The Food and Drug Administration’s 2016 Deeming Rule classified e-cigarettes and other vaping materials as tobacco products and imposed strict regulations on what vaping entrepreneurs can say to their customers, even though advocates say these technologies can reduce the harm from smoking and help some smokers quit entirely. In response, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is taking FDA officials to court on behalf of small business owners on the grounds that the rules violate free speech and were enacted unconstitutionally. Joining us is Thomas Berry, Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation who is leading this legal effort.
On International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting the stories of several incredibly talented women in tech policy. They discuss what brought them to tech policy, and what drives them on this career path. Featured in this episode are: Gigi Sohn, a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and Mozilla Policy Fellow; Michelle Richardson, Deputy Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology's Freedom, Security, and Technology Project; Dr. Betsy Cooper, executive director of the Berkley Center for Long-Term Cyber Security; Cathy Gellis, lawyer with a focus on Internet issues; Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel for the ACLU; Carrie Wade, Director of Harm Reduction Policy and Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute; and Tiffany Li, resident fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project.
Tomorrow the House of Representatives will vote on the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA). However, the bill to be voted on includes an amendment that merges it with the drastically different Senate counterpart bill. What the bill gets right, and what does it get wrong? How is Congress likely to resolve the conflicts between the two version? And most importantly, how will this legislation affect victims of sex trafficking? Eric Goldman, professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, and Berin Szóka, President of Techfreedom join Ashkhen to discuss.
The world in 2018 is interconnected. Cybersecurity threats are widespread — even at the 2018 Winter Olympics. As we recorded this episode in January, our guest warned us of potential cybersecurity attacks. And just last week organizers in Pyeongchang confirmed that a cyberattack crippled important IT systems, bringing down display monitors, Wi-Fi and the Olympics website just ahead of the opening ceremony. Government, private and corporate data is constantly under attack from bad actors like this. That’s where cybersecurity comes in. In this episode we are joined by Dr. Betsy Cooper, the Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. Dr. Cooper breaks down “cybersecurity”: defining and assessing it, the risks it carries, and the future of cybersecurity.
The controversial memo prepared by Rep. Nunes (R-CA) hasn’t left the newscycle since its release on February 2. Berin recorded this special episode from the Bay Area and is joined by Jennifer Granick, the “NBA All-Star of surveillance law,” and the Surveillance and Cybersecurity Counsel at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Jennifer breaks down FISA, the authority that allowed collection of the information used in the memo, and the intricacies of the infamous memo.
The effort to overturn FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order already has 50 Senators signed onto the Congressional Review Act - a vehicle chosen by Senate Democrats in attempt to bring back Obara-era net neutrality regulations. To break down what a CRA is and the prospects of its passage we have invited the leading experts in the field: Gigi Sohn - a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy, a Mozilla Fellow, Counselor to the Former FCC Chairman Wheeler and Berin Szóka, President of TechFreedom.
Recently Facebook has unveiled multiple planned changes to its newsfeed. Now we will see more content from our friends and fewer posts from news sites and businesses. They also hand checking the credibility of news organizations by users and the wider Facebook community. This has likely been done in response to the harsh criticism of the information dissemination that happened before the 2016 Presidential election. Facebook and other platforms that host third party content are often called “information intermediaries.” In this episode, we dig into the current challenges they face in the modern social media era and are joined by Tiffany Li, Resident Fellow at Yale Law, who leads the the Wikimedia/Yale Law School Initiative on Intermediaries and Information.
While some may have started 2018 with a resolution to quit smoking, statistics say many will fail. In this episode we explore harm reduction as a path to achieving smoke free future and discuss the UK's Royal College of Physicians, one of the first researchers to raise the alarm on the dangers of smoking, has released a report underlining that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than their combustible counterparts. To give us a 101 on harm reduction, vaping and e-cigarettes we invited Carrie Wade, Director of Harm Reduction Policy and Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute.
On our new episode we are joined by Jared Meyer, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability to discuss changes that executive and legislative branch made in regards to the definitions of “contractor” and “employer” and how that’s going to affect the sharing economy. For more on the topic, read Jared’s op-ed in Forbes and follow him on Twitter.
Four years after the Snowden disclosures, Congress continues to wrestle with surveillance issues. These include an ongoing reform battle over Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—a major intelligence surveillance law that targets foreigners but can result in warrantless spying on people in the US. Despite the size of the programs the government conducts under Section 702, and the fact that the FBI currently can query Section 702 data without a warrant, the government has provided notice of its use of 702 surveillance data in only about eight criminal cases. One reason notification may be so rare in Section 702 cases is a practice called “parallel construction,” which the government may also be using to conceal the use of even bigger or more problematic surveillance programs carried out under a separate authority called Executive Order 12333. We are joined by Sarah St. Vincent, Researcher at Human Rights Watch, their report on parallel construction comes out January 2018.