CLIP-ings: September 23, 2022

Internet Governance

FTC Requests More Information About Amazon’s iRobot Acquisition: In a filing made as part of its investigation into the $1.7 billion deal, the Commission is requesting “any soliciting material published, sent or given to security holders.” The filing suggests that both Amazon and iRobot plan to cooperate with the request.

U.S. Military Purchases Internet-Data Monitoring Tool: Recently-revealed documents show that multiple branches of the armed forces have purchased access to Augury, a privately-developed tool that provides insight into over 90 percent of all internet traffic. The office of Senator Ron Wyden received a whistleblower complaint regarding the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s warrantless purchase of data using the tool, which collects data from over 550 worldwide access points and is updated with 100 billion new records each day.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Morgan Stanley Fined $35 Million for Improperly Disposing Hard Drives Containing Customer Information: The fine will settle SEC charges that the financial services company sold off hard drives and backup tapes containing the unencrypted personal information of nearly 15 million people. According to the SEC’s complaint, Morgan Stanley failed to oversee a contractor’s data destruction services, and the unwiped devices were later sold to an IT consultant.
Intellectual Property

Getty Images Bans AI-Generated Content: The supplier of stock images imposed the ban out of concern over “unaddressed rights issues” related to the outputs of image generators, as well as out of a desire to protect Getty Image users from resulting potential legal risk.
Freedom of Expression and Censorship

Florida Petitions SCOTUS to Rule on Social Media Law: After an appeals court blocked the controversial law, which would force online platforms to host content that they would otherwise remove, Florida has asked the Court to weigh in on states’ power to compel private companies to host speech. The petition comes days after another federal appeals court upheld a similar law in Texas that prohibits platforms from banning or moderating users based on political viewpoint.
Practice Note

German Data-Retention Law Ruled Unlawful: The European Court of Justice ruled that the law, which requires telecommunications companies to store user data for up to ten weeks and share it with law enforcement, is unlawful. According to the judges, “EU law precludes the general and indiscriminate retention of traffic and location data, except in the case of a serious threat to national security.”
On the Lighter Side

Builder Drones: Inspired by bees, researchers have developed drone teams that work together to 3D-print simple structures.
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Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP