How Much Immunity Is Provided by CDA Section 230?

Internet service providers (ISPs) like to believe that in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) Congress afforded them broad immunity from any liability potentially caused by third-party content posted on ISP sites. But how secure is that immunity? Let’s explore a few important cases to explore the answer to that question.

Zeran v. America Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997), was an early case to address the scope of immunity provided to ISPs by CDA Section 230. In that case, an anonymous poster urged the public to call Kenneth Zeran to buy goods displaying disgusting expressions of celebration of the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing. Continue reading How Much Immunity Is Provided by CDA Section 230?

Selfies Going Business Mainstream?

Selfies — are you a fan or a hater? Either way, selfies may soon not only be personal, but they may also have a business function. Stay with me here.

Yes, there are people who take photos of themselves on their smartphones on practically a constant basis so that we can see them in every life activity imaginable on social media or mobile-friendly blogs. And yes, this can be annoying, even if some of these photos might actually be interesting if we were not otherwise inundated by mundane selfie photos. Continue reading Selfies Going Business Mainstream?

Mitigating Cyber Risks

Let’s face it, the Internet can be a scary place from a risk standpoint. Indeed, it seems that on practically a daily basis we hear about a massive security breach and the theft of sensitive and personal data.

So, what are companies to do to mitigate cyber risks? Of course, they should employ the best in class technologies that are designed to block cyber intrusions and attacks. They also should implement and enforce cyber security company-wide policies. Continue reading Mitigating Cyber Risks

Big Everything

We keep hearing about what is going to be “the next big thing.” That concept seems ever-illusive, perhaps because there has been a constant state of “bigness,” if I may call it that, since long before humankind developed the notion of time.

I was fortunate enough last week to participate in the immersive, five-day Big History Institute at Dominican University of California. Scholars from around the country convened to contemplate, share and discuss big history issues, past, present and even future.  Continue reading Big Everything

Facebook A Major Instant-Messaging Player

We all know that Facebook is the social networking beast – with approximately 1.4 billion users across the globe. Who doesn’t have a Facebook page? But if that were not enough, Facebook also is becoming an instant-messaging major player.

Indeed, according to CNET, Facebook Messenger already has as many as 700 million monthly users, as reported by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a recent company annual meeting. Continue reading Facebook A Major Instant-Messaging Player

Self-Driving Cars — Are We Ready?

Many of us feel the need for control – we need to be behind the wheel when in a car. We do not like others to drive us, and when they do, we become the classic backseat drivers – constantly critiquing the technique of whoever is driving besides ourselves.

And then there is the issue of people beyond the wheel in other cars. So many people can be seen screaming in their cars and gesturing angrily at other drivers. This frustration sometimes boils over into true road rage, and unfortunately there have been instances of true violence that have erupted simply because of quarrels about getting cut off in traffic, road speed and other driving issues.  Continue reading Self-Driving Cars — Are We Ready?

Artificial Intelligence – The Potential Emergence of New ‘Human Beings’

Perhaps by now you have seen the recent movie, Ex Machina. If you have not, suffice it to say, an Internet coder is drawn into an unusual experiment in which he engages with a true artificial intelligence (AI) being delivered in the form of an attractive female robot. Is this the stuff of science fiction, or is it possible that humans may transform themselves fundamentally based on human design?

Historically speaking, it was not that long ago that Homo sapiens were not the only human species walking the planet. Indeed, Homo sapiens existed contemporaneously with Neanderthals, and there were other human species along the way as well. As we of course know, Homo sapiens are the only currently surviving human species. But is that about to change? By way of our own ability to create and invent, are we about to change Homo sapiens, or at least some Homo sapiens, into yet a new form? Continue reading Artificial Intelligence – The Potential Emergence of New ‘Human Beings’

Cyber Risks Are Here and Now

The Internet provides an abundance of benefits in so many aspects of our lives. We have information at our fingertips. We are in touch with our family and friends in myriad new and different ways. We can make purchases from our computers and our phones, without the hassle of having to go to out to the store. And the list of benefits go on and on.

But that is not the end of our story. No, indeed. The Internet, unfortunately, also creates many risks and liabilities for us as well. Recent data suggest the following disturbing trends.  Continue reading Cyber Risks Are Here and Now

Selfie Sticks — Love Them, Hate Them, Ban Them?

The topic for today: selfie sticks. How do you feel about them — positive, negative or indifferent?

Let’s backtrack a bit first with a brief history lesson.

Long ago, actually more than a century ago, self portraits usually were created when an artist looked into a mirror and then attempted to paint his or her likeness on a canvas. Continue reading Selfie Sticks — Love Them, Hate Them, Ban Them?