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Friday Links: 50 Ways to Draft a Privacy Law

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States are tripping over themselves to pass ever-stricter privacy laws. Texas just signed a new data breach notification law. Nevada and Oregon also have expanded their privacy laws. Nevada’s law includes a right to opt out of the sale of personal data, which is the first such law in the United States. Maine passed a new law that may be stricter still, one that requires ISPs to receive...

Friday Links: Moar Disinformation

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How Taiwan is trying to combat disinformation without “censorship.” What they try to do is monitor social media, spot disinformation early on, and then launch a government counter-narrative to combat the disinformation. It’s an interesting idea, but the Digital Minister acknowledges that, “[t]ruth to be told, it is actually very exhausting.” I suspect this would be difficult if not impossible to...

Friday Links: Fake News and Real Laws

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I have never linked to a podcast on this site, but I thought that the recent This American Life podcast, Anything Can Be Anything, about misinformation and the information wars, was spectacular. For a more highbrow analysis of similar issues, I enjoyed Renee DiResta’s The Digital Maginot Line. Also related, a recent BBC interview of a worker at a Macedonian fake news factory. Many smart people...

Friday Links: The Disintegrating Global Internet

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The BBC writes about the disintegration of the global internet. China has been, shall we say, customizing its internet for decades with the great firewall, but more nations are taking an active role in policing what its citizens can find online. Furthermore, expansive regulations, in supposedly more open countries, like the GDPR and Australia’s new law punishing platforms and their executives for...

Friday Links: China and Tech Giants

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European Council President Daniel Tusk compares US tech giants to China. They’re both big and powerful. The tech giants are private corporations doing the things private corporations do. China is a large, powerful, autocratic regime doing the things you might expect out of a large, powerful, autocratic regime. What’s the point again? You may have heard that Facebook banned Louis Farrakhan, Alex...

Friday Links: Sludge and Ordeals

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Last month, US lawmakers proposed an Algorithmic Accountability Act. The first rule of tech policy: Regulate harms, not technology. The former is hard, the latter is impossible.  The AAA purports to attempt to regulate algorithms for “accuracy, fairness, bias, discrimination, privacy and security.” Good luck with that. Sounds like a rather blunderbuss attempt at regulation, to put it mildly...

Friday Links 4/26/19 Mental Masturbation and Trolley Problems

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There appears to be some academic buzz about the new paper by Samantha Godwin on the Ethics and Public Health of Driverless Vehicle Collision Programming. I believe this is the most overdone and impractical area of tech policy today. As MIT professor Rodney Brooks said in a blog post a couple of years ago: Here’s a question to ask yourself. How many times when you have been driving have you had...

Friday Links 4/19/19, Bad Bots and Bad Laws

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Well, it’s not exactly Skynet, but that doesn’t mean that robots aren’t already taking over. Bad bots now constitute 37.9% of all web traffic. And that number, as you might imagine, is accelerating. Hard cases make bad law, as they say.  Daphne Keller of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society on why Australia’s response to the Christchurch massacre does not create the right incentives...

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...

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