CLIP-ings: September 3, 2021

Internet Governance

South Korea Passes Law Forcing Apple, Google, To Allow Third-Party Payment Processing: The amendment to the country’s Telecommunications Business Act, which awaits the signature of President Moon Jae-in, will prevent platforms from requiring app developers to rely on built-in payment systems and will allow for the use of outside payment processors; Google and Apple contend that the model threatens the quality, security, and effectiveness of their platforms.

House Minority Leader Threatens Retaliation Against Tech Companies That Comply With January 6th Commission Preservation Orders: Representative McCarthy vowed to “hold accountable” any of the 35 technology companies that comply with requests by a special committee to preserve the phone and social-media records of 11 Congress members who are being scrutinized for their potential role in the January insurrection.

Australia Passes Government Surveillance Bill: The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020, which passed both houses of the federal parliament this week, authorizes law enforcement to target criminal activity through three new warrants that permit the modification or deletion of suspects’ data, allow for the collection of information about criminal network activity, and enable law enforcement to take over suspects’ online accounts.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Security Experts Suspect Microsoft Exchange Hack Intended To Siphon Data For AI Training: An attack on Microsoft Exchange servers in March by a group of cybercriminals associated with the Chinese government that targeted a broad range of businesses could have been for the purpose of collecting data to train AI systems, experts suggest.
Free Expression and Censorship

Texas Poised To Ban Censorship Of Conservative Content By Social Media Platforms: The bill, which passed in a special session this summer and now awaits Governor Abbott’s signature, makes it illegal for social media sites with more than 50 million users to censor content based on political views or geographic location; a similar law in Florida was struck down earlier this year for being “wholly at odds with accepted constitutional principles.”

Reddit Bans Popular Misinformation Subreddit: After other subreddits called for the platform to take action to curb the spread of misinformation, the site banned r/NoNewNormal, a subreddit that became a breeding ground for COVID-19 misinformation; Reddit cites frequent brigades—where members of one subreddit flood to another en masse to harass—as the reason for the ban.
Practice Note

Irish Data Protection Commission Fines WhatsApp €225 Million For GDPR Violations: After a lengthy investigation that began in 2018, the Commission fined the Facebook-owned messaging app for failing to fulfill its obligations under the GDPR to be transparent about its data processing practices.
On the Lighter Side

Apple, Eight States, Partner To Add IDs To Apple Wallet: The states that have enrolled in the program will allow people to add their state IDs or driver’s licenses to their Apple Wallet for use at TSA airport security checkpoints.
Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP
Tom Norton Executive Director, Fordham CLIP