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CLIP-ings: August 9, 2013


Internet Governance
Government Nudging:  The White House is considering a proposal that would establish a “cyber insurance market”—one of many incentives designed to stimulate private companies to “adopt cyber risk-reducing measures.”
Bitcoin Is Real Money:  A federal judge ruled that “Bitcoin is a currency or form of money” and rejected alleged Ponzi-schemer Trendon Shavers’ argument to the contrary, thus enabling the SEC to pursue its suit against him based upon Shavers’ “Bitcoin Savings & Trust.”

Privacy

FBI Forces “Port Reader” Software:  FBI officials, acting under the authority of the Patriot Act, have used contempt of court threats to pressure telecommunications providers to install real-time metadata interception software on their networks; providers are reported to be “extra cautious” due to the privacy and security risks involved.
DEA Cover-Up:  The DEA’s secret Special Operations Division dispenses intercepted intelligence to law enforcement agencies to help them initiate criminal investigations of Americans, and then requires that the agencies engage in constitutionally-questionable “parallel construction” to mask how an investigation really began.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Dude, Where’s My Car?  Security researchers hacked the electronic control units of two popular cars and took command of the vehicles’ breaking, steering, and engine systems; the team will make its report public hoping that the project leads to improved electronic car system security.

Intellectual Property

Smarter Music Publishers:  In the wake of Viacom’s copyright suit against YouTube, the National Music Publishers Association filed an infringement action against a YouTube channel operator instead of the site itself—a move that signals that “publishers are becoming smarter about how to fight back against unlicensed music content on the Web.”

Free Expression & Censorship

U.S. Assails Vietnamese Policy:  American officials have spoken out against a Vietnamese decree that will limit how individuals may share politically-charged news stories online and which establishes new requirements that might force American companies to adhere to censorship laws.

Practice Notes

Joinder Recap:  Applying traditional rules of civil procedure, a federal court dismissed defendants joined in a “mass copyright infringement action against BitTorrent users” citing fairness and judicial economy.

On the Lighter Side

Coffee Caper:  Arizona man who had his Keurig® K-Cups® stolen embarks on a crusade to capture the thief said to resemble Dog the Bounty Hunter who has “really let himself go.”

Editorial Fellows: Tom Norton and Ryan Cloutier