News & Commentary

A Closer Look at TikTok

TikTok is enjoying a rising profile, with an ever-growing domestic user base now believed to number 100 million people in the US. The company’s success, however, has also raised the eyebrows of American politicians on both sides of the aisle, as part of broader concerns about China’s burgeoning prominence in the global…

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Antitrust Lawsuit vs. Google Hits Some Internal Roadblocks

The US Department of Justice’s potential antitrust lawsuit against Google may be encountering some stumbling blocks. The Wall Street Journal reports that “some Justice Department staffers have expressed internal concerns… [about] what they view as an aggressive timeline favored by Attorney General William Barr.” While no official announcement has been made, some…

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How a Teenager Allegedly Hacked Twitter

Twitter’s high-profile hack on July 15 featured an ‘only-in-Silicon Valley’ level of absurdity. As the internet followed the action live, attackers commandeered the accounts of major public figures on Twitter to facilitate a Bitcoin payment scam. Absurd or not, the damage was real: in the end, CNN reported the account “received more…

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During COVID-19 pandemic, patent case filings are slowing… and surging

According to a new analysis of patent litigation data by industry experts, court filings and litigation activity during the COVID-19 pandemic show declining filings and slowing activity. At the same time, new patent cases were actually up slightly between March and May compared to the same period in 2019. Federal district courts…

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Will Advertiser Pressure Change Facebook’s Speech Policies?

Facebook is no stranger to public pressure. Antitrust debates, election interference, and data impropriety are just some of the criticisms the company has been forced to weather in recent times. More recently, the tech giant has been confronted for its hands-off approach to content regulation, arguing in most instances that they were…

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Big Tech, China, and Hong Kong

The biggest technology companies have found themselves entangled in the latest chapter of China and Hong Kong’s long, complicated political history. A new security law that the New York Times describes as “rife with ambiguities” gives Beijing increased legal authority over Hong Kong—including the ability to punish pro-democracy protestors. Now, Facebook, Google,…

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The White House vs. Social Media Platforms

To date, social media companies and other online technology platforms have operated virtually unregulated. Many experts claim that this hands-off approach is in part due to Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which affirms that “online platforms are not legally responsible for what users post.” With the rise of social…

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Drone Surveillance of Protests Earning Bipartisan Scrutiny

George Floyd’s recent death while in police custody has generated a rash of protests around the world, raising questions about the nature of policing and the police’s role in society. The ensuing (and, at time of writing, ongoing) marches, demonstrations, and encounters between protesters and police have been endlessly covered, dissected, and…

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The Growing Potential for an Antitrust Case Against Google

A long-simmering potential antitrust case against online search and advertising behemoth, Google, appears close to becoming a reality. The Wall Street Journal reported that the US Justice Department will soon file antitrust charges against Google – a time frame that the New York Times indicated on May 15 could be “as early…

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How Serious Are Zoom’s Data Security Issues?

COVID-19 has fundamentally altered even the most basic facets of daily life, from business to social interactions. With varying degrees of distancing measures in effect, video conferencing has surged for work, education, and simple social interactions. Services like Zoom have experienced a boom, with its service notching 300 million daily users April.…

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