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CLIP-ings: March 28, 2014

Internet Governance
Virtual Property Not Currency: The IRS will treat bitcoins as property (like stocks or barter transactions) instead of currency; consequently, when a good or service can be bought more cheaply with bitcoins that savings must be reported as a capital gain.
ICANN’s Auction Plans: ICANN unveiled a plan to auction off 20 new TLDs every month starting June 4th in an attempt to end corporate disputes over exclusive rights to TLDs such as .buy, .tech, and .blog.
Don’t Spy In Bulk: The Obama Administration will announce a legislative proposal to end the NSA’s indiscriminate bulk collection of global phone metadata; the proposal will require FISA court authorization before the NSA collects and investigates data held by phone companies.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

NSA Hacks Huawei: Recent NSA document leaks revealed that the agency has electronically infiltrated the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in order to spy on corporate executives and block the company’s expansion onto US soil; for years, the US government has accused the Chinese government of using Huawei products to spy on Americans.
Banks Targeting Target: Two banks filed suit against Target and security auditor Trustwave for failing to secure customer data in the massive data breach last November; the banks seek lost revenue and $18 billion on behalf of a class of banks and retailers.

Intellectual Property

Lexmark Lawsuits: In addressing Static Control Components’ years-old false advertising counterclaim against Lexmark, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Lanham Act companies in a similar “zone of interest,” and not just competitors, have standing to sue over false ads.

Free Expression & Censorship

Turkey’s Twitter Ban: A Turkish court ruled that the Twitter ban imposed by the country’s telecommunications authority illegally restricted freedom of information and communication; the government has 30 days to comply with the ruling.

Practice Note

Malibu Media Mayhem: Porn copyright troll Malibu Media motioned to subpoena the account details of an allegedly infringing IP address from an ISP; a Florida District Court judge denied the request, holding that an IP address is insufficient for identifying an infringer.

On the Lighter Side

Call Crashing: Something more obnoxious than the NSA listening in on your personal phone calls.

Editorial Fellows: Kwame Akosah, Adiella Stadler, and Tom Norton.