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Media Alert: Join us in Austin to Talk Zombies, SOPA and the Internet of Things at SXSW!

March 8, 2016 , ,

Join Public Knowledge in Austin at this year’s SXSW as our experts tackle two key technology policy issues for 2016: the return of Zombie SOPA through an obscure federal agency, and how the Internet of Things may turn consumer protection on its head.

Charles Duan, Director of the Patent Reform Project, will moderate a panel entitled, “Zombie SOPA: A New Threat to the Open Internet,” on Monday, March 14 at 11 a.m. CST. The following is from the panel’s description:

“The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was defeated in Congress, but there have been backdoor efforts to revive it. One of the most surprising is happening at the International Trade Commission, an agency with powers to block importation of articles based on copyrights or patents.

“The ITC recently decided Internet downloads are blockable ‘importation of articles.’ The decision was widely criticized by tech companies and Internet advocates (but praised by the MPAA, who wants to use it for SOPA-style website blocking). It was recently struck down by a federal court, though the case is ongoing.

“We’ll discuss how we got here and where this decision, and the ITC, are going.”

Raza Panjwani, Policy Counsel, will join a panel entitled, “Internet of Things: Just Someone Else's Computer?,” on Friday, March 11 at 5 p.m. CST. The following is from the panel’s description:

“The Internet of Things not only enables new technological possibilities; it forces us to confront and upend assumptions we have about our devices, our property, and our persons.

“Embedding networked computers in a wider range of objects–not just tablets and phones, but cars, wearables, medical devices, appliances, and homes–generates data about consumers, and gives control over how the devices work and the data they generate to people outside the consumer's home.

“Our laws and behaviors are built around personal control of personal property. But now that those devices are ‘smart,’ they can have ‘loyalties’ to people other than their owners, in their code and in the law.”

Please contact Communications Manager Shiva Stella to schedule an interview with our experts if you’re attending SXSW. You can join the conversation using #sxsw.