CLIP-ings: December 1st, 2017

Internet Governance

Inter(Net)ional Influencers: As the fight over net neutrality wages on, the Federal Communications Commission’s final decision will have reverberating effects around the world as this decision will likely influence how developing nations approach their internet policies moving forward; yet, India’s Telecommunications Agency has taken a different approach by denouncing “discriminatory treatment” in internet access within their borders.

Border Brawn: As part of the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s augmented “Visa Lifecycle Vetting” program, and despite concerns from privacy advocates, the agency is calling on major software companies to develop algorithms to assess threats posed by U.S. visa holders and to surveil the social media of persons deemed high risk.


Will ENOUGH be Enough? This week, the bipartisan Ending Nonconsensual Online User Graphic Harassment (ENOUGH) Act of 2017 was introduced with the hope of providing the Justice Department with the necessary tools to prosecute revenge porn perpetrators and creating federal criminal liability for revenge porn, which now affects 1 in 25 Americans.

DNcrAy: Senator Chuck Schumer is asking the Federal Trade Commission to review the lack of regulation of consumer DNA testing companies, which can claim ownership of DNA, allow third parties to access it, and make DNA vulnerable to hackers, and which the Food and Drug Administration only regulates in a limited capacity.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Unveiling Uber: This week, the leads of the congressional committees on technology,  finance, telecommunications, and data security sent Uber executives a series of questions regarding their recently unveiled data breach cover-up, specifically asking why consumers were informed so long after the attack.

Web Watch: A new study has identified almost 500 of the world’s top 50,000 websites, including Home Depot and CBS News, which engage in “session replay,” a technique that records users’ keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior and may compromise sensitive user information.

Intellectual Property

Patent Predicament: The Supreme Court appears divided over the constitutionality of a 2011 law that allows the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to hear patent challenges, with supporters claiming that the PTAB hearings make it easier to go after patent trolls and critics arguing that the PTAB is improperly replacing the federal courts.

Free Expression and Censorship

Working Hard or Hardly Working? This week YouTube has been on its toes as it worked to fix a hack of its autocompleted search results, based on frequently searched terms, which previously allowed for suggestions of auto-completed terms relating to obscene acts with children; meanwhile, YouTube also froze brand advertisements on obscene videos of children after the company received requests from big-name brands to remove their ads from such content.

Practice Note

Balancing Act: In an effort to avoid patent licensing disputes, the European Commission has issued licensing guidelines aiming to strike a balance between the interests of patent owners and users, with the final draft removing both a requirement for owners to categorically provide licenses and a requirement for users to pay different rates to use patents.

On The Lighter Side

Mechanical Mentor: A mechanical female falcon now patrols the airspace around the Alberta, Canada airport to scare and herd birds away from the airport and teach them to fly in less dangerous areas.

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:

Numerous Trackers Found in Android Apps: Security researchers at French nonprofit Exodus Privacy built a custom auditing platform to find tracking software in more than 300 apps for Android’s smartphone operating systems, with capabilities to target users based on third-party data, identify offline movement through machine learning, track behavior across devices, and correlate users; researchers at Yale Privacy Lab are working to replicate the Exodus findings and believe many of the trackers also exist on iOS, as many companies distribute for both platforms.


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