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

CLIP-ings: October 2, 2015

Internet Governance

Home-Screen Advantage: The FTC is investigating whether Google unfairly gives its own products prominent placement over those of vendors on its Android smartphones.

Privacy

The Files Are In The Computer: A federal appeals court is set to determine how long the government may retain an individual’s computer files obtained pursuant to a probable-cause warrant but which were not used as evidence, and whether it may later use such evidence against the individual for a different crime.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

The (Not So) Simple Life: Hackers allegedly installed malware that swiped guest credit card information from point-of-sale systems in Hilton hotel restaurants and gift shops.

Cyber Détente: President Obama and China’s President Xi agreed last week that both countries will stop conducting and supporting “cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property.”

Intellectual Property

Copyrighted Crusader: The Ninth Circuit held that a California mechanic’s replicas of the Batmobile infringed DC Comics’ copyright on the car, reasoning that the replicas contain “sufficiently distinctive” elements of the original “automotive character.”

Free Expression And Censorship

The Price Of Unfriendship: Australia’s Fair Work Commission found that a supervisor’s unfriending of an employee on Facebook was evidence of “unreasonable behavior” resulting in the issuance of a stop bullying order.”

Practice Note

SEC Fishing Expedition: A federal court ruled that defendants, who invoked their Fifth Amendment right in refusing to turn over their phones’ passcodes to authorities, cannot be forced to without proof that evidence actually exists on the devices.

On The Lighter Side

Broken News? Watch HLN mistakenly interview comedian Jon Hendren (@fart) instead of Al Jazeera journalist John Hendren (@johnhendren) about Edward Snowden Scissorhands’ new Twitter account.


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: September 18, 2015

Internet Governance

Unamused: Chicago residents sued the city, alleging that a nine percent “Amusement Tax” on online streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify, which the services pass onto consumers, exceeds the Finance Department’s mandate and violates the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Drone Zone: California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have made flying a drone below 350 feet while over private property a transgression similar to criminal trespass; the decision results in a major victory for companies that aim to implement drone delivery services.

Privacy

It’s In Their DNA: Ancestry.com’s terms and conditions permit the site to serve targeted advertisements based on analysis of genetic information submitted by users “for purposes of scientific study.”

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Hacking Up With The Kardashians: A developer discovered security flaws on the Kardashians’ websites that enable access to over half a million members’ personal information, including full names, email addresses, photos, and videos.

Intellectual Property

…And The Ruling Goes To: GoDaddy won a cybersquatting case against The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; The Academy failed to show that GoDaddy acted in bad faith by allowing customers to purchase domains such as “academyawards.net” and “oscarsredcarpet.com.”

Free Expression And Censorship

Don’t Hate—Expurgate: After pledging to accept a record number of refugees this year, Germany will work with Facebook, Internet service providers, and other social networks to crack down on hateful speech about refugees in “response to growing terrorist propaganda and xenophobic movements.”

Practice Note

Dance Dance Baby: The Ninth Circuit settled an enduring conflict between Universal Music and a mother who posted a YouTube video of her infant dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” by affirming that “copyright holders must consider whether a use is fair before sending a takedown notice.”

On The Lighter Side

Habemus Popemoji! Thirty-five emoji stickers of Pope Francis “eating sandwiches, hugging babies, playing soccer, and taking selfies” have been designed in preparation for his first U.S. visit next week.


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: September 11, 2015

Internet Governance 

Stay Tuned: After modified WiFi routers caused interference problems at airports, the FCC is seeking comment on new restrictions that would limit consumers’ ability to alter those devices for operation beyond their licensed frequency parameters.

Privacy

That Stings! A new DOJ policy requires that federal enforcement agencies establish probable cause and obtain warrants before using stingray cellphone tracking technology for criminal investigations.

T.M.I.: Uber riders who used the service’s “share your ETA” feature had their sensitive ride-related data hosted online and made accessible through search engines; Uber changed the feature so that links to pages displaying the data deactivate after 48 hours.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Impenetrable Vault? A “hobbyist” hacking team discovered programming errors in the “bcrypt” encryption algorithm protecting Ashley Madison user passwords that make the otherwise formidable algorithm “orders of magnitude faster to crack.”

Intellectual Property

As Awkward As It Gets: Getty Images is suing bloggers who publish without permission pictures utilizing the “Socially Awkward Penguin”, one of the company’s stock images; the string of suits raises questions about the ownership rights to memes collectively recontextualized by the Internet community.

Free Expression And Censorship 

Parody Patrol: An Illinois city settled with a man who brought a civil rights suit after he was arrested for “impersonating” the city’s mayor through a parody Twitter account.

Practice Note 

VPPA Claims Dismissed: The Ninth Circuit dismissed a plaintiff’s failure to purge and impermissible transfer claims against Sony, holding that the statute neither allows for a “private cause of action for mere improper retention of covered information” nor prohibits intra-corporate transfers between “intra-household” entities.

On The Lighter Side 

Spy Kids: This baby car seat “doubles as a fully functional spying rig.”


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: September 4, 2015

Internet Governance 

Ain’t No Competition: Google has been asked to appear before India’s Competition Commission after being accused of manipulating its search results to favor its own services and those of paid advertisers over competitors’ more popular or relevant results.

Privacy

Big Brother, Where Art Thou? A new report by London-based Privacy International reveals that Colombian police and intelligence agencies have been implementing “secret and unlawful” mass surveillance systems and relying on controversial spyware tools for the past decade.

Information Security And Cyberthreats 

Who Is Watching Your Baby? A recent study by cybersecurity firm Rapid7 Inc. revealed design flaws in popular baby monitors that make them and the networks to which they are connected vulnerable to hackers.

Intellectual Property  

“Billion Dollar” Data Theft? PhantomAlert, an Israeli-based traffic app, sued Google’s Waze after discovering its own planted fictitious information in Waze’s database.

Popcorn Pirates: A U.S. production studio filed a complaint against the Popcorn Time streaming service and sixteen Oregon defendants who the studio accused of willfully downloading and distributing copyrighted movies using the service.

Free Expression And Censorship  

Sockpuppets: The Wikimedia Foundation has suspended almost 400 accounts for engaging in “undisclosed paid activity” on certain pages that generated “biased or skewed information, unattributed material, and potential copyright violations.”

Practice Note 

A Bump In The Road? A California federal judge granted as many as 160,000 Uber drivers class action status in their suit against the ride-sharing company for mileage and tip reimbursement; this status also allows the drivers to challenge their worker classification.

On the Lighter Side 

The Purr-fect View: Navigate Hiroshima’s points of interest through the eyes of its four-legged population.


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: August 28, 2015

Internet Governance 

Home Rental Service Tax Deal: Starting October 1, Airbnb will collect a one dollar per person per night tourist tax from customers renting in Paris—the company’s largest market—and will pass that tax on to the city.

Less Than Lethal: A new law permits North Dakota police to equip drones with weapons such as rubber bullets, tear gas, and Tasers; the original bill would have banned drone weaponization entirely but was amended at the last minute due to efforts by a pro-police lobbyist.

Privacy

In The Public Interest? The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has relied on the EU’s “right to be forgotten” to require that Google remove from its search results links to certain pages reporting on the removal of delisted links on the ground that the reports include details about the previously-removed pages’ contents.

Information Security And Cyberthreats 

Cool Hack: At the recent DEFCON hacking conference, researchers revealed a security flaw in a Samsung smart fridge that enables potential hackers to obtain the fridge owner’s Gmail login credentials.

Intellectual Property  

#trademark? A California federal district court ruled that hashtags are “merely descriptive devices, not trademarks,” and rejected the argument that one party’s use of certain hashtags on social media breached its agreement with the other party to not use the hashtagged terms in connection with the sale of products.

Free Expression and Censorship 

Deletion As Expression? Twitter suspended the API access of, and effectively shut down, Politwoops—a “network of sites dedicated to archiving deleted tweets” by world politicians.

Practice Note 

Acting On Consumers’ Behalf: The Third Circuit upheld a lower court ruling confirming the FTC’s authority to regulate businesses’ cybersecurity practices; as a result, the Commission may pursue its suit against Wyndham Worldwide Corp for inadequately protecting its customers’ information.

On the Lighter Side 

Caught On Drone: A Rhode Island man was surprised to discover a drone watching him sunbathe . . . on top of a 200-foot tall wind turbine.

CLIP-ings August 21, 2015

Internet Governance

Now On Notice: The FCC fined Smart City LLC, a company that provides WiFi service to hotels and convention centers, $750,000 for charging guests exorbitant access fees while blocking them from connecting to their personal WiFi networks.

No More Near Misses? Senator Schumer will propose an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill that would mandate drone “geofencing”—the limiting of drone movement through the use of GPS and similar technology.

Privacy

Partners In Spying? Newly disclosed documents reveal that AT&T provided the N.S.A. access to billions of emails stored on domestic networks and offered technical assistance to carry out secret wiretapping orders.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Market Manipulation? Former Kaspersky Lab employees allege that the company sabotages antivirus software competitors by injecting into their programs code that tags as “malicious” and disables “clean” files on their customers’ computers.

Dumped: The Ashley Madison hackers released ten gigabytes of compressed data obtained from the hack, in turn exposing personal information affiliated with over 33 million accounts.

Intellectual Property

Pay Up? Samsung plans to appeal to the Supreme Court after the Federal Circuit refused to hear the company’s appeal of a ruling requiring that it pay Apple $548 million for shipping Android smartphones containing technology that infringes Apple’s patents.

Free Expression And Censorship

Policia Of Speech? A woman in Spain was fined under the Citizens Security Law, which is designed in part to prevent the unauthorized use of images of police officers, for posting on Facebook her photo of a police car parked in a handicap spot.

On The Lighter Side

Leonardo da Emoji? Make all of your photos masterpieces with this emoji mosaic creator.

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

Thomas B. Norton
Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Editorial Fellows
Elle Davis
Sam Borenzweig

CLIP-ings August 14, 2015

Internet Governance

#Risky: The FDA required Kim Kardashian to remove from Instagram a post promoting a morning sickness drug on the ground that her failure to disclose the drug’s risks resulted in a “false and misleading” advertisement.

Scammers On Trial: The FTC charged two data brokers for illegally selling consumer loan application data, including social security and account numbers, to a third party who used the information to charge consumer accounts $7 million in unauthorized transactions.

Privacy

Encryption Tug-Of-War: In the ongoing dispute between the government and businesses over data encryption, the DOJ has asserted that service providers already maintain some access to user information for business purposes and that the same access should be extended to law enforcement.

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Pressed With Fraud: The SEC charged a “hacking ring” that allegedly stole over five years of not-yet-public press releases and used the information contained therein to predict and profit from changes in stock performance.

Intellectual Property

Battle Of The Alpha-Brands: BMW is assessing whether Alphabet, Google’s new parent company, infringes BMW’s trademark for a subsidiary of the same name; a dispute is unlikely because Google does not intend for the company to manufacture products.

Free Expression And Censorship

Voters Say Cheese: A New Hampshire court struck a state bill banning voters’ ballot selfies, which was enacted to prevent vote-buying schemes, as a “content-based restriction on speech.”

Practice Note

Social Network Expert: In a case about whether a man’s Facebook posts amounted to threats, an Indiana District Court has allowed expert testimony from a professor whose extensive research on the site’s users “qualifies her to opine on [their] general behavioral patterns.”

On The Lighter Side

Privacy? Priceless: A $240 pair of shades can protect your face from those harmful facial recognition rays.

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

Thomas B. Norton

Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Editorial Fellows

Elle Davis

Sam Borenzweig

CLIP-ings: July 24, 2015

 

Internet Governance

Uber Cap Taxied Away: Mayor Bill de Blasio pulled his plan to curb the company’s growth in New York City so long as it makes improvements for disabled passengers and provides the city with ride data.

Privacy

Constitutionally Warranted: A New York appeals court ruled that Facebook cannot challenge the constitutionality of warrants for users’ information on their behalf; other companies and privacy groups argue that the decision “could set a troubling precedent giving prosecutors access to all kinds of digital information.”

Information Security And Cyberthreats

Hackers vs. Cheaters: Hacking group The Impact Team breached the database of AshleyMadison, a website for people seeking extra-relational affairs, and now threatens to unveil information about its 37 million users if the site is not taken offline.

The Digital Seatbelt? Legislators introduced the Security and Privacy in Your Car Act, a bill that aims to safeguard Internet-connected vehicles’ critical control systems, which research has proven can be compromised even while in motion.

Intellectual Property

Stream On, FilmOn: A U.S. District Judge held that the video streaming service FilmOn is entitled to receive the same copyright license as cable companies; the decision stands in direct conflict with Second Circuit precedent and, if upheld, would “open a route to legal TV-over-Internet businesses.”

Free Expression And Censorship

Free Speech Hub No More? Some Reddit users assert that new CEO Steve Huffman’s proposal to ban from the site illicit content and that which “violates a common sense of decency” amounts to undue censorship of free speech.

Practice Note

Lock It Before You Pocket: The Sixth Circuit ruled that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in statements recorded by the recipient of a pocket-dial.

On The Lighter Side

G0a1! Robots are taking over the World (Cup).

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

Thomas B. Norton

Privacy Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Editorial Fellows

Elle Davis

Sam Borenzweig