CLIP-ings: June 11, 2021

Internet Governance

Senate Passes Comprehensive Tech And Manufacturing Bill: The bipartisan legislation, which responds to increasing competition from China, would authorize $250 billion for technology research and development and would restrict the purchase and use of certain technologies from the country.

El Salvador Becomes First Nation To Adopt Bitcoin: The cryptocurrency is now legal tender after the country’s legislature adopted it in an effort to make it easier for Salvadorans across the world to send money back home to family and friends; most Salvadorans lack traditional banking and rely on remittances that account for nearly a quarter of the country’s GDP.   

Report Finds Privacy Tech Industry At “Inflection Point”: A report by the Future of Privacy Forum finds that as consumers become more connected, and as regulatory compliance becomes a growing need for companies, privacy technology has become a multi-billion-dollar market sector. 
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Major Websites Briefly Forced Offline After Bug Triggered: The vast outage took place as a result of a hidden bug in a software deployment from Fastly, a cloud computing service provider used by many web publishers; Fastly immediately patched the bug and has initiated system reviews to prevent against future outages, but the incident draws attention to the potential dangers of the consolidation of cloud services.

Biden Revokes Trump-Era Ban On Chinese Apps, But Calls For Supply Chain Security: President Biden revoked the executive order intended to ban TikTok, WeChat, and other Chinese apps on the basis that they share Americans’ information with Chinese authorities; in his own executive order, Biden called for an evaluation of threats to the information supply chain and instructed the Commerce Department to develop recommendations for protecting Americans’ information from foreign adversaries. 
Intellectual Property

Facebook Delays Taking Cut Of Creators’ Revenue: The company announced that it will wait until 2023 before taking a portion of earnings generated by users who share content or promote events, and stoked its ongoing feud with Apple by noting that when revenue sharing does begin, Facebook’s cut will be less than the 30 percent that Apple takes from app developers.
Practice Note

FTC Settles With MoviePass Over Deceptive Practices: The now-defunct company, which once allowed subscribers to see unlimited movies in theaters for $10 per month, is alleged to have changed customer passwords and blocked accounts outright to keep users from being able to take advantage of the service; under the settlement, the company’s parents and principals are barred from further misrepresenting their business practices.  
On the Lighter Side

Apple Nearly Revives The Away Message For Texts: Apple’s Focus, a feature that allows users to set notification filters for certain apps to minimize distraction, now notifies texters when you have Focus mode engaged so they know you’re away. 
Olivier Sylvain Academic Director, Fordham CLIP
Tom Norton Executive Director, Fordham CLIP