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CLIP-ings: January 25, 2013

Internet Governance
French Internet Tax Proposed: A report commissioned by French President Francois Hollande recommends an Internet tax on the collection of personal data in order to raise revenue from large technology companies.
Google Requiring Warrants: Following its latest transparency report, the company announced that it routinely demands probable-cause warrants from government agencies that request user data even though it says it is not required to do so under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.


Body Scanners Removed: The TSA will start pulling its controversial “backscatter” x-ray devices from airports in March due to the manufacturer’s failure to install privacy software on the machines.
WiFi Privacy: A federal district court in Oregon ruled that law enforcement agents who accessed files shared over an unsecured wireless network without a search warrant violated a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Twitter Bug: A security firm discovered that a flaw in Twitter’s API may allow third-party apps unauthorized access to users’ private messages when users sign in with their Twitter accounts.

Intellectual Property

“Gaymer” Trademark in Dispute: After receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the owner of the “gaymer” mark, a group of gay and lesbian gamers from Reddit enlisted EFF to cancel the registered mark and return the word to the public domain.
Apple’s No-Hire Patent Scandal: According to public court filings, former CEO Steve Jobs threatened to file a patent lawsuit against tech company Palm if that company’s chief executive did not agree to refrain from poaching Apple employees.

Free Expression & Censorship

North Korea to Allow Cell Phones: Just a few weeks after Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt traveled to North Korea, the country is easing some of its cell phone rules and has lifted a ban prohibiting foreign visitors from bringing cell phones into the country.
Social Media Ban Overturned: The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an Indiana law prohibiting sex offenders from using social networking sites violates the First Amendment.

Practice Notes

How Not to Draft Social Media Policies: Christopher Hopkins outlines a number of employer social media policies that the National Labor Relations Board recently found to be in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

On the Lighter Side

Bowl-ing Alone: Chicken Soup for the Techie Soul.

Editorial Fellws: Megan Bright & Austen Ishii