CLIP-ings: June 12, 2020

Internet Governance

Record FCC Fine Likely To Go Uncollected: A $225 million fine proposed by the FCC this week against an insurance fraud telemarketing scheme is unlikely to be paid in full, since the proposal is still subject to negotiation by the defense and, once it’s settled, the FCC must rely on the Department of Justice—which has yet to be involved in the matter–to actually collect on the final bill.

IBM Will No Longer Develop Or Research Facial Recognition Technology: In a letter to Congress, IBM denounced the use and development of facial recognition technology for mass surveillance, stating that it perpetuates racial profiling and violates “basic human rights and freedoms”; Amazon similarly announced that it will withhold from providing the technology to police for one year in hopes that Congress will implement “stronger regulations.”
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Google Confirms Hackers Are Targeting Biden And Trump Campaigns: Google security researchers confirmed that state-backed hackers from Iran and China have attempted to access private information from the Biden and Trump presidential campaigns; though the attempts were unsuccessful, Google warned the campaigns to take further security precautions.  

Georgia Launches Investigation Into Polling Machine Problems: Georgia’s Secretary of State announced an investigation into the technical problems plaguing the new voting machines used in the state’s Democratic primaries last week, which prevented many from voting by creating long lines and confusion across a smaller-than-usual number of precincts. 
Intellectual Property

European Pirate Streaming Ring Discovered: EU law enforcement agency Europol raided the bases of an illegal streaming service that offered programming combined from a variety of popular mainstream platforms, including HBOGo, Amazon, and Netflix; the service was in operation for nearly six years and had roughly two million subscribers from around Western Europe.
Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Attempts To Curb “Boogaloo” Groups: In light of recent protests, Facebook has attempted to reduce the visibility of groups affiliated with the “boogaloo” movement, which is “known for advocating for violent uprising against the government”; Facebook has taken steps including banning the term “boogaloo” when paired with images of weapons and refusing to recommend the groups to members of similar groups.

EU Demands Social Media Companies Report Disinformation Management Efforts: The European Commission called for major social media companies to publish monthly reports on how they are attempting to combat disinformation and “fake news” on their platforms, in an effort to promote more accurate reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the Lighter Side

Apple Granted Patent For Socially Distant Group Selfies: The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently granted Apple a patent for “synthetic group selfies,” which allows a user to edit and arrange multiple photos into a single image.  
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
Isabel Brown
Caroline Vermillion
Editorial Fellows