The Volokh Conspiracy

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All the Cyberlaw You Missed in August

Episode 420 of the Cyberlaw Podcast


This is our return-from-hiatus episode. Jordan Schneider kicks things off by covering the passage of a major U.S. semiconductor-building subsidy bill, while new contributor Brian Fleming talks with Nick Weaver about new foreign investment restrictions on chip (and maybe other) technology companies, as well as new export controls on (artificial Intelligence (AI) chips going to China. Jordan also covers a big corruption scandal arising from China's big chip-building subsidy program, leading me to wonder when we'll have our version.

Brian and Nick cover the month's biggest cryptocurrency policy story, the imposition of OFAC sanctions on Tornado Cash. They agree that, while the outer limits of sanctions aren't entirely clear, they are likely to show that sometimes the U.S. Code actually does trump digital code. Nick points listeners to his bracing essay, OFAC Around and Find Out.

Paul Rosenzweig reprises his role as the voice of reason in the debate over location tracking and Dobbs. (Literally. Paul and I did an hour-long panel on the topic last week. It's available here.) I reprise my role as Chief Privacy Skeptic, calling the Dobbs/location fuss an overrated tempest in a teapot.

Brian takes on one aspect of the Mudge whistleblower complaint criticizing Twitter's security: Twitter's poor record at keeping foreign spies from infiltrating its workforce and getting wide access to its customer records. Perhaps coincidentally, he notes, a former Twitter employee was just convicted of "spying lite", proving the company is just as good at national security protection as it is at content moderation.

Meanwhile, returning to onshore aspects of U.S.-China economic relations, Jordan tells us about the survival of high-level government concerns about TikTok. I note that, in the years since these concerns first surfaced in the Trump era, TikTok's lobbying efforts have only grown more sophisticated. Speaking of which, Klon Kitchen has done a good job of highlighting DJI's increasingly sophisticated lobbying in Washington D.C.

The Cloudflare decision to deplatform Kiwi Farms kicks off a donnybrook, with Paul and Nick on one side and me on the other. It's a classic Cyberlaw Podcast debate.

In quick hits and updates:

Download the 420th Episode (mp3) 

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