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CLIP-ings: January 18, 2013

Internet Governance
Anti-Hacking Statute Questioned: The suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz has prompted calls to review the language and use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in prosecuting data theft cases.
New Social Search Tool: Facebook announced the launch of  “Graph Search,” which will allow its users to get search results based on the likes and personal data of their online friends.


Tracking Techniques Kept Secret: In response to a FOIA request, the Justice Department has refused to release unredacted versions of memos outlining the FBI’s location tracking guidelines.
Privacy Law Workaround: A federal district court in California ruled that collecting personal information, like ZIP codes, from customers after they receive their receipts does not violate California privacy laws.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Java Security Warning: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has advised users to disable Java on their computers in order to prevent hackers from installing malicious software that would enable a variety of crimes, including identity theft.

Intellectual Property

Photos on Twitter Protected: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled that a French newswire violated a photographer’s copyrights when it lifted and published photos from the photographer’s Twitter account.

Free Expression & Censorship

Editorial Independence at CNET: CBS, which owns CNET, excluded Dish Network’s “Hopper with Sling” device from being named in the site’s “Best of Consumer Electronics Show Awards” due to ongoing copyright litigation between the companies, raising questions about the legal implications of such censorship.
Teacher’s Dismissal Upheld: A New Jersey court affirmed a ruling against a public elementary school teacher who posted offensive comments about her students on Facebook, thereby rejecting her First Amendment arguments.

Practice Notes

Precision in Copyright Assignments: InfoLawGroup examines the importance of careful wording in drafting copyright assignment agreements.

On the Lighter Side

WoIP: Woof over IP.

Editorial Fellows: Megan Bright & Austen Ishii