Haters Hating Hate: In a landscape of inconsistent procedures regarding hate speech takedowns, the European Commission has drafted a document suggesting that the EU standardize rules regarding how online sites must delete hate speech and illegal content like child porn to create a more “transparent and predictable environment.”
Progressive Prohibition on Product Promotions to Protect Public: The FTC is warning celebrities that they must disclose when a company pays them to endorse their products on social media platforms such as Instagram or otherwise face an investigation and a possible fine of up to $16,000 per violation.
Beware the Big Blimp: New information has revealed that for over a decade starting in 2004, the Hover Hammer, a blimp launched from Maryland by the NSA, was equipped with an eavesdropping device that enabled it to obtain international shipping data from the Long Island area and also intercept wireless communications including mobile phone calls.
Bit of Data Found in Fitbit: Data taken from a murdered woman’s fitness tracker points to her husband as the killer since it shows that she was still moving around at the time her husband claimed she had already been shot dead by a masked intruder.
Information Security and Cyberthreats
Creepin’ Kremlin: APT28, the same Russian group blamed for the DNC hack late last year, has been phishing high-profile users of Google and Yahoo! mail and using a technique called “tabnabbing” which replaces unused open tabs on a user’s computer with illegitimate sites, all in an attack against French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.
Hackers Gonna Hack: An American cybersecurity firm is accusing Beijing hackers of cyberattacking South Korea’s government, military, defense companies, and a conglomerate in retaliation to South Korea’s statement that it would deploy THAAD, a missile-defense system that would be used against North Korea but which the Chinese government says is a threat to China due to the radar’s ability to extend into Chinese territory.
Juicero, the Jealous Juicer v. Juisir: Despite recent revelations that the juice bags filled with pre-chopped fruits and vegetables used to make juices with a squeezing device called Juicero can actually be squeezed by hand without the $400 appliance, the company is suing Chinese company Juisir for patent, trade dress, and trademark infringement.
Fans Fighting for Freedom: In a recent lawsuit, a Dutch court has held that fans who make unauthorized subtitles for movies and TV shows infringe on others’ copyrights because most fansubbing consists of adding subtitles to already pirated content, despite the Free Subtitles Foundation’s argument that fansubbers do a service to the public by making foreign language content available to a larger audience.
Free Expression and Censorship
Pushing Past Political Propaganda: A former Newsweek journalist who was imprisoned for four months, interrogated, beaten, and charged with espionage by the Iranian government has created an app called Sandoogh96—Vote2017 in English—which, amid the impending Iranian presidential election, allows users to access propaganda-free information about candidates, in a country where it is nearly impossible to access unbiased information.
College’s Cancellation of Conservative Coulter Causes Conflict: The Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation are suing UC-Berkeley for trying to restrict conservative speech on campus after the university cancelled an appearance by Ann Coulter citing security concerns; back in February the university allegedly suffered $100,000 in damages after some demonstrators became violent in their efforts to block Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus.
Voilà Voice Via Virtualization: Given a sample audio recording of someone’s voice, website Lyrebird.ai will create a program that will speak like the recorded person, which raises issues of First Amendment protection, the right of publicity, defamation law, and the crime of impersonation.
On the Lighter Side
Death-Defying Digital Doppelganger: If you are the kind of person who wishes to haunt your loved ones after death, you could become a digital phantom through “Eternime,” a startup service whose algorithm filters through your social media profiles and internet usage data to build an avatar with your mannerisms that can interact with the slightly creeped out friends you leave behind.
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