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CLIP-ings: February 22, 2013

Internet Governance
Wi-Fi Spectrum Expansion: The FCC unveiled a new Wi-Fi policy which will restrict the use of signal boosters and open up spectrum bandwidth for unlicensed Wi-Fi use.


No Password, No Privacy: An Ontario court has ruled that police can search phones that are not password-protected “in a cursory fashion,” reasoning that the contents of an unprotected phone are “readily available to other users.”

‘Nein’ To Fake Usernames: An appeals court in Germany reversed an order by a German privacy watchdog requiring Facebook to allow fake usernames, ruling that the nation’s privacy laws do not apply to Facebook because its European headquarters are located in Ireland.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Continued Chinese Cyberattacks: U.S. security firm Mandiant has pinpointed the source of an “overwhelming percentage” of cyberattacks from China: a 12-story office building outside Shanghai affiliated with the Chinese army.

Intellectual Property

Farmer v. Monsanto: An Indiana farmer faces food giant Monsanto in a Supreme Court case that will decide whether patents on seeds, among other self-replicating things, extend beyond the first generation of products, raising concerns about advancements in biotechnology.
Patentable Genes: An Australian federal court ruled that a cancer-predicting gene can be patented because it has been “isolated” from the body, a ruling that reached the opposite conclusion of a U.S. Court of Appeals.

Free Expression & Censorship

P2P Injunction Blocked: A U.S. District Judge denied an injunction that would bar CNET from promoting a BitTorrent P2P file-sharing service, stating that such an injunction would silence public discussion of file-sharing technologies.

Practice Notes

Non-Solicitation and Social Media: An Oklahoma federal court has described some limitations on how much control employers have over their former employees’ social media activity, highlighting a new dimension of concern over employee social networking.

On the Lighter Side

Cheat View: A Russian online map service has left one relationship directionless.

Editorial Fellows: Grace Nam, Austen Ishii