The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
In this episode I cross swords with John Samples of the Cato Institute; we debate whether Silicon Valley' is trying to disadvantage conservative speech and what to do about it. I accuse him of Panglossian libertarianism; he challenges me to identify any way in which bringing government into the dispute will make things better. I say government is already in it, citing TikTok's PRC-friendly "community standards" and Silicon Valley's obeisance to European norms on hate speech and terror incitement.
Disagreeing on how deep the Valley's bias runs, we agree to put our money where our mouths are: For $50, I take the under and he takes the over on whether Donald J. Trump will last a year after leaving office without being suspended or banned from Twitter.
There's a lot of news in the roundup, too.
This Week in Counterattacks in the War on Terror: David and I recount the origins and ironies of Congress's willingness to end the NSA 215 phone surveillance program. We also take time to critique the New York Times's wide-eyed hook-line-and-sinker ingestion of an EFF attack on the FBI's use of National Security Letters.
Edward Snowden's got a new book out, and the Justice Department wants to make sure he never collects his royalties. Nate explains. I'm just relieved that I will be able to read it without having to shoplift it. And as this seems to be the episode for challenges, I offer Snowden a chance to be interviewed on the podcast: Anytime, anywhere, Ed!
I credit David for inspiring my piece questioning how long end-to-end commercial encryption is going to last, and we note that even the New York Times seems to be raising questions about whether Silicon Valley's latest enthusiasm is actually good for the world.
Matthew tells us that China may have a new tool to use in the trade war – or at least to keep companies toeing the party line: The government is assigning social credit scores to businesses.
Finally, Matthew outlines France's OG take on international law and cyber conflict. France has opened up some distance between its views and those of the United States, and everyone will soon get a chance to talk at even greater length on the topic, as the UN gears up two different bodies to engage in yet another round of cyber-norm-building.
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The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of the firm.