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Truth Bounties: A Market Solution To Fake News, Yonathan A. Arbel, Michael D. Gilbert Jan 2024

Truth Bounties: A Market Solution To Fake News, Yonathan A. Arbel, Michael D. Gilbert

Articles

False information poses a threat to individuals, groups, and society. Many people struggle to judge the veracity of the information around them, whether that information travels through newspapers, talk radio, TV, or social media. Concerned with the spread of misinformation and harmful falsehoods, much of the policy, popular, and scholarly conversation today revolves around proposals to expand the regulation of individuals, platforms, and the media. While more regulation may seem inevitable, it faces constitutional and political hurdles. Furthermore, regulation can have undesirable side effects and be ripe for abuse by powerful actors, public and private.

This Article presents an alternative …


Unprecedented Precedent And Original Originalism: How The Supreme Court’S Decision In Dobbs Threatens Privacy And Free Speech Rights, Leonard Niehoff Jan 2023

Unprecedented Precedent And Original Originalism: How The Supreme Court’S Decision In Dobbs Threatens Privacy And Free Speech Rights, Leonard Niehoff

Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has drawn considerable attention because of its reversal of Roe v. Wade and its rejection of a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. The Dobbs majority, and some of the concurring opinions, emphasized that the ruling was a narrow one. Nevertheless, there are reasons to think the influence of Dobbs may extend far beyond the specific constitutional issue the case addresses.

This article explains why Dobbs could have significant and unanticipated implications for the law of privacy and the law of free expression. I argue that two …


Freedom From Speech, Mary Anne Franks Jul 2022

Freedom From Speech, Mary Anne Franks

Articles

The importance of freedom of speech in a democratic society is usually taken as a given, but freedom from speech is no less important in safeguarding the values of truth, autonomy, and democracy. Freedom from speech includes both the right of the individual to not be forced to speak and the freedom to avoid the speech of others. This essay attempts to highlight the significance of freedom from speech in order to clarify the importance of the First Amendment right against compelled speech; provide an explanation for when the right of free speech yields to other rights; and offer a …


Institutional Considerations For The Regulation Of Internet Service Providers, Daniel Deacon Feb 2022

Institutional Considerations For The Regulation Of Internet Service Providers, Daniel Deacon

Articles

Written to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, this Essay looks forward at possible settlements regarding the nagging question of whether and how best to regulate Internet service providers. Rather than start from the standpoint that this or that policy, such as net neutrality, is good or bad, I ask more broadly who should regulate ISPs and under what general framework. I assess and critique various frameworks, including reliance on markets and antitrust; state-level regulation under a federal Title I regime; various frameworks set forward in Republican sponsored bills; and the Save the Internet Act. I …


Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang Jan 2022

Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang

Articles

The concept and naming of “hate crime,” and the adoption of special laws to address it, provoked controversy and raised fundamental questions when they were introduced in the 1980s. In the decades since, neither hate crime itself nor those hotly debated questions have abated. To the contrary, hate crime has increased in recent years—although the prominent target groups have shifted over time—and the debate over hate crime laws has reignited as well. The still-open questions range from the philosophical to the doctrinal to the pragmatic: What justifies the enhanced punishment that hate crime laws impose based on the perpetrator’s motivation? …


Responding To Mass, Computer-Generated, And Malattributed Comments, Steven J. Balla, Reeve Bull, Bridget C.E. Dooling, Emily Hammond, Michael A. Livermore, Michael Herz, Beth Simone Noveck Jan 2022

Responding To Mass, Computer-Generated, And Malattributed Comments, Steven J. Balla, Reeve Bull, Bridget C.E. Dooling, Emily Hammond, Michael A. Livermore, Michael Herz, Beth Simone Noveck

Articles

A number of technological and political forces have transformed the once staid and insider dominated notice-and-comment process into a forum for large scale, sometimes messy, participation in regulatory decisionmaking. It is not unheard of for agencies to receive millions of comments on rulemakings; often these comments are received as part of organized mass comment campaigns. In some rulemakings, questions have been raised about whether public comments were submitted under false names, or were automatically generated by computer “bot” programs. In this Article, we examine whether and to what extent such submissions are problematic and make recommendations for how rulemaking agencies …


Racialized, Judaized, Feminized: Identity-Based Attacks On The Press, Lili Levi Jan 2022

Racialized, Judaized, Feminized: Identity-Based Attacks On The Press, Lili Levi

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Everyday First Amendment, Leonard M. Niehoff, Thomas Sullivan Jan 2022

The Everyday First Amendment, Leonard M. Niehoff, Thomas Sullivan

Articles

On June 26 and June 27, 2019, some twenty contenders for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States participated in two evenings of political debate. The outsized group included Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who was struggling to gain traction with voters. Shortly after the debate, while many viewers were conducting online searches to learn more about the candidates, Google temporarily suspended her campaign’s advertising account.

Google claimed that the interruption occurred because an automated system flagged unusual activity on the account. But Gabbard did not accept this explanation; she believed that Google deliberately had tried to undermine …


Fraudulent Malattributed Comments In Agency Rulemaking, Michael Herz Nov 2020

Fraudulent Malattributed Comments In Agency Rulemaking, Michael Herz

Articles

A specter is haunting notice-and-comment rulemaking—the specter of fraudulent comments. The stand-out example—the apotheosis—was the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rulemaking in 2017. Well over twenty million comments were submitted, but millions of those were highly suspect. It turns out only about 800,000 of those comments were unique—that is, not written by a computer and not a pre-written form letter or variation thereof. And of the rest, perhaps half were submitted by computers (bots) using fictitious names or the names of real people, living and dead, who had no connection to the comment.


Failure To Capture: Why Business Does Not Control The Rulemaking Process, Gabriel Scheffler Jan 2020

Failure To Capture: Why Business Does Not Control The Rulemaking Process, Gabriel Scheffler

Articles

Leading figures on both the political right and the political left have concluded that the agency rulemaking process is captured: that it serves to benefit businesses, at the expense of the general public. This perception appears to be supported by recent theoretical and empirical scholarship and has prompted lawmakers to introduce various proposals to reform the federal rulemaking process.

Yet as I will demonstrate in this Article, the view of the rulemaking process as captured is unwarranted. I will show that the academic literature actually provides little guidance as to the magnitude of business influence that is, the extent to …


The Second Amendment's Safe Space, Or The Constitutionlization Of Fragility, Mary Anne Franks Jan 2020

The Second Amendment's Safe Space, Or The Constitutionlization Of Fragility, Mary Anne Franks

Articles

No abstract provided.


How The Internet Unmakes Law, Mary Anne Franks Jan 2020

How The Internet Unmakes Law, Mary Anne Franks

Articles

No abstract provided.


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

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

Articles

No abstract provided.


Taking Data, Michael C. Pollack Jan 2019

Taking Data, Michael C. Pollack

Articles

Technological development has created new forms of information, altered expectations of privacy, and given law enforcement more tools to examine that information and intrude on that privacy. One crucial facet of these changes involves internet service providers (ISPs): as people expose more of their lives to their ISPs—all the websites they visit, people they communicate with, emails they send, files they store, and more—law enforcement efforts to access that data become more and more common. But scholars and policymakers alike recognize that the existing statutory frameworks governing those efforts are based on obsolete technology and strike balances that are difficult …


Catch And Kill: Does The First Amendment Protect Buying Speech To Bury It?, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2019

Catch And Kill: Does The First Amendment Protect Buying Speech To Bury It?, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

The news media usually chase stories in order to publish them—but sometimes not so much. In some instances, media entities vigorously pursue a story—and purchase the source’s right to tell it—for the specific purpose of ensuring that it does not see the light of day. This practice, commonly called “catch and kill,” has recently come under close scrutiny and raises a host of questions.

These include pragmatic questions: Does the practice work? Can the media entity (or a third-party beneficiary) really enforce the underlying contract? Doesn’t the source’s willingness to abide by the contract come down to a simple economic …


Real "Fake News" And Fake "Fake News", Lili Levi Jan 2018

Real "Fake News" And Fake "Fake News", Lili Levi

Articles

No abstract provided.


Data Collection And The Regulatory State, Hillary Green, James Cooper, Ahmed Ghappour, Felix Wu Sep 2017

Data Collection And The Regulatory State, Hillary Green, James Cooper, Ahmed Ghappour, Felix Wu

Articles

The following remarks were given on January 27, 2017 during the Connecticut Law Review's symposium, "Privacy, Security & Power: The State of Digital Surveillance."


In Re Akhbar Beirut & Al Amin, Monica Hakimi Jul 2017

In Re Akhbar Beirut & Al Amin, Monica Hakimi

Articles

On August 29, 2016, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (Tribunal) sentenced a corporate media enterprise and one of its employees for contemptuously interfering with the Tribunal's proceedings in Ayyash, a prosecution concerning the February 2005 terrorist attack that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The contempt decision is significant for two reasons: (1) it adopts an expansive definition of the crime of contempt to restrict a journalist's freedom of expression; and (2) it is the first international judicial decision to hold a corporate entity criminally responsible.


The Commercial Difference, Felix T. Wu May 2017

The Commercial Difference, Felix T. Wu

Articles

When it comes to the First Amendment, commerciality does, and should, matter. This Article develops the view that the key distinguishing characteristic of corporate or commercial speech is that the interest at stake is “derivative,” in the sense that we care about the speech interest for reasons other than caring about the rights of the entity directly asserting a claim under the First Amendment. To say that the interest is derivative is not to say that it is unimportant, and one could find corporate and commercial speech interests to be both derivative and strong enough to apply heightened scrutiny to …


Bankrupt Marketplace: First Amendment Theory And The 2016 Presidential Election, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2017

Bankrupt Marketplace: First Amendment Theory And The 2016 Presidential Election, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

In this article I advance two arguments. The first is that 2016 was a particularly important year for freedom of speech and the press, although not for conventional reasons. The second is that hte events of 2016 revealed that one of the essential components of our democracy - the central role that free expression plays in the democratic process - is in a state of serious dysfunction, if not crisis.


Lessons Learned Too Well: Anonymity In A Time Of Surveillance, A. Michael Froomkin Jan 2017

Lessons Learned Too Well: Anonymity In A Time Of Surveillance, A. Michael Froomkin

Articles

It is no longer reasonable to assume that electronic communications can be kept private from governments or private-sector actors. In theory, encryption can protect the content of such communications, and anonymity can protect the communicator's identity. But online anonymity-one of the two most important tools that protect online communicative freedom-is under practical and legal attack all over the world. Choke-point regulation, online identification requirements, and data-retention regulations combine to make anonymity very difficult as a practical matter and, in many countries, illegal. Moreover, key internet intermediaries further stifle anonymity by requiring users to disclose their real names.

This Article traces …


Cybersecurity Stovepiping, David Thaw Jan 2017

Cybersecurity Stovepiping, David Thaw

Articles

Most readers of this Article probably have encountered – and been frustrated by – password complexity requirements. Such requirements have become a mainstream part of contemporary culture: "the more complex your password is, the more secure you are, right?" So the cybersecurity experts tell us… and policymakers have accepted this "expertise" and even adopted such requirements into law and regulation.

This Article asks two questions. First, do complex passwords actually achieve the goals many experts claim? Does using the password "Tr0ub4dor&3" or the passphrase "correcthorsebatterystaple" actually protect your account? Second, if not, then why did such requirements become so widespread? …


Are Trump's Attacks On The Media Adversely Affecting Public Opinion?, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2017

Are Trump's Attacks On The Media Adversely Affecting Public Opinion?, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

Both during the election cycle and as president of the United States, Donald Trump has enthusiastically and aggressively attacked the media. On Twitter, in speeches, and at rallies he has repeatedly deployed his favorite “f words” against mainstream broadcast, print, and online news sources: “fake,” “fraudulent,” “failing,” and (phonetically) “phony.” Some attacks have been personal to individual journalists, some have been more institutionally focused, and some have been made in contexts that appeared to create physical risk to reporters who were present. But whatever the variation in lavors, the frequency of the attacks has remained constant. Indeed, Trump has devoted …


Authority And Authors And Codes, Michael J. Madison Jan 2016

Authority And Authors And Codes, Michael J. Madison

Articles

Contests over the meaning and application of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) expose long-standing, complex questions about the sources and impacts of the concept of authority in law and culture. Accessing a computer network “without authorization” and by “exceeding authorized access” is forbidden by the CFAA. Courts are divided in their interpretation of this language in the statute. This Article first proposes to address the issue with an insight from social science research. Neither criminal nor civil liability under the CFAA should attach unless the alleged violator has transgressed some border or boundary that is rendered visible …


Taming The "Feral Beast": Cautionary Lessons From British Press Reform, Lili Levi Jan 2015

Taming The "Feral Beast": Cautionary Lessons From British Press Reform, Lili Levi

Articles

No abstract provided.


Data Breach (Regulatory) Effects, David Thaw Jan 2015

Data Breach (Regulatory) Effects, David Thaw

Articles

No abstract provided.


Reasonable Expectations Of Privacy Settings: Social Media And The Stored Communications Act, David Thaw, Christopher Borchert, Fernando Pinguelo Jan 2015

Reasonable Expectations Of Privacy Settings: Social Media And The Stored Communications Act, David Thaw, Christopher Borchert, Fernando Pinguelo

Articles

In 1986, Congress passed the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) to provide additional protections for individuals’ private communications content held in electronic storage by third parties. Acting out of direct concern for the implications of the Third-Party Records Doctrine — a judicially created doctrine that generally eliminates Fourth Amendment protections for information entrusted to third parties — Congress sought to tailor the SCA to electronic communications sent via and stored by third parties. Yet, because Congress crafted the SCA with language specific to the technology of 1986, courts today have struggled to apply the SCA consistently with regard to similar private …


Ethics For Media Lawyers: The Lessons Of Ferguson, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2015

Ethics For Media Lawyers: The Lessons Of Ferguson, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

Ferguson, Missouri, has a population of roughly 21,000 people. Thirty cities in Missouri have larger populations. The Edward Jones Dome, where the St. Louis Rams play football, seats three times as many people. Most of us had never heard of Ferguson prior to August 9, 2014, when a police oficer named Darren Wilson shot and killed an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown. But, to paraphrase the grim observation of Ambrose Bierce, war is how Americans learn geography. So, as violence and vandalism erupted on its streets, the nation turned its attention toward Ferguson and labored to understand the place, …


Journalism Standards And "The Dark Arts": The U.K.'S Leveson Inquiry And The U.S. Media In The Age Of Surveillance, Lili Levi Jan 2014

Journalism Standards And "The Dark Arts": The U.K.'S Leveson Inquiry And The U.S. Media In The Age Of Surveillance, Lili Levi

Articles

No abstract provided.


Material Falsity In Defamation Cases: The Supreme Court's Call For Contextual Analysis, Charles D. Tobin, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2014

Material Falsity In Defamation Cases: The Supreme Court's Call For Contextual Analysis, Charles D. Tobin, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

In the book The Phantom Tollbooth, one of the characters, Milo, declares that he comes from a faraway land called Context. After a circuitous journey through many strange cities, bearing names that have meanings Milo struggles to understand, he finds himself back at home in his bedroom.

Context, by and large, is the home base for courts in defining the boundaries between actionable and nonactionable speech. Often, after circuitous travels through precedent and logic, courts meander back to the simple notion that the meaning and legal significance of words are determined by their context.