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Tech Policy Leaders features the best minds in tech law & policy keeping you informed about the latest trends in privacy, free speech, and media law & policy throughout the world.


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Tech Policy Leaders features the best minds in tech law & policy keeping you informed about the latest trends in privacy, free speech, and media law & policy throughout the world.





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Should police get Ring footage whenever they want?; Would a TikTok ban alienate Gen Z & suburban moms? – Tech Law & Policy this Week

Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. Alfred Ng over at Politico reports that the police can obtain Ring camera footage without your permission. All they need is a warrant. But don’t worry – they will be nice. They will call you instead of knocking on your door. If you don’t give them the footage, Ring will also contact you. If you still don’t give them the footage, well, I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to find out what happens after that! And getting a warrant is the least intrusive way to gain access. San Francisco recently passed an ordinance allowing police access to live Ring camera footage. – Should the U.S. ban TikTok in the U.S.? The younger you are, the more likely you are to say, “No.” But lawmakers across the aisle want the app banned, citing security and propaganda concerns about the fact that its parent company, ByteDance, is based in China, and China has way more control over its corporations than the U.S. But in yet another deadlock in Washington, the Biden administration hasn’t acted, the Commerce Department hasn’t acted, and neither has Congress. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) has engaged nine agencies in an investigation, but it has taken years to get that completed. Neither Democrats nor Republicans want to be the ones to anger GenZ and suburban moms. And a ton of TikTok accounts are run by politicians. There’s been discussion about Oracle handling all U.S. TikTok data in the U.S. But engineers in Beijing will still have access. – House Republicans are lining up in support of Elon Musk, as Cat Zakrzewski reports in the Washington Post. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan released an 18-page report attacking the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation of the platform, calling it a “harassment campaign” against Elon Musk.. The FTC began re-investigating Twitter last year, before Musk acquired Twitter, about a possible breach of its 2011 consent decree to improve privacy practices. The privacy loophole in your doorbell Police were investigating his neighbor. A judge gave officers access to all his security-camera footage, including inside his home. VIEW MORE As Washington wavers on TikTok, Beijing exerts control TikTok’s link to China has sparked fears over propaganda and privacy. It’s also exposed America’s failure to safeguard the web. VIEW MORE House Republicans defend Musk from FTC’s ‘harassment campaign’ The FTC's Twitter probe has earned the ire of House Republicans, who argue the agency is trying to thwart Musk’s absolutist vision of free speech on Twitter. VIEW MORE Biden Seeks $100 Million Boost for Justice’s Antitrust Muscle President Joe Biden is asking for a $100 million increase in the fiscal year 2024 budget for the Justice Department’s antitrust division, underscoring his focus on enforcing against companies’ anticompetitive conduct. VIEW MORE CFPB and NLRB Announce Information Sharing Agreement to Protect American Consumers and Workers from Illegal Practices | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today signed an information sharing agreement, creating a formal partnership between the two agencies to better protect American families and to address practices that harm workers in the “gig economy” and other labor markets. VIEW MORE Warren Urges DOJ Review of Thoma Bravo Rental Software Unit A group of Democratic senators is urging the US Justice Department to scrutinize whether Thoma Bravo LLC’s rental software company RealPage Inc. is fomenting rising rents across the US through its rental pricing software. VIEW MORE Biden FCC nominee withdraws after a bruising lobbying battle Gigi Sohn's decision leaves the agency deadlocked -- and...


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Sean Davis: The Rise of Online Scammers – How to Keep Your Money Safe

The internet can be a minefield of financial scams, but you don't have to navigate it alone. Arm yourself with knowledge and stay protected from online fraud. Bio LinkedIn Instagram Sean Davis is a privacy lawyer based in Washington, D.C. and Senior Analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Previously, he was with, the small business advocate, where he served as Policy Manager. Prior to that Sean was with Wikimedia Foundation and Public Knowledge. He earned his JD from George Washington University School of Law and his Bachelor’s in English from Mount St. Mary’s. Resources Staff, the P.N.O. and Nguyen, S.T. (2023) New FTC data show consumers reported losing nearly $8.8 billion to scams in 2022, Federal Trade Commission. Available at: (Accessed: March 6, 2023).


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Republican lawmakers move bill to ban TikTok; the White House releases a new blueprint to prevent online harassment and abuse – Tech law & Policy This Week

Characterizing the popular TikTok app as a modern-day “Trojan Horse” because its parent company, ByteDance, is based in China, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Michal McCaul, aa Texas Republican, introduced the “Deterring America's Foreign Adversaries Act, which would ban TikTok in the United States. Democrats oppose the bill, saying it would go too far in abridging the Freedom of Speech. The American Civil Liberties Union is also pushing back against the bill. Federal courts have previously held that blocking TikTok would violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which limits the president’s ability to block informational and personal communications. In the coming weeks, TikTok is expected to release a new feature that notifies kids when they have been using the app over a specified period of time, after which kids can decide if they want to stay logged in. For kids under 13, they’ll need a password from mom and dad to keep using TikTok after the allotted time has passed. Critics of these measures say they are meaningless since kids can still claim to be adults when they set up TikTok accounts. A new initiative from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has a new app called ‘Take it Down’ that helps kids confidentially remove nude images of themselves that exist online, shared when they were minors. The app is available for download at It doesn’t work with TikTok yet. However, it does work with Facebook, Instagram, OnlyFans, and PornHub. The White House last week released what it is calling a New Initial Blueprint to address online harassment and abuse. The Executive Summary, prepared by a Task Force the Biden Harris Administration established last year, includes provisions for preventing online harassment and abuse, supporting victims, conducting research, and holding platforms accountable. And as prosecutors in states in which abortion has become illegal continue to push for more access to reproductive health data from women seeking abortions, some lawmakers are seeking privacy legislation more suited for our post-Roe v. Wade world. One bill, introduced by Democratic Representative Sara Jacobs from California – the SAFER Health Act – would require patients to provide consent to permit healthcare providers to share data about abortions or miscarriages, even if the data are being sought via court order. And democratic senators Mazie Hirono, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren also introduced a bill – the Upholding Protections for Health and Online Location Data (UPHOLD) Privacy Act - that would also restrict access to patient location data. The new bill comes amid a decision by Walgreens –America’s second-largest pharmacy chain – to stop selling abortion prescriptions throughout the United States, even where abortion remains legal. The decision dealt a blow to abortion rights activists. The Federal Trade Commission has proposed a $7.5 million settlement to mental health app BetterHealth for sharing patients’ data with marketers even after telling the patients Betterhealth would protect the data. The FTC has also commenced looking into how landlords may use algorithms to screen tenants. In other news … The Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Homeland Security issued a report showing federal law enforcement officials with Immigrations & Customs Enforcement, as well as other federal agencies, didn’t follow established protocols for using cell-site simulators – or Stingrays – to pursue subjects. Police in the Commonwealth of Virginia are back to using facial recognition software – but the data collection is limited to certain circumstances, which don’t include scanning faces in real-time. Algorithms are starting to decide which employees to lay off. And Google has released its civil rights review. House Committee Advances Bill To Ban TikTok "If it's too dangerous to be on our phones, it's also too...


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Meredith Broussard: Is it Okay to be AI?

In this episode of the Tech Policy Leaders podcast, Meredith Broussard discusses her new book ‘More Than a Glitch,’ which takes a critical look at algorithms and the people who create them. Bio Website LinkedIn @MerBroussard Data journalist Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University, research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and the author of several books, including “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World” and “More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech.” Her academic research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting and ethical AI, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. She appeared in the 2020 documentary Coded Bias, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival that was nominated for an Emmy Award and an NAACP Image Award. Resources (2022) More Than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech. Available at: (Accessed: February 27, 2023).


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Jan. 6th goon gets just 38 months for threatening AOC with assassination on Twitter, assaulting officers; US DoD exposed highly sensitive data for full 2 weeks -– Tech Law & Policy this Week

Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. Somehow, a U.S. government server running on Microsoft’s Azure government cloud was unsecured, exposing U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) data, including sensitive personnel information. Security researcher Anurag Sen discovered the breach last week, and the Department of Defense patched it up after spilling data for 2 weeks. USSOCOM told TechCrunch that no data breach occurred. Thirty-eight months – that’s all Garret Miller got for assaulting officers and tweeting a threat at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying “assassinate AOC” during the January 6th 2021 Capitol Riot. Miller, a 36-year-old from Texas, was sentenced to 38 months for assaulting officers and threatening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeting at her the words “assassinate AOC,” and running around with rope and grappling hooks. Vice reports that ICE’s $22 million contract with LexisNexis gives the agency unfettered, warrantless access to millions of data points. LexisNexis also links public records between agencies, including the Secret Service. 80 civil society and immigration advocacy groups have urged the Department of Homeland Security not to renew LexisNexis' contract when it expires on February 28th. Thirty-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried may be safe living at home with his parents, while he’s out on bail, but the charges against him following the implosion of the FTX crypto currency exchange he founded are piling up. Federal prosecutors allege Mr. Bankman-Fried used “straw donors” to evade campaign contribution limits, hundreds of times, using money from FTX customer accounts. Stat reports that machine learning models to predict stroke risk are mediocre – not much better than simpler algorithms – and they're even worse at predicting risk for Black men and women compared to White patients. Researchers proposed connecting electronic health records with local community data. The Markup reports that Kroger, the supermarket chain that includes Harris Teeter, reports your data to countless brands including General Mills. We’re talking 2,000 variables about you times the billions of other transactions from customers just like you over the years.. They’re collecting facial recognition data, they get your household data every time you enter your phone number at the cash register, they’re tracking your online shopping cart and making all sorts of predictions about you, when all you were trying to do was buy a bag of mandarin oranges. And the Markup says the problem will get worse if Kroger & Albertson’s $24.6 billion merger goes through. Also … The Wall Street Journal reported that federal law enforcement arrested Ozy Media CEO Carlos Watson for misleading potential investors, misreporting audience numbers and who the other investors were. The Verge reports that video game maker Valve has cracked down on cheaters, banning 40,000 users for accessing a cheat “honeypot” in Dota 2. And a science fiction magazine had to cut off submissions after being bombarded with AI-generated content To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao. Sensitive US military emails spill online A security researcher told TechCrunch that a government server was exposing military emails to the internet because no password was set. VIEW MORE Capitol rioter who tweeted threat to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez sentenced to 38 months in prison | CNN Politics A Texas man was sentenced to more than three years in prison Wednesday for assaulting police officers during the US Capitol riot and threatening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter shortly after the attack. VIEW MORE Immigration Advocates Urge DHS to Drop ICE's LexisNexis Contract ICE has queried LexisNexis' data more than a million times, and leadership encouraged officials to...


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ChatGPT: GPT-3, Law, & the Nature of Existence

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot written in natural language processing (NLP) technology that can interact with its users on a variety of different topics and respond in meaningful ways. AI-driven tools are emerging as powerful new tools in the legal industry, especially when it comes to streamlining mundane tasks, assisting with research and enhancing customer service functions. In this episode, I interviewed ChatGPT and input its responses into a text to speech generator. We took a dive into the ethics of AI, the limitations of its capabilities, and some of the philosophical questions about the nature of how it “thinks,” using the use of AI in the legal profession as a case study. Bio Website ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is a chatbot developed by Open AI and launched in November 2022. In January, Microsoft announced a $10 billion investment in Open AI, which includes ChatGPT as well as DALL-E, another Open AI generative AI platform that creates artwork based on user queries. Obviously, ChatGPT is text-based so I put the answers it gave me into a text-to-speech reader. I used a platform called Speechify, which gave me a 3-day free trial to do this, so thank you Speechify. And I think this particular voice is based on Sir David Attenborough’s, which made it kind of fun. I hope you enjoy it too. And thank you David Attenborough! How do I get you on the show? I guess this will have to suffice. Resources OpenAI


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The online child abuse epidemic; Chinese tech billionaire vanishes -- Tech Law & Policy This Week

Folks, kids are having a really hard time, and a lot of it has to do with what’s happening on the internet. Some lawmakers appear to be trying to do the right thing, but it seems like all they’re really capable of doing is introducing legislation – legislation that doesn’t get anywhere. The CDC released a report Monday finding teens, especially girls, are in a bad place right now with some 57% of the 17,000 high school girls surveyed persistently feeling bad or hopeless. Some twenty percent of these girls report experiencing sexual violence. And a third of boys also report feeling persistently sad or depressed. One young person in Washington State is working to get a bill passed to protect images their parents shared on parenting blogs that went viral. And here in DC, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard brutal testimony from victims of addiction, cyberbullying, sexual abuse, and suicides spurred by social media and the internet. Committee Chair Dick Durbin notes that we often warn kids about strangers in public, but obv iously aren’t doing enough to protect kids. So Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Monday, the Clean Slate for Kids Online Act, that would give kids the ability to have content removed that depicts them before they turned 13. Another bill, the EARN IT Act, which would establish a National Commission on Online Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention, has been floundering in Congress since 2020. On the House side, the Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan subpoenaed Google, Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft for documents regarding their content moderation practices. The House is currently investigating the platforms for harboring anti-conservative bias. — Down in Florida, Polk County arrested 200, charging 89 of them with soliciting a prostitute, after a week-long investigation. 111 of the suspects were arrested for prostitution, of which 24 actually turned out to be human trafficking victims. Separately, the U.S. denied a tourist visa to a UK-based VRChat user who goes by the name of “Hex.” She does sex shows on the platform. The reason for the passport denial? Prostitution. —- Don’t be surprised if the healthcare platforms you rely on are selling your information to marketers. The only privacy bill specifically for healthcare is the Health Insurance Privacy & Portability Act (HIPPA), which contains no provisions regarding your health data in the U.S. An anonymous plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit in Loa Angeles this week alleging Microsoft Bing, Google, and Meta rec eived data from Cedars-Sinai Health System and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center via a tracking code. And a new Duke study found data brokers can sell lists containing personally-identifiable information on thousands of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and OCD patients. – Bao Fan has disappeared in China. The American-educated and outspoken billionaire investment banker has stakes in massive Chinese companies like Alibaba & Tencent. Chinese president Xi Jinping, as Daisuke Wakabayashi of the New York Times reports, has been cracking down on business titans there. Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma disappeared from public view as well back in 2020 for being too vocal about China’s fiscal policies. As were several other prominent Chinese billionaires, one of which, Xiao Jianhua, who was born in China, was arrested at the Hong Kong Four Seasons and got 13 years in the slammer for embezzlement and bribery. —- Elon Musk says he’ll eventually step down as Twitter CEO once he gets the company financially stable – he’s aiming for the end of this year. Earlier this week, Casey Newton reported on Platformer that Musk was forcing engineers – firing one of them – for not getting Musk’s content to the top of the feed. Musk responded with a meme of a woman force-feeding another woman from a bottle of milk. Then he claimed that Newton’s source was a disgruntled former...


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Ahmad Thomas: Defining Corporate Social Responsibility in a Turbulent Climate

Ahmad Thomas: A Glimpse Into a Shifting World - Examining the Purpose of Corporate Social Responsibility in a Turbulent Environment Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly important part of business practices. Companies are ostensibly thinking more proactively and creatively about how they can contribute to the world around them and make a positive impact on society. But what does this mean for tech policy in a tumultuous world? In this episode of Tech Policy Leaders, you’ll learn from Ahmad Thomas, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. After listening to this episode, you’ll understand more about: 1. The current state of corporate social responsibility 2. Ahmad Thomas’ definition of CSR 3. Why corporations should care about CSR 4. How to implement CSR in your business 5. The benefits of CSR 6. Challenges faced by businesses when implementing CSR Ahmad Thomas Silicon Valley Leadership Group Twitter LinkedIn Bio Ahmad Thomas is the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the region’s most dynamic business association. As a change agent and next-generation business leader, Thomas partners with the organization’s 350+ member companies to promote entrepreneurial solutions to strengthen Silicon Valley business competitiveness, bolster its innovation ecosystem, and create shared economic value throughout the greater Bay Area. Resources The White House. The United States Government. Available at: (Accessed: February 13, 2023) Inflation reduction act of 2022 (no date) Internal Revenue Service. Available at: (Accessed: February 13, 2023). (no date) Broadbandusa. Available at: (Accessed: February 13, 2023).


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Report – Twitter makes millions from haters & incels; Women fend for themselves in hostile online environment – Tech Law & Policy This Week

Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. So the White House confirmed earlier this afternoon that it had shot down another object floating 40,000 ft. above Alaska. No word yet on whether it’s part of China’s balloon festival, but this one was much smaller than the one they shot down last week. Feds are investigating. Americans want privacy legislation but – as Colorado Attorney General Phill Weiser noted to the Washington Post with quite a bit of frustration – there doesn’t really seem to be a lot of governance coming from Congress. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School found most Americans simply do not understand how companies use their data. I’d venture to guess that many tech companies want to keep it that way. For example, eighty-two percent of those Americans surveyed reported that they had no idea that the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act (HIPPA). I didn’t even know that, if I’m being honest with you. And TSA is collecting facial data at more and more airports – with the Washington Post reporting that some 16 major U.S. airports collect facial recognition data. At Tuesday’s State of the Union, President Biden ardently called for action from Congress to do more to protect kids online, as the current minimum age to advertise to kids is currently just 13. And the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said that 13 is too young. Republican Senator Josh Hawley is calling for 16 to become the minimum age for kids to be allowed to join social media networks. Meanwhile, over at Twitter, Elon Musk says cleaning up the platform of child abuse content is his top priority. But plenty of that material is still showing up, according to a New York Times exposé. This coincides with these repulsive individuals who were once banned, now being reinstated. And the Center for Digital Hate released a report saying these accounts spreading vile hate speech make millions for the company. And major brands’ advertisements are still showing up next to hate speech – with Fiverr, NFL, Amazon, & Apple TV among them. The University of Exeter reports an Eight-fold increase of misogynistic, dehumanizing content posted by incels on Twitter. Incels, as you may recall, are men who are “involuntarily celibate” and are furious at women for not genuflecting before them. Ofcom, the communications oversight agency in the UK is calling for amending the online safety bill to further protect women by putting a code of practice in place. This is happening as women struggle with defending themselves against all sorts of monsters on the internet creating deepfake porn using their likenesses. And a new Pew report on online dating found that some 38% of online daters, mostly women, reported receiving unwanted, sexually explicit material. And the New York Times reports that a District Court in Louisiana is now considering whether the government should have any discretion at all when it comes to putting any measures in place to combat disinformation. It is Republicans who primarily oppose any government intervention to combat harmful information, even though former Twitter employees reported that that company kept Republicans’ requests to remove progressive speech, including requests from former President Trump, whom Meta reinstated to Facebook and Instagram last week. In Turkey, victims of the horrifying earthquake that killed10s of thousands of people weren’t able to get on Twitter at all to ask for help. That’s because the Turkish government has a long history of blocking access to Twitter. So that’s what’s going on! It is astonishing how much has changed in only the last few weeks. To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, and have a great week. Ciao.


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[Encore Episode] Tiffany D. Cross: How to Stay True to Your Audience

[Encore Episode -- originally recorded 1/17/2017] Bio Tiffany Cross (@tifcrossmyheart) is brings 20 years of relationships, outreach, and storytelling to The Beat, Washington's inclusive political pulse. Having spent significant time working in newsrooms, covering Capitol Hill, managing in-house corporate public affairs, working on campaigns, and navigating communities of color, she brings a unique set of skills that casts a wide net of influence. Understanding the intersection of press, partnerships, politics, and policy, Tiffany has a proven record of excellent relationships in the private and public sectors, media, the entertainment industry, and civic and social justice organizations. Most recently, Tiffany served as a Senior Advisor for the National Education Association (NEA) and its three million members. In this capacity, she liaised with the public sector, traditional and niche media markets, constituency groups, and civic and social justice organizations. She worked with NEA leadership on branding and positioning and was responsible for forging strategic partnerships, internal and external messaging, conducting scans on grassroots and grasstop organizations, and engaging communities in bilateral conversations on education, labor, and civic and social justice issues. Before joining the NEA, Tiffany served as the Manager of News & Public Affairs and the Liaison to the Executive Branch for Black Entertainment Television (BET) Networks. Her work at BET included coordinating with the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention in 2008, executing the network’s participation in the 2008 Presidential election, brand enhancement for the network, and advising on BET’s political and social agenda. Tiffany’s broad experience includes guest booking for CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz, covering Capitol Hill for Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, and working as an Associate Producer for Capital Gang. She was also a former Producer at America’s Most Wanted and Director of Communications for Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies where she worked on the Obama for America Presidential Campaign and secured high-level visibility for company president Cornell Belcher. In this episode, we discussed: Resources: The Beat (send news leads to: The Raben Group Task Rabbit The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver NEWS ROUNDUP Donald Trump named former New York City Mayor and early Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani as an informal cybersecurity advisor. He'll head the President-elect's cybersecurity working group. Abby Phillip in the Washington Post writes that, since leaving the New York City Mayorship, Giuliani has started his own cybersecurity consulting firm-Giuliani Partners. Now a bunch of people are saying, "What the hell does Guiliani know about cybsecurity?" Well, Motherboard's Jason Koebler and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai looked into it and found some folks familiar with Giuliani and Partners' work ... It turns out their expertise is more along the lines of telling companies how to legally cover their asses if they're the victim of cyberbreach, as opposed to advising on actual cybersecurity solutions. So it's looking like this job is more of a thank you for to Giuliani for his help during the campaign. It also turns out, as Rob Price at Business Insider found, that Giuliani's company replete with vulnerabilities. -- You've heard all about Trump's dossier--people calling him PEEOTUS and things like that on Twitter, so we won't go into all the details on that--especially since the dossier is still largely unsubstantiated. But Scott Shane put together a nice summary just in case you don't want to sit there all day trying to figure out what's going on with this. Basically, this all started when the Republicans retained a company called Fusion GPS to look into Trump to figure out how to hurt him politically. Then, when it turned out...


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China's spy balloon; EU Warns Musk on hate speech -- Tech Law & Policy This Week

China was caught floating a spy balloon over Montana. Like no one was going to see it. What else is there to do in Montana except look up at the sky? According to the Washington Post, a defense official said, “It loitered overhead for an extended period of time.” Come on guys, when are we going to get serious? What other shenanigans do we have here … Oh! The European Union is warning Elon Musk that they’re going to hit him with a can of you-know-what if he doesn’t comply with their Digital Services Act. The Act prohibits hate speech. We don’t have a hate speech ban in the U.S. But EU’s law influences Twitter content in the U.S., since managing U.S. policy and EU policy would be more expensive. And the Republican-controlled House is going to grill former Twitter staff at a hearing next week. They want to know more about why the company suppressed stories about Hunter Biden. What else? Oh – Harvard’s Kennedy School is shutting down its Technology & Social Change project after just 5 years. Prominent scholar Joan Donovan led the institute focused on misinformation. Harvard says the landscape has changed drastically and that the mission is no longer relevant. That’s the public version of the story. Donovan didn’t comment to the Washington Post. And the other piece to this is that Elon has now blocked access to Twitter's API, so researchets can no longer access it. Tech Policy Press & Justin Hendrix released a podcast episode last week giving the Indigenous perspective on Generative AI and the need to publish more work by Indigenous peoples. New York Attorney General Letitia James wants answers from Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall about reports the venues used facial recognition technology to ban the lawyers opposing them from entering the venues. Thousands of lawyers were affected. James is investigating whether this practice violated New York’s Civil Rights laws. Finally, Google CEO Sundar Pichai is promising new chat features to compete with ChatGPT. Meanwhile, the company just laid off 12,000 people.


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Barry Ohlson: Fostering a Viewpoint Diverse Tech Bar

Viewpoint diversity is essential for having meaningful dialogue and achieving true understanding. It allows people to be exposed to different perspectives and consider all sides of an issue without judgment. Viewpoint diversity can lead to better solutions, deeper insights into current problems, and improved collaboration between individuals with vastly different backgrounds and opinions. Without it, the conversation becomes stagnant and limited, ultimately limiting progress. Historically, the telecommunications, media, and tech policy bar has failed to reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the population as a whole. Until now. Barry joined Joe on the podcast to discuss how FCBA -- The Tech Bar (Federal Communications Bar Association) fosters viewpoint diversity via its new curriculum to certify underrepresented voices in this practice area. Bio LinkedIn Barry J. Ohlson serves as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Cox Enterprises, Inc. and currently serves as President of FCBA -- The Tech Bar (Federal Communications Bar Association). Mr. Ohlson's practice focuses on the wireless, telecommunications, and broadband sectors, with an emphasis on assessing the strategic and regulatory implications of advanced technologies and new telecommunications services. He has nearly 30 years of government, corporate, and legal experience in telecommunications, media, and tech law & policy, and he has been intimately involved in the complex regulatory and legal issues impacting businesses and stakeholders. Resources FCBA -- The Tech Bar (Federal Communications Bar Association)


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Study: Trump’s return to Facebook; Buzzfeed moves to AI – Tech Law & Policy this Week

Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. ChatGPT is still at the top of headlines this week with Buzzfeed announcing that it’s going to use generative AI to produce “select” content. Buzzfeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti says he wants BuzzFeed to lead the future of AI-powered content. This comes only days after CNET faced scrutiny for using AI to produce content for years. And a lot of writers and journalists are worried about their jobs, as they should be. Prominent BuzzFeed journalist Max Collins told Peretti to “get f*cked.” But shareholders loved the news, rose by just over 85 percent at today’s closing bell to $3.87 per share. And on the education front, NPR reports that a University of Pennsylvania Wharton professor, Ethan Mollick, told them that “everyone is cheating.” This comes after ChatGPT aced an MBA exam earlier last week.. But Mollick decided to go ahead and make using ChatGPT a course requirement. But prominent science journals like Elsevier and Springer Nature are prohibitting ChatGPT from being listed as a co-author. And Google has text to music AI that makes songwriting a cinch with just one or two word prompts. What else? Trump’s back on Facebook. Meta made the decision to reinstate Trump because a company Global Affairs Exec Nick Clegg says enough time has passed since the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol. On the medical mis and disinformation front, a California judge has blocked the state’s new law that prohibits doctors from giving COVID-19 misinformation. The judge rules that the misinformation standard is too vague.


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Joe Miller: Predictions for 2023

Hi everybody - Just a quick, solo episode this week, and then we’re Audi 5,000 to get some rest and relaxation, spending time with friends and family for the holidays, etc. It has been such a crazy year, hasn’t it? But I feel like we say that every year – In any case … I’ve put together some predictions for you, for whatever they’re worth – First off, SBF - Sam Bankman Fried, the former billionaire and founder of the now bankrupt crypto exchange, FTX – gets convicted. I don’t see him getting out of this one. I still remember Enron – actually as a young lawyer I worked on that fiasco in New York – it was a meas. And I think we’re going to see a lot of others pulled into this. Every few years, someone has to be the case study for financial regulation – 5 years after Enron we had the global financial crisis and now it’s SBF’s turn. Next– I see children’s online privacy and safety legislation finally succeeding and signed into law – we’ll have the minimum age for marketing to children raised to 16. We may even see a federal standard for what schools do with kids’ data and what they’re going to have to do to monitor compliance from companies providing services in the classroom. Third – I think we’ll see some impetus start to grow for copyright reform. We’re coming up on 25 years since the Digital Millennium Colyright took effect, and I think AI-generated content is going to call for some new protocols, and at least a bit more chatter about DMCA. I don’t predict comprehensive copyright reform – such as a rewriting of the entire Copyright Act – but I do see a call for an update. It’s too early to tell how Open AI is going to change content – but that’s where creativity comes into play. So we won’t know where those pressure points are until we see what kinds of things people and companies end up creating with it. Fourth, as far as Section 230 is concerned, the Supreme Court is considering 2 cases from the 9th Circuit expected to have widespread implications for the extent to which internet platforms should be held liable for harms caused by content posted by third party users. In the first – Gonzalez v. Google – the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the petitioners – the Gonzalez family – holding that when Google recommended terror-related videos to would-be terrorists who participated in the Paris terror attacks 2015 – I see the Court ruling that by recommending content, Google went beyond the protections afforded by Section 230, stepping into the role of content creator. It will be interesting to see how far back into the common law the Court’s conservative majority ventures this time – because in Dobbs it went way back to the 14th century. So maybe we’ll go back to Athens or Sumer or something. As for the Twitter case, I see a positive outcome for Twitter … In that case, a terrorist attack in Istanbul killed a Jordanian citizen, and the family in that case says Twitter aided and abetted the attack by hosting terrorist-related content. I see the Court ruling that Twitter can enjoy Section 230 protection in that case, since it didn’t recommend content. And, finally, antitrust. I think with a conservative House, it’s going to be very difficult to get a bill passed but we’ve seen glimmers of bipartisanship in the context of children’s online safety. But as far as competition legislation in general, I don’t see it. Because the same competition policy would have to apply to all industries, I think, not just tech, and I just don’t envision lawmakers wanting to end up on the wrong side of things as they take contributions from corporations heading into the 2024 presidential election season. So that’s what I’ve got for you today as we head into the holidays. Short and sweet. We’ll have new episodes for you in 2023. But until then, I’ll be getting some r&r, and I encourage you to do the same after a year of completely random developments. Enjoy!


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Study: Health apps share your data with advertisers; FB’s Trump ban ends Jan. 7th – Tech Law and Policy This Week

Conservatives target online ‘trafficking’ of abortion pills The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs has thrown abortion law into disarray and conservatives say there isn’t enough enforcement. The Washington Post reports that conservatives in states like Texas, where abortions are now banned, want internet providers to treat websites selling abortion pills the same way they treat child pornography. Bankman-Fried arrested; SEC charges him with fraud Responding to a US federal government request, police in the Bahamas arrested Sam Bankman-Fried, otherwise known as SBF, earlier this week, and he now faces fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The crypto exchange SBF founded – FTX, which imploded last month and wasn’t able to handle billions in customer withdrawal requests. The Markup: Health apps share your intimate data with advertisers The Markup reports that health apps are sharing your personal, intimate health data with advertisers. In a joint study, the Markup and STAT found that 49 out of 50 telehealth websites sell your data, with Amazon Clinic being the only hold out. Immigrants sue ICE for collecting wire transfer data Immigrants are suing ICE for working with Western Union to get their wire transfer data. The lawsuit states that immigrants send some $30 billion from the US to Mexico each year. The database – the Transaction Record Analysis Center – has some 145 million records containing detailed information on who’s transferring money to Mexico. Senate passes bill banning TikTok from government devices The US Senate passed a bill this week banning government employees from installing TikTok on their devices. US Officials worry that China is using TikTok, a subsidiary of its China-based parent, ByteDance, to collect sensitive information. Facebook’s Trump ban expires Jan. 7th and Democrats are trying to extend it Initially, Facebook had said that it would ban Trump from using the platform forever. Then it back-tracked and said the ban would only last 2-years. That 2-year period ends on January 7th and Democratic lawmakers in Congress are pushing back to extend the ban.


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Zeve Sanderson: Researching Social Media & Politics

Bio Zeve Sanderson is the founding Executive Director of NYU's Center for Social Media and Politics. His research interests focus on measuring the diffusion and impacts of harmful online speech, as well as empirically testing the efficacy of interventions. He regularly writes for and speaks to academic, media, and government audiences. He is finishing his dissertation at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Website LinkedIn Instagram Resources Zeve Sanderson, J.N.and J.A.T. (2022) Musk's Twitter shake-up could deliver a critical blow to Social Media Research, The Hill. The Hill. Available at: (Accessed: December 19, 2022). You Resemble Me – a film by Dina Amer


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DC AG lawsuit: Amazon stole Flex drivers' tips; White nationalists are back on Twitter -- Tech Law & Policy This Week

Groups file flurry of Section 230 briefs with the Supreme Court What’s going on?Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields platforms like Google and Twitter from liability for content posted by internet users. Republicans and Democrats want the rule changed. It’s important to note that Section 230 protects onlypublishersof information. The central question here is – at which point do platforms lose their status as publishers and actually become creators of content? Once they’re deemed to be creators, they would lose protection under Section 230. Generally, Republicans like Josh Hawley say platform liability should be a state issue because they think tech companies lean progressive and that seeking to ban harmful content discriminates against conservatives.Democrats argue that Section 230 doesn’t hold platforms accountable enough, especially in the context of how marketers target children. How are politicians trying to change the law?The Supreme Court is set to decideGonzalez v. Googlein which the family of a young woman killed in the 2015 Paris Terror Attacks argues that Google should be liable for aiding and abetting the attack by hosting terror-related videos on YouTube. There are 2 parts to this – one is whether Google should be held liable for merelyhostingterror-related videos the family alleges groomed terrorists involved. Google is arguing that hosting the videos simply makes thempublishersand thus they would still be entitled to protection under Section 230. The other is whetherrecommendingcontent – converts platforms to content creators – in which case the Gonzalez family argues Googleshouldbe held liable since Section 230 wouldn’t apply to instances in which people predisposed to terrorism-related content puts Google in the position of being a content creator, in which case Google wouldn’t be shielded from liability under Section 230. How does this affect you?Keep an eye on what your state is doing to change the way content platforms moderate content. For example, Texas and Florida passed statutes preventing platforms from discriminating against so-called “anti-conservative bias.” This has a direct impact on what people see and hear, which directly impacts elections since a scourge of harmful content, such as Trump’s tweets leading up to the Capitol Hill insurrection, have dominated our politics for many years. Big name advertisers are showing up in white nationalists’ Twitter feeds again Why are white nationalists on Twitter?Elon Musk fired Twitter’s entire content moderation team and reinstated the accounts of white nationalists. Which companies showed up in white nationalist’s accounts?Ads for Uber, Amazon, Snap, and even the US Department of Health and Human Services showed up in these accounts. But the Washington Post reports that it saw some 40 advertisers showing up next to content posted by reinstated white nationalists. What are the policy implications?White supremacist content is an example of the type of content Republicans in states like Texas and Florida think internet platforms shouldn’t be allowed to ban. Right now, only advertisers have the ability to discipline Twitter by removing their ads on the platform. What are the real-world effects of white supremacists online?The Department of Homeland Security issued a report in late Novemberexpressing urgent concern about the fact that antisemitism online, and in the real world, are reinforcing each other, leading to an increase in hate crimes. DC Attorney General is suing Amazon over driver tips What’s going on?DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a consumer lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that Amazon basically stole tips from its Flex drivers by hiding from drivers the amounts they were getting in tips and pocketing them. And then Amazon hid the fact that they were doing this from its customers. What is Amazon saying?Amazon is saying it built the tips into drivers’ hourly compensation, which it says is above DC’s minimum wage of...


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Vilas Dhar: Tech Optimism Today

Bio Vilas Dhar is the President of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation. An entrepreneur, technologist and human rights advocate, Vilas serves on the Advisory Council at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, as a Trustee of the Christensen Fund, Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Global AI Action Alliance, and an Expert Contributor to OECD.AI. LinkedIn Website Resources Last Mile Education Fund Education Design Fund AIEDU Dall-E The Age of AI and Our Human Future by Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, et al. In AI We Trust Podcast by Miriam Vogle


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Musk attacks Apple; SF oks killer police bots – Tech Law & Policy this Week

Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. The Federal Election Commission has adopted rules to regulate political advertising online. Why is it important?For years, the FEC has required certain disclosures for political advertisements appearing in on broadcast media outlets. The updated rules will apply the same rules to online advertising. What doesn’t it cover? These new rules do not cover social media posts promoted for a fee. Who supports the new rules? This measure is bipartisan and passed the Federal Election Commission unanimously. What are advocates saying?Some are saying the rules were rushed through and that not including the provision covering promoted posts creates a loophole. Others say the rules aren’t clear. But either way, most seem to think some rules applying to political advertisements on social media are necessary. China cracks down on Tiktok posts about protests over President Xi Jinping’s COVID lockdowns. Why is China involved in telling Tiktok what to do?TikTok is owned by ByteDance – a company based in China and, unlike in the United States, government officials have seats on company boards and more discretion to direct corporate activities. What does this mean for US-based users?The answer isn’t clear but U.S. officials have long been concerned about potential data collection by the Chinese government about what U.S.-based TikTok users do on the platform. This could help China make insights about how to run propaganda campaigns like we saw during the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. What does this mean for public policy?Well, president Biden met with President Xi in mid-November amidst growing concerns in the administration about China’s aggression towards Taiwan and other issues the U.S. finds threatening to democracy in the region. President Xi’s new oversight over what’s happening on TikTok indicates he isn’t really all that interested in loosening his grip over Chinese citizens and the global media ecosystem. The Justice Department considers rules barring companies from using messaging apps. Why?The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are the two federal agencies that have expressed the most concern regarding what companies are doing to engage in required monitoring of company communications. External apps with disappearing messages features, like WhatsApp, may be tempting to corporate executives looking to break the law without leaving a paper trail. Musk and Republicans fight Apple over its alleged threats to pull Twitter from its app store. What’s happening?Elon Musk went on a tirade against Apple for allegedly threatening to remove Twitter from the app store. Republicans, who have expressed concerns over an alleged “anti-conservative bias” on Twitter, have teamed up with Musk to fight what they call Google and Apple’s app store duo poly. Where does the dispute stand?On Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, Musk met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday where they apparently had a chance to clear the air. Musk tweeted that there had been a simple misunderstanding and that Apple hadn’t actually been planning to remove Twitter from the app store. What’s next? Well, Republicans will have control over the House in the next Congress so it’s foreseeable that there will be some sort of antitrust measure to prohibit app stores from favoring certain apps or requiring developers to use Apple or Google’s payment systems. But what’s less clear is how a Democratic-controlled Senate would receive those proposals. – In other tech law & policy news … San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved a measure that would allow robots to kill suspects. Advocates say this will have a disparate impact on communities of color. A group of female truck drivers has filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Facebook, Instagram, and WhatApp’s parent...


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Adam Kovacevich: Balancing Tech, Business & Progressive Policymaking

Adam Kovacevich: Balancing Tech, Business & Progressive Policymaking Bio Adam Kovacevich (Kuh-VACK-uh-VITCH) is the Founder and CEO of Chamber of Progress, a new centre-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future. Before starting the Chamber of Progress, Adam served as Head of North America and Asia Pacific Government Relations for Lime, the shared scooter mobility company. Prior to that, Adam led Google’s U.S. policy strategy and external affairs team. In that role, he drove Google’s U.S. public policy campaigns on privacy, security, antitrust, intellectual property, intermediary liability, telecommunications, advertising, taxation and workforce issues. Adam lives in Arlington, Virginia with his family. LinkedIn Twitter Website Resources