CLIP-ings: February 22, 2019

Internet Governance

Uber Sues NYC Over Ride-Hail Cap: Uber filed a lawsuit to overturn NYC’s law that paused the issuance of new licenses to drivers for 12 months and capped the number of ride-hail drivers that can operate in the City; Uber argues that the law, which is part of the New York City Council’s efforts to give regulators more control over app-based rideshare companies, espouses a “ban first, study later” approach.

Privacy

Google Admits Its Error In Not Disclosing Nest’s In-built Mic: After it was revealed that its modular Nest Secure security system contained a previously undisclosed microphone, Google claimed that the component “was never intended to be a secret” and acknowledged that it should have been listed in the product’s technical specifications; Google says that the mic was included in the Nest for features that require security systems to pick up sounds, such as broken glass.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Etsy Error Causes Unauthorized Withdrawals From Sellers’ Bank Accounts: Following an Etsy bill payment error, large sums of money were withdrawn from sellers’ bank accounts and charged to their credit cards; Etsy says that the mishap was “related to a site change” and “was not a fraud issue,” and that all incorrect withdrawals have been refunded and the issue has been fixed.

Venezuelan Government Attempts To Hack Activists: The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is allegedly using phishing sites to trick pro-opposition activists into revealing their passwords to popular web services such as Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, and Twitter in a purported effort to identify and stop the activists.

Intellectual Property

What’s The Frequency, Donald? Twitter removed a video that President Trump tweeted in retort to the Democrats’ reaction to the State of the Union that included the song “Everybody Hurts” by rock band R.E.M. after the band and its publisher submitted a takedown request.

Free Expression and Censorship

Twitter Bug Reveals Deleted Messages: A security researcher discovered that a “functional bug” allows for the recovery of Twitter users’ direct messages after the messages—or even the account—have been deleted; this seems to contradict Twitter’s data retention policies and implicates the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Advertisers Boycott YouTube: Major brands such as Nestlé and Epic Games are boycotting advertising on YouTube because their ads appeared on innocent videos featuring minors that have become the target of pedophiles, who have “infiltrated” the videos’ comment sections; this comes after YouTube recently convinced advertisers who had left the platform over concerns about other offensive content to return by assuring them that its ability to flag questionable content had advanced.

On The Lighter Side

Apple Stays Fresh Past Expiration Date: Fordham Law Professor John Pfaff discovered a thirty-year-old Apple IIe computer in his parents’ attic and resumed where he left off in his save file for the game Adventureland after all these years.


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