CLIP-ings: June 24, 2016

Internet Governance

Broadband in Space? NASA pioneers a new internet protocol called Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN), which, unlike traditional protocols, does not require all communication nodes to be online simultaneously but stores the data within the network until it can be retransmitted; DTN is now available on the International Space Station, creating more efficient communication with earth and deep space satellites.


No Increased FBI Access Yet: A proposal to broaden warrantless FBI access to telephone and internet records from tech companies by using National Security Letters failed to pass in the Senate by two votes; however, a Senate Republican leader may reintroduce the measure due to a last minute decision to switch his vote to “no.”

“The Password Is Dying:” Major American banks are increasingly relying on biometric identification for account security and transaction approval, allowing millions of people to access their bank account online or on their mobile device using fingerprints, facial scanning, or voice identification.

Student Privacy Reform: Colorado, Connecticut, and North Carolina have joined ten other states that have enacted student privacy laws imposing stringent requirements on collectors of student data and their contractual relationships with school districts.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Another Mount Gox? On June 18, a hacker stole $50 million worth of Ether, a bitcoin-like digital currency, from the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), echoing earlier cryptocurrency security and reliability concerns; the DAO, a crowdfunding investment fund that used Ether, had successfully raised $160 million.

Cyber Cooperation: Israel and the U.S. have signed the Cyber Defense Cooperation Agreement, aimed at increasing their bilateral cooperation in the field by developing joint cyber defense infrastructure and private sector alliances, supporting research and new technologies, and improving current information sharing mechanisms between the DHS and Israel’s National Cyber Security Authority.

Intellectual Property

PTAB Decision Upheld: A unanimous Supreme Court upheld a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) process called inter partes review, which allows re-examination of previously issued patents under third party requests, and authorized the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to apply a “broadest reasonable construction” standard to patent claims.

Free Expression and Censorship

Governing Through Social Media: When the Republican majority recessed the House and C-SPAN’s live feed ended, Democrats live-streamed their sit-in over gun legislation through Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope.

Censorship Technology: New technology supported by the White House allows internet companies to instantly detect terrorist images and videos and remove them from their platforms; however, social media companies say that lack of clarity as to what constitutes a “terrorist image” may lead them to delete information posted by non-threatening sources.

Practice Note

IoT Challenges: The increasing capability of inter-communication within the “internet of things” that threatens to flood existing channels raises issues with authentication and authorization of devices, and infiltration opportunities require better policing, potential FCC bandwidth allocation, and new regulatory needs to manage increased traffic.

On the Lighter Side

1984 or 2016? The annual theatrical mock trial composed of two Supreme Court justices and three appellate judges spoofed “1984” including exaggerated and comical surveillance claims.

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