STLR Link Roundup – November 15, 2019

Twitter’s New Rules Ban Political Ads from Candidates but Not Ads About Causes Twitter released revised rules regarding advertising political content today. The rules come in response to growing concerns about the ease with which politicians can weaponize social media platforms and pay to promote falsehoods. Moving forward, businesses and activists will be able to pay to promote messages around broadly defined political causes, but will not be permitted to advocate for or against particular Continue Reading →

Scraping Together Best (Scraping) Practices: Is There an API for That?

Despite its evocative name, “web scraping” is just a blitz of electrical impulses zipping across fiber at approximately the speed of light. Not so easy to envision. I find, however, that many digital phenomena, like this one, are best demystified and understood by conjuring an analogue:  Last Sunday, those who braved New York City streets to run the Marathon careened down Central Park West, visibly fatigued as they neared the end of the race. The Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 8, 2019

‘Game-Changer’ Warrant Let Detective Search Genetic Database A detective in Florida recently announced the approval of a warrant to search consumer DNA company GEDmatch’s full DNA database in what appears to be the first instance of a judge approving such a warrant. The largest consumer DNA databases, Ancestry.com and 23andMe, have long pledged to keep their users’ genetic information private, resisting requests for access from law enforcement. GEDmatch had previously cooperated with police investigations before Continue Reading →

(Deep)fake News

What do presidential candidates and adult film stars have in common? The answer is not some crude political joke you might hear at a bar, but it may be equally disturbing. Deepfakes, deceptively real audiovisual products created using deep learning algorithms, are a rising concern in the United States. Two of the most alarming uses of deepfakes involve political deceit and non-consensual pornographic content. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of deepfake Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 1, 2019

Twitter Will Ban All Political Ads, C.E.O. Jack Dorsey Says Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has announced that Twitter will ban all political advertisements on its platform. This announcement runs in stark contrast with social media giant, Facebook.  Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier in October that Facebook would allow politicians to run any claims, even false ones, in ads on Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg stated that Facebook’s company policy was one that encouraged free expression. Google Wants Safeguards Continue Reading →

Troll Repellent: The Customer Suit Exception Today

Normally, the plaintiff in a patent infringement case gets to choose where to file their lawsuit. However, when a plaintiff sues a customer for using an allegedly infringing product, the customer suit exception may apply. Under this exception, courts will stay the patent holder’s action against the customers, pending the result of litigation between the patent holder and manufacturer. If the patent holder has not yet sued the manufacturer, the manufacturer can seek a declaratory Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 25, 2019

Warren and Wyden Call for FTC to Investigate Amazon over Capital One Breach The Capital One data breach in March this year was one of the biggest data breaches ever reported, with 140,000 customer social security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers compromised. Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosted the Capital One database that was breached. The alleged hacker, a former AWS employee, gained access to the data through a “misconfiguration” of a firewall on a Continue Reading →

Blockchain-based Dispute Resolution on the Kleros Platform: Trial by Jury or Arbitration?

Introduction In September 2019, Kleros, an online dispute resolution platform that utilizes blockchain technology and crowdsourcing, released the latest version of its White Paper. The Paper sets out how they aim to revolutionize dispute resolution, by bringing justice cheaply and efficiently to the masses. A glimpse at Kleros’ Twitter feed reveals an ambitious vision beyond just dispute resolution in smart contracts, into decentralized courts that theoretically could solve any dispute (FN1), and even determine whether Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 18, 2019

Apple Removes App that Helps Hong Kong Protesters Track the Police On October 9th, Apple removed the app “KHmap.live” from the app store in response to criticism from Chinese media stating that the app allowed protestors in Hong Kong to track the police. Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the removal, claiming that “the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence,” and thus violated Apple rules and local laws. Mr. Cook Continue Reading →

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) with Evan Mascagni

This episode features Julio Sharp-Wasserman, Former STLR Notes Editor, talking with Evan Mascagni about Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs. A SLAPP is a non-meritorious lawsuit brought to retaliate against a defendant’s constitutionally-protected speech, or to silence a defendant from criticizing the plaintiff, even when such criticism is completely legal. Evan Mascagni is the Policy Director of the Public Participation Project, which is working to get congress to pass a federal Anti-SLAPP statute.  Evan Continue Reading →