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Full-Text Articles in Law

Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman Jan 2020

Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Deals accomplished through software persistently residing on computer networks—sometimes called smart contracts, but better termed transactional scripts—embody a potentially revolutionary contracting innovation. Ours is the first precise account in the legal literature of how such scripts are created, and when they produce errors of legal significance.

Scripts’ most celebrated use case is for transactions operating exclusively on public, permissionless, blockchains: such exchanges eliminate the need for trusted intermediaries and seem to permit parties to commit ex ante to automated performance. But public transactional scripts are costly both to develop and execute, with significant fees imposed for data storage ...


Taxing Bitcoin And Blockchains—What The Irs Told Us (And What It Didn’T), David J. Shakow Jan 2020

Taxing Bitcoin And Blockchains—What The Irs Told Us (And What It Didn’T), David J. Shakow

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The IRS recently issued its second description of how it will treat Bitcoin and other blockchain assets. Some of its analysis leaves open questions that invite further consideration, and important issues remain unresolved. Moreover, because the popular Bitcoin blockchain uses a "proof of work" consensus procedure, issues relating to the alternative "proof of stake" procedure have been neglected.


The Internet As A Speech Machine And Other Myths Confounding Section 230 Reform, Danielle K. Citron, Mary Anne Franks Jan 2020

The Internet As A Speech Machine And Other Myths Confounding Section 230 Reform, Danielle K. Citron, Mary Anne Franks

Faculty Scholarship

A robust public debate is currently underway about the responsibility of online platforms. We have long called for this discussion, but only recently has it been seriously taken up by legislators and the public. The debate begins with a basic question: should platforms should be responsible for user-generated content? If so, under what circumstances? What exactly would such responsibility look like? Under consideration is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—a provision originally designed to encourage tech companies to clean up “offensive” online content. The public discourse around Section 230, however, is riddled with misconceptions. As an initial matter ...


Deep Fakes: A Looming Challenge For Privacy, Democracy, And National Security, Danielle K. Citron, Robert Chesney Dec 2019

Deep Fakes: A Looming Challenge For Privacy, Democracy, And National Security, Danielle K. Citron, Robert Chesney

Faculty Scholarship

Harmful lies are nothing new. But the ability to distort reality has taken an exponential leap forward with “deep fake” technology. This capability makes it possible to create audio and video of real people saying and doing things they never said or did. Machine learning techniques are escalating the technology’s sophistication, making deep fakes ever more realistic and increasingly resistant to detection. Deep-fake technology has characteristics that enable rapid and widespread diffusion, putting it into the hands of both sophisticated and unsophisticated actors. While deep-fake technology will bring with it certain benefits, it also will introduce many harms. The ...


Justice Thomas’S Concurrence Says Much—And Little—About Preemption Of State Net Neutrality Efforts, Daniel A. Lyons Nov 2019

Justice Thomas’S Concurrence Says Much—And Little—About Preemption Of State Net Neutrality Efforts, Daniel A. Lyons

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A little-noticed concurrence in denial of certiorari by Justice Clarence Thomas may have caused a wrinkle in the ongoing net neutrality debate. Late last month, the Supreme Court quietly declined to review Lipschultz v. Charter Advanced Services (MN), LLC, an Eighth Circuit decision preempting state VoIP regulation. While concurring in the denial, Justice Thomas raised concerns about the underlying theory of federal preemption, noting that “[i]t is doubtful that a federal policy – let alone a policy of nonregulation – is” sufficient to support conflict preemption.

Justice Thomas’s concurrence – joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch – casts an interesting shadow on the ...


Conflict Preemption Of State Net Neutrality Efforts After Mozilla, Daniel A. Lyons Oct 2019

Conflict Preemption Of State Net Neutrality Efforts After Mozilla, Daniel A. Lyons

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Earlier this week, the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in Mozilla v. Federal Communications Commission. The court affirmed the Commission’s Restoring Internet Freedom (RIF) Order, identifying some flaws in the agency’s reasoning but finding the agency could likely correct those errors on remand without vacatur. While chastened by the ruling, some net neutrality advocates have identified a potential silver lining. The court vacated the portion of the RIF Order that expressly preempted state and local broadband regulations. Advocates have latched onto this holding as permission for legislatures to reimpose at the state level the restrictions that ...


Towards Standard Information Privacy, Innovations Of The New General Data Protection Regulation, Ali Alibeigi, Abu Bakar Munir, Md Ershadulkarim, Adeleh Asemi Sep 2019

Towards Standard Information Privacy, Innovations Of The New General Data Protection Regulation, Ali Alibeigi, Abu Bakar Munir, Md Ershadulkarim, Adeleh Asemi

Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)

Protection of personal data in recent decades became more crucial affecting by emergence of the new technologies especially computer, internet, information and communications technology. However, Europeans felt this necessity at time and provided for up-to-date and supportive laws. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the latest legislation in EU to protect personal data of individuals based on the recent technological advancements. However, its’ domestic and international output still is debatable. This doctrinal legal study by using descriptive methods, aimed to evaluate the GDPR through analyzing and interpreting its’ provisions by especial focus on its’ innovations. The results show that ...


D.C. Circuit Decision Represents Setback To Next-Generation Network Deployment Efforts, Daniel A. Lyons Aug 2019

D.C. Circuit Decision Represents Setback To Next-Generation Network Deployment Efforts, Daniel A. Lyons

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Last week the D.C. Circuit invalidated an important Federal Communications Commission order. No, not the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which has been pending since February and has kept telecom nerds like me glued to the court’s website every Tuesday and Friday morning. In United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma v. Federal Communications Commission, the court vacated portions of the Commission's Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment Order governing 5G deployment. The court found that the Commission’s decision to exempt small cell deployment from the environmental and historic preservation review processes that accompany larger tower deployments was ...


Cyber Mobs, Disinformation, And Death Videos: The Internet As It Is (And As It Should Be), Danielle K. Citron Aug 2019

Cyber Mobs, Disinformation, And Death Videos: The Internet As It Is (And As It Should Be), Danielle K. Citron

Faculty Scholarship

Fiction and visual representations can alter our understanding of human experiences and struggles. They help us understand human frailties and suffering in a visceral way. Nick Drnaso’s graphic novel Sabrina does that in spades. In Sabrina, a woman is murdered by a misogynist, and a video of her execution is leaked. Conspiracy theorists deem her murder a hoax. A cyber mob smears the woman’s loved ones as crisis actors, posts death threats, and spreads their personal information. The attacks continue until a shooting massacre redirects the cyber mob’s wrath to other mourners. Sabrina captures the breathtaking velocity ...


Dancing On The Grave Of Copyright?, Anupam Chander, Madhavi Sunder Aug 2019

Dancing On The Grave Of Copyright?, Anupam Chander, Madhavi Sunder

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The quarter century since Barlow’s writing allows us to assess his prophecy. The economy moved in the very direction that Barlow anticipated—from an economy focused on the ownership of things to an economy based on services and experiences. In high-income countries, services now account for three-quarters of the gross domestic product.

But intellectual property proved more resilient and adaptable than Barlow predicted. Intellectual property law both offered exceptions where necessary, while simultaneously expanding to cover new forms of creativity and activities. In this short essay, we argue that, for good or ill, intellectual property has reconfigured itself for ...


In Re Universal Service Contribution Methodology: Comments Of Professor Daniel Lyons, Daniel A. Lyons Jul 2019

In Re Universal Service Contribution Methodology: Comments Of Professor Daniel Lyons, Daniel A. Lyons

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

These comments were submitted by Professor Lyons in support the Commission’s proposal to place a hard cap on the Universal Service Fund, which is the culmination of a years-long bipartisan project to bring more fiscal responsibility to the universal service program.


Money's Past Is Fintech's Future: Wildcat Crypto, The Digital Dollar, And Citizen Central Banking, Robert C. Hockett Jun 2019

Money's Past Is Fintech's Future: Wildcat Crypto, The Digital Dollar, And Citizen Central Banking, Robert C. Hockett

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Essay argues that crypto-currencies will soon go the way of the ‘wildcat’ banknotes of the mid-19th century. As central banks worldwide upgrade their payments systems, the Fed will begin issuing a ‘digital dollar’ that leaves no licit function for what the Author calls ‘wildcat crypto.’ But the imminent change heralds more than a shakeout in fintech. It will also make possible a new era of what the Author calls ‘Citizen Central Banking.’ The Fed will administer a national system of ‘Citizen Accounts.’ This will not only end the problem of the ‘unbanked,’ it will also simplify monetary policy. Instead ...


Solving The Rural Broadband Gap, Daniel A. Lyons May 2019

Solving The Rural Broadband Gap, Daniel A. Lyons

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This is the written testimony I presented before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on "LIFT America: Modernizing Our Infrastructure for the Future." My remarks focus on the act’s broadband provisions, particularly the Broadband Internet Access Service Program, which seeks to fund new network construction in unserved areas.

The testimony proceeds in three parts. First, I summarize some key insights about America’s broadband accessibility gap. Second, I highlight the strengths of the LIFT America Act approach to addressing this problem. Third, I briefly discuss some areas where the act could be improved and share some thoughts on ...


State Net Neutrality Mandates And The Dormant Commerce Clause, Daniel A. Lyons May 2019

State Net Neutrality Mandates And The Dormant Commerce Clause, Daniel A. Lyons

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The latest twist in the net neutrality debate has prompted a renewed interest in regulatory federalism. Opponents of the Federal Communication Commission's Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIF Order) have turned to state governors' mansions and legislatures, seeking to restore at the state level regulatory restrictions that the Commission repealed at the federal level. To date, six states have adopted executive orders and four have passed statutes that purport to impose net neutrality mandates on broadband providers.Most commentary on state net neutrality has focused on whether the RIF Order preempts these state-level initiatives – an issue I addressed in an ...


Search Engines And Internet Defamation: Of Publication And Legal Responsibility, Gary Kok Yew Chan May 2019

Search Engines And Internet Defamation: Of Publication And Legal Responsibility, Gary Kok Yew Chan

Research Collection School Of Law

When the Internet user keys a search term and clicks “enter”, a series of snippets, images and html links will appear typically running into several web pages. In the case of Autocomplete suggestions, the result appearing on the bar changes with each keystroke even before the user clicks “enter”. As a result, in the course of finding search results from the original search term, the user is constantly provided with suggestions of other search terms. The search results and Autocomplete suggestions may be defamatory of individuals and businesses by associating them with dishonest and improper activities or conduct. Should search ...


Sexual Privacy, Danielle K. Citron May 2019

Sexual Privacy, Danielle K. Citron

Faculty Scholarship

Those who wish to control, expose, and damage the identities of individuals routinely do so by invading their privacy. People are secretly recorded in bedrooms and public bathrooms and “up their skirts.” Such images are used to coerce people into sharing nude photographs and filming sex acts under the threat of public disclosure. People’s nude images are posted online without permission. Machine-learning technology is used to create digitally manipulated “deep fake” sex videos that swap people’s faces into pornography.

Each of these abuses is an invasion of sexual privacy—the behaviors, expectations, and choices that manage access to ...


When Law Frees Us To Speak, Danielle K. Citron, Jonathon Penney May 2019

When Law Frees Us To Speak, Danielle K. Citron, Jonathon Penney

Faculty Scholarship

A central aim of online abuse is to silence victims. That effort is as regrettable as it is successful. In the face of cyber harassment and sexual privacy invasions, women and marginalized groups retreat from online engagement. These documented chilling effects, however, are not inevitable. Beyond its deterrent function, law has an equally important expressive role. In this article, we highlight law’s capacity to shape social norms and behavior through education. We focus on a neglected dimension of law’s expressive role—its capacity to empower victims to express their truths and engage with others. Our argument is theoretical ...


The Effect Of Globalization On The National Criminal Law Systems, Shirin Ahmadi Dastjerdi, Abbas Sheikholeslami Apr 2019

The Effect Of Globalization On The National Criminal Law Systems, Shirin Ahmadi Dastjerdi, Abbas Sheikholeslami

Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)

Globalization has influenced many human life scopes with a variety of tools, which the cyberspace playing the most role. Although both cyberspace and globalization have had many benefits to human life, both as a tool and as a process, they have been able to assist offenders to bring crime into the cyberspace without any trouble. Therefore, today criminologists discuss the globalized world of crime. Although, the processes of homogenization and globalization have been precious to human beings, should not be overlooked. In this article, the author has tried to explain the cybercrime in the age of globalization, with an emphasis ...


Express And Conflict Preemption In State Net Neutrality Efforts, Daniel A. Lyons Feb 2019

Express And Conflict Preemption In State Net Neutrality Efforts, Daniel A. Lyons

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

For the fourth time in the past decade, the D.C. Circuit is considering the Federal Communications Commission's regulation of broadband network management practices. And while the case is captioned Mozilla v. FCC, twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have joined the petition for review. Their participation highlights an important aspect of the case not foreseen by most pundits when the Commission's Restoring Internet Freedom Order ("RIF Order") was adopted: whether policymakers may reimpose at the state level regulations repealed by the federal government.

The RIF Order expressly preempted state efforts to regulate net neutrality, and the ...


Lowering Legal Barriers To Rpki Adoption, Christopher S. Yoo, David A. Wishnick Jan 2019

Lowering Legal Barriers To Rpki Adoption, Christopher S. Yoo, David A. Wishnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Across the Internet, mistaken and malicious routing announcements impose significant costs on users and network operators. To make routing announcements more reliable and secure, Internet coordination bodies have encouraged network operators to adopt the Resource Public Key Infrastructure (“RPKI”) framework. Despite this encouragement, RPKI’s adoption rates are low, especially in North America.

This report presents the results of a year-long investigation into the hypothesis—widespread within the network operator community—that legal issues pose barriers to RPKI adoption and are one cause of the disparities between North America and other regions of the world. On the basis of interviews ...


Lessons From Literal Crashes For Code, Margot Kaminski Jan 2019

Lessons From Literal Crashes For Code, Margot Kaminski

Articles

No abstract provided.


Exposed, Mckay Cunningham Jan 2019

Exposed, Mckay Cunningham

Faculty Scholarship

We are all being followed. As one academic notes, “there is little question that the major data brokers know more about each of us than, say, for example, the National Security Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, or any other government institution.” One data broker, for example, holds over 5,000 pieces of information on over 500 million consumers. At the same time, the internet of things has grown by orders of magnitude, creating yet another stream of unregulated data. Granular and seemingly mundane, the data exhaust harvested by the internet of things is perhaps innocuous in ...


#Personaljurisdiction: A New Age Of Internet Contacts, Zoe Niesel Jan 2019

#Personaljurisdiction: A New Age Of Internet Contacts, Zoe Niesel

Faculty Articles

No abstract provided.


How Many Copies Are Enough Revisited: Open Access Legal Scholarship In The Time Of Collection Budget Constraints, Kincaid C. Brown Jan 2019

How Many Copies Are Enough Revisited: Open Access Legal Scholarship In The Time Of Collection Budget Constraints, Kincaid C. Brown

Law Librarian Scholarship

This article discusses the results of a study into the open access availability of law reviews, followed by a discussion of why open access has such a high rate of adoption among law reviews, especially in comparison to the journal literature in other disciplines.


Singapore's Latest Efforts At Regulating Online Hate Speech, Siyuan Chen, Chen Wei Chia Jan 2019

Singapore's Latest Efforts At Regulating Online Hate Speech, Siyuan Chen, Chen Wei Chia

Research Collection School Of Law

The introduction of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) has been generating considerable debate and feedback. Some of the concerns raised include whether the bill unduly restricts the freedom of expression. In focusing on the hate speech provisions of the POFMA, this legislation comment situates the criticisms within the larger framework of international human rights law and international practices and proposes some ways forward to improve the regulatory framework for online hate speech.


5g And Net Neutrality, Christopher S. Yoo, Jesse Lambert Jan 2019

5g And Net Neutrality, Christopher S. Yoo, Jesse Lambert

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Industry observers have raised the possibility that European network neutrality regulations may obstruct the deployment of 5G. To assess those claims, this Chapter describes the key technologies likely to be incorporated into 5G, including millimeter wave band radios, massive multiple input/multiple output (MIMO), ultra-densification, multiple radio access technologies (multi-RAT), and support for device-to-device (D2D) and machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity. It then reviews the business models likely to be associated with 5G, including network management through biasing and blanking, an emphasis on business-to-business (B2B) communications, and network function virtualization/network slicing. It then lays out the network neutrality regulations created by ...


Cybersecurity Oversight Liability, Benjamin P. Edwards Jan 2019

Cybersecurity Oversight Liability, Benjamin P. Edwards

Scholarly Works

A changing cybersecurity environment now poses a significant corporate-governance challenge. Although some cybersecurity data breaches may be inevitable, courts now increasingly consider when a corporation's officers and directors may be held liable on theories that they acted in bad faith and failed to adequately oversee the corporation's affairs. This short essay reviews recent derivative decisions and encourages corporate boards to recognize that in an environment filled with increasing threats, a reasonable response will require devoting real resources and attention to cybersecurity issues.


A Hater's Guide To Geoblocking, Peter K. Yu Jan 2019

A Hater's Guide To Geoblocking, Peter K. Yu

Faculty Scholarship

Geoblocking restricts access to online content based on the user's geographical location. Territorially based access control is strongly disliked, if not passionately hated, by those who travel abroad frequently as well as those who consume a considerable amount of foreign content. While the past has seen the use of geoblocking as technological self-help, such a technique has now received growing support from policymakers and judges.

Commissioned for a symposium on "Intellectual Property in a Globalized Economy: United States Extraterritoriality in International Business," this article begins by briefly recounting five sets of arguments against geoblocking. The article then draws on ...


Introductions, Tonya M. Evans, Julia Spivak Jan 2019

Introductions, Tonya M. Evans, Julia Spivak

Law Faculty Scholarship

An introduction to the Symposium and an introduction to Blockchain technology in preparation for the topics of the rest of the symposium.


Intermediaries And Private Speech Regulation: A Transatlantic Dialogue - Workshop Report, Tiffany Li Jan 2019

Intermediaries And Private Speech Regulation: A Transatlantic Dialogue - Workshop Report, Tiffany Li

Faculty Scholarship

The Wikimedia/Yale Law School Initiative on Intermediaries and Information (WIII) at Yale Law School has released a comprehensive report synthesizing key insights from intermediary liability and online speech and expression experts in Europe and the United States.

The report focuses on the critical but complicated issue of private speech regulation on the internet and the connections between platform liability laws and fundamental rights, including free expression. The report reflects discussions held at “Intermediaries & Private Speech Regulation: A Transatlantic Dialogue,” an invitation-only workshop convened by WIII, featuring leading internet law experts from the United States and Europe.

This report highlights ...