CLIP-ings: December 3, 2021

Internet Governance

UK Competition Authority Orders Meta To Unwind Giphy Acquisition: In a first-of-its-kind effort, the Competition and Markets Authority ruled that Meta must sell Giphy after determining that the acquisition could harm competition by forcing more users onto Meta products and by removing Giphy’s competing advertising services from the market.

UK Information Commissioner’s Office Fines Clearview AI £17 million: In the wake of a similar ruling out of Australia, the ICO provisionally fined the controversial photo-gathering company for allegedly failing to notify individuals about its data-scraping practices, processing data unfairly, and lacking a lawful basis to process data, among other things.

Newly Released FBI Document Sheds Light On Law Enforcement Access To Messaging Data: The “Lawful Access” document outlines the Bureau’s ability to “legally access secure content on leading messaging applications” using various legal processes; chief among the document’s revelations is that the most popular platforms, such as iMessage and WhatsApp, are the “most permissive,” with WhatsApp able to convey near-real-time metadata to law enforcement, including data about which users communicate with one another and when.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Widely Downloaded Google Play Store Apps Revealed To Be Malware: A group of apps downloaded over 300,000 times circumvented Google’s malware and fraudulent-app detection system by initially appearing benign, only to later push users to download updates that morphed the apps into “banking trojans” that secretly stole passwords, two-factor authentication codes, and more.

U.S. Faces Cybersecurity Worker Shortage: Despite growing threats of cyber attacks, companies and public-sector entities are struggling to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions; to fill the void, the government, private entities, and nonprofit organizations have ramped up efforts to train individuals for the roles.
Free Expression and Censorship

Federal Judge Enjoins Texas Law Prohibiting Social Media Platforms From Blocking Political Content: The court found that the law, which was passed in response to the perception that social networks stifle conservative viewpoints, violates social media platforms’ First Amendment right to exercise editorial discretion.
Practice Note

Australia Plans To Compel Social Networks To Unmask Trolls Who Defame: The country’s Prime Minister announced planned legislation that would give social media companies the power “to unmask anonymous online trolls” so that they may be sued for defamation; the announcement also carried a “pledge to legislate so that Australian publishers are no longer liable for defamatory comments made on their social media presences,” which would effectively reverse a ruling from the country’s High Court earlier this year.
On the Lighter Side

Ring In The Holidays With An Ugly Windows Sweater: Microsoft has released an “ugly sweater” in the style of the popular Windows game Minesweeper.
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Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP