The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The international regulatory dogpile on AI
Episode 453 of the Cyberlaw Podcast
Every government on the planet—or nearly so—announced last week an ambition to regulate artificial intelligence. Nate Jones and Jamil Jaffer take us through the announcements. What's particularly discouraging is the lack of imagination, as governments mostly dusted off their old prejudices to handle this new problem. Europe is obsessed with data protection, the Biden administration just wants to talk and wait and talk some more, while China must have asked an AI chatbot to assemble every regulatory proposal for AI ever made by anyone and translate it into Chinese law.
Meanwhile, companies trying to satisfy everyone are imposing weird limits on their AI, such as Microsoft's rule that asking for an image of Taiwan's flag is a violation of its terms of service. (For the record, so is asking for China's flag but not asking for an American or German flag.)
Matthew Heiman and Jamil take us through the strange case of the airman who leaked classified secrets on Discord. Jamil thinks we brought this on ourselves by not taking past leaks sufficiently seriously.
Jamil and I cover the imminent Montana statewide ban on TikTok. He thinks it's a harbinger; I think it may be a distraction that, like Trump's ban, produces more hostile judicial rulings.
Nate unpacks the California Court of Appeals' unpersuasive opinion on law enforcement use of geofencing warrants.
Matthew and I dig into the unanimous Supreme Court decision that should have independent administrative agencies like the FTC and SEC trembling. The court held that litigants don't need to wend their way through years of proceedings in front of the agencies before they can go to court and challenge the agencies' constitutional status. We both think that this is just the first shoe to drop. The next will be a full-bore challenge to the constitutionality of agencies beholden neither to the executive or Congress. If the FTC loses that one, I predict, the old socialist realist statue "Man Controlling Trade" that graces its entry may be replaced by one that both PETA and the Chamber of Commerce would probably like better. My thanks to Bing's Image Creator for the artwork.
In quick hits:
- I update listeners on the fight over renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the FBI's search of its 702 database for messages about Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL). It's far from a scandal, and it may show that the whole effort to treat such searches as shocking privacy intrusions is bogus.
- Hackers have claimed deep access to Western Digital systems. The good news is that they seem unable to encrypt it all, so they're relying on doxing threats to earn the ransom they want.
- The Indian government has given itself authority to "fact check and order the deletion of social media posts. Nobody thinks that's a good idea, but when I ask whether it's all that different from the CDC/social media alliance that suppressed true information during COVID, Jamil disagrees. If you've missed our conservative catfights, you'll enjoy this.
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