CLIP-ings: March 15, 2019

Internet Governance

Facial Recognition Technology In Airports: U.S. Customs and Border Protection is introducing advanced facial recognition technology in the top 20 U.S. airports to verify the identity of all passengers traveling internationally; critics believe that the technology is an invasion of privacy and “another step toward creating a comprehensive tracking system.”


Exposed Chinese Database Tracked “Breed Ready” Women: A researcher recently discovered a Chinese database tracking, among other things, the “breed ready” status of about 1.8 million women; though the purpose of the database is unknown, some believe that it may be  part of a Chinese government effort to keep track of fertile women as China’s birth rates reach a historic low.

ICE Employees Have Access to Tracked License Plates: Documents released by the ACLU of Northern California reveal that ICE obtains automated license plate reader data from at least one private company and from more than 80 local law enforcement organizations; the sharing is said to violate local laws and ICE policies.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Iranian Hackers Stole Citrix Data: The FBI warned software giant Citrix that it had been the target of a hack by the Iranian group Iridium, which compromised the company’s internal network to steal “project data” related to the aerospace industry, the FBI, NASA, and Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company; Citrix has claimed that there is “no indication” that the intruders compromised its products or services.

Intellectual Property

Battle Royale Over Fortnite Dance Copyright Dismissed: Lawsuits over the copyright of in-game dances in Epic Games’s Fortnite were voluntarily dismissed after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v., which held that copyright holders cannot file an infringement lawsuit until the U.S. Copyright Office has acted on their application to register their work.

Free Expression & Censorship

Facebook Flips On Warren Ads: After Senator Elizabeth Warren vowed to break up the tech giants if elected President, Facebook removed several of Warren’s related campaign ads from its platform; the social network has since restored the ads, citing a desire to allow for “robust debate.”


Practice Note

Question Mark Kills Defamation Claim: The Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal of a defamation suit against actor James Woods on the basis that his allegedly defamatory tweet—which questioned whether the plaintiff was a political prop—was “reasonably susceptible to both a defamatory meaning . . . and an innocent meaning,” and therefore was not actionable as a matter of law under Ohio’s “innocent construction rule.”

On the Lighter Side

William Tellephone: An Australian man attempting to photograph a crossbow-wielding stranger on his property was saved when his Android phone intercepted an arrow that the stranger shot at him.


Job and Fellowship Opportunities

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

The London School of Economics Law Department is seeking to appoint two fixed-term LSE Fellows.

Fellows are expected to contribute to class teaching on the undergraduate degree programme and other teaching on the undergraduate or postgraduate programme as may be available. Applicants who can teach in the area of IT or Privacy Law for one of the posts are particularly welcome.

Candidates should have a PhD in Law, or be close to completing one by the post start date.  Candidates must be able to demonstrate excellent communication and presentation skills and a capacity to foster an engaging and supportive learning environment for students.

For further information about the post, please click here.

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