CLIP-ings: December 18, 2015

Internet Governance

CISA Revival: The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which sought to compel tech companies to send the government cybersecurity threat information, was renamed and inserted into the omnibus budget bill, making it likely that the controversial bill will become law.

Taxing Work: The House of Representatives passed a bill that seeks to renew the ban on municipal and state taxes on Internet access and sales.

Privacy

EU Data Privacy Reform: The European Union agreed to reforms in its data privacy rules that are expected to strengthen data protection laws for EU citizens, harmonize legislation between member states, and strengthen law enforcement cooperation.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Lights Out: Hacktivist group Anonymous claimed responsibility for temporarily shutting down the New York City Trump Tower website, citing disapproval over presidential candidate Donald Trump’s stance on Muslim immigration into the United States.

Intellectual Property

Merry Swiftmas: All pop star Taylor Swift wants for Christmas this year is a myriad of trademark protections for words and phrases such as “Swiftmas,” “1989,” and “Blank Space.”

Free Expression And Censorship

Censoring Hate Speech: After talks with the German government, which has been attempting to crack down on hate speech against recent refugees, tech giants Facebook, Google, and Twitter agreed to delete German hate speech appearing on their platforms within 24 hours of being published.

Practice Note

No Waze That’s Copyright Infringement: A district court held that defendant traffic app Waze’s use of the same “points of interest database” – comprised of data including “the location of traffic conditions [and] road hazards” – as a rival app does not amount to copyright infringement of a compilation if other factual points are added to the app’s algorithm.

On The Lighter Side

Patent DIY: How the patent filing process goes, according to The Onion.


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Tory Geronimo
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: December 11, 2015

Internet Governance

Mystery Solved? Police raided an Australian businessman’s home after reports published evidence linking him to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous Bitcoin creator.

Privacy

Goodbye Barbie: A mother sued Mattel over its controversial interactive Hello Barbie doll that records and stores to the cloud its owner’s voice, alleging that the doll violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act because Mattel does not receive permission to record from the parents of any underage third parties that may also interact with the doll.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Wyndham’s FTC Settlement: In its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission concerning the data breaches affecting hundreds of thousands of its customers, Wyndham Worldwide agreed to take certain steps to strengthen its data security, including implementing a “comprehensive information security system” and conducting annual security audits.

Notification, Pronto: European Union officials agreed on the first EU-wide cybersecurity rules which would require member states to adopt measures imposing sanctions on “critical national infrastructure” operators who do not implement adequate data security systems nor timely report discovered data breaches.

Intellectual Property

Cookie Wars: Pepperidge Farm filed a trademark suit against Trader Joe’s, alleging that the supermarket chain sells a cookie that looks too similar to its famous Milano cookie.

Free Expression And Censorship

Thoughtcrimes: A federal circuit court held that a man repeatedly publishing fantasies online about “kidnapping, sexually abusing, and eating women” is not unlawful because such fantasies are “beyond the reach of the government.”

Practice Note

Hacks On, Hacks Off: A district court ruled that car manufacturers cannot be held liable for installing deficient computer systems which leave the car vulnerable to hacking attacks until an actual incident occurs.

On The Lighter Side

Toasty Turkey: A Connecticut teen modified his drone into a fire-breathing turkey roaster.


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Tory Geronimo
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: December 4, 2015

Internet Governance

Safe Bay For ISPs: A Swedish court ruled that internet service providers cannot be compelled to block access to Pirate Bay, nor held liable for copyright infringement by the file sharing site’s users, because merely hosting the site does not sufficiently constitute participation as required by Swedish law.

Privacy

Broken Pledge: The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed an FTC complaint against Google, alleging that the company broke the Student Privacy Pledge it signed last year by collecting and mining student data through its Chromebook and Google Apps for Education technologies.

Dear John: A Los Angeles city councilwoman proposed a measure that would use license plate reader technology to keep track of vehicles driving in areas known for prostitution and send letters to the registered owners’ addresses.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

This Is Not A Toy: Hong Kong-based toymaker VTech suffered one of the largest security breaches in recent history, revealing personal information such as photos, names, and personal addresses of nearly 5 million adults and over 200,000 children, in part due to inadequate security measures.

Intellectual Property

Meta Domain: A German museum sued the Wikimedia Foundation for hosting photographs of public domain works of art arguing that, although the works themselves are in the public domain, the photographs of the works are still protected by copyright.

Free Expression And Censorship

Mission eFOIA: The FBI streamlined the FOIA request process by implementing a beta version of an electronic request system; previously individuals could only make FOIA requests by mail, email, or fax.

Practice Note

Third Amendment, Reinterpreted? A California assemblyman argues that the little-used Third Amendment – which prevents soldiers from using citizens’ homes as their own without consent during peacetime – could be interpreted to favor halting mass government surveillance.

On The Lighter Side

Spoiler Alert: This Google Chrome browser extension warns users when a webpage contains plot spoilers for the upcoming blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Tory Geronimo
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: November 20, 2015

Internet Governance

État D’urgence: The French National Assembly passed Amendment 50, permitting the Minister of the Interior to “take any measure to ensure the interruption” of media channels, such as the press, radio, movies, and publications, when the country is under a state of emergency.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Securagram: Days after a third-party app was found stealing usernames and passwords, the photo sharing service updated its API policy to eliminate third-party access to a user’s full feed.

Keys To The Back Door: The Manhattan District Attorney asked Congress to enact legislation that would allow government access to encrypted data, citing numerous cases where encrypted mobile phone data allegedly hindered prosecution.

Intellectual Property

Million Dollar Protection: YouTube announced a new initiative that will offer legal protection to select users whose videos are subject to DMCA copyright takedown requests and which the site strongly believes to be fair use.

Litigatin’ Around This Tree: The makers of the tree-shaped car fresheners sued a rival car-scent company for trademark infringement of their signature tree shape.

Free Expression And Censorship

Facebook House Rules: A California district court ruled that Facebook could block a Sikh activist group’s social media page without providing an explanation because religious discrimination is precluded under the Communications Decency Act.

Practice Note

Securing Authority: The FCC recently settled its first data security breach enforcement action involving a cable operator revealing the agency’s growing claim of authority in data security matters.

On The Lighter Side

Stuffing Ahead! Google Maps gives you a healthy helping of Thanksgiving Day traffic navigation tips.


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Tory Geronimo
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Noelle Park & Inés Spinnato
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: November 13, 2015

Internet Governance

Don’t Bet On It: The New York State Attorney General’s Office demanded that the two largest online fantasy sports companies cease and desist their betting practices, claiming their operations are a form of gambling prohibited under state law.

Privacy

Cookie Cutting: A Belgian court threatened to fine Facebook up to 250,000 euros per day if it continues to use a special cookie that tracks and registers non-members’ online activity without their express consent.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

This Call Is Being Recorded: An anonymous hacker leaked a cache of supposedly secure inmate phone recordings from a jail telephone service provider, including thousands of attorney-client communications which may have been impermissibly recorded.

Intellectual Property

Get Out-N-Out: Expressing concerns over food delivery start-up DoorDash’s handling of food, burger chain In-N-Out sued the service for trademark infringement, alleging that its use of the chain’s famous logo implies the same standards and quality of food to consumers.

Free Expression And Censorship

Please Unlike: German prosecutors are investigating the head of Facebook’s European department for allegedly neglecting to remove hate speech from the social media platform.

Practice Note

Un(ID)entifiable? A district court ruled that a user’s unique video streaming device ID and viewing history can be disclosed to third parties because the ID does not constitute “personally identifiable information” under the Video Privacy Protection Act.

On The Lighter Side

Driver Dream State: Architectural designers used 3-D scanning technology to visualize how driverless cars might perceive their surroundings.


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Tory Geronimo
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Noelle Park & Inés Spinnato
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: November 6, 2015

Internet Governance

What Does Spokeo Know About You? During oral arguments in a Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuit against the people-search engine Spokeo, the Supreme Court considered whether inaccurate consumer information posted on the site constitutes an actual injury to the plaintiff and a potential class of plaintiffs.

Sly Fox: Mozilla announced an update to Firefox’s private browsing mode providing heightened privacy controls that block third-party tracking scripts used to identify an individual.

Privacy

SnapTrap: Snapchat’s latest terms of service grant the company a “world-wide, perpetual, royalty-free” license to, among other things, reproduce, modify, and broadcast user pictures uploaded to its “Live Story” feature.

Stingray Privacy Act: The House proposed the Cell-Site Simulator Act of 2015, which would require state and local agencies to obtain a search warrant before using stingray surveillance devices.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Masked Hack: Websites using anti-adblocking service PageFair exposed their visitors to a malware attack disguised as an Adobe Flash update.

Intellectual Property

It’s A Legal World After All: In anticipation of Disney’s first theme park in China, Chinese officials will carry out a “special” year-long campaign to safeguard Disney’s trademarks by cracking down on counterfeits online.

Free Expression And Censorship

Offensive Defense: In a brief appealing a district court ruling, the Washington Redskins argued that revoking six of its trademarks violated the First Amendment because trademarks are not government speech and thus cannot be cancelled on the basis of offensiveness.

On The Lighter Side

First Issue: Super Jobs saves the day by tackling iTunes’ terms and conditions.


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Tory Geronimo
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Noelle Park & Inés Spinnato
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: October 30, 2015

Internet Governance

Put It In Neutral? The European Parliament voted in favor of net neutrality laws that critics contend contain loopholes, such as granting ISPs broad discretion to create Internet fast lanes.

Feel The Rush: In light of the recent “Safe Harbor” ruling, Germany’s privacy regulators announced plans to immediately investigate EU-U.S. data transfer compliance for companies such as Google and Facebook.

Privacy

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Invoices obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the IRS is the latest addition to a growing list of federal agencies known to have purchased stingray surveillance technology.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Sharing Is Caring: The Senate passed a controversial bill intending to allow private companies to share cyberthreat information with the government even though personal consumer data could be included.

Intellectual Property

Rockin’ To The “Jailbreak” Unlock: The Library of Congress promulgated new DMCA exemptions that legalize certain alterations of technologies such as cars, phones, and tablets.

Free Expression And Censorship

Request For Public Comment: Citing free speech concerns, Google opposed changes to DMCA takedown procedures that would require removal of an entire website from search results even if only part of the site contained infringing content.

Practice Note

H(App)y Store: A district court ruled that app stores are not directly liable for trademark infringing names of third party apps, but still may be contributorily liable if the stores received notice of such infringements.

On The Lighter Side

The Modern Magic Carpet Ride: Let him show you the world.


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Noelle Park & Inés Spinnato
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: October 23, 2015

Internet Governance

Striking A Balance: German Parliament passed a law that would require telecommunications companies to store telephone and Internet connection data for ten weeks for judicially approved law enforcement purposes.

Privacy

Smart Car Problems:  Congress heard FTC testimony on legislation compelling car manufacturers to submit to the government privacy policies detailing car data collection software practices.

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa: The House voted to extend provisions of the Privacy Act to provide European citizens with a means of legal redress if the U.S. unlawfully discloses their personal information.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Kids These Days: The FBI is investigating a high school student who published sensitive information after hacking into the CIA director’s personal email through “social engineering.”

iResist: Apple submitted a brief detailing how newer encryption software limits its ability to bypass iPhone lock screens upon government request.

Intellectual Property

Keep Calm And Read On: The Second Circuit upheld the SDNY’s ruling that Google’s scanning of over 20 million books for an online library without copyright holder permission is permissible under the fair use doctrine.

Free Expression And Censorship

Selfie-Expression: A federal judge ruled that an Indiana law criminalizing “ballot selfies” violates the First Amendment because the content-based law was overly broad and would restrict legitimate expression.

On The Lighter Side

Oh Dear: Where’s the love, Airbnb?


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, CLIP

Noelle Park & Inés Spinnato
CLIP Editorial Fellows

CLIP-ings: October 16, 2015

Internet Governance

Revenge On Revenge Porn: The California Attorney General’s office launched a website that provides resources to help revenge porn victims, law enforcement, and technology companies combat cyber exploitation.

Privacy

Califortification: To protect its residents from unauthorized invasions of their digital privacy, California passed a law requiring law enforcement to obtain a search warrant or wiretap order before collecting residents’ electronic information subject to certain limited exceptions.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Shut The Back Door: Following hacks of its own databases, the Obama Administration retreated from its pursuit of legislation that would compel technology firms and smartphone manufacturers to provide the government with access to their source code and encryption keys.

On Good Terms: Following the recent U.S.-China cybersecurity agreement, President Xi announced the arrest of several Chinese hackers believed to be responsible for cyberattacks on the U.S.

Intellectual Property

That’s A Real Stretch: The Ninth Circuit ruled that the founder of Bikram yoga cannot claim copyright over his series of 26 poses, holding that it is an “idea, process or system designed to improve health.”

Free Expression And Censorship

NFL GIF Tiff: In response to receiving DMCA takedown notices from the NFL and other leagues, Twitter suspended two accounts devoted to tweeting GIFs of professional and college games instead of simply removing the allegedly infringing content.

Practice Note

Subscription Cancelled: The Eleventh Circuit held that under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), a plaintiff who downloaded Cartoon Network’s video streaming app is not a “subscriber” and therefore not entitled to the law’s protection.

On The Lighter Side

Gold-Diggin’ Kids Apps: Kanye West is mad about in-app purchases (will this be his 2020 presidential platform?).


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Noelle Park & Inés Spinnato
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: October 9, 2015

Internet Governance

Bon Voyage, Safe Harbor: In a landmark ruling, the EU’s highest court invalidated the U.S.-EU pact on the grounds that it neither sufficiently protects EU citizens’ personal data nor provides them with adequate legal redress.

Failure For Launching: The FAA is seeking a $1.9 million fine from an aerial photography company that allegedly conducted 65 unauthorized operations in some of the country’s most congested airspace.

Privacy

Ticket Turbulence: A man used his smart phone to scan a friend’s airplane boarding pass and retrieved enough information to access sensitive data on the friend’s airline account.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Access Denied: A journalist was found guilty of three federal counts of hacking under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for sharing content management system login details with members of Anonymous, who then used the credentials to alter a Los Angeles Times story.

Intellectual Property

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: The Pokémon Company demanded $4,000 to settle a lawsuit against a fan who allegedly violated the company’s copyrights by including two of its characters on posters advertising his Pokémon-themed party.

Free Expression And Censorship

Lawyer Cries For Yelp: Yelp settled a suit with a private practice lawyer over alleged fraudulent reviews on the site; this is Yelp’s second lawsuit targeting fake reviewers “when presumably fake Yelp reviews are happening on a daily basis across its site.”

On The Lighter Side

Spook-tech-ular Costumes: With one week of October down, it’s time to think about your Halloween getup!


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

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Noelle Park & Inés Spinnato
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP