the coronavirus, the messaging app announced that it will be attempting to minimize the dispersion of false information by restricting users’ ability to send “frequently forwarded messages” (i.e., messages that have been sent through a chain of five users) to only a single chat at a time. 

On the Lighter Side

New Hinge Feature Encourages Virtual Dates: In the wake of a recent surge in virtual dating, the popular dating app unveiled a new “Date from Home” feature to ease the transition from in-app texting to video calls; the feature allows users to indicate to matches their readiness to have a video call. 

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