The IPTV Transition: How will regulators and customers react to the impending changes?

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is a relatively new technology that promises to revolutionize the Television marketplace. Services like AT&T U-verse and Verizon FIOS promise to deliver television and Internet services to customers with increased access to Video-on-Demand (VOD) and increased Internet bandwidth. Unlike the recent digital TV transition initiated by the FCC and subject to several administrative orders and long-term delays,[i] transition to IPTV will be triggered by market factors. Most notably, customers’ preferences for Continue Reading →

Autonomous Vehicles: Current Federal and State Regulatory Responsibilities

Autonomous vehicle technology has become increasingly sophisticated as the number of companies in the field has grown markedly. Companies such as BMW, Ford, and Volvo have started planning for fully autonomous vehicles, and Google has continued testing its own self-driving cars in Silicon Valley. Recently, Uber introduced a fleet of self-driving taxis in Pittsburgh and announced that its self-driving truck had completed its first delivery. Furthermore, many people already own Tesla vehicles that, while not Continue Reading →

Ninth Circuit Panel Throttles FTC Enforcement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed a petition to appeal a Ninth Circuit decision that exempts telecom giant AT&T from enforcement action by the agency. The litigation dates back to October 2014, when divisions of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection brought an action against AT&T for its undisclosed speed throttling of “unlimited” data plan subscribers. AT&T landed a major blow in August 2016 when a Ninth Circuit panel determined that the FTC Act Continue Reading →

Pidgey’s Law: How Augmented Reality Influences Legal Regulations

First, there were Angry Birds. Now, there is Pidgey’s Law. Put forward by Illinois State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, the Location-based Video Game Protection Act, otherwise known as Pidgey’s Law, seeks to fine developers of location-based video games for not removing virtual stops in the game at a property owner’s request. This bill was proposed in response to Pokémon GO’s Niantic Labs, who refused to remove a Pokéstop in Loyola Dunes, a state-protected park with endangered Continue Reading →

Why we should say “yes” to GMOs.

America is currently in the midst of a non-GMO craze. Genetically modified organisms—known as GMOs—attracted little public attention when they were first introduced into the U.S. commercial food supply in the mid-1990s. This changed in 2003, when a California natural food store launched a grassroots campaign to persuade natural food companies to reveal whether their products contain GMOs. This campaign led many organic food proponents to decry GMOs as impure, unnatural, and a threat to Continue Reading →

Police Body Cameras and Public Records Requests: Another Privacy Frontier

Police departments around the country have been rolling out body-worn camera (“BWC”) programs among other efforts to address accountability and transparency concerns in police conduct. Police departments, legislatures, and community groups alike believe that BWC programs will provide benefits in many forms, including lowering the incidence of police violence, reducing civilian complaints against officers, and streamlining internal police investigations. Public opinion polls overwhelmingly support their use, and news outlets have been eager to report early Continue Reading →

The Apple Case: How Did We Get Here?

As STLR discussed a few weeks ago Apple is challenging a court order to unlock the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The current dispute between the government and Apple may be viewed as another chapter in a long-standing debate between law enforcement and intelligence agencies, who need to execute search warrants and conduct surveillance effectively, and consumers’ interests in privacy and security. I believe that understanding the history of this debate is Continue Reading →

His last bow – CRISPR/Cas9 and possibly the last famous Interference proceeding

The patent fight over the CRISPR/Cas9 system  between Dr. Jennifer Doudna with her employer and assignee UC Berkeley on the one side and Dr. Feng Zhang with MIT and the Broad institute on the other side has gained (almost) as much attention as the Sanders vs. Clinton race. Whereas the latter will be decided no later than July this year at the DNC convention, we may have to wait much longer to know the outcome Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – Feb. 6, 2016

Privacy Shield Data Transfer Agreement On February 2nd Officials from the United States and European Union agreed to a cross-Atlantic data transfer deal called Privacy Shield after three months of negotiations. The negotiations centered around disagreements between European and American regulators on the extent of privacy individuals should be able to expect for their data. The EU and US reached the agreement after the US government made promises that it would not target Europeans to Continue Reading →

United States v. Valle: The Second Circuit agrees with the Fourth and Ninth Circuits on the Meaning of “Exceeds Authorized Access” under the CFAA

If an employee used their work computer in a way prohibited by their employer, should that be a federal crime? What if it was a police officer looking up women in a police database? This issue was recently addressed by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Gilberto Valle[1], decided on December 3rd, 2015, also known as the ‘Cannibal Cop’ case. Valle, a policeman in the NYPD, often used his computer to Continue Reading →