A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules on Protecting and Promoting Open Internet

By Shuli Wang – Edited by Yaping Zhang

Two weeks after voting on regulating broadband Internet service as a public utility, on March 12, the Federal Communications Commission (”FCC”) released a document (the FCC Order and Rules) on net neutrality, which reclassifies high-speed Internet as a telecommunications service rather than an information service, thus subjecting Internet service providers (ISPs) as common carrier to regulations under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. The purpose of the new rules is to ensure the free flow of bits through the web without paid-for priority lanes and blocking or throttling of any web content.

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White House releases administration discussion draft for Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2015

By Lan Du – Edited by Katherine Kwong

On February 27, 2015, President Obama released an administration draft of a proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act. The proposed bill’s stated purpose is to “establish baseline protections for individual privacy in the commercial arena and to foster timely, flexible implementations of these protections through enforceable codes of conduct developed by diverse stakeholders.”

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Patrick Gallagher

Federal Circuit Affirms Denial of AT&T Motion to Extend or Re-open Filing Period for Appeal in Patent Infringement Suit

In Patent Suit Against Apple, Federal Circuit Affirms in Part, Reverses in Part

Federal Circuit Reverses DNA Sequencing Technology Patent Construction

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Wikimedia Sues NSA for Upstream Surveillance

By Paulius Jurcys – Edited by Sarah O’Loughlin

Wikimedia Foundation filed a suit against the NSA challenging the constitutionality of upstream surveillance programs, which allow the NSA to communicate by Americans and persons abroad. The claim, which was joined by eight other human rights organizations, challenges NSA’s actions as violations of the First and Fourth Amendments of the US Constitution.

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Florida Considers a Bill Outlawing Anonymous Websites

By Paulius Jurcys – Edited by Anton Ziajka

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill, the “True Origin of Digital Goods Act,”  that would require owners and operators of websites that disseminate “commercial” recordings or audiovisual works to prominently disclose their true names, physical addresses, and telephone numbers or email addresses on the websites. The bill extends to all websites that deal “in substantial part” in disseminating such recordings or audiovisual works, “directly or indirectly,” to Florida consumers.

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Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc.
By Andrew Spore – Edited by Samantha Rothberg 

Photo By: Dominic AlvesCC BY 2.0

Agency for Int’l Dev. v. Alliance for Open Soc’y Int’l, Inc., No. 12-10 (570 U. S. ___ June 20, 2013)
Slip Opinion

In a 6-2 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court ruled that requiring as a condition of funding that recipients of federal HIV/AIDS prevention funds have “a policy explicitly opposing prostitution” constituted an impermissible restriction on speech in violation of the First Amendment. Agency for Int’l Dev. v. Alliance for Open Soc’y Int’l, Inc., No. 12-10, slip op. at 15 (U. S. June 20, 2013). In doing so, the Court affirmed a 2011 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Id.

SCOTUSblog and the New York Times provide overviews of the case. Reuters discusses the schismatic response in the legal and non-profit worlds. Harvard Law School Professor Noah Feldman, writing for Bloomberg, sees conservative political maneuvering behind the decision. In contrast, the Health Law Prof Blog speculates that the decision could lead to liberal outcomes in the battle over Planned Parenthood funding.

(more…)

Posted On Jul - 8 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

“Reclaim Your Name”
By Katherine Walecka – Edited by Natalie Kim

 

Photo By: CliffCC BY 2.0

Transcript of Keynote Address

On June 26, 2013 at her keynote address during the Computers Freedom & Privacy Conference, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Commissioner Julie Brill announced a new “Reclaim Your Name” initiative. Under the proposed program, data brokers — businesses that collect consumer data for sale to other businesses — would be made accountable to consumers. Consumers would be able to access personally identifiable information that data brokers hold online through a single user-friendly online portal and regain control over their data. This would fulfill the FTC’s goals of establishing greater transparency and accountability. The consumer could choose to correct inaccurate information as well as request deletion of or cessation of certain uses of their data. Such data is increasingly important for “substantive decisions – like credit, insurance, employment, and other benefits,” according to Brill.

Brill describes “Reclaim Your Name” as a counterpart to the existing “Do Not Track” option for the Internet. Under the “Do Not Track” option, consumers can request on certain websites that their activities not be monitored for marketing purposes. “Reclaim Your Name” also mirrors the much-older Do Not Call Registry, an outgrowth of the Do-Not-Call-Implementation Act of 2003, which helped consumers avoid unsolicited telemarketing.

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Posted On Jul - 7 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Wyeth v. Abbott Labs
By Kathleen McGuinness – Edited by Alex Shank

Wyeth v. Abbott Labs., Nos. 2012-1223, -1224, (Fed. Cir. June 26, 2013)
Opinion

On June 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a lower court’s summary judgment of invalidity for nonenablement of certain patents relating to the use of rapamycin to treat restenosis, the renarrowing of an artery after the use of a balloon catheter. The court held that even “routine experimentation” to discover the working species of compounds within a claimed genus could constitute “undue experimentation,” given that chemical screening may require routine testing tens of thousands of compounds without any guidance from the patent.

Patently-O briefly explains the court’s decision. Patent Docs provides a detailed critique of the holding. Bloomberg summarizes the history of the litigation. (more…)

Posted On Jul - 5 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc.
By Kathleen McGuinness – Edited by Jennifer Wong

Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., No. 12-416 (570 U.S. ___ June 17, 2013)
Slip Opinion

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On June 17, the Supreme Court ruled that reverse payment settlements between brand name and generic drug manufacturers were not presumptively unlawful, but were subject to scrutiny under the “rule of reason.” This holding overruled the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s dismissal of the case, resolving a circuit split.

JD Supra explains the Court’s holding. HealthAffairs describes the background of the industry and the history of the case. FDA Law Blog predicts its implications on future litigation. (more…)

Posted On Jul - 3 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

United States v. Turner
By Michelle Goldring – Edited by Samantha Rothberg

United States v. Turner, No. 11-196-cr (2nd Cir. June 21, 2013)
Slip Opinion

In a 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court for the Eastern District of New York’s conviction of Harold Turner, an internet radio host and blogger. Turner was convicted of “threatening to assault or murder [federal] Judges Frank Easterbrook, William Bauer, and Richard Posner” on the basis of his blog posts and commentary about a decision the three had made in a Seventh Circuit case regarding the Second Amendment. Turner, slip op. at 2­–3.  The Second Circuit upheld the finding that Turner’s conduct constituted “a true threat . . . [that] was unprotected by the First Amendment.” Id. at 16.

The Chicago Tribune and the New York Law Journal provide overviews of the case. The Constitutional Law Prof Blog critiques the decision for giving too little weight to the passive grammatical construction of Turner’s posts, while Jonathan Turley expresses concern that the Second Circuit  “lacks [a] firm idea where to draw a line between opinion and threat.” (more…)

Posted On Jun - 30 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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The FCC’s Net Neut

By Shuli Wang - Edited by Yaping Zhang THE FCC 15-24 ...

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Wikimedia Sues NSA f

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Florida Considers a

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