The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


My right to be forgotten is your right to die 

Episode 248 of the Cyberlaw Podcast


If the surgeon about to operate on you has been disciplined for neglecting patients, wouldn't you like to know? Well, the mandarins of European Union privacy law beg to differ. Google has been told by a Dutch court not to tell anyone about the disciplined doctor, and there seems to have been a six-month lag in disclosing even the court ruling. Gus Hurwitz and I are appalled. I repeat my long-standing view that in the end, privacy law just protects the privileged. Gus agrees.

This week's interview is with John Carlin, author of Dawn of the Code War. It's a great inside story of how we came to indict China's hacker-spies for attacking US companies.

In other news, the Illinois Supreme Court has demonstrated just how bad Illinois' biometric privacy law is – by the simple expedient of applying it the way it's written.

Dr. Megan Reiss and I air our ambivalence about the latest site hosting collections of doxed messages. We lack enthusiasm for indiscriminate doxing of the kind highlighted on Distributed Denial of Secrets, but if it's got to happen, it couldn't happen to a nicer Russian dictator.

Nick Weaver explains the DHS emergency order telling civilian agencies to protect themselves against DNS hijacking, and why the shutdown may have made those agencies more vulnerable.

Nick and I debate YouTube's latest algorithmic tweak to avoid recommending "borderline" material. He notes that the tweak is to correct an algorithm that used to push people toward extremes. I counter that this tweak turns out to be a suspiciously good way for YouTube Social Justice Warriors to suppress videos they don't like but can't actually show to be violating YouTube's terms of service.

Speaking of which, maybe the real singularity will be when Silicon Valley SJWs join forces with Beijing to produce technology to suppress WrongThink once and for all. If so, the singularity is nigh, in the form of a Chinese app that allows you to identify all the people around you who deserve to be shamed. Of course, when it comes from Twitter, instead of identifying those who haven't paid their debts, the app will identify anyone who ever wore a MAGA hat. And it will have a cooler name. Maybe #Punchable.

Download the 248th Episode (mp3).

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The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of the firm.