CLIP-ings: February 15, 2019

Internet Governance

Trump Signs A.I. Executive Order: President Trump signed an executive order this week to establish an “American A.I. Initiative” after fears of running out of step with foreign countries in the field were promulgated by then-U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis last spring; the initiative is intended to better educate workers and improve the systems needed to develop A.I. technology.

Texas Looks To Prevent Throttling: A bill introduced in the Texas House of Representatives would make it a crime for telecommunications providers to restrict internet access in declared disaster areas; the bill joins over 100 other state-level net neutrality bills and comes after firefighters in Santa Clara County, California, experienced data throttling during the 2018 wildfires there.


Federal Privacy Legislation Hearings Scheduled: House and Senate committees are set to hold separate hearings later this month to discuss potential data privacy and security legislation; a Government Accountability Office report that recommends that Congress consider “developing comprehensive legislation on Internet privacy that would enhance consumer protections and provide flexibility to address a rapidly evolving Internet environment” was released concurrently with the hearing announcements.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

I’m Breaching-Up With You: Internet dating application Coffee Meets Bagel announced on Valentine’s Day that users’ personal data had been compromised due to a breach; earlier this week, reports surfaced that dating application OkCupid was dealing with users’ being locked out of their accounts, potentially due to a security breach.

Intellectual Property

EU Agrees On Copyright Directive Article 13: Negotiations have resulted in agreement on the language of the copyright reform directive, which must now be formally confirmed by the European Parliament and the EU Council; the new text includes the controversial Article 13 provision that would require internet platforms to proactively block the upload of copyrighted material.

Free Expression and Censorship

Instagram Bans “Graphic” Self-Harm Images After British Teenager’s Death: Following public outrage over Instagram’s apparent influence in the suicide of 14-year old Molly Russell, Instagram announced that explicit imagery of self-harm would not be allowed on the app and that non-graphic images of self-harm would be removed from the most visible parts of the app.

Practice Note

Facebook Messenger Decryption Efforts Remain Sealed: An Eastern District of California judge ruled that details about a government effort to force Facebook to decrypt Messenger communications as part of an investigation into the MS-13 gang the government’s interests in maintaining its investigation’s secrecy outweighed the public interest in disclosure of the documents.

On The Lighter Side

Moove Over, Tinder: The newly-launched “Tudder” helps farmers find breeding matches for their cattle.


Call for Papers for PhD students and early career researchers:

The Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) Research Group and the Brussels Privacy Hub will hold an International Workshop on the Legal Notions of Privacy and Data Protection in EU law in a Rapidly Changing World to take stock of current academic thinking and the developments in the case law and in policy making in the area, and to discuss the significance of these rights in the future.

The Workshop will give the opportunity to PhD students and early career researchers to present their research on the relationship between the EU fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.

Deadline for submission of abstracts 28 February 2019. Please send your abstract to with your name, affiliation, and a short biography

Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton 
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Praatika Prasad
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa 
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP