CLIP-ings: August 7, 2020

Internet Governance

EU Launches Google-Fitbit Antitrust Investigation: The European Commission will open an intensive investigation of Google’s $2.1 billion bid to acquire Fitbit– a purchase that, if cleared, will allow the company to compete in the international smartwatch and fitness-tracking markets currently dominated by Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi.

Microsoft Poised To Purchase TikTok: After a conversation with President Trump, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the company would continue discussions with TikTok parent company Bytedance, with the aim of purchasing TikTok operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand “subject to a complete security review” and with the assurance that American users’ data will be “deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred” to U.S. domains.

DHS Surveilling Portland Protest Reporters: Intelligence memos leaked from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis revealed the agency assembled “intelligence reports” on two prominent journalists who had investigated the chaotic handling of the Portland civil rights protests by federal agents; acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf called for an immediate halt to the agency’s “practice of collecting information on members of the press.” 
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Teenage Twitter Hack “Mastermind” Arrested: A 17-year-old Tampa, Florida, resident Graham Ivan Clark was arrested by FBI agents last Friday for leading the recent hack on several public figures’ Twitter accounts; Clark faces 30 felony counts, and it’s possible that Florida authorities will charge him as an adult.
Intellectual Property

Triller Files Lawsuit Against TikTok For Patent Infringement: Triller has filed a lawsuit against rival TikTok, alleging infringement of its patents for“systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track;” Triller is allegedly planning to pursue claims against other video competitors as well, including Dubsmash, Lomotif, and Instagram.
Free Expression and Censorship

David Duke Banned From Twitter: Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has been “permanently suspended” from Twitter for violating the platform’s updated policy which restricts posts that promote violence against persons on the basis of “religion, race, or ethnic origin.”

Twitter And Facebook Penalize Trump’s Accounts Over Misinformation: After the accounts shared a video in which President Trump claimed that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19, the social media platforms froze the Trump and the Trump campaign accounts until the posts had been deleted, on the basis that the posts violated platform rules on COVID-19 misinformation.
On the Lighter Side

TikTok To Host First “Cross-Reality Experience” On August 7th: TikTok will host its first-ever live, virtual concert performed by The Weeknd, in which a “digital avatar” will represent the artist, which viewers can interact with as he performs; during the concert, The Weeknd will be accepting donations for the Equal Justice Initiative.
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, Fordham CLIP