The Supreme Court's recent decision in Packingham v. North Carolina struck down, as unconstitutional under the First Amendment, a state law making it a felony for registered sex offenders to access social media websites. The decision has wide-ranging potential implications for technology law, especially on matters of rights to access the internet, which are particularly important for marginalized and disenfranchised voices in our society. Below, Harold Feld reviews the Packingham decision and explores its implications for one area of law: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's provisions regarding termination of Internet access for accused copyright infringers. This post was originally posted on Harold's personal blog, "Tales of the Sausage Factory," on wetmachine.com.
An appeal playing out in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over mobile phone labeling exposes a phenomenon of great import to the future of technology: corporate use of the First Amendment to ax regulation. The stakes are seemingly rather small in the case of CTIA v. City of Berkeley. It involves a humble municipal ordinance requiring cell phone retailers to disclose the same information about permissible levels of radiofrequency (RF) radiation that the Federal Communications Commission already requires mobile phone manufacturers to reveal in their manuals.
As EFF has noted, a troubling bill has been making its way through the Florida state legislature. The bill, with versions in both the state House and Senate, would require anyone "dealing in...the electronic dissemination of commercial recordings or audiovisual works" to post their "true and correct name, physical address, and email or telephone number" on their site.