TLPC Partners with CU Criminal Immigration Clinic to Prepare Report on Protecting Colorado DMV Photos, ICE, and Facial Recognition Tech

(by Conor May, Colorado Law 2L)

This year the TLPC and Colorado Criminal Immigration clinic looked at ways for the State of Colorado to prevent DMV records from being exploited by federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). The clinics prepared a report to the Governor’s Office and Colorado DMV that highlights potential vulnerabilities and proposes policies to address those vulnerabilities.

The clinics’ report was sent to the Governor’s Office in March. On May 20th, Governor Polis issued a guidance document to all Colorado executive branch departments and agencies. This guidance on data privacy goes a long way toward addressing the vulernabilities raised in the clinics’ report, by placing restrictions on when state agencies can respond to requests for Personal Identifying Information (PII), which includes licenses and other DMV information.

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TLPC Publishes White Paper on the 911 Accessibility Regulatory Framework- An Update of 2015 TLPC 911 Accessibility Whitepaper

(by Jake Stephens, Colorado Law 2L)

Student attorney Jake Stephens wrote a white paper updating federal and Colorado regulatory frameworks governing 911 accessibility, updating a white paper on the same topic published by the TLPC in 2015. This update covers recent developments in 911 access regulatory dockets at the FCC, a summary of a withdrawal of proposed updates to 911 accessibility regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act by the Department of Justice, and a glimpse into state 911 accessibility regulations with Colorado as the case study.

TLPC Partners with Network Security Researchers and Public Interest Organizations to Call for Greater Cell Network Security

(by TLPC student attorneys Parker Nagle, Andrew Leddy, and Kennedy Smith)

On behalf of a coalition of independent network security researchers and public interest organizations, the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law and Policy Clinic at Colorado Law filed reply comments on the FCC’s 2019 National Security Supply Chain Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking calling for greater cell network security. The TLPC worked with the coalition to draw attention to the many vulnerabilities plaguing cell networks that the Order did not address and to outline the broad but underutilized, authority the FCC has to advance meaningful solutions. The coalition included CU-Boulder researchers Dr. Eric Wustrow, Dr. Dirk Grunwald, and Dr. Sangtae Ha, mobile security researchers Joseph Hall, Yomna Nasser, Marcus Prem, and Ashley Wilson, and public interest organizations Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Public Knowledge, and Eye on Surveillance.

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TLPC Partners with CU Engineering to Comment on New Satellite Regulations

The TLPC, partnering with Dr. Scott E. Palo and CU Engineering, worked in close collaboration to influence important national policy for small satellites at the Federal Communications Commission. The Samuelson-Glushko Tech Law and Policy Clinic at Colorado Law, led by Colorado student attorneys (now alums) Galen Pospisil and Megan Chavez, and Jake Stephens, accompanied by Stefan Tschimben a PhD candidate in the Technology, Cybersecurity, and Policy Program (TCP), worked under the supervision of Colorado Law Associate Clinical Professor Blake E. Reid to represent Dr. Palo, Professor in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Program to comment on the FCC’s rulemaking process.

The CU-led comment was the result of collaboration with distinguished small satellite researchers at universities across the U.S, including the University of Florida, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, and others. The collaboration between TLPC and Palo allowed the comment to offer thoughtful commentary on a variety of complex issues, including satellite deployment heights, propulsion requirements, application fees, wireless spectrum requirements, and more.

The CU comment had a significant effect on the FCC’s rulemaking, helping lead the FCC to significantly lower deployment height, ensuring university researchers would maintain a range of small satellite licensing options, and more. For example, the comment successfully argued that the FCC’s proposed deployment rules would hinder university researchers from conducting important climate and space weather research.

“It’s critical that university researchers can launch critical scientific and other public interest missions that take advantage of the decreased size and cost of the small satellite form factor. It’s a privilege for the clinic to work with Dr. Palo and his colleagues to ensure the ability for university researchers to have access to space for their important work,” Professor Reid said.

“This project was a great example of how a collaboration between the College of Engineering and Law School can be impactful while educating student. As subject matter experts, the engineers provided specific details about the technical challenges and the law students used this information to create a convincing argument,” Dr. Palo said. “The TLPC took the lead on creating the filing and insured the documents were succinct and professional.”

TLPC Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Print Disability Advocates in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org

On October 16, 2019, the TLPC filed a brief of amici curiae in the matter of Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States involving the copyrightability of annotations to state law. The TLPC filed the brief of amici curiae on behalf of print disability advocate organizations American Association of the Deaf-Blind, American Council of the Blind, Burton Blatt Institute, Disability Rights Advocates, National Federation of the Blind, World Institute on Disability, and individual print researcher and advocate Sina Bahram. The brief addresses concerns about Georgia’s failure to provide its laws to those with print disabilities in accessible forms as required by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As part of its wider project to promote free and open access to the law, Public.Resource.Org has undertaken to make the law accessible to those with print disabilities. The brief also raises concerns about Georgia’s use of copyright law to quash efforts to provide the accessible information which Georgia has itself failed to provide and underscored that making works accessible to those with disabilities is an uncontroversially non-infringing fair use.

TLPC Releases White Paper for EFF Reevaluating Sharing Obligations for the Modern U.S. Wireline Broadband Market

(by Elliott Browning, Colorado Law 2L)

The TLPC is happy to release a white paper, prepared on behalf of and in collaboration with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, reevaluating the viability of sharing obligations in light of lackluster competition and deployment in the modern wireline broadband market. With an eye towards remedying this stagnation and encouraging the widespread deployment of fiber-to-the-home, the paper discusses the history and development of competition in last-mile connectivity.

Specifically, the paper evaluates the current market for high-speed wireline broadband in the U.S. with a specific focus on the deficiency in fiber deployment; reviews the development of competition in the local exchange from the invention of the telephone to the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and reconsiders the FCC’s 2005 decision to not extend sharing obligations to wireline BIAS providers in light of the modern market.

The paper will provide historical support for a broader series of policy papers by EFF aimed at improving competitive conditions in the wireline broadband market with the ultimate goal of connecting more Americans to a reliable, high-speed broadband network.

TLPC Presents on Disability and Copyright at WIPO SCCR/38

(by Colleen McCroskey, Colorado Law 2L)

From left to right: TLPC Student Attorney Kevin Doss, Prof. Blake Reid, Prof. Caroline Ncube, TLPC Student Attorney John Schoppert, UCT Doctoral Candidate Charlene Musiza, UCT Post-Doctoral Researcher Desmond Oriakhogba, and TLPC Student Attorney John Schoppert

TLPC student attorneys Colleen McCroskey, Kevin Doss, and John Schoppert, along with TLPC Director Blake Reid and colleagues from the University of Cape Town, including Prof. Caroline Ncube recently presented to the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the intersection of copyright law and disability.

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Section 1201 Security Research Exemption

On October 26, 2018, based upon the recommendation of the Acting Register of Copyrights, the Librarian of Congress adopted exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. On behalf of its clients Ed Felten and Alex Halderman, and working together with the Center for Democracy and Technology, the TLPC helped secure a set of important changes to a pre-existing exemption for good-faith security research, expanding the ability for security researchers to legally test device and system software for cybersecurity vulnerabilities without violating the DMCA and risking criminal liability.

Important caveat: this post is intended only as general information and does not constitute legal advice. If readers wish to utilize the new exemptions granted by the Librarian, they should consult independent legal counsel before doing so.

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Municipal Drone Policy

TLPC student attorneys and Colorado Law 2Ls Kristine Roach, Trey Reed, and Jay Gurney recently finalized a white paper on municipal drone policy. The paper outlines some of the many drone applications for hobbyists, businesses, researchers and governments, while considering disruption and intrusion concerns.

Given these competing concerns and interests, the paper outlines different approaches to municipal drone policies and regulations, including the prospect of federal preemption. The paper also analyzes 4th Amendment limitations on municipal drone surveillance and open records requirements implicated by municipal drone use. While the analysis is most pertinent to Boulder, the drone policy considerations are intended to be applicable to municipalities across the United States.

Our thanks to Prof. Deborah Cantrell, Prof. Ann England, Prof. Margot Kaminski, Tom Carr, Boulder City Attorney, Julia Richman, Boulder Chief Information and Analytics Officer, and Cory Dixon, IRISS Chief Technologist for their help in the development of this paper.

TLPC Releases White Paper on Intellectual Property Issues at the FCC

In this white paper, TLPC student attorneys Colter Donahue and J. Parker Ragland outline steps that the FCC can take to avoid having rulemakings and other policymaking initiatives delayed or negatively affected by intellectual property issues. In recent years, the Commission has faced several situations, including in the context of 9-1-1 services, telecommunications relay services, and set-top boxes, where intellectual property issues have arisen and affected proceedings. The white paper urges the Commission to develop adequate expertise in intellectual property law and to proactively anticipate and address IP issues to avoid these situations in the future.