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CLIP-ings: May 31, 2013

Internet Governance
Phone ID Law: In order to curtail the resale of stolen cell phones NY Sen. Chuck Schumer proposed a bill that would outlaw the reprogramming of a phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity number and punish violators with prison time.
DoubleClick Dominance: The FTC is investigating whether Google is abusing the market power of its online advertising services, following on the heels of another recently-settled investigation into whether the company was abusing the market dominance of its search product.

Privacy

Judge Compels Decryption: A federal judge in Wisconsin ordered the defendant in a criminal child pornography case to supply prosecutors with encryption keys for his hard drives on the basis that the defendant had knowledge of and control over the files and that the files were likely to contain incriminating material.
Landmark Email Privacy Bill: Texas is poised to pass an email privacy bill that would expand privacy protection beyond the oft-criticized Electronic Communications Protection Act of 1986 and require law enforcement agents to secure a warrant before obtaining the contents of any email, no matter how long that email had been sitting in storage.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Sprint Deal Draws Oversight: The US government has approved the sale of Sprint to the Japanese company SoftBank but only on the unusual condition that the government be able to continuously monitor the security practices of the firm, based on fears that it will use telecommunications equipment manufactured by Huawei, the Chinese company that has drawn congressional scrutiny.

Intellectual Property

E-Book Price Fixing: The judge in a price-fixing case against Apple stated during a pre-trial hearing that she believed there was enough evidence to show that the company had participated in a conspiracy with five major book publishers, all five of whom were named in the suit but already settled with the government.

Free Expression & Censorship

Anti-Piracy “Ransomware”: The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property released a report suggesting that copyrighted software and music files be programmed to “render inoperable” the computers of those downloading them illegally, drawing criticisms that the practice closely resembles the kind of shakedowns employed by peddlers of malware. 

Practice Notes

Digital Inheritance: Tips for how to manage digital assets like passwords, photos, and games after death.

On the Lighter Side

We’re (Uncomfortably) Sorry to See You Go: Unsubscription makes the heart grow fonder.