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 →

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 →