The Committee for Justice | Law & Technology

The Supreme Court of Tech: Bringing Courts into the Digital Age 

July 13, 2020

Media Contact: Curt Levey

(202) 510-0128; clevey@committeeforjustice.org

Committee for Justice president Curt Levey issued the following statement:

Washington, D.C. -- The Committee for Justice decided to get involved in this case because several of the issues at stake – including overcriminalization, fair notice, the rule of lenity, and the federal-state balance in criminal law – are at the heart of CFJ's mission of promoting the rule of law and preserving the Constitution's limits on federal power and its protection of individual liberty.

While the language of the CFAA is arguably ambiguous, the government's reading, which would make it a crime merely to access a computer or the internet for an unauthorized purpose, cannot be correct. As our brief points out, its reading would "weaponiz[e] every set of computer use guidelines and every website’s terms of service, it would make a criminal of nearly everyone—public officials and ordinary citizens alike."

Along with common sense, the "rule o...

June 18, 2020

Commissioner O’Rielly served for many years as a leading policy analyst and advisor to the House and Senate Commerce Committees. At the FCC, Commissioner O’Rielly has stayed true to a Constitutionalist regulatory philosophy focused on the rule of law and economic freedom, and regulatory intervention only when it is justified and narrowly tailored. He has built an impressive record of achievements with distinguished leadership on many critical issues including spectrum; 5G and wireless services; broadcast and media; regulatory modernization; FCC process reform; internet freedom; and combatting corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse.

June 15, 2020

Our panel last month discussed Robert Bork’s consumer welfare standard, which has heavily influenced the evolution of antitrust analysis and enforcement over the past 42 years, and how Bork’s paradigm is under attack. Many defenders of the rule of law are concerned with the populist notion that competition law should be weaponized and used as a tool to address broader socio-economic concerns. Furthermore, adopting populist proposals that seek to rewrite antitrust law would upend more than a century of legal and economic learning and progress. This week, we will dive deeper into the recent populist antitrust movement and how the failure to distinguish between the proper and improper uses of antitrust laws poses a threat to the rule of law.

Only Congress can remove 230, so the EO empowers the administrative state, said Committee for Justice Director-Public Policy Ashley Baker. “It’s also notable that it does so by asking the NTIA to direct the FCC to make rules,” she said. “Since the FCC is an independent agency, the president cannot directly order it to do this.”

May 31, 2020

Curt Levey, president of the limited government nonprofit Committee for Justice, said fact-checking becomes a “no-win situation” for social media companies if they face legal challenges for their decisions. “We don’t know what the 230 landscape is going to look like years from now,” he said. “The safest thing to do would be to stop fact-checking. No one is going to sue you for not fact-checking...”

May 30, 2020

Journalists and academics seem convinced that artificial intelligence is often biased against women and racial minorities. If Washington’s new facial recognition law is a guide, legislators see the same problem. But is it true? It’s not hard to find patterns in AI decisions that have a disparate impact on protected groups. Is this bias? And if so, whose?

May 29, 2020

Curt Levey — president of the Committee for Justice, a nonprofit group promoting limited government and judicial nominations — said that the executive order itself has 'limited teeth' regarding Section 230, since it requests the independent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adjust their interpretations of Section 230. Still, if the FTC were to take some action at Trump’s request, that would “surely be challenged” in the courts, he said.

May 29, 2020

The Administration cannot order the FCC and FTC, both independent agencies, to take any actions. While the executive order's more limited approach – petitioning the FCC for rulemaking and directing the FCC to 'consider taking action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law' – is permissible, the FCC rules and FTC enforcement actions that result may be unlawful. Depending on the details, they may well violate the First Amendment rights of social media platforms or interpret Section 230 in a manner inconsistent with the statutory text, its intent, and its interpretation by the courts.

May 28, 2020

May 25, 2020 marks two years since the landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, and European regulators find themselves struggling to enforce a law that has burdened the economy through enormous compliance costs and created more confusion than clarity. Meanwhile in the US, recent concerns over contact tracing and public health data during the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the tension between a person’s right to privacy and the public’s right to know. What lessons for U.S. policy can be learned through the mistakes of others? Three leading privacy experts take an in-the-trenches look at how our privacy laws work (or don’t), recent failures in the states and abroad, and what is on the horizon as state and federal lawmakers decide whether Europe’s privacy regulations belong on this side of the Atlantic.

May 21, 2020

It should not be a point of contention to say that the FCC is the agency of jurisdiction in commercial spectrum policy, but it appears to have become one. Federal law (and more than two decades of federal practice) makes clear the process by which federal agencies work with the FCC to construct a uniform, coherent federal policy. When those processes are not followed, as the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee ​recently observed​, the interests of the United States suffer and our international leadership on spectrum matters is compromised. In the case of the Ligado Networks license modification, the FCC meticulously followed these processes. The FCC fully consulted with relevant federal agencies at each stage of the process, and proceeded in a careful, deliberate, and open manner, properly balancing competing interests and protecting critical GPS operations.

May 14, 2020

Robert Bork’s consumer welfare paradigm, which has heavily influenced the evolution of antitrust analysis and enforcement over the past 42 years, is under attack. Critics from both parties assert not only that antitrust has been unable to keep up with developments in the high tech, finance, and communications industries, but also that competition law should be weaponized and used as a tool to address broader concerns such as privacy, inequality, and political viewpoint discrimination. In response, the DOJ and FTC have launched investigations into Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Google. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee has launched its own investigation into these companies and are also reviewing whether changes are necessary to existing antitrust laws. It is critical to understand the arguments at the core of the antitrust debate and what is motivating recent proposals. Will Robert Bork’s “consumer welfare” standard survive?

May 12, 2020

Robert Bork’s consumer welfare paradigm, which has heavily influenced the evolution of antitrust analysis and enforcement over the past 42 years, is under attack. Critics from both parties assert not only that antitrust has been unable to keep up with developments in the high tech, finance, and communications industries, but also that competition law should be weaponized and used as a tool to address broader concerns such as privacy, inequality, and political viewpoint discrimination. In response, the DOJ and FTC have launched investigations into Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Google. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee has launched its own investigation into these companies and are also reviewing whether changes are necessary to existing antitrust laws. It is critical to understand the arguments at the core of the antitrust debate and what is motivating recent proposals. Will Robert Bork’s “consumer welfare” standard survive? Featuring: Hon. Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Hon. Joshu...

May 11, 2020

How data privacy laws should be enforced remains a key flashpoint in the debates over potential data privacy legislation. Some argue that data protection laws will need a private right of action to have the teeth necessary to prevent consumer harm. What might the consequences of allowing litigation in this area be? What are the implications of the recent storm of litigation in state courts and in the 9th Circuit? And will we see many lawsuits coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic? Our panelists will give an update on recent data privacy litigation and discuss broader trends and implications for privacy law.

May 3, 2020

How data privacy laws should be enforced remains a key flashpoint in the debates over potential data privacy legislation. Some argue that data protection laws will need a private right of action to have the teeth necessary to prevent consumer harm. What might the consequences of allowing litigation in this area be? What are the implications of the recent storm of litigation in state courts and in the 9th Circuit? And will we see many lawsuits coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic? Our panelists will give an update on recent data privacy litigation and discuss broader trends and implications for privacy law.

April 27, 2020

In this virtual panel, legal and policy experts share their views of the court’s opinion, agency deference, and what is next in the net neutrality debate and in the courts.

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