The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The big news of the week was a Fifth Circuit decision upholding Texas's law regulating social media speech suppression. The decision was poorly received by the usual supporters of social media censorship but I found it both remarkably well written and surprisingly persuasive. That does not mean it will survive the almost inevitable Supreme Court review but Judge Oldham wrote an opinion that could be a model for a Supreme Court decision upholding the Texas law.
The big hacking story of the week was a brutal takedown of Uber, probably by the dreaded Advanced Persistent Teenager. Dave Aitel explains what happened and why no other large corporation should feel smug or certain that the same cannot happen to them. Nick Weaver piles on.
Dave points to some of the less well publicized aspects of the Twitter whistleblower's testimony before Congress. We agree on the bottom line – that Twitter is utterly incapable of protecting either U.S. national security or even the security of its users' messages. If there were any doubt about that, it would be laid to rest by Twitter's dependence on Chinese government advertising revenue.
Maury and Nick tutor me on The Merge, which moves Ethereum from "proof of work' to "proof of stake," massively reducing the climate footprint of the cryptocurrency. They are both surprisingly upbeat about it.
Maury also lays out a new European proposal for regulating the internet of things – and, I point out, for massively increasing the cost of all those things.
China is getting into the attribution game. It has issued a report blaming the National Security Agency for intruding on Chinese educational institution networks. Dave is not impressed.
The Department of Homeland security, in breaking news from 2003, has been storing the contents of phones it seizes on the border. Dave predicts that DHS will have to further pull back on its current practices. I'm less sure.
Now that China is regulating vulnerability disclosures, are Chinese companies reluctant to disclose vulnerabilities outside China? The Atlantic Council has a report on the subject, but Dave thinks the results are ambiguous at best.
In quick hits:
- The Senate has confirmed Nate Fick as the first U.S. cyber ambassador
- I reiterate wit evidence my cynical view that Apple's app rules are not so much concerned about protecting your privacy as about taking share from Google and Facebook in the advertising market
- Nick lays out the latest Treasury Department guidance on sanctions and tornado cash
- Maury explains how the Indian government persuaded 50 million Indians to geotag their homes
- And I tell listeners how the FBI and Silicon Valley could be working together to identify conservatives for potential criminal investigation.
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