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CLIP-ings: January 17, 2014

Internet Governance
Apple Refunds Parents: In response to a FTC complaint, Apple refunded at least $32.5m to customers whose children ran up large bills from in-app purchases.
Net Neutrality: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that FCC net neutrality rules cannot be applied to internet service providers; net neutrality proponents fear that ISPs will charge for prioritized access or exclude competitors from the web.
RoboEarth: The European Commission has financed an online database project that will serve as a portal for care-giving robots to autonomously swap information, in an effort to help robots automatically respond to new conditions in hospitals, nursing homes, and even private residences.

Privacy

NSA Hacks Offline Computers: Snowden leaks have revealed a NSA program utilizing radio waves to hack offline computer systems of foreign governments, trade institutions, and military networks; President Obama is expected to speak about NSA reforms today.
Super Troopers: The Supreme Court upheld a ruling that border patrol agents require reasonable cause of wrongdoing before searching the electronic devices of border crossers.
Strangers on Google+: Google is integrating Google+ into its popular Gmail service by allowing users to email anyone listed in their Google+ network even if the person is a total stranger.

Free Expression & Censorship

The Land of the Free (Internet) And The Home Of The Brave: A year after the suicide of Internet-freedom activist Aaron Swartz, proposals for “Aaron’s Law” limiting the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) have not passed in Congress, despite bipartisan support.
‘Sexting’ Snafu: A Canadian 16-year-old was found guilty of child pornography after sharing naked pictures of another teenager, her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.

Intellectual Property

Travelers Beware! Monsanto’s Revenge: The Supreme Court preserved the right of Monsanto Company, a biotech firm, to bring patent infringement suits against farmers using the company’s genetically engineered seeds.

Practice Note

DomainNameContractRights.com:  A Federal district court in Virginia ruled that an Internet domain is a contractual right and cannot be sold as personal property in a bankruptcy proceeding.
On the Lighter Side
Riddle Me This: Imagine if searching Google meant asking a real person. (NB: Contains some adult language and themes).
Editorial Fellows: Kwame Akosah, Adiella Stadler