This episode features a lively (and fair warning long) interview with Daphne Keller, Director of the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center. We explore themes from her recent paper on regulation of online speech. It turns out that more or less everyone has an ability to restrict users' speech online, and pretty much no one has both authority and an interest in fostering free-speech values. The ironies abound: Conservatives may be discriminated against, but so are Black Lives Matter activists. In fact, it looks to me as though any group that doesn't think it's the victim of biased content moderation would be well advised to scream as loudly as possible about censorship anyway for fear of losing the victimization sweepstakes.
Feeling a little like a carny at the sideshow, I serve up one solution for biased moderation after another, and Daphne methodically shoots them down. Transparency? None of the companies is willing to allow real transparency, and the government may have a first amendment problem forcing companies to disclose how they make their moderation decisions. Competition law as a way to encourage multiple curators? It might require a "magic" API, and besides, most users like a moderated Internet experience. Regulation? Only if we want to take First Amendment law back to the heyday of broadcast regulation (which is frankly starting to sound pretty good to me).
As a particularly egregious example of foreign governments and platforms ganging up to censor Americans, we touch on the CJEU's insufferable decision encouraging the export of European defamation law to the US with an extra margin of algorithmic censorship to keep the platform from any risk of liability. Turns out, that speech suppression regime is not just an end run around the first amendment; it's protected by the first amendment. I offer to risk my Facebook account to see if that's already happening.
In the news, FISA follies take center stage, as the March 15 deadline for reauthorizing important counterterrorism authorities draws near. No one has a good solution. Matthew Heiman explains that another kick-the-can scenario remains a live option. And Nick Weaver summarizes the problems that the PCLOB found with the FISA call detail record program. My take: The program failed because it was imposed on NSA by libertarian ideologues who had no idea how it would work in practice and who now want to blame NSA for their own shortsightedness.
Another week, another couple of artificial intelligence ethics codes: The two most recent ones come from DOD and the Pope? Mark MacCarthy sees a lot to like. I offer my quick and dirty CTRL-F test for whether the codes are serious or flaky, and both fail.
In China news, Matthew covers China's ever-spreading censorship regime which now reaches Twitter users whose accounts are blocked by the Great Firewall. We also ask whether and how much the US "name and shame" campaign has actually reduced Chinese cyberespionage. And whether China is stealing tech from universities for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks that's where the IP is.
Nick recounts with undisguised glee the latest tribulations suffered by Clearview AI's facial recognition system: Its app has been banned from Android and Apple, and both its customers and its data collection methods have been doxed.
Mark notes the success of threats to boycott Pakistan on the part of Facebook, Google, and Twitter. I wonder if that will simply incentivize Pakistan to drive its social media ecosystem toward the Chinese giants.
Nick gives drug dealers a lesson in how not to store the codes for 53.6 million in Bitcoin; or is it a lesson in what to say to the police if you want that 53.6 million waiting for you when you get out of the clink?
Finally, in a few quick hits, we cover new developments in past stories: It turns out, to the surprise of no one, that removing a police tracking device from your car isn't theft. West Virginia has apparently recovered from a fit of insanity and now does not plan to allow voting by insecure app. And the FCC is doing a slow striptease in its investigation of mobile carriers for selling customer location data; now we know who'll be charged (pretty much everyone) and how much it will cost them ($200 million), but we still don't know the theory or whether the inquiry is going to kill off legitimate uses of location data.
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Will the First Amendment Kill Free Speech in America? - Reason
- Trump Executive Order Misreads Key Law Promoting Free Expression Online and Violates the First Amendment - EFF - May 29th, 2020
- Content Moderation, Section 230, and The First Amendment - AAF - American Action Forum - May 29th, 2020
- Times Union takes First Amendment and Journalist of the Year, 11 other awards in statewide contest - Times Union - May 29th, 2020
- First Amendment May Protect Use of Trademarks As Artistic Expression - JD Supra - May 29th, 2020
- Strictly Legal: Is Fox News entitled to First Amendment protection? - The Cincinnati Enquirer - May 29th, 2020
- Facebook Keeps Touting The First Amendment To Justify Its Content Policies - AdExchanger - May 29th, 2020
- Trump vs. Twitter | Editorials | gjsentinel.com - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel - May 29th, 2020
- Churches respond to COVID-19, First Amendment ruling - Morganton News Herald - May 29th, 2020
- 'The First Amendment is very clear': Sheriff's Office won't break up religious services for 'NY on PAUSE' violations - The Livingston County News - May 29th, 2020
- RCFP statement on Trump's social media executive order - Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - May 29th, 2020
- WashU Expert: Trump attacks on Twitter betray free speech principles - Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom - May 29th, 2020
- Reexamining the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act | Morgan Lewis - Tech & Sourcing - JD Supra - May 29th, 2020
- Going to the dogs: the Ninth Circuit's erosion of trademark rights exclusive guest post - World Trademark Review - May 29th, 2020
- First Amendment Lawyer Dismisses Trumps Claim That Twitter Is Stifling Free Speech: He Doesnt Want Critics to Have a Chance to Respond - Mediaite - May 29th, 2020
- Liberals Have Rediscovered the 10th Amendment's Value During the Coronavirus Pandemic - Reason - May 29th, 2020
- Former DNC chair Donna Brazile claims 'theres no First Amendment right to lie. Her co-hosts on The Five erupt in mockery. - TheBlaze - May 29th, 2020
- Supreme Court: Clarence Thomas calls for shrinking the First Amendment - Vox.com - May 14th, 2020
- What words make up a true threat? Well, that depends - The Mercury - May 14th, 2020
- Onslow Sheriffs department will not interfere with indoor church services - Jacksonville Daily News - May 14th, 2020
- Religious freedom is under threat in the courtroom - UPI.com - May 14th, 2020
- Neuberger Demands That Carney Lift Restrictions On Worshipping Now - First State Update - May 14th, 2020
- The First Amendment To the Constitution of The United States of America - The Suburban Times - May 11th, 2020
- Exposing Russian information operations does not violate the First Amendment | TheHill - The Hill - May 11th, 2020
- The Supreme Court Could Use the First Amendment to Unleash a Robocall Nightmare - The Atlantic - May 11th, 2020
- Divorcing couples have First Amendment right to disparage each other on social media, SJC rules - The Boston Globe - May 11th, 2020
- The Price of the First Amendment "Is That We Must Put Up With a Good Deal of Rubbish" - Reason - May 11th, 2020
- Societe Generale: Availability of the first amendment to the 2020 Universal Registration Document - GlobeNewswire - May 11th, 2020
- Governors Can't Suspend the First Amendment - Daily Signal - May 11th, 2020
- Houston strip club allowed to open, but without dancers - KHOU.com - May 11th, 2020
- Lawsuit filed against Marco Island alleges first amendment violation - Marco News - May 4th, 2020
- First amendment rights should not be suppressed, even during pandemic The News Journal - The News Journal - May 4th, 2020
- Urgent Care Doctor Silenced By Youtube Says His First Amendment Rights Have Been Attacked - Sara A. Carter - May 4th, 2020
- 'ReOpen NC' Founder Has COVID-19, Says It Is Her First Amendment Right To Infect Others - Wonkette - May 4th, 2020
- A tale of two universities and one First Amendment - OneNewsNow - May 4th, 2020
- The Trump campaign's frivolous lawsuits are next-level threats to the First Amendment - Business Insider - Business Insider - April 18th, 2020
- New podcast: Who-da thunk it? Drive-in churches are First Amendment battlegrounds - GetReligion - April 18th, 2020
- Students Don't "Shed Their Freedom of Speech at the Schoolhouse Gate" - Reason - April 18th, 2020
- Teenager Who Shared Coronavirus Infection on Instagram Threatened With Arrest By Police, Lawsuit Says - Newsweek - April 18th, 2020
- Tea Party president says he was threatened with arrest for planning protest on Newton Green - New Jersey Herald - April 18th, 2020
- Legal expert: Trumps liberate Tweets incite insurrection and thats illegal - AlterNet - April 18th, 2020
- Lawmakers say Walz order is a violation of The First Amendment - KWLM (Willmar Radio) - April 18th, 2020
- With the public's need to know greater than ever, the D&C fights for info on outbreak - Democrat & Chronicle - April 18th, 2020
- Real-time updates: Drive-through coronavirus testing available in Grays Harbor County this weekend - KING5.com - April 18th, 2020
- COVID-19 Didn't Permit Government To Do Anything It Wants To Churches - The Federalist - April 18th, 2020
- First Amendment Win - Radio Ink - April 11th, 2020
- Knight First Amendment Institute Sues The CDC For Failing To Provide Details Of Its Media Gag Order - Techdirt - April 11th, 2020
- How The Constitution Gets Tested In Times Of Crisis, Like A Pandemic - Houston Public Media - April 11th, 2020
- Letter to the Editor - Is our First Amendment infringed by Governor's mandate - Bay Net - April 11th, 2020
- First Five: Religious communities can fight pandemic but not by gathering - McDowell News - April 11th, 2020
- Why the government can shut down church gatherings during pandemic | TheHill - The Hill - April 11th, 2020
- Federal officials fired by Trump face tough road in court | TheHill - The Hill - April 11th, 2020
- Constitution, church and social crises - Kemmerer Gazette - April 11th, 2020
- Danbury Pastor Goes Online To Battle Coronavirus, And Wins - Danbury, CT Patch - April 11th, 2020
- NWS: High wind watches issued for the area - Salina Post - April 11th, 2020
- 'Free Speech' Supporter Jerry Falwell Jr. Thinks It's Criminal To Report On His Dumb And Dangerous Response To The Pandemic - Techdirt - April 11th, 2020
- Rep. Ted Lieu responds to being called an 'agent of China' - NBC News - April 11th, 2020
- As Easter nears, see which of the 50 states are banning religious gatherings in response to the coronavirus - cleveland.com - April 11th, 2020
- Reporters Committee urges Congress to protect court access during COVID-19 - Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - April 11th, 2020
- Religious freedom and the promise of Easter - AL.com - April 11th, 2020
- Lobbying frenzy connected to stimulus sparks backlash | TheHill - The Hill - March 26th, 2020
- Judge rules lawsuit alleging Trump threatened free press can move forward | TheHill - The Hill - March 26th, 2020
- Trumps Coronavirus Briefings Are a Ratings Hit. Should Networks Cover Them? - The New York Times - March 26th, 2020
- Relist Watch: 100 years of solitude - SCOTUSblog - March 26th, 2020
- Donald Trump Must Face First Amendment Suit for Revoking Press Badges - Hollywood Reporter - March 25th, 2020
- Robbins: Freedom of worship and the strange case of Warder Cresson - Vail Daily News - March 25th, 2020
- MuzzleWatch: Breaking down the legal attack against the BDS movement - Mondoweiss - March 25th, 2020
- Coronavirus in Arizona: Mayors, cities can't close parks, essentials without going through Governor Ducey - ABC15 Arizona - March 25th, 2020
- Misplaced outrage over who attends a White House press conference | TheHill - The Hill - March 25th, 2020
- Donald Trump Violated First Amendment by Blocking Critics on Twitter, Appeals Court Affirms - Variety - March 24th, 2020
- Sixteen Stormy Days: Tripurdaman Singh's account of the First Amendment to Indian Constitution makes for... - Firstpost - March 24th, 2020
- Keep Federal COVID-19 Package Focused on the Virus and Its Effects - Mackinac Center for Public Policy - March 24th, 2020
- WEHOville Asks John Duran to Stop Blocking It and WeHo Residents on Social Media - WEHOville - March 24th, 2020
- Letter: Government actions going too far on virus - Grand Forks Herald - March 24th, 2020
- First Amendment - Rights, U.S. Constitution & Freedoms ... - March 19th, 2020
- The First Amendment, a Philosophy Professor, and Pronouns - Daily Nous - March 19th, 2020
- Sunshine Week: It's always your right to know - The Highland County Press - March 19th, 2020
- Relist Watch in the Time of Cholera - SCOTUSblog - March 19th, 2020
- Obey the Law - Justia Verdict - March 19th, 2020
- Transparency is transforming | Columns - Weatherford Democrat - March 19th, 2020
- NIST shared dataset of tattoos thats been used to identify prisoners - Naked Security - March 19th, 2020