The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
We interview David Sanger, whose recent New York Times article on US intrusions into the Russian grid was condemned as "a virtual act of treason" in a presidential tweet. Turns out that national security officials, contacted before the story ran, didn't ask the Times to hold the story. Understandably. If you're signaling to Putin that his grid will be at risk as long as he puts ours at risk, a front-page story in the New York Times is a pretty good way to get the word out.
We're starting to see a lot more casualties in the New Code War between the US and China. Broadcom has issued a $2 billion warning that has shaken the global chip sector. And Hollywood is whistling past the graveyard if it thinks that China is going to stop squeezing US film profits in China. And the adjustment to a divided global tech market keeps finding new pain points. Turns out that even the F-35 depends on a Chinese supply chain.
Speaking of security holes, Nick Weaver breaks down the cause and significance of the Rowhammer exploit and its latest sibling, RAMBleed. And to complete the paranoia segment of the show, Nick explains just how easy it is to use LinkedIn to build a network of people with clearances who can be compromised by a nonexistent woman.
Should Silicon Valley face an antitrust breakup that might produce more viewpoint competition? Mark MacCarthy breaks down a speech given by the Justice Department's antitrust chief, pointing out that conservatives crusading to make viewpoint competition part of antitrust analysis got a little more comfort than usual from the speech.
Or should Silicon Valley lose its immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because of its high-handed treatment of conservatives? David Benger tells us that the DC Circuit does see a limit to the Section 230 immunity – but a pretty distant one. Mark points out that Congress might itself cut back on the doctrine – but only, I note, if it's willing to violate the US-Canada-Mexico trade deal.
Finally, Nick and I have different takes on what I call the overhyped breach of the week, in which a Customs and Border Protection subcontractor lost photos of thousands of travelers. Turns out it wasn't much of a breach for the agency, but it was a potentially devastating breach for its subcontractor.