Today’s episode opens with a truly disturbing bit of neocolonial judicial lawmaking from the Court of Justice of the European Union. The CJEU ruled that an Austrian court can order Facebook to take down statements about an Austrian politician. Called an “oaf” and a “fascist,” the politician more or less proved the truth of the accusations by suing to keep that and similar statements off Facebook worldwide. Trying to find allies for my proposal to adopt blocking legislation to protect the First Amendment from foreign government interference, I argue that President Trump should support such a law. After all, if he were ever to insult a European politician on Twitter, this ruling could lead to litigation that takes his Twitter account off the air. True, he could criticize the judges responsible for the judgment as “French” or “German” without upsetting CNN, but that would be cold comfort. At last, a legislative and international agenda for the Age of Trump!


Continue Reading Episode 281: Can the European Union order Twitter to silence President Trump?

We kick off Episode 267 with Gus Hurwitz reading the runes to see whether a 50-year Chicago winter for antitrust plaintiffs is finally thawing in Silicon Valley. Gus thinks the predictions of global antitrust warming are overhyped. But he recognizes we’re seeing an awful lot of robins on the lawn: The rise of Margrethe Vestager in the EU, the enthusiasm of state AGs for suing Big Tech, and the piling on of Dem presidential candidates and the House of Representatives. Judge Koh’s Qualcomm decision is another straw in the wind, triggering criticism from Gus (“an undue extension of Aspen Skiing”) and me (“the FTC needs a national security minder in privacy and competition law”). Matthew Heiman tells me I’m on the wrong page in suggesting that Silicon Valley’s suppression of conservative speech is a detriment to consumer welfare that the antitrust laws should take into account, even in a Borkian world.


Continue Reading Episode 267: “Call me a fascist again and I’ll get the government to shut you up. Worldwide.”

Brazen Russian intrusions into the US electricity grid lead our episode. I ask Matthew Heiman and Nick Weaver whether Russia intended for us to know about their intrusions (duh, yes!) and how we should respond to the implicit threat to leave Americans freezing in the dark. Their answers and mine show creativity if not exactly sobriety.


Continue Reading Episode 246: Russia’s Successful Search for Deterrence on the Cheap

In episode 84 our guest is Jack Goldsmith, Professor at Harvard Law School, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and co-founder of the Lawfare blog.  Before coming to Harvard, he served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel and Special Counsel to the Department of Defense.  From cyberespionage to the right to be forgotten and the end of the Safe Harbor, we explore the many ways in which a globalized economy has tied the US government’s hands in cybersecurity matters – and subjected the United States to extensive extraterritorial “soft power” at the hands of Europeans.

In the news roundup, the headline news is the continuing fallout from the ECJ’s attack on the Safe Harbor.  Michael Vatis and Maury Shenk bring us up to date.  Jason Weinstein explains why the latest convicted hacker thinks he should be a civil liberties hero/victim – and how weev has found yet another outlet for his bitterness at DOJ.
Continue Reading Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Jack Goldsmith

Podcast 61Our guest for episode 61 of the Cyberlaw podcast is Joseph Nye, former dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard and three-time national security official for State, Defense, and the National Intelligence Council.  We get a magisterial overview of the challenge posed by cyberweapons, how they resemble and differ from nuclear weapons, and (in

Our guest this week is Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), David Medine. We do a deep dive into the 702 program and the PCLOB’s report recommending several changes to it. Glenn Greenwald’s much-touted “fireworks finale” story on NSA may have fizzled, but this week David and I deliver sparks