CLIP-ings: June 10, 2016

Internet Governance

Ask Before You Give? Senator Ted Cruz has moved for the passage of a new bill that would require Congressional approval for IANA transition of control of domain names and IP numbers and would require the Obama administration to secure “sole ownership” of top-level domain names dot-gov and dot-mil.

App Sparks “Traffic War”: Google’s traffic navigation app Waze, that updates its map with real time driver information on optimal routes and blockages, has created an influx of traffic in some residential neighborhoods, leading inhabitants to post false accident and blockage information to detour this traffic from insider resident shortcuts; however, Waze has mechanisms to recognize and boot out ‘impostors’.

Internet Access Cut for Singapore Government Workers: In an attempt to improve government cybersecurity, Singapore is cutting all public workers’ internet access from office computers by May 2017; questions remain as to how workers will be able to collaborate without internet.


Identifiable Ink:  The National Institution of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the FBI, studying the effectiveness of tattoo-recognition systems, used prisoner tattoo images to form a database that can identify and match visual aspects of tattoos; however, NIST has halted future plans to use third-party algorithms to further analyze the 100,000 tattoo images in response to concerns that the system may misidentify people, or lead to religious, political, social, or other types of profiling.

Data Protection Agreement: The U.S. and the E.U. have signed an agreement regarding the protection of personal information and data exchanged during law enforcement agency investigations; however this “umbrella” agreement requires U.S. Senate and European Parliament approval to become law.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

A Call for Fed Transparency: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s oversight panel, investigating the Federal Reserve’s protection of sensitive financial information, has requested that the Fed’s cybersecurity uniformity team deliver all cyber breach reports, local incident reports, and documents and communications relating to “higher impact cases” from January 2009 to now, in response to a Reuters report revealing over fifty U.S. central bank cyber breaches between 2011 and 2015.

Repeat Attacks: According to a recent study, many European organizations face repeat  attacks within months of the initial hack as outdated methods prevent identification of  network threats; minimal external agency breach alerts and high “dwell times” for  breaches in Europe, the Middle East and Africa means that local governments may not  adequately spot and notify businesses about a breach.

Celebrity Account Vulnerability? Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts were temporarily compromised, possibly after hackers obtained his password from last month’s LinkedIn email and password dump from the 2012 hack; the incident is part of a series of recent celebrity account hacks, reflecting questionable security in high-profile account management.

Free Expression and Censorship

“Hate Speech” Manipulated: Days after tech companies such as Facebook and Google backed the E.U.’s appeal to start censoring online “hate speech,” reports emerged about Russia’s use of hate speech laws to imprison ordinary social media users expressing views in opposition to government policies.

Practice Note

Metadata Needs Privacy Too:  New research highlights the need for privacy laws to respond to the difficulty of differentiating between the actual content of private communications and the metadata records that derive from those communications and contain personal information.

On the Lighter Side

Not Now Siri, We’re in Public! Study reveals people are too embarrassed to talk to digital assistants in front of other people.

Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law and Founding Academic Director, CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Editorial Fellows, CLIP
Victoria J.A. Loeb
Vlad A. Herta