News & Commentary

The U.S. Justice Department vs. California on Net Neutrality

As expected, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the state’s comprehensive net neutrality bill into law on September 30. His signature opened the door for the expected flurry of lawsuits from opponents, including one filed the same day in the District Court for the Eastern District of California by one of the state’s…

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California’s Tough Net Neutrality Law and Future Legal Battles

In December 2017, the FCC repealed Obama-era net neutrality laws. Responses were predictably mixed – broadband providers heralded the rollbacks as a necessary removal of burdensome regulations, while consumer groups were considerably less enthused. Legislative response was swift, as 30 states introduced over 72 bills upholding certain net neutrality principles in the…

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U.S. Cities Turn to ‘Cyber Insurance’ in Response to Hackers

While social media, ecommerce, healthcare, and more have all benefited from (or were made possible by) technology, the transfer of our lives to the internet has come at a cost. With more of our sensitive information online than ever – data that is tremendously valuable for both companies and individuals – there…

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Facebook Under Fire from British Lawmakers

Policymakers worldwide show no signs of letting up their increased scrutiny of Facebook. A British parliamentary committee investigating Russian election influencing campaigns has recommended sweeping regulations on tech companies, while accusing the social media giant of being disingenuous or outright obstructing lines of questioning. “Facebook should not be in a position of…

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Department of Justice Arrests Members of FIN7 Hacking Group

The US Department of Justice announced on August 1 that it had filed charges against “three high-ranking members of a sophisticated international cybercrime group operating out of Eastern Europe,” called FIN7. Dmytro Federov, Fedir Hladyr, and Andrii Kolpakov have been charged with 26 felony counts each, including conspiracy, wire fraud, computer hacking,…

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The End of Apple and Samsung’s Patent Wars

Samsung and Apple Inc.’s seven-year legal battle over smartphone patents has finally reached a resolution. The companies agreed to an undisclosed settlement at the end of June, resolving the most prominent of several lawsuits, in which Apple alleged that Samsung had “slavishly” copied the design of Apple’s vaunted iPhone. The cases played…

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California’s Sweeping New Privacy Laws

California state legislators passed a sweeping digital privacy law at the end of June, giving consumers increased control over their online data. The legislation also gives internet users in the state greater insight into how their information is collected and spread by technology companies. The bill, which evolved from draft into law…

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Facebook’s Data-Sharing Partnerships and the Limits of Privacy Protections

Our world runs increasingly on data. Concurrent with the rise of tools developed to analyze and glean insights from massive reams of information is the ascendance of data as a kind of currency—an aggregation of potential insights to help companies sell products, services, and more. Tech giants like Amazon, Google, Apple, and…

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Europe’s New Privacy Laws Mean Field Day for Lawyers and Activists

The European Union’s new data-protection rules are officially in effect. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the world’s most stringent set of regulations to protect internet users’ online data, and its effects are reverberating far beyond Europe. In this post we examine the details of the GDPR, the circumstances that led…

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Europe’s Regulator Extraordinaire: Margrethe Vestager

Data is currency for the biggest tech companies in the world. Apple, Facebook, Google, and other giants have predicated extremely successful business models around harvesting and leveraging data from their users. But recent scandals involving misuse of data have caught the public’s attention, leading to questions about how user information is collected…

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