CLIP-ings: August 27, 2021

Internet Governance

FCC Proposes $5.1 Million Fine For Anti-Voting Robocallers: The proposed fine, which is the largest to date under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, is against two right-wing conspiracy theorists who orchestrated over 1,100 robocalls designed to convince members of the Black community not to vote by mail by telling recipients that vote-by-mail data would be used to surface old warrants and collect debts.

UK Plans To Revamp Privacy Rules For Post-Brexit: As Britain plans to welcome a new Information Commissioner in November, it also plans to overhaul its privacy rules by moving away from EU-style regulations in favor of rules that prioritize “innovative and responsible uses of data,” and that are designed to “boost growth, especially for startups and small firms, speed up scientific discoveries and improve public services.”

Federal Government Plans Increased Use Of Facial Recognition: Despite growing concerns about the technology—and outright bans of it in some locales—a new report by the Government Accountability Office reveals that at least ten federal agencies plan to expand its use by 2023, including to monitor threats and pursue criminals.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Companies Pledge Billions To Strengthen Cybersecurity: In the wake of recent high-profile cyberattacks, leaders from some of the nation’s biggest companies, including Big Tech, met with President Biden in a cybersecurity summit and committed billions to improve cybersecurity across the economy.
Intellectual Property

Popular Discord Music Bot Groovy Will Shut Down After YouTube Crackdown: The Groovy Bot, which is popular on the Discord platform and which lets Discord users play music from YouTube videos on their servers, will shut down at the end of August after receiving notice from YouTube that the bot violates its terms.
Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Promotes FDA-Approved Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine: The social network announced that it will start “sharing messages across Facebook in both English and Spanish” about the vaccine’s approval, and will also update its policies to allow for the removal of claims that there are no FDA-approved vaccines. 

OnlyFans Reverses Ban On Adult Content: After announcing earlier this week that it would ban sexually explicit content starting October 1, the content-sharing site made popular by sex workers reversed course; the ban and its subsequent reversal are purportedly tied to banks’ attitudes toward supporting sex work.
On the Lighter Side Clip-Art Rock NFT Sells For $1.3 Million:

An EtherRock, a brand of NFT that has been around since 2017, recently sold for the equivalent of $1.3 million, highlighting a second surge in NFT popularity that has major brands such as Visa and Taco Bell joining the game.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP