Tag: Congress

2022Technology Law

Make “Space” for Innovation

John Thurston As space exploration becomes increasingly privatized, archaic regulations based on Cold-War era treaties are proving unduly burdensome—they threaten to hinder private innovation and handicap a great societal benefit. Although space is best regulated through international treaties, Congress can take the lead in ushering global space law into the modern era by establishing preferred, and hopefully influential, standards here in the United States. Congress ought to amend the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 to centralize regulatory authority, streamline authorization processes, allocate more risk to the private sector, and proclaim limited support for private property rights in space....
2022Technology Law

Antitrust Implications of the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act

Alisha Parker-Martell The Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, proposed in the 117th Congress of the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Eshoo, would improve consumer data protection but would also have negative consequences on market competition in sectors that utilize user data. This Act is indicative of a growing conflict between antitrust policy and consumer data privacy. This essay argues that future federal consumer data privacy legislation should attempt to balance the competing interests of market health and consumer privacy rights by prohibiting exploitative uses of consumer data and mandating consumer data sharing and a period of exclusive use of collected data....
2022Technology Law

The Search to Find a Legal Remedy for Regulating Censorship on Social Media

Kristen Cuetos The rise of Big Tech has led to concern over social media companies’ power in regulating user content. Social media users are claiming, more frequently now than ever, that their posts, ideas, and views are being censored by social media platforms. Contrarily, other users are arguing that platforms aren’t doing enough to moderate and curb harmful or offensive speech online. Many have filed lawsuits against social media companies for infringing on users’ First Amendment freedom of speech. These lawsuits fail because of the legal barriers that protect social media companies from such liability. As a result, controversy has...
2021Technology Law

The Facebook Diem Project: Can Big Tech Create Its Own Currencies?

Jo-an Chen Cryptocurrencies are rising in popularity as both a means for investment and a medium for exchange for goods and services. In 2019, Facebook announced its intent to create a new stablecoin cryptocurrency called Libra as a means to promote financial inclusion and access to the unbanked population. After its initial failed launch in 2019 due to heavy regulatory criticism over data privacy, money laundering, and financial instability concerns, Facebook is once again seeking to relaunch the Diem Project in 2021. This Essay discusses the potential social benefits, the disruption to financial institutions, and the regulatory challenges that the...
2021Technology Law

The Liquidation of Data Privacy: How an Outdated Bankruptcy Code Threatens Consumer Information

Michael R. Akselrad In the modern world, billions of people share personal information online every day, ranging from consumer preferences to biometric and genetic identifiers, leading to the commoditization of user data, the value of which may dwarf the other assets of even large, multinational corporations. In the ordinary course of business, this user data may be kept confidential through such measures as privacy policies, statutory protections, and the reputational backlash facing a company that acts too brazenly with users’ sensitive information. In bankruptcy, however, some of these safeguards are eliminated in the interest of maximizing the value of the...
2020Technology Law

Computer Fraud: Private Parties Dictating Criminal Behavior

Zachary Schapiro Computers have become a ubiquitous part of everyday life—used in the office and the home for a wide array of features. Prior to using a computer, people must agree to various software and website terms of use. Additionally, employers typically adopt computer use policies which prohibit use of a company computer for personal matters. Many people, either knowingly or unknowingly, violate these terms and policies. Is violating these policies and agreements criminal? Circuit courts disagree on the answer. In some jurisdictions, simple violations of a website’s terms of use or a company’s computer policies could result in criminal...

No Safe Harbor: YouTube’s Content Id and Fair Use

Robert Andrea YouTube is arguably the world’s foremost platform for user-generated content. When users upload material to YouTube, there is a possibility that the uploaded content is protected by copyright. Under traditional copyright law, YouTube is technically liable for allowing copyrighted material to be disseminated. But the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) insulates YouTube and other internet service providers from liability if the companies take certain steps to filter out copyrighted material. For YouTube, the only feasible way to fulfill its copyright protection obligations is to utilize automated copyright protection software. Nevertheless, YouTube’s software, Content ID, and the copyright policies...

Legislative and Non-Legislative Approaches to Deterring Product Counterfeiting

Alec Weinberg Product counterfeiting has been a fast-growing problem in the U.S. economy. As a solution, Congress enacted several statutes to deter illegal counterfeiting. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of Congress’ efforts is questionable. To strengthen the deterrence effect, legislators should consider amending current laws to punish consumers and implementing alternative measures such as track and trace technologies. This approach would better protect businesses and consumers by expanding oversight responsibilities, creating barriers against counterfeit products, and changing public perception of counterfeit goods. Read Full Text Here
2016Technology Law

Reform of H-1B Visas

Jamin Xu Originally, H-1B visas were intended to allow United States (hereinafter “U.S.”) employers to address shortages of skilled labor in the workplace by temporarily hiring highly skilled foreign workers only when they are unable to obtain employees with needed skills from the U.S. workforce. In the 1990’s, Congress raised the initial cap of 65,000 H-1B visas a year to 115,000 for fiscal years 1999 to 2000, and to 107,500 for fiscal year 2001 to address a shortage of computer science specialists, but there is now a growing number of U.S. workers who are highly skilled in science, technology, engineering,...
2015Trade Secret

The Defend Trade Secrets Act: Arrival of the Trade Secret Trolls?

Stephen Anderson A new bill that is currently facing Congress, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, is aimed at creating a federal private cause of action under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA). It is a bill that will, if passed, expand the EEA to provide federal jurisdiction for the theft of trade secrets. There is no question as to the degree of importance the protection of trade secrets is to United States businesses and society at large. The question is whether the well-intentioned DTSA will actually do more harm than good. There are a substantial number of legal professionals...