CLIP-ings: November 3rd, 2017

Internet Governance

PrIoriTy: A study revealed that 90% of consumers lack confidence in the security of internet of things (IoT) devices, which is likely a valid concern as only 11% of IoT manufacturers’ budgets are spent on securing these devices; meanwhile to better protect consumers, Congress recently introduced the Cyber Shield Act of 2017, which would give the Secretary of Commerce the power to create a program to grade and certify the security measures of IoT devices.

Bye Bye Bitcoin: The State Bank of Vietnam has banned the issuance, supply, and use of cryptocurrency by imposing fines of up to $9,000 to anyone who transacts in virtual currency in a move similar to China’s cryptocurrency ban earlier this year.


PrivaSEA: A new bill proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives called the Border Security for America Act would among other programs establish a biometric exit data system at U.S. airports, seaports, and land ports, leading a privacy research center to express concern that the enhanced surveillance will have implications for the privacy of American citizens.

Troubled Tweets: From June to September 2016, Twitter ran a campaign with commercial data firms using content posted on Twitter to permanently delete user data in an effort to halt Russian interference in the U.S. elections, amid criticism and even pleas not to do so from information and cybersecurity experts.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Compromising the Queen: An unencrypted USB-stick found in London’s famous Kensal Green cemetery contained many “confidential” and “restricted” documents detailing security arrangements for London’s Heathrow Airport, including the route of the Queen when she travels through the airport.

Secure Census? While the 2020 U.S. Census will be the first to make use of 43 electronic systems to collect data, none of these systems have received the required security certification, the code used to tabulate the data is still in development, and the U.S. Census Bureau is being urged to carefully test the systems for security defects as soon as possible.

Mayday Malay: The Malaysian government is investigating an Equifax-caliber data breach believed to have affected almost everyone living in the country; hackers obtained data from over 46 million mobile phone subscribers and attempted to sell the information to criminals seeking to create fraudulent identities.

Intellectual Property

Candy Copy: Luxury candy company Sugarfina has sued a local candy store for allegedly copying the design and packaging of its signature “Candy Bento Boxes,” claiming that the local shop stands to gain from imitating the distinctive elements of the company’s IP portfolio.

Photo Feud: CBS has sued a photojournalist for publishing still images from a former CBS television show on social media allegedly to retaliate, after the photojournalist sued CBS for publishing two of his photographs without his permission earlier this year.

Free Expression and Censorship

Misinformed Myanmar? Human rights organizations are condemning Facebook’s reliance on its community standards to police the spread of misinformation about the Rohingya people within Myanmar, a country that primarily utilizes Facebook as a “de facto internet,” as these postings have heavily contributed to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.  

Practice Note

Licenses with Latitude: The multitude of information posted online frequently begs the question of who owns the content that is posted; each user is the content’s copyright owner, yet the sites enjoy wide discretion in using the posts because of the licensing agreements that each user affirms in the “terms and conditions” of the site.

On The Lighter Side

Sharp Seniors: In honor of the worldwide The Hour of Code initiative, student volunteers in Singapore taught seniors, aged 50 and above, how to code in hopes of inspiring a hobby in these intellectual elders.

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:

Digital Economy Minister Defends Tax Plan: According to Mounir Mahjoubi, France’s digital economy minister, Macron’s new tax plan for US tech companies exemplifies the President’s commitment to Europe’s technology ecosystem by tackling unfair fiscal privileges and ensuring fair competition; Mahjoubi also believes the digital agenda is the way to reduce France’s high unemployment.

EU Patent Court Agreement on Hold: A German IP attorney halted ratification of the Unified Patent Court agreement, which will establish a new unified patent and courts system, in opposition to the UK’s move to be a member of the EU system while not belonging to the CJEU’s jurisdiction post-Brexit; France, Germany and the UK must ratify the agreement, but Germany’s court action means it will not come into force this year.

Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

India and Italy Agree on More Than Just Great Food: On Monday, India and Italy signed six pacts to fortify their political and economic relations with each other as the 70th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations approaches in March 2018; the issues contained in these new agreements range from increasing cooperation in railway safety, energy, and mutual investment to fighting terror groups and specifically affirming the applicability of international law to cyberspace.

Fingerprinting for Safety: After the recent G7 interior ministers meeting in Rome, the United States and Italy decided to share their fingerprint databases in order to confirm the identity of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, in an effort to filter out potential extremists.  

Fueling the Fire: For the first time, the Sicilian city of Catania allowed the use of technology to tap satellite phone calls in order to aid in a recent investigation of nine people involved in a Libyan fuel smuggling ring; the crime involved stealing 30 million euros worth of fuel from the Libyan National Oil Corporation and transporting the fuel to Italy and Europe to sell it in gas stations.

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