CLIP-ings: June 9, 2017

Internet Governance

Airbnb Addresses A.D.A.? A new study reported that mentioning a disability renders you far less likely to be preapproved for a rental, even though Airbnb has introduced new rental options to accommodate its diverse customer base, such as “instant bookings.”

SanFran Sidewalk Ban: As the prevalence of delivery services increases, San Francisco considers a bill that would ban autonomous delivery robots from roaming the city’s sidewalks because they pose a physical safety risk to pedestrians.


Modern Monopoly? Antitrust regulators expressed concern that existing frameworks lack protections against tech giants’ monopoly over valuable user data, citing an ongoing investigation into whether Facebook abused its dominance as a social network through unfair terms of use and calling for increased scrutiny over use of that data.

BodyCam Conversation Concerns: An intensive study of body camera footage from Oakland, California reveals that police officers use less respectful language during interactions with black people; although the behavior’s cause is unknown it is an important first step towards community driven policing.

Caller I.See: A new FCC proposal would allow law enforcement officials to uncover details about anonymous threatening callers, but the FCC must strike a balance between the privacy interest of legitimate callers and penalizing threatening callers, who the Commission says lack a legitimate privacy interest.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Revenge or Resilience: With no safeguards to ensure that victims only engage with their stolen data and issues in determining chain-of-custody and how to handle international threats, hacking back, the inspiration for the bipartisan Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act bill could do more damage than good; an alternative could be to use the power of human resilience to train cybersecurity staff and the public by using simulated phishing emails and social engineering.

Google Games to Do Good: Be Internet Awesome is the fun educational curriculum developed by Google to teach children about the dangers of the internet, such as cyber-bullying, information security, phishing attacks, and other bad internet behavior.

Intellectual Property

The Stolen Oldies? iHeartMedia Inc. will not need to pay royalties for “pre-1972s” – sound recordings generally excluded from the federal copyright system – after a federal judge in Illinois ruled that any remaining common law protection of the copyright is lost when the recordings are sold or broadcasted.

Sampling Snafu: In an unusual victory for music sampling, hip-hop artist Drake was found not to have infringed on an earlier composition by jazz artist Jimmy Smith based on the doctrine of fair use, though the case highlights the complexity of current copyright licensing law.

Free Expression and Censorship

Ruined Revenue: To appease advertisers and high-profile content creators, YouTube has disabled advertisements from running on hateful, demeaning, or incendiary videos.

Social Media Stumps Scholars: First Amendment academics are divided as to whether President Trump caused a free speech violation by blocking some of his followers on Twitter, causing a debate over whether a President’s Twitter account is analogous to a public forum or to a one-way communication channel.

Practical Note

Government Geeks: A digital civil rights organization filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI after it reportedly paid Best Buy’s ‘Geek Squad’ employees to perform warrantless searches on defective devices, causing debate over whether such searches violate the Fourth Amendment.

On the Lighter Side

APPocalypse? Apple kicked off WWDC 2017 with a short video depicting the supposed inevitable apocalypse that would occur in a modern-day app-less reality.

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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Elizabeth Martin
Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP