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Internet & Social Media

  • Pillsbury's Post-Election Outlook
    11.07/Alert

    The 2018 Midterm Election played out as most poll forecasters speculated. Although several races have yet to be decided, Republicans have retained control of the Senate, but lost at least 29 seats, allowing the Democrats to wrest back control of the House for the first time since 2010.

  • 2018 Election Night Guide
    11.02/Article

    Pillsbury’s Political Law and Public Policy groups break down the need-to-know numbers for this year’s election. Pillsbury’s biennial Election Night Guide examines the potential outcomes for the 2018 Congressional and Governor’s races. Our Public Policy team is also preparing a post-election guide that will be useful in navigating potential changes in Congress.

  • The Dangers of Training Neural Networks with Phone Calls
    05.15/Blog

    If you haven’t seen Sundar Pichai’s presentation on Google Duplex, watch it. The technology is fascinating. Google is developing software that can assist users in completing specific tasks such as making reservations by telephone.

  • Who Is Ultimately in the Driver’s Seat with Autonomous Vehicles?
    05.08/Blog

    When Eddie Rabbitt sang “Drivin’ My Life Away” in 1980, he was chronicling the life of a roadie, of a life spent behind the wheel. At the time, autonomous driving vehicles were still a distant speck on the horizon of the information highway. Today, we are on the cusp of a revolution that offers a near future where no one will have to spend his or her life behind a wheel. As always, the future carries new concerns, dangers and legal developments. We have already seen our first accidents and fatalities related to autonomous driving, and the regulatory and liability landscape is quickly setting context for this new technology—twenty-two states and Washington, D.C., have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles (with more pending).

  • Bill Expands Corporate Liability for Human Trafficking to Social Media Companies
    03.27/Alert

    The recently passed Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) creates civil liability for social media companies that benefit from a human trafficker’s online media presence if they “should have known” that their platform was being utilized for such exploitation.

  • Cloud Computing by EU Financial Institutions Gets a New Rule Book
    01.23/Alert

    EU Financial institutions take note: the European Banking Authority’s new cloud computing guidance takes effect July 1, 2018.

  • The Algorithm Did It: The Evolving Legal Landscape of the Internet’s Favorite Tool
    12.19/Blog

    There are no shortage of practical, legal considerations for businesses that employ algorithms.

  • Disclose or Else: FTC Steps Up Prosecution of Social Media Influencers
    09.14/Blog

    In September 2017, the Federal Trade Commission brought its first-ever action against a social media influencer for failing to make appropriate disclosures on sponsored posts. Going forward, anyone who posts sponsored material or even tags a brand in a post should seriously consider the possibility of FTC prosecution.

  • The Internet Stole My Face: New Advances in Technology Could Make Everyone a Digital Video Puppet
    08.30/Blog

    Visual effects artists can create realistic digital replicas of actors that can be manipulated like puppets, and new developments in software technology could soon make digital puppetry accessible to the masses. Protections against unauthorized use of digital replicas can involve copyright or traditional tort claims, but if this technology continues to spread, the difficulty in controlling one’s own likeness will probably increase.

  • The Doxing Dilemma: A Popular Tactic of Social Activists and Cyber Bullies Alike Remains Mostly Legal
    08.21/Blog

    Doxing, the gathering and public distribution of information such as photographs, telephone numbers and addresses found on the internet, may be done to harass or bully someone, or as a form of vigilante activism. While tort remedies could be available, it remains to be seen whether legislation can effectively target doxing without infringing on freedom of speech.

  • Fake and Consequences: Weathering the Reputational Risks and Financial Fallout of “News” that Abuses
    08.14/Blog

    False stories, whether created for fun, mischief or money, quickly become a nuisance to businesses trying to protect their brands and maintain their reputations. Although businesses injured by fake news stories may find refuge in existing laws, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) presents a significant barrier by protecting providers and users of interactive computer services from liability as publishers of information provided by third parties.

  • Bill Banning Streaming Video Tax Rejected
    05.04/Alert

    On April 24, 2017, the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation voted unanimously to postpone for at least one year a bill that would temporarily ban California localities from taxing streaming video services.

  • Internet Vino Veritas: Rules and Guidelines for Social Media Efforts Related to Alcohol Sales
    04.03/Blog

    Highly regulated products like alcohol, however, pose a special situation for online sales. Federal and state laws regulate the sale of alcohol in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, but these regulations also extend to the internet, and how these regulations are applied to an online environment is much more complicated. Each state has its own set of laws restricting the sale and purchase of alcohol, so depending on which state you live in, the restrictions differ.