Child Porn, the Feds, and the Techlash: How The EARN IT Act is Just the Latest Assault on End-to-end Encryption

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By Eleanor Lyon

“You never want a good crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama’s Chief of Staff, once famously said. It seems that Attorney General William Barr and Senator Lindsey Graham were listening.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that Senator Lindsey Graham was planning to introduce legislation which would purport to hold tech companies accountable for allowing child pornography to be shared on their sites. The central change proposed by the bill is that it would allow for companies to be sued for recklessly distributing child pornography. If this sounds like a reasoned and principled stand to you, you might want to look a little more closely at what it means to “recklessly distribute” child pornography.

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PART II: The Chilling Effects of the ReDigi Decision on Consumer Rights in their Digital Property

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By: Emily Donohue

As suggested in Part One of my two-part series on the application of the first sale doctrine to digital sales, the legislature should make clarifications and updates to The Copyright Act to apply the first sale doctrine to digital property, and end the chilling effects of uncertainty on innovation in the secondary sales market.

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FTC Seeks Public Comment: Harsher Regulations for Influencer Endorsements?

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By: Timothy Chien

As it turns out, millennials aren’t the only ones scrolling through the various news feeds on social media. In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken a keen interest in perusing the numerous social media platformsWith the rise of social media usage, many companies have started harnessing the power of influencer marketing as a way to reach millions of potential new customers. As one of our previous blog posts mentioned, influencer sponsorships are big business, with some celebrity figures commanding hundreds of thousands of dollars for product endorsements.

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Alasaad v. McAleenan: Suspicionless Smartphone Searches at the Border are Unconstitutional, For Now.

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By: Katie Haas

In November 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled in Alasaad v. McAleenan, that warrantless searches of smartphones and laptops without individualized suspicion (reason to believe the device contained contraband giving rise to a search) at United States airports and ports of entry are violations of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizure.  Filed by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, 11 plaintiffs alleged the Department of Homeland Security, The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) violated their constitutional rights by requiring that they turn over their phones and computers for extensive searches of their data before reentry into the United States.

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Petty In Pink: Terms of Service Aren’t Always Terms of Certainty


“The World’s Pinkest Pink” from CultureHustle.

By: Kaitlin Miller

In 2014, a UK-based company, Surrey NanoSystems, developed and announced the invention of Vantablack, otherwise known as the blackest black ever made (until September 2019, when MIT scientists accidentally stumbled upon the new blackest black). Surrey NanoSystems has continued to develop their unique technology. Vantablack is now so dark that it “absorbs 99.96 percent of the incident light that it comes into contact with,” and any 3D object coated in Vantablack looks to the naked eye like a 2D object— “a flat, bottomless void in space.”

A very fascinating issue has arisen from the licensing of Vantablack. Surrey Nanosystems granted British artist Anish Kapoor (known for his work “Cloud Gate,” a popular Chicago sight colloquially referred to as “the Bean”) an exclusive license to the artistic use of Vantablack. This has, expectedly, created an uproar in the art community.

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