Home » 2017 » August

Monthly Archives: August 2017

Lessons for Judges on Social Media

Lessons for Judges on Social Media

Interesting article at LegalTechNews discussing the various ways judges have been tripped up using social media.


The IRS Is Mining Taxpayer Data On Social Media In Violation Of Federal Privacy Law

The IRS Is Mining Taxpayer Data On Social Media In Violation Of Federal Privacy Law

Kimberly Houser


Debra Sanders 


This Article examines the privacy issues resulting from the IRS’s big data analytics program as well as the potential violations of federal law. Although historically, the IRS chose tax returns to audit based on internal mathematical mistakes or mismatches with third party reports (such as W-2s), the IRS is now engaging in data mining of public and commercial data pools (including social media) and creating highly detailed profiles of taxpayers upon which to run data analytics. This Article argues that current IRS practices, mostly unknown to the general public are violating fair information practices. This lack of transparency and accountability not only violates federal law regarding the government’s data collection activities and use of predictive algorithms, but may also result in discrimination.

While the potential efficiencies that big data analytics provides may appear to be a panacea for the IRS’s budget woes, unchecked, these activities are a significant threat to privacy. Other concerns regarding the IRS’s entrée into big data are raised including the potential for political targeting, data breaches, and the misuse of such information. This Article intends to bring attention to these privacy concerns and contribute to the academic and policy discussions about the risks presented by the IRS’s data collection, mining and analytics activities.

Facebook is Hiring


Facebook is Hiring

Job description

Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Through our family of apps and services, we’re building a different kind of company that connects billions of people around the world, gives them ways to share what matters most to them, and helps bring people closer together. Whether we’re creating new products or helping a small business expand its reach, people at Facebook are builders at heart. Our global teams are constantly iterating, solving problems, and working together to empower people around the world to build community and connect in meaningful ways. Together, we can help people build stronger communities — we’re just getting started.Facebook is seeking a highly motivated, team player to serve as Legal Counsel, Advertising Content Policy. The position will focus on supporting Facebook’s advertising and commercial content policies and requires application of a complex, evolving legal framework. This is a great opportunity to join a growing legal team and to work on novel issues in an exciting, fast-paced environment. This position is based in Menlo Park, CA.


  • Provide counsel on global advertising and commercial content policies and supporting legal framework

  • Coordinate with content policy, operations, legal and product teams to implement and enforce content standards

  • Working with outside counsel and international colleagues, organize and track evolving legal requirements across the globe and industry verticals

  • Support escalations on advertising content assessment and takedown requests

  • Guide product teams on legal standards for advertising and business platform products

Minimum Qualification

  • JD with membership in at least one state bar

  • 3+ years of relevant legal experience, including at a law firm or prior in-house experience (applicable litigation, regulatory or product counseling experience will be considered)

  • Experience assessing and harmonizing a diverse set of legal standards across topics and jurisdictions

Preferred Qualification

  • Content liability counseling related to CDA Sec. 230 or similar international frameworks

  • Experience with online advertising industry, including from the perspective of social media or other internet/platform companies, ad agencies, advertisers or publishers

  • Experience with international advertising requirements within regulated industries

    For more information go here.

Prosecutor Faces Ethics Hearing Over Bogus Facebook Account


Prosecutor Faces Ethics Hearing Over Bogus Facebook Account

ABCNews.com: Prosecutor faces hearing over her texting, Facebook account

Twitter and the #So-Called Judge

Elizabeth Thornburg


Twitter and the #So-Called Judge


One-hundred-forty characters may be insufficient to deliver a treatise on the judiciary, but it is more than enough to deliver criticism of the third branch of government. Today, these tweeted critiques sometimes come not from the general public but from the President himself. Attacks such as these come at a challenging time for court systems. We live in a highly politicized, polarized society. This polarization is reflected in attitudes toward the courts, particularly the federal courts. Unfortunately, public doubts about the court system come at a time when public understanding of the structure of government, and especially the court system, is abysmally low.

All of this context raises a number of related questions. When the prolific executive tweeter calls out a federal judge, is President Trump just venting or has he tapped into a strong subset of American opinion on the judiciary? And, if so, does a “so-called judge” have a role in engaging, informing, perhaps even rebutting these opinions? Further, could 140 characters be an effective platform to use in fulfilling that role?

This article will address the specific issue of judges using Twitter to promote the interests of the courts as institutions. After section II’s brief description of the mechanics of Twitter, section III will discuss why and how judges communicate through Twitter.

Section IV will sound a note of caution based on two factors:

1) a web of judicial ethics rules that limit judicial speech (including Twitter); and

2) the nature of the Twitter experience and the way people use it, which can hinder attempts to effectively reach the desired audience.

The article will conclude by arguing that in this day and age, when much of America gets its news from social media and those platforms are being used to delegitimize the judiciary, the third branch can ill afford to disengage. Judicial tweeting, within the limits of the ethics rules, should be encouraged rather than shunned.

From Tweeter to Terrorist: Combatting Online Propaganda When Jihad Goes Viral

Donna Farag


From Tweeter to Terrorist: Combatting Online Propaganda When Jihad Goes Viral


More than 6,900 Westerners have traveled to Syria as foreign fighters for terrorist organizations, most notably ISIS. At least 150 of the foreign fighters were from the United States, and as of February 2017, 109 Americans have been charged with crimes related to supporting ISIS. This Note explores ISIS’s organized social mediacampaigns and its success in attracting Western recruits. It discusses proposals to curb ISIS’s online impact and the constitutional implications of the government adopting such proposals. This Note argues that in limited situations, judicial review of the government’s content based regulations over social media algorithms to combat terrorist propaganda should be subject to only intermediate — rather than strict — scrutiny.

Bill targeting online sex trafficking faces tech groups’ opposition

the hill.png

Bill targeting online sex trafficking faces tech groups’ opposition

Ten internet trade associations have cosigned a letter to the chairs of the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on investigations protesting the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which the groups say erodes Communications Decency Act protections. The associations say the bill would force them to take down a high volume of user content and face heavy liability burdens.

The Hill