Human Germline Modification Is Coming

Introduction Inside a decade, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will approve clinical trials for the genomic modification of a viable human embryo in order to prevent disease. That seems a real possibility in light of significant developments in policy and research this year. While such trials are currently barred in the United States by federal law, the prospect of future trials gained key support from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Continue Reading →

Video Game Loot Boxes

Introduction Recently, a trend has developed in the video game industry of selling virtual “loot boxes” to consumers. This concept evolved from conventional trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon and developed in the virtual sphere through mobile games and virtual card games such as Activision Blizzard’s Hearthstone. However, as this fledgling concept moved beyond free-to-play mobile games and into fully-priced $60 video games, consumers have responded with significant backlash against what Continue Reading →

Rapid DNA Testing: Verification or Collection Tool?

This year, the first local police precinct received and began using an on-site Rapid DNA testing device. Within 90 minutes, a cheek swab of any suspect can be run, exonerating or verifying their identity. If this program is a success, more criminal investigations will be solved with greater efficiency than ever before.  However, the limitations of the devices are pronounced. They cannot, for example, be used to help parse the controversy surrounding interpretation of complex Continue Reading →

Blockchain in the U.S. Regulatory Setting: Evidentiary Use in Vermont, Delaware, and Elsewhere

Joanna Diane Caytas* I. Introduction In February 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery faced a conundrum: following settlement of a shareholder action after a contested merger, shareholders representing 49,164,415 shares claimed settlement proceeds, but the class contained only 36,793,758 shares.[1] By definition, holders of over 12 million of these shares must have lacked entitlement to settlement disbursements, yet all claimant shareholders presented valid evidence of ownership. Investigation by class attorneys failed to establish the “current” Continue Reading →

Uber/Under: Will Greyball amount to a gamble Uber couldn’t afford?

Uber Technologies Inc. (Uber), the popular ground transportation technology company, has had a controversial start to 2017. Its latest crisis involves an Uber-developed “tool” coined “Greyball” which was ostensibly designed to “den[y] ride requests to users who are violating [Uber’s] terms of service”, according to the company.[1] In reality, Uber deployed the Greyball program, at least in part, to thwart and evade local law enforcement officials and Uber’s regulators with the intent of avoiding costly Continue Reading →

Are Electronic Voting Machines and Cyber Secure Elections Compatible?

Approximately 70% of Americans live in counties that employ either optically scanned paper ballots or electronic voting with a verifiable paper trail (a printed paper record of the vote).[1] These are fairly safe methods of casting and counting votes, because both methods are verifiable. Challenges with ensuring cyber security and electoral integrity arise when counties use electronic voting machines without verifiable paper trails, as for example many counties in Pennsylvania do.[2]  Employing an electronic voting Continue Reading →

Bitcoins for the Masses – Public Investment Opportunities Await Approval from SEC

Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, continues to move towards the mainstream. From ATMs in Manhattan bodegas, to Overstock.com, slowly bitcoins are appearing in our daily lives. Ever since Bitcoin launched, speculators have been able to buy and hold this cryptocurrency in search of profit from changes in its value over time. Using a variety of online services or software applications, technologically sophisticated individuals can easily convert bitcoins to US dollars (or other currencies) Continue Reading →

Digital Afterlife and How to Tweet Post Mortem

Carrie Fisher passed away on December 27, 2016, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, after suffering a massive heart attack. Fisher, a famous actress best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, maintained a number of quite active social media accounts, primarily a twitter account with 1.25 million followers and a Facebook account with 523,845 Likes. Since her passing, no activity has been registered on these Continue Reading →

The FCC’s Latest Privacy Regulations: A New Stance on Private-Sector Protections?

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest contributor Ido Sivan Sevilla, a Ph.D Candidate in Public Policy & Information Security at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Mr. Sevilla earned his Master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and served as a Legislative Fellow for Congressman Ami Bera of California’s 7th Congressional District. Mr. Sevilla’s research focuses on cyber security in national defense and the public sector. Continue Reading →

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 →