The Volokh Conspiracy

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

Who Needs Hackers When You Have Balloons?

Episode 442 of the Cyberlaw Podcast


The latest episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast gets a bit carried away with the China spy balloon saga. Guest host Brian Fleming (filling in while I'm at the Canadian Ski Marathon), along with guests Gus Hurwitz, Nate Jones, and Paul Rosenzweig, share insights (and bad puns) about the latest reporting on the electronic surveillance capabilities of the first downed balloon, the Biden administration's "shoot first, ask questions later" response to the latest "flying objects," and whether we should all spend more time worrying about China's hackers and satellites.

Gus shares a few thoughts on the State of the Union address and the brief but pointed calls for antitrust and data privacy reform. Sticking with big tech and antitrust, Gus recaps a significant recent loss for the FTC and discusses what may be on the horizon for FTC enforcement later this year.

Pivoting back to China, Nate and Paul discuss the latest reporting on a forthcoming (at some point) executive order intended to limit and track U.S. outbound investment in certain key aspects of China's tech sector. They also ponder how industry may continue its efforts to narrow the scope of the restrictions and whether Congress will get involved. Sticking with Congress, Paul takes the opportunity to explain the key takeaways from the not-so-bombshell House Oversight Committee hearing featuring former Twitter executives.

Gus next describes his favorite ChatGPT jailbreaks and a costly mistake for an AI chatbot competitor during a demo.

Paul recommends a fascinating interview with, the new Bitcoin mixer of choice for North Korean hackers, and reflects on the substantial portion of the DPRK's GDP attributable to ransomware attacks.

Finally, Gus questions whether AI-generated "Nothing, Forever" will need to change its name after becoming sentient and channeling Dave Chapelle.

To wrap things up in the week's quick hits, Gus briefly highlights where things stand with Chip Wars: Japan edition and Brian covers coordinated US/UK sanctions against the Trickbot cybercrime group, confirmation that Twitter's sale will not be investigated by CFIUS, and the latest on SEC v. Covington.

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