CLIP-ings: July 14, 2017

We dedicate this edition in memory of Kyung Joon (KJ) Shin,  
CLIP-ings Editorial Fellow, Spring 2015.

Internet Governance

Talk That Talk to FTC: Proponents of net neutrality supported the “Day of Action” online protest on Wednesday by presenting their stance on the issue and educating users; participants included various companies such as Google, OkCupid, College Humor and Etsy, organizations such as the ACLU, and even AT&T.

Dollars for Scholars: Researchers at MIT and Harvard studying autonomous information systems and driverless vehicles will be the largest recipients of a $7.6 million research grant from a fund that encourages exploration of the intersection between artificial intelligence and public policy.


Buffering Big Brother: The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s annual report evaluating tech companies’ protection of user privacy from the government was released this week; Adobe, Credo, Dropbox, Lyft, Pinterest, Sonic, Uber, Wickr and WordPress all tied for providing the best protection, while major telecommunications companies AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon provided the worst protection of all 26 ranked companies.

Susceptible Satellite Cells: A recently published study found that the phone call encryption system used by service providers for satellite phones has serious vulnerabilities and can be decrypted, suggesting the need for an upgrade to these systems since many in war zones and rural areas depend on this technology for communication.

We Have Your Heartbeat: After pacemaker data for a defendant accused of arson was found to be inconsistent with his testimony, an Ohio judge ruled that the data was admissible in court and rejected the argument that allowing the government to access personal medical information poses a privacy threat.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Policing the Plants: After reports surfaced that hackers attempted to breach security systems at U.S. nuclear power plants, senators called on agencies like the Department of Energy to release information about the attacks and introduced legislation to develop a cybersecurity strategy to protect U.S. energy infrastructure.

Compulsory Cybersecurity Coverage: In the UK, with only a few financial industry insurers providing cyber insurance, the country’s regulatory body Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) has proposed expectations of insurers, such as providing policies specifically for cyber risks, assessing their exposure to these risks, and conducting stress tests to make sure their systems can handle sudden influxes of client claims in the event of a major global cyberthreat.

Intellectual Property

Downloading DramaStream-ripping, the act of downloading and storing permanent files from sites such as Spotify and YouTube, is the new trend in music piracy in the UK popularized by a misbelief that the sites had the requisite permission to allow them to download the content and a lack of knowledge that their act was illegal; remedying this piracy trend will require cooperation between UK authorities and digital service providers.

Monkey See, Monkey Sue: A federal appeals court will decide whether an Indonesian monkey can claim ownership of a selfie that the monkey took, weighing the district judge’s conclusion that animals cannot own intellectual property against the argument that the originality of the work is more important than its author.

Free Expression and Censorship

Cops on Camera: The Third Circuit recognized a First Amendment right to record on-duty police officers, citing widespread cell phone ownership and the benefits of using cell phone video to combat subjective testimony and finding additional support in the First Amendment right of access to information about officials’ public activities.

Practice Note

Indispensable IP: Despite many reasons offered against startups focusing on intellectual property issues, new businesses are wise to invest resources in intellectual property protection to maintain profitability, compete in global markets, and create long-term brand equity.

On the Lighter Side

Crowdsourcing Comfort: To do right by his graduates and continue a tradition, the dean of Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in North Carolina turned to a crowdsourcing campaign to provide stipends for his graduates during their bar exam preparation and has raised over $15,000 thus far.

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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Yemi Danmola
Harrison Kay
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP