CLIP-ings: October 6, 2017

Internet Governance

No Drone Zone The Federal Aviation Administration announced that, beginning this week, unmanned aircrafts or drones will be prohibited from entering the airspace of the following ten Interior Department sites: The Statue of Liberty, Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Independence National Historical Park, Folsom Dam, Glen Canyon Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, Hoover Dam, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Shasta Dam.

Spy or Modify? A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives has introduced legislation that aims to place restrictions on the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program, which would increase privacy protections for citizens but upset proponents of government monitoring of suspicious communications.


Monitoring MoscowRussia has officially begun utilizing its facial recognition software on as many as 4,000 of its 160,000 CCTV cameras around the city of Moscow; the cameras hold five days of footage and the software is currently being used for law enforcement inquiries and to hold civil servants like police officers and garbage collectors accountable.

Tinder’s Troves: A European user of popular dating app Tinder who requested access to her personal data was surprised to receive an 800-page report detailing sensitive information, in a startling display of how information that users willingly disclose is used not only to study user behavior and preferences but also to sell to third parties.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Quantum Call: The Chinese Academy of Sciences has successfully placed its first long-distance video call using a quantum communications network that transmits data embedded in light particles and that is reportedly so secure that any attempt to infiltrate the network will immediately expose the hackers.

Dataless Drones: After the U.S. Army placed a blanket ban on drones manufactured by Chinese technology company DJI, the company introduced a “local data mode” feature that blocks transmission of internet data on its devices in an appeal to enterprise customers like the U.S. Army that might use DJI products to perform sensitive operations.

Intellectual Property

Keeping Tabs: Levi Strauss and Co. is adding to its queue of IP lawsuits alleging trademark infringement against Vineyard Vines for use of a similar looking pocket tab on its jeans and pants.

Reverse Dating Rumble: An inventor of a “reverse dating” app must defend the enforceability of her patent against another inventor accusing her of stealing the idea for the app after it was allegedly disclosed to her in 2006.

Free Expression and Censorship

Mean Muggin’: A federal judge in Illinois rejected the free speech defense of defendants and in a proposed class action lawsuit against them because their online posts of individuals’ criminal records served the purpose of inducing the individuals to pay the sites for removal of the information.

Commission Caution: The European Commission has published hate speech guidelines for social media platforms like Facebook and Google, such as removing illegal content faster and investing in technologies to automatically remove prohibited speech, warning that noncompliance could lead to eventual monetary fines.

Practice Note

Deadly Drama: Recent right of publicity lawsuits by celebrities and their estates have highlighted the importance of jurisdiction when considering a right of publicity claim; most jurisdictions do not allow for a post-mortem right, with the exception of Virginia, Indiana, and Oklahoma, while California allows for post-mortem claims only for celebrities.

On The Lighter Side

Talking Tattoos: Researchers from Harvard and MIT have created biosensitive ink that they incorporated into a body tattoo prototype that detects changes in body chemistry, such as an increase in blood-glucose levels, and that responds by changing color to alert observers.

Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

EU to Implement France’s Tax on Tech? Ten EU Member States have signed a letter supporting France’s plan for a new EU law that would authorize governments to tax tech giants’ revenues rather than impose a standard corporate tax on profits; however, EU ministers are concerned that the tax plan, said to be a “quick-fix” solution, would need to be evaluated and agreed upon at a global level.

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

With the Pope’s Blessing: Following a recent series of sex abuse scandals involving the Catholic Church, Rome is hosting a summit with the support of Pope Francis to bring together world leaders in science, education, crime fighting, and child protection to discuss how to shield children from online pornography threats.

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
Rilana Wenske
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP