It’s a law-heavy tech news week, so this episode is all news. If you come for the interviews, though, do not fear. We’ll be releasing episode 333 tomorrow, and it’s all interview, as I talk with David Ignatius about the tech issues in his latest spy novel, The Paladin.
To kick things off, Matthew Heiman returns to the podcast to analyze a new decision of the Court of Justice of the EU. The CJEU claims in the headline to put limits on government mass collection of mobile and internet data, but both Matthew and I think the footnotes take away much of the doctrine the headlines proclaim – and maybe in a way that will add another arrow to the US quiver as it tries to work around the CJEU’s foolhardy decision in Schrems II.
Sultan Meghji tells us that Trickbot has attracted the attention of both Cyber Command and Microsoft’s lawyers. Unfortunately, even that combination isn’t proving fatal, and I wonder whether Microsoft’s creative lawyering has gone a step too far.
The Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee has released a blockbuster tech antitrust report. It’s hardly news that Democrats and Republicans on this most partisan of committees disagree about this issue, but Matthew and I are struck by how modest the disagreements are. In contrast, despite our conservative leanings, Matthew and I manage to disagree pretty profoundly on how antitrust principles should apply to Big Tech.
Sultan, meanwhile, draws the short straw and has to explain the mother of all metaphor bombs that exploded in the Supreme Court when the court took oral argument in Google v. Oracle. It was a discouraging argument for those of us who admire the Justices, whose skills at finding apt metaphors completely failed them. I offer my past experience as a Supreme Court advocate to critique the argument and lay odds on the outcome. (Short version: Google has a nearly 50-50 chance of winning, and the Court has about the same chance of producing a respectable opinion.
I claim to have caught Twitter and Facebook in a clear example of improper suppression of conservative (or at least Trumpist) speech, as they suppress as misleading a Trump tweet that turns out to be, well, true.
Brian and I dig into the latest litigation over banning TikChat from US markets. Short version: the Justice Department has filed a strong brief seeking to overturn WeChat’s first amendment protection from the ban. If you’re looking for raw disagreement, listen for Brian coming out of his chair when I start comparing Silicon Valley and Chinese Communist Party net censorship regimes.
Matthew explains why Sweden and Switzerland are fighting over a crypto company widely reported to have been compromised by US and German intelligence fifty years ago.
And for our sensitive male listeners, this may be the point where you turn the podcast off, as I explain the dire consequences of bad IOT security and male chastity devices. Though, come to think of it, an angle grinder would make a pretty effective chastity device by itself.
Oh, and we have new theme music, courtesy of Ken Weissman of Weissman Sound Design. Hope you like it!
You can subscribe to The Cyberlaw Podcast using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Pocket Casts, or our RSS feed. As always, The Cyberlaw Podcast is open to feedback. Be sure to engage with @stewartbaker on Twitter. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions for topics or interviewees to CyberlawPodcast@steptoe.com. Remember: If your suggested guest appears on the show, we will send you a highly coveted Cyberlaw Podcast mug!
The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of their institutions, clients, friends, families, or pets.