CLIP-ings: August 10, 2018

Internet Governance

Shipping Adopts Blockchain: From Singapore to Denmark, 94 port operators and shipping companies are joining a blockchain-run platform developed by IBM and Maersk; the platform, TradeLens, is still in its pilot phase but it aims to streamline data sharing in a traditionally paper trail heavy industry by digitizing the supply chain process.

Hold Your Ubers: Wednesday saw New York City Council pass regulations which will cap the number of ride-hailing vehicles on the road for one year and require that drivers be paid a minimum wage; critics worry that supply-and-demand meddling will cause ride shortages and raise prices.

More Scrutiny for Huawei: The use of aging US software set to expire in 2020 by the Chinese telecom giant has British officials concerned; the suspicion is that once security updates cease, British telecoms may become targets for cyberattacks or covert surveillance.


Integration vs. Distrust: As Facebook holds talks with banks to promote Messenger as a customer-bank communication tool, critics have been quick to highlight data security and privacy issues with the company in the wake of its Cambridge Analytica scandal; at least one major US bank has left the talks.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Drone Strikes in Venezuela: Two drones armed with explosives allegedly attempted against President Nicolas Maduro’s life on Saturday; Maduro was quick to accuse the “far right,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, and detractors in the United States – multiple detentions have since been made.

Intellectual Property

The Power of Tech: A study by The Corner points at China’s directed efforts to grow its technological sector as responsible for its recent ranking amongst the world’s 20 most innovative countries according to a World Intellectual Property Organization index; China’s R&D spending as a percentage of GDP (2.1%) now surpasses the Eurozone’s 1.9% average.

Free Expression and Censorship

What is Real? Pressures to suppress “foreign” meddling and “misinformation” took their toll on Facebook when it deleted an anti-right-wing event created by an “inauthentic” organization; Facebook’s admission that it did “[not] have all the facts,” and its page removal, without giving its very “real” planners and thousands of registered participants a chance to present evidence, have drawn public criticism.

More Info-Wars: This week saw censorship of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones escalate with Apple, YouTube, Spotify, and LinkedIn banning several of his podcasts as well as his personal and Infowars profiles; attempts to brand his outrageous comments as hate speech raise questions about tech giants’ ability to define and regulate free speech.

Practice Note

Two Strategies Against NPEs: Highlighting a rise in sports technology company targeting by “non-practicing entities,” also known as patent trolls, Mondaq highlights two useful defense strategies: recurring to Inter Partes Review and forming Joint Defense Groups.

On The Lighter Side

Sleepover Cancelled: In its latest round of contests, Airbnb sought to offer competitors a chance to win a sleepover in one of the Great Wall’s guard towers, Chinese authorities object; Airbnb says the campaign was “based on months of communication and agreement,” Chinese officials differ.


Job and Fellowship Opportunities

From time-to-time, CLIP-ings will highlight career opportunities in the information law field. Please note the following:

Bureau of Internet & Technology at the NYS Attorney General’s Office seeks tech-savvy Attorney and Engineer.

The Bureau of Internet & Technology at the NYS Attorney General’s Office investigates and litigates cutting-edge law & tech issues, e.g., bots, data security/breach, privacy, online safety, consumer protection, and more.  This past year alone, our investigations and lawsuits have included:

–   submission of fake comments on net neutrality to the FCC;

–   data breaches at Equifax and Uber;

–   bot-related fraud on social media and in the resale of concert tickets;

–   online tracking of children;

–   suing Charter/Time Warner for false claims about internet speeds;

–   and more:

Summary of position (engineer):  Our office highly values engineers who make it possible for us to tackle complex, data-intensive problems that others are not capable of addressing.  A substantial portion of the work will be on projects with the Bureau of Internet & Technology, one of the only government agencies focused exclusively on investigating and holding accountable people and entities that use technology for illegal ends; while the remainder of the work will be on tech-heavy matters for other bureaus within the office (for example, using Bayesian modeling to determine racial bias in online offerings to consumers; using machine learning to identify key communications and images relevant to cases).  Ideal candidates are experienced with, and expert in, programming and web development tools (JAVA, Python, PHP, SQL, Ruby) and Linux command line tools and container tech (Docker, etc.).

To apply:

Summary of position (attorney):  We seek an experienced, tech-savvy litigator to join our team. The ideal candidate has a technical education or background, or experience working in tech or with technology.

To apply:

We intend to fill the positions quickly, so we hope to hear from interested candidates soon.

Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is seeking a Project Lead to join their Data Policy Project Team in San Francisco.

The Forum’s Data Policy project aims to define, through a process of international multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation baseline norms, principles and protocols for the collection, appropriate use, and protection of data. The Project Lead will be an integral part of the Data Policy project team and contribute to the successful delivery of the data policy project and workstreams.

For more information and the online application, click here.

The Second Northeast Privacy Scholars Workshop is calling for submissions.

Jointly organized by the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School and the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham University School of Law, and generously sponsored by Microsoft, the Workshop offers privacy scholars from diverse fields the opportunity to receive extensive, constructive commentary on their works in progress.

For more information, see here. Online submissions are due September 7th, 2018 by 5pm Eastern.

The Ringer Copyright Honors Program with the U.S. Copyright Office is accepting applications.

The Ringer Honors Program is a distinguished public service opportunity for attorneys in the early stages of their career who have strong interest and a demonstrated record of academic or practical success in copyright law.

For more information, see here. Applications are open through September 15th, 2018.

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

Mindy Nam
William Ioas
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP