Tag

politics

Deepfakes

Deepfakes: 2019 in Review

By now, many people are aware of Deepfakes: a form of digital impersonation, in which the face and voice of a person can be superimposed into video and audio recordings of another individual. But much has happened from technological, social and legal perspectives since deepfakes first surfaced in 2017. Here’s a roundup of the technological and legal changes we’ve seen. Deepfakes are now mainstream 2019 has seen deepfakes go from niche novelty to mainstream phenomenon. As any moviegoer knows, computer-generated special effects are nothing new. But deepfakes have captured the public’s imagination because they can be created with startling accuracy…

Free Speech / Social Media

Can the Rockets Rebound? The NBA’s Twitter Problem in China

One tweet from the general manager of an NBA team shows us how a well-intentioned post on social media can have explosive financial and political impact. It also serves as a stark reminder of internet censorship in China. Two weeks ago, the General Manager of an American basketball team found himself in the middle of an international political scandal. Daryl Morey, who has managed the Houston Rockets for over a decade, tweeted a message of support for protestors in Hong Kong. This led to a massive troll mob against Morey, and a major falling out between NBA fans in China,…

Free Speech

Regulating the Raunchy? Free speech and obscenity under Miller v. California

One of the most interesting aspects of being a technology lawyer is that it necessarily requires a strong understanding of Internet regulation and digital rights, including the right to express yourself online.  As such, free speech is one of my favourite areas of legal history and theory.  Coincidentally, two major US Supreme Court cases regarding free speech were decided on this day —  21 June! This post takes a look at one of them: Miller v. California [1973].  In a later post, I’ll explore a second landmark free speech case decided on 21 June: Texas v. Johnson [1989]. The Constitution in Court.   Most…

Privacy Law

Do Neo-Nazis have a right to privacy?

Earlier this month, a leftist art collective in Germany called the Centre for Political Beauty (Zentrum für Politische Schönheit or “ZPS”) launched a website to name and shame neo-Nazis. At soko-chemnitz.de, people were invited to examine photographs taken during this summer’s violent anti-immigration protests in Chemnitz, and in exchange for identifying suspected right-wing demonstrators, would receive a crowd-funded reward of at least €30. The twist? The image recognition database was a honeypot: a sophisticated hoax to induce neo-Nazis into identifying themselves. This recent project gives rise to serious questions regarding the exploitation of personal data for illegitimate or unlawful purposes – even if those…