Tech Law Policy Blog Tracking the Most Important Research and Developments in Tech Law & Policy

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Why I’m Doing This

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A year ago, I was listening to a Sam Harris podcast with Sean Carroll, a physicist from MIT. Sean Carroll told a story that resonated with me, and it served as the inspiration for starting this site.  He recalled a moment when he was having dinner with one of his mentors in graduate school. At the dinner, his mentor made a comment along the lines of, “I assume that everyone here is working...

Friday Links 4/12/19

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I’m going to have to start posting these links more than once a week if I want to keep up with all the bad EU tech regulations coming out. Here’s Mike Masnick of TechDirt providing a blow-by-blow of the new EU terrorist regulation. This new law requires all sites, anywhere in the world, regardless of how small or lacking in resources, to take down all objectionable content within one hour or face...

Friday Links 4/5/19

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Perhaps the smartest thinker on tech policy issues right now is a non-politician, non-regulator, and a non-lawyer. Here’s Ben Thompson’s missive this week on Mark Zuckerberg’s op-ed in the Washington Post and how it relates to the EU’s new copyright directive. I truly could not have said it better myself. Here’s the original op-ed from Zuckerberg, for context. From a PR perspective, Zuckerberg is...

Friday Links 3/29/19

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The big news in tech policy this week: The European Union signed off on its proposed “link tax” and revised copyright regime. In essence, if the law goes into effect, any company with more than 50 employees or €10 million in annual revenue would have to negotiate a license with a content provider before providing any links to copyrighted content. Given that the nature of internet linking is very...

Tech Policy and the Principle of Least Effort

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The Principle of Least Effort, originally articulated by Harvard linguist George Zipf, goes something like this: It’s the belief that for any human action, people will always aim for the expenditure of the least amount of effort to accomplish a task. The Corollary of the Principle of Least Effort is that we should be deeply skeptical of any proposed human endeavor that requires an...

Friday Links 3/22/19

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Miranda Perry Fleischer and Daniel Hemel are coming out with a new article on the architecture of basic income. This article does an excellent job explaining the arguments and counterarguments related to Universal Basic Income, as well as providing a proposal for how such a program might be implemented here. I’m deeply skeptical because of UBI for three reasons. First, given the scope and cost of...

Friday Links 3/15/19

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Big news in tech law policy this week: In a 1700-word blog post, Elizabeth Warren proposes to break up Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. An economist responds. Ben Thompson provides another excellent analysis. The intellectual justification for these changes seem to be loosely based on the ideologies of Tim Wu and Lina Khan, both of whom are very intelligent and capable scholars. But the...

Why a US Federal Privacy Law is Long Overdue

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In late February, various committees in Congress held hearings about the possibility of drafting a federal law governing internet privacy. It’s about damned time. This country’s been long overdue in developing some sort of coherent policy framework related to privacy. Doubtless, Congress’s actions were inspired by some of the more recent scandals related to Facebook and other social...

Friday Links 3/8/19

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[I]n an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources...

Friday Links 3/1/19

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Tyler Cowen expresses skepticism about the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. But he also predicts sea changes in the regulatory burden for major tech companies over the coming years. Not exactly a Tetlockian prediction in terms of precision, but worth noting from someone of Cowen’s stature. New article about robot liability coming out soon from Bryan Casey of Stanford Law School. Love the...

Tech Law Policy Blog Tracking the Most Important Research and Developments in Tech Law & Policy

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