(by Brett Hildebrand, Colorado Law 3L)
One of the most high-profile recent developments in municipal broadband is happening in Fort Collins, CO, a college town just an hour north of Boulder. The city has voted to become its own internet service provider, overcoming a large campaign by one incumbent ISP. The proposal started as ballot initiative 2B, which passed in November 2017, and then was approved unanimously by the city council in January 2018. The city is currently accepting bids to build out the network and infrastructure necessary to get the service up and running. The approach is outlined in the city’s recently approved the Broadband Strategic Plan.
Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Policy #61: Fort Collins Colorado and the Municipal Broadband Experiment”
(by Susan Miller, Colorado Law 2L)
A cyberattack on Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency, was announced last week. The breach was especially problematic for a variety of reasons:
- Equifax’s job is to gather and maintain sensitive personal information. Yet it learned of the breach in July but failed to inform the public of the breach until September, taking more than two months to give consumers notice of the breach.
- The breach put the personal information of 143 million Americans, nearly one-third of the entire population, at risk. This personal information includes names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and in some cases, credit card numbers.
- Three Equifax executives sold their stock days only days after the company learned of the attack and before the public was notified.
Equifax is offering free credit monitoring and, thanks to angry consumers, waived fees for setting up credit freezes through Equifax.
Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Policy #53: Equifax and Data Breach in the Modern Era”
(by Ben Epel, Colorado Law 2L)
The world is facing a new problem when it comes to innovation: automation and robots increasingly have been replacing individual workers. Robots have moved out of the factories and will soon be coming to a fast food restaurant near you; in 2016, McDonald’s former CEO Ed Rensi said that it is cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who makes $15 an hour bagging French fries. As robots become cheaper and the need for higher wages increases, what will happen to displaced employees?
What would Bill Gates do? A robot tax. Private companies would be taxed whenever the company replaces an individual with a robot. Gates claims that the government should implement this tax to slow down the rate of automation in the United States. Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Policy: #46 Is Taxing Robots Really the Answer?”
(By Connor Boe, Colorado Law 2L)
After it was first announced that President Trump would continue to use his personal Twitter account after taking office, it has become clear that social media is going to become a dominant source of information from the White House. How might social media impact the consistency and clarity of messaging that the American public has come to expect from the executive branch?
Trump first created the @realDonaldTrump account in 2009 and has tweeted roughly 34,000 tweets and accrued over 22 million followers since. Since the election Trump has used Twitter along with other social media platforms to release policy statements, personal opinions, and a surprising number of politically polarizing statements. This new form of communication from the President creates some interesting dynamics, some possible opportunities, and a multitude of challenges that need to be considered as we enter a new era of American politics.
Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Policy #42: @realDonaldTrump: How Twitter is Changing Communications from the White House”
(by Zach Goldberg, Colorado Law 2L)
Norway has begun phasing out analog FM radio by shutting down broadcasts in certain parts of the country. The switch began at 11:11 am on January 11 Nordland, a county in northern Norway, and within a year, the Norwegian government plans to transition the entire country to Digital Audio Broadcasting (“DAB”). Under this new regulatory scheme, only 200 or so small local stations will be permitted to broadcast on FM frequencies.
This post explores the past, present, and future of the transition.
Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Policy #41: FMExit—Norway’s Transition from FM Radio to Digital Audio Broadcasting”
(by Lindsey Knapton, Colorado Law 2L)
[Editor’s note: This post is our contribution to Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what’s at stake.]
In the weeks leading up to President-elect Trump’s inauguration, little has been said about where he stands on copyright reform. For clues on copyright reform that may materialize in the coming months, some observers have turned to the House Judiciary Committee’s Reform of the U.S. Copyright Office Report, released on December 8, 2016, which outlines potential copyright policy priorities for the 115th Congress:
- Restructuring the Copyright Office as an administrative agency;
- Creating Copyright Office advisory committees;
- Upgrading information technology within the Copyright Office; and
- Creating a copyright small claims system.
Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Policy #40: Copyright Reform and the Copyright Office”
(by Andi Wilt, Colorado Law 3L)
When is the last time you Googled someone’s name? There are many reasons why you might have done that. You could have been trying to learn more about someone who was about to interview you for a position, or maybe you were about to interview them, or even deciding whom you were going to interview in the first place. An applicant’s online presence is important to many employers, as one source indicates that 90% of executive recruiters say they do online research on applicants; up to 70% of employers who have used LinkedIn say they have decided not to hire someone based on something they learn about the applicant online.
So what’s the problem with a little online research about a person? Professor Latanya Sweeney found that a Google search for a black identifying name is 25 percent more likely to be accompanied by an arrest-related ad. Professor Sweeney explored the connection between “[b]lack-identifying” and “[w]hite-identifying” first names, which are “those for which a significant number of people have the name and the frequency is sufficiently higher in one race than another.” Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Law & Policy, Vol. 39: First Amendment Protection For Discriminatory Ads?”
(by Jodi Wallace, Colorado Law 2L)
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong proclaimed, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Buzz Aldrin followed, describing the moon’s surface with the words “magnificent desolation.” For a few short hours, the two men explored the lunar surface, gathered samples, and then climbed back aboard the lunar modular to come back to Earth.
47 years after Apollo 11 was launched to take the first astronauts to the moon, Elon Musk (chief executive of SpaceX) has announced his plans to create a permanent human settlement on the surface of Mars. But Elon Musk is not alone in this ambition—his announcement is only the most recent, and perhaps the broadest in scope.
Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Law & Policy, Vol. 38: Colonizing Mars—Fact or Fantasy?”
(By Eilif Vanderkolk, Colorado Law 2L)
A Speedy Manhunt
In mid-September, Ahmad Khan Rahami allegedly committed terrorist bombings in Manhattan and the Jersey Shore . Rahami was arrested on the Monday following the bombings, shortly after New York officials had issued a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) naming Rahami as the primary suspect. The alert, received by all smartphones located in the five Boroughs that had not opted out, looked like this:
WANTED: Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28-yr-old male. See media for pic. Call 9-1-1 if seen.
Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Law & Policy, Vol. 37: Wireless Emergency Alerts Improved by Federal Communications Commission”
(by Zachary Goldberg, Colorado Law 2L)
Apparently Yahoo waited two full months to disclose to its customers the largest consumer data breach in history, which Yahoo officials claim went undetected for two full years
On September 22, 2016, Yahoo officials announced that 500 million of its customers’ email accounts were hacked in 2014. The Yahoo security team believes that “state-sponsored hackers” somehow managed to penetrate Yahoo’s system to target its email users’ identifying information, passwords, and security question responses. At this stage in their investigation, Yahoo officials have not indicated precisely when they discovered the breach, and they know neither specific details as to who orchestrated it, nor how they gained access to Yahoo’s email system.
Continue reading “Last Week in Tech Law & Policy, Vol. 36: Another Yahoo! Data Breach? Personal Consumer Information and the U.S. Government’s Intelligence Collection Practices”