CLIP-ings: June 2, 2017

Internet Governance

Testing Troubles: In response to a leak of national school exam papers Ethiopia shut down internet access across the nation in order to prevent similar cheating on another round of upcoming national exams for the third time in one year.

Congress Contemplates Overseas Data Compliance: Congress is proposing legislation to address the retrieval of data from U.S. companies held overseas, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Microsoft did not have to turn over data stored on an overseas server that pertained to a suspect in a criminal case.


Passengers Planes & Pictures: This month JetBlue Airways plans to unveil a new process to streamline boarding by utilizing facial recognition software to confirm flight information with a photo taken at the gate.

AI Interest in Inattention: A French business school’s proposed use of facial recognition software and artificial intelligence to track student’s attentiveness during online lessons, develop customized quizzes and improve teaching poses privacy risks as it requires masses of personal data.

Streaming Execs Shrug Shoulder on Password Sharing: A study revealed that over half of video streaming viewership is conducted via sharing passwords and, despite ongoing debate, industry executives regard the practice as commonplace.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Smart Cities Step Up Security or Succumb to Susceptibilities: As the percentage of the world’s residents in urban areas grows, so does the threat of the smart systems used to manage the cities’ operations; thus safeguards are needed to protect these vulnerable systems that cities increasingly depend on.

To Hack a Heart: A pair of recent studies warn that pacemakers, insulin pumps, and other life-or-death medical equipment are prone to thousands of cyber vulnerabilities, due to bugs in their code, lack of knowledge about how to write secure code and the fact that only 17% of manufacturers have taken steps to secure their devices.

Intellectual Property

From Rags to Royalties: Spotify has reached a $43 million settlement in a class action copyright lawsuit claiming that the music streaming company failed to pay thousands of songwriters proper royalties in making their compositions available to its base of over 100 million users.

Patented Parachute: As part of its Prime Air drone delivery project, Amazon received a patent for a shipping label that includes a built-in parachute attached to an autonomous drone, even though such drones are not authorized to fly in the U.S. under current FAA rules.

Free Expression and Censorship

Facebook Fuels Fight: To combat the circulation of hateful content, Facebook has employed Filipino college graduates to review and remove a never-ending stream of terror-related posts, resulting in traumatized employees and a high turnover rate; Facebook is furthering the fight against harmful content by allowing users to flag information as fake news.

Playback Problems: At least two UK-based radio stations have opted not to play a popular song with lyrics accusing British Prime Minister Theresa May of being a “liar” and untrustworthy, while the band that wrote the track sees the move as an attempt to undermine public opinion about May’s ruling party.

Practical Note

Ruling Restricts Patent Rights: The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that a patentee’s rights in the patented item will be exhausted upon sale of the item will require companies to rebuild licensing agreements and remodel product pricing, further changing the landscape of patent owners’ protections.

On the Lighter Side

North Korea Negates Novelty? North Korea’s newest release, the iPad, blatantly inspired by American tech.

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
Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay