Corruption at the Assembly Committee Gutted California’s Net Neutrality

In the morning before S.B. 822 was to get its first hearing in front of a California Assembly committee before the cameras were on to catch it, the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance introduced and got a vote on amendments that…

Victory: California Overhauls Police Database Oversight Procedures in Wake of EFF Investigations

New Data Shows Law Enforcement Abused Network 143 Times in 2017 San Francisco – Responding to years of investigations and pressure from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the California Attorney General’s Office has overhauled and improved its oversight of law enforcement access to a computer…

The California Attorney General’s Office Says It’s Finally Taking Database Abuse Seriously—But Time Will Tell

In 2017, 22 law enforcement employees across California lost or left their jobs after abusing the computer network that grants police access to criminal histories and drivers’ records, according to new data compiled by the California Attorney General’s office. The records obtained by EFF show…

Chairman Santiago to Weaken California Net Neutrality for AT&T and Comcast

Senators Kevin de Leon and Wiener had recently joined forces to push their net neutrality bills through the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance tomorrow as a joint package. Such a unified effort represented the most powerful way to move both S.B. 460 and S.B….

California’s Net Neutrality Is in Danger

S.B. 822 does the work of securing net neutrality protections without leaving holes for the ISPs to wriggle through. It includes a provision that bans discriminatory zero-rating practices. Discriminatory zero-rating practices are when a company doesn’t count one service against a data cap but does…

Volkswagen Claims Ownership of an Entire Group of Insects

Using word searches to find infringement is a bad way to go about things. It is likely why Volkswagen filed three takedown requests for art of beetles. Not Beetles with four wheels and headlights. Beetles with six legs and hard, shiny carapaces. For the record,…

Does the Government Really Need this Much Power to Deal with an Attack of the Drones?

Earlier this week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018 (S. 2836), which would give the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security sweeping new authority to counter malicious drones. Officials…

Once Again, New York State Considers a Terrible Right of Publicity Law

In what now appears to be an annual ritual, a bad right of publicity law is being rushed through at the end of the legislative session in New York. Assembly Bill 8155-B (and its counterpart Senate Bill 5857-B) would dramatically expand New York’s right of…

Following Copyright Law Should Be Enough—Even When Payment Processors Say it Isn’t

Imagine running an online business for 17 years, only to have your ability to collect payments suddenly turned off. No real explanation. It’s happened to Roz and Nir Arbel now—twice. The Arbels run an online community called Soulseek. Originally intended to be a dating service,…

How good are Google’s new AI ethics principles?

Today Google released a new set of AI ethics principles, which were prompted, at least in part, by the controversy over the company’s work on the US military’s Project Maven. This post contains some quick preliminary analysis on the strengths and weaknesses of those principles….