CLIP-ings: July 17, 2020

Internet Governance

France’s Parliament Passes Age-Verification Requirement For Adult Sites: In an effort to limit access to pornography by children under the age of eighteen, the French parliament passed new legislation requiring stronger age-verification measures by adult websites; while the sites can decide for themselves how to verify age, the most common measure is expected to be the provision of credit card information. 

Apple’s Irish Tax Bill Remains Unsettled: An EU intermediate appellate court overturned a decision ordering Apple to pay $14.9 billion in back taxes to Ireland on the ground that the European Commission “did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard” that Apple received an unfair advantage by not paying; nonetheless, roughly $15 billion will remain in Apple’s escrow account until any final appeal concludes. 


EU High Court Invalidates U.S.-EU Privacy Shield: The Court of Justice of the European Union struck down the  data-sharing agreement, stating that it does not adequately protect EU citizens’ data from surveillance by U.S. authorities.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Twitter Accounts Targeted And Hacked By Bitcoin Scam: The Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Kanye West, and other high-profile individuals and businesses were hacked in what is believed to be a “coordinated social engineering attack on Twitter employees”; through the compromised accounts, the hackers directed users to transfer Bitcoin with the false promise of sending back double the amount in return, and ultimately made out with an estimated $100,000.

Intellectual Property

Facebook To Launch Officially Licensed Music Videos: To compete with YouTube, the social network negotiated with music publishers so that it could automatically post artists’ videos to their Facebook pages. 

Free Expression and Censorship

Instagram And Facebook Ban All Content Promoting Conversion Therapy: In response to a petition for the removal of content advertising conversion therapy services, Instagram and Facebook will no longer permit posts that “advertise or promote the practice.” 

Practice Note

Supreme Court To Hear Facebook Robocall CaseThe U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case alleging that Facebook violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unwanted texts to a user; the case will clarify what forms of automated communication will be considered “automated, unsolicited, and unwanted” messages barred under the TCPA. 

On the Lighter Side

Google Launches AI Hieroglyphics Translator: Google released the AI-powered “Fabricius” program on its Arts and Culture app, which enables users to upload images of the ancient Egyptian symbols to match them with a database of known hieroglyphics based on existing historical records and definitions and to “translate their own words and emojis into shareable hieroglyphs.” 

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