CLIP-ings: September 16, 2016

Internet Governance

Social Media Platforms Fight Against Hoax Stories: Facebook has joined the First Draft Coalition, an initiative that also counts Twitter as one of its partners, to stop fake and deceptive news stories such as fake celebrity deaths and other hoaxes from circulating through social media platforms.

Free Wi-Fi for All: The European Commission recently proposed a new law called the European Electronic Communications Code, which would seek to make Wi-Fi available to all EU citizens and improve download speeds to at least 100Mbps by the year 2025.


“Plain Hearing” Rule About Wiretaps Reinterpreted: The Court of Appeals has elaborated on the “plain hearing” doctrine and ruled that if the government has obtained a warrant to listen in on a conversation but discovers that someone other than the warrant’s target is using that phone number, the government must cease eavesdropping.

Stalked by Google: Despite complaints about privacy and battery drainage, Google continues to track Android users’ locations through both Google Play—which refuses to stop tracking users unless location tracking is turned off for all applications at once—and Google Maps—whose basic features can stop working if location tracking is disabled.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Your Local ATM Could Be Compromised: A new type of ATM hacking device that uses “periscope skimming” has been discovered in ATMs in Connecticut and Pennsylvania and is frighteningly undetectable, as the devices are installed inside of ATM machines and can obtain over 32,000 credit card numbers in just 14 days.

Russian Hackers Release Olympic Athletes’ Medical Info: After a doping scandal at the Rio Olympic games this summer, during which 119 Russian athletes were ultimately banned, a Russian hacker group called Fancy Bear infiltrated the World Anti-Doping Agency’s database and gained access to medical information of Olympic athletes, some of which the group has already released.

Intellectual Property

Stealing Content from 3-D Printers: Placing an ordinary smartphone as far as 8 inches away from a 3-D printer may allow forgers and copyright thieves to recreate 3-D printed objects, such as cases and packaging, with 90-94% accuracy, by recording the acoustic and electromagnetic energy released by the printer and then reverse-engineering the product.

Free Expression and Censorship

Instagram’s Efforts to Moderate: Instagram has introduced a new comment moderation feature that enables users to filter out certain words or emojis from others’ comments on their posts in an effort to fight harassment, similar to a tool that Twitter is also developing.

Napalm Girl Censored for Nudity: After Facebook deleted several posts by Norwegian journalists that depicted “Terror of War,” a famous Vietnam War photograph of a naked girl escaping a napalm attack, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote a letter to the Norwegian Prime Minister expressing the company’s regret over deleting the posts despite the photo’s historical importance.

Practice Note

Robots Not to Be Feared: Despite fears that robots will replace humans in the professional world, another way to view these innovations is as an opportunity for building creative intelligence and maintaining jobs, as robots will always need humans to manage their existence.

On the Lighter Side

AirPods at the Butt of the Jokes: Whether by creating memes, snipping off the wire from regular headphones, or making a parody advertisement featuring uncontrollable laughter, the Internet has found creative ways to mock Apple’s new earring-like headphones.

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
Nadia Kashem
Meghna Prasad