The State of Net Neutrality: A coalition of twenty-two attorney generals around the country filed a petition for review of the FCC’s recent repeal of the net neutrality rules arguing that the FCC’s decision was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” and that it preempted state and local laws.
Revenge Porn Damages: In a landmark civil privacy suit, the United Kingdom’s High Court of Justice awarded American YouTube star Chrissy Chambers substantial damages against an ex-boyfriend for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, and harassment, after he uploaded videos of the couple having sex to a porn site.
Face-Off: The wildly popular Google Arts & Culture app, which matches users’ selfies to historical artworks, is blocked for many residents of Texas and Illinois because of state privacy laws that ban the collection of biometric data, such as “face geometry,” without a user’s consent.
Health App Data = Murder Evidence? In Germany, Apple’s Health app—which records a user’s steps, nutrition, sleep patterns and heart rate—provided critical evidence in the trial of a refugee accused of killing a medical student by locating the accused’s movements, and recording two spikes in physical activity on the day in question, which the app identified as “climbing stairs.”
Information Security and Cyberthreats
Lebanese Spy Agency Phone Hack: Mobile security firm Lookout and digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported this week that Lebanon’s intelligence service may have used phishing attacks to turn the Android smartphones of thousands of targeted users into monitoring devices through which they could steal victims’ data undetected.
Lawmaker Requests Briefs on Microchip Flaws: Ongoing concern about the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in microchips that could allow hackers to steal data from most computers and devices prompted California Representative Jerry McNerney to request briefings on the vulnerabilities from microchip makers including Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices, and Softbank-owned Arm Holdings.
Competition Over Digital Movies: After Disney’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block Redbox from selling digital movies at its kiosks, Redbox filed an opposition to the injunction arguing that the case is Disney’s attempt to diminish competition for its digital streaming service and invoking the first-sale doctrine as support for the lack of merit in the suit.
TWiT v. Twitter: Internet broadcaster This Week in Tech (“TWiT”) sued Twitter alleging Twitter breached written and oral agreements and is infringing on TWiT’s trademark by setting plans to deliver original, premium video content exclusively from its platform; in its suit TWiT alleges that in 2007 Twitter’s co-founder Evan Williams agreed with a TWiT creator that Twitter would not expand into audio or visual under its brand, and thus allowed both brands to co-exist.
Free Expression and Censorship
Phillipines’ Press Crackdown: The Philippines’ government revoked the corporate registration of Rappler, an independent online news site that has reported aggressively on President Rodrigo Duterte’s troll army and police abuses in the government’s war on drugs, further emphasizing the issue of press freedom in the Philippines.
On The Lighter Side
Drone Saves Lives: A drone used for shark-spotting saved two swimmers caught in Australian rough seas by tracking the stranded duo a half-a-mile from shore and dropping them a flotation device.
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:
5G Test Phase: Arcep, France’s telecommunications regulator, will begin issuing temporary authorizations to use 5G-related frequencies to gather information on the “benefits and usage” of the mobile internet; the country’s five largest telecom operators purchased permits to be the first to use the frequencies, but Arcep’s chairman wants to avoid a “hasty allocation” without fully understanding the new technology.
Au Revoir, English Tech: Resisting the ubiquity of English words in the French language, the Journal officiel de la République française published alternatives to tech-related phrases such as “dark net” (“internet clandestin”) and “hashtag” (“mot-dièse”); most recently, the Commission for Enrichment of the French Language recommended use of the term “mobile multifunction” instead of “smartphone.”
From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:
No Pictures Please! As part of divorce proceedings involving the boy’s parents, a Roman court held that the mother is subject to a €10,000 fine if she posts Facebook pictures of her 16 year-old son without the son’s consent; under Italian law, privacy and publicity rights of an image’s subject place limits on the copyright holder’s exclusive rights.
Job and Fellowship Opportunities
From time-to-time, CLIP-ings will highlight career opportunities in the information law field. Please note the following:
Summer 2018 Law, Policy & Technologist Intern at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)
Summer interns work closely with CDT policy experts, technologists, and attorneys on an array of civil liberties and international human rights issues related to technology and the internet, including online free expression, electronic surveillance, digital copyright, cybersecurity, internet governance, and consumer privacy.
For more information see here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until March 15, 2018.
The Future of Privacy Forum brings together industry, academics, consumer advocates, and other thought leaders to explore the challenges posed by technological innovation and develop privacy protections, ethical norms and workable business practices. The positions may be done on a part-time basis by current law students or recent graduates.
For more information about the specific positions, follow the links directly above.
Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*) Conference is looking for volunteers.
The FAT* Conference, which brings together researchers and practitioners interested in fairness, accountability, and transparency in socio-technical systems, is looking for student volunteers to help with check-in, registration, and other logistics. There may also be an opportunity to prepare a write-up of the conference. Volunteers will be able to attend both days of the conference for free.
The conference will take place on February 23-24 from 8 AM-5 PM at NYU Law School.
If you’re interested in serving as a student volunteer, please send Amanda Levendowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) a short email expressing your interest, providing your availability during the conference, and saying a few words about why you’d like to be a student volunteer by Friday, January 19 at 8 PM.
ATRIP Essay Competition 2017 for Young Researchers in Intellectual Property Law
ATRIP is currently accepting essays for its annual competition for young researchers in intellectual property law. The paper may pertain to any topic related to intellectual property law.
Please feel free to send us any position announcements at CLIP@law.fordham.edu CLIP@law.fordham.edu.
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
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP
Correction: January 25, 2018
In an earlier version of this post, in the portion titled “No Pictures Please!,” we erroneously stated that “under Italian law, the image’s copyright belongs to the subject rather than the photographer.” Although Italian law does provide copyright ownership to the author of a photograph, privacy and publicity rights of the subject place limits on exclusive rights of the copyright holder.