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Daily Archives: April 17, 2023

The Promise and Perils of Tech Whistleblowing

Bloch-Wehba, Hannah, The Promise and Perils of Tech Whistleblowing (March 3, 2023). Northwestern University Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

“Whistleblowers and leakers wield significant influence in technology law and policy. On topics ranging from cybersecurity to free speech, tech whistleblowers spur congressional hearings, motivate the introduction of legislation, and animate critical press coverage of tech firms. But while scholars and policymakers have long called for transparency and accountability in the tech sector, they have overlooked the significance of individual disclosures by industry insiders—workers, employees, and volunteers—who leak information that firms would prefer to keep private. This Article offers an account of the rise and influence of tech whistleblowing. Radical information asymmetries pervade tech law and policy. Firms exercise near-complete control over corporate information, shielding their activities from oversight and scrutiny by regulators and the public. Secrecy, however, begets leaks, and leaks have become the de facto source of crucial information for lawmakers, regulators, and the public. Today, whistleblowing is an important part of broader efforts to bring accountability and transparency to the tech industry. Yet existing frameworks for protecting whistleblowers are partial and haphazard. The law often permits firms to retaliate against internal critics, leakers, and organizers. The result is an informational environment shaped by selective disclosures on the part of tech whistleblowers, and enormous discretion for tech firms that can choose whether and how to respond. Whistleblowing is therefore an incomplete, but still significant, source of information in the absence of meaningful, rigorous, and systematic transparency rules. I make the case that broader protections for whistleblowing are a necessary component of systemic regulation of the tech sector.”

Over 1,000 Companies Have Curtailed Operations in Russia—But Some Remain

Yale School of Management: “Since the invasion of Ukraine began, we have been tracking the responses of well over 1,200 companies, and counting. Over 1,000 companies have publicly announced they are voluntarily curtailing operations in Russia to some degree beyond the bare minimum legally required by international sanctions — but some companies have continued to operate… Continue Reading

Of Course This Is How the Intelligence Leak Happened

The Atlantic: “National-security leaks. Insurrections. Bank runs. Group chats are now the most powerful force on the internet…Group chats aren’t just good for triggering geopolitical crises—they’re also an effective means to start a bank run, as the world learned last month. The investor panic that led to the swift collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in… Continue Reading

Tackling Technostress

RIPS Law Librarian / Laura Scott: “I chuckled when I recently happened upon the term “technostress” during some otherwise depressing research on librarians and burnout. Like “cyberspace” or “computer-assisted legal research,” technostress struck me as something I would need a flux capacitor and some legwarmers to experience fully. After all, technology is now an essential… Continue Reading

How is Congress handling the TikTok conundrum?

Brookings: “The potential security implications of China’s corporate control of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance have scaled up in recent years as U.S.-China relations have soured and China has expanded its domestic social, political, and economic controls. But Congress’ potential answer — the RESTRICT Act — has its flaws. Cam Kerry examines TikTok’s challenges, other ways… Continue Reading

ChatGPT Gets Its ‘Wolfram Superpowers

Stephen Wolfram (March 2023), “ChatGPT Gets Its ‘Wolfram Superpowers’: Early in January I wrote about the possibility of connecting ChatGPT to Wolfram|Alpha. And today—just two and a half months later—I’m excited to announce that it’s happened! Thanks to some heroic software engineering by our team and by OpenAI, ChatGPT can now call on Wolfram|Alpha—and Wolfram… Continue Reading

After leak, Pentagon purges some users’ access to classified programs, launches security review

Breaking Defense: “As the Department of Justice continues investigating the breadth of the Discord leak, the Pentagon has launched a review of its security policies and procedures and is paring back just who has access to highly classified information, a Pentagon spokeswoman announced today. Late last week, a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National… Continue Reading

POGO Calls for DOJ to Investigate Clarence Thomas, Seek Civil Penalties

“On behalf of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), we write to urge the Department of Justice to investigate the recently reported decades-long failure of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to disclose his receipt of gifts potentially worth millions of dollars. Unless the investigation reveals that the facts differ radically from what has been reported,… Continue Reading