Watch Out!: Short-term Rentals

  AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway, and other internet platforms allow people to rent out their properties for short-term stays.  Owners like the boost in income while neighbors, home owner associations, and localities worry about the under-regulated influx of strangers.  So, are these short-term rentals a good thing? Positive Aspects of Short-term Rentals Property owners like short-term

Who Fact Checks the Fact Checkers?: The News on Google News’ Newest Tag

Last Thursday (October 13, 2016) Google announced it is adding a “fact check” feature to Google News, the news aggregator subsite of Google. News aggregators, for those unfamiliar with the concept, “pull together, and allow to assemble, news from a variety of sources in one place.” Google News, for example, assembles news articles

End of the Road for Software Patents?

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has again shaken up the software patent world with its most recent decision in Intellectual Ventures v. Symantec Corp & Trend Micro Inc. The majority wrote that: “Most of the First Amendment concerns associated with patent protection could be avoided if this court were willing to

Maybe Switch to a Password: Feds Approved to Unlock Phones with Fingerprints

On October 16, 2016, Forbes reported on a court filing from May 2016, detailing a Department of Justice search warrant request. This memo in support of a search warrant wasn’t just for a search of the house, nor even of unlocked phones. The memo in support of the warrant in question sought permission to “depress

Highway Justice: Xerox’s New Tech to Catch HOV Violators

Driving can be stressful. Time pressures and traffic, aggressive drivers and speed traps. And America drives, a lot.  The average American commutes twenty-six minutes to work each day, which is close to a twenty percent increase since the data started being tracked back in the 1980’s. This alone may not sound like an astonishing figure,

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Removes Injunction Against Dakota Access Pipeline

On Sunday, October 9, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals released a per curiam order dissolving an injunction that was preventing the pipeline company Energy Transfer from continuing construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Energy Transfer plans for the pipeline to connect sources of sweet crude production in North Dakota with existing pipelines in Illinois,

Driverless Cars: Liability or Breakthrough?

The emergence of driverless cars is an exciting prospect, but some are concerned that the growing popularity will lead to “a shift in the focus of liability insurance from personal fault to product safety.” Since automobile accidents constitute the largest category of tort claims, the focus will be on these new, driverless cars. Professor Michael

Déjà vu: Google Sued for Age Discrimination (Again)

In 2007, a former Google executive, Brian Reid, was discharged from Google. Shortly afterwards, Reid filed a lawsuit claiming that he was discriminated based on his age. Reid cited being called an “old man,” an “old-fuddy duddy,” and being told that his ideas were “too old to matter.” Ultimately, the case was settled outside of

Are U.S. Government Secrets Really “Secret” Anymore?

How the NSA Has Failed to Implement Secure Procedures Post-Snowden, and the Most Recent Case of Stolen Confidential Material from The U.S. Government Following the close of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and the United States Department of Justice into the potential leak of classified national security information by Presidential

Circumventing Federal Regulation: The Advent of Shadow Regulation on the Internet

A new trend in the seemingly lawless land of the internet are controls that regulate how we use the internet.  These shadow regulations, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation has dubbed them, are now increasingly being established through private industry agreements.  They are typically voluntary agreements between companies, unknown to the public, and affect activities conducted