It’s certainly fitting that a decision released on July 4 will set off fireworks on the Cyberlaw Podcast. The source of the drama was Injunction by U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty banning several federal agencies from relying on social media platforms to suppress speech the agencies dislike. Megan Stifel, Paul Rosenzweig, and I couldn’t disagree more with the decision, which I think is entirely justified, given the menacing and incessant message from the White House telling platforms exactly whose speech needs to be removed. Paul and Megan argue that this isn’t about censorship, that the judge got the law wrong, and that I should invite a few content moderation aficionados over for an hour-long episode on the subject.
This all comes after a much less controversial review of recent stories about artificial intelligence. Sultan Meghji minimizes OpenAI complaint that they have stepped forward to prevent the emergence of a “misaligned” – i.e. evil – superintelligence. We note what may be the first real “liar’s dividend” in a deep fake voice. Even more interesting is the prospect that the great language models will end up poisoning themselves by consume own waste – i.e. by being trained in recent internet discourse that includes large volumes of text created by earlier models. This could block AI progress, Sultan suggests. But no, I predict this before government regulation tries to do the same; as a witness, New York law require companies that use AI to hire to disclose all the evidence necessary to prosecute them for discrimination. Big content lawyers are also vying to load big language models with rent-seeking demands. Sultan and I are trying to separating the few legitimate intellectual property claims against AI from the many false ones. I channel a recent candidate for governor of New York by saying that rent seeking is too high.
Paul dissects China’s most recent self-destructive effort to dissuade the West from decoupling from Chinese supply chains. It seems that China was so eager to punish the West that it deployment of supply chain sanctions before getting the leverage to make the punishment last. Speaking of self-defeating Chinese government policies, the government’s two-minute hate directed among Chinese fintech giants is apparently coming to an end.
Sultan guides us through the wreckage of America’s cryptocurrency industry, stopping to note the executive exodus from Binance and the end of the view that cryptocurrency could be settled with US regulatory authorities. That won’t happen in this administration, and maybe in none, an outcome that will set back financial modernization here for years. I renew my promise to obtain Gus Coldebella on the podcast to see if he can turn the tide of negativism.
In quick hits and updates:
- There is an ongoing effort to amend the National Defense Authorization Act to prevent US government agencies, and only US government agencies, from purchasing publicly available data. We are skeptical this will pass.
- The EU and the United States have entered into a (third) transatlantic data transfer agreementand just in time for Meta, who was facing a new round of concurrency attacks on its compliance with data protection.
- Canada, which already looks inefficient for passing a link tax that led Facebook and Google to simply drop their links to Canadian media, now looks ineffective and mean-spirited, announcing that it has pulled its paltry advertising facebook budget.
- Oh, and last year’s social media villain is this year’s social media hero, at least on the left, as Meta launches Threads and threatens Twitter’s hopes of recovering from a turbulent year.
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