The Cyberlaw Podcast: Judge Oldham Bails Out Texas

Stewart Baker
Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 3:14 PM

The latest episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast. 

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

The big news of the week was a Fifth Circuit decision upholding Texas social media regulation law. It was poorly received by the usual supporters of social media censorship but I found it both remarkably well written and surprisingly persuasive. That does not mean it will survive the almost inevitable Supreme Court review but Judge AndyOldham wrote an opinion that could be a model for a Supreme Court decision upholding Texas law. 

The big hacking story of the week was a brutal takedown of Uber, probably by the dreaded Advanced Persistent Teenager. Dave Aitel explains what happened and why no other large corporation should feel smug or certain that it cannot happen to them. Nick Weaver piles on.

Maury Shenk explains the recent European court decision upholding sanctions on Google for its restriction of Android phone implementations.

Dave points to some of the less well publicized aspects of the Twitter whistleblower’s testimony before Congress. We agree on the bottom line—that Twitter is utterly incapable of protecting either U.S. national security or even the security of its users’ messages. If there were any doubt about that, it would be laid to rest by Twitter’s dependence on Chinese government advertising revenue.

Maury and Nick tutor me on The Merge, which moves Ethereum from “proof of work‘ to “proof of stake,” massively reducing the climate footprint of the cryptocurrency. They are both surprisingly upbeat about it.

Maury also lays out a new European proposal for regulating the internet of things—and, I point out—for massively increasing the cost of all those things.

China is getting into the attribution game. It has issued a report blaming the National Security Agency for intruding on Chinese educational institution networks. Dave is not impressed.

The Department of Homeland security, in breaking news from 2003, has been keeping the contents of phones it seizes on the border. Dave predicts that the Department of Homeland Security will have to further pull back on its current practices. I’m less sure.

Now that China is regulating vulnerability disclosures, are Chinese companies reluctant to disclose vulnerabilities outside China? The Atlantic Council has a report on the subject, but Dave thinks the results are ambiguous at best.

In quick hits:

And I explain why it is in fact possible that the FBI and Silicon Valley are working together to identify conservatives for potential criminal investigation.

Download the 422nd Episode (mp3) 

You can subscribe to The Cyberlaw Podcast using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Pocket Casts, or our RSS feed. As always, The Cyberlaw Podcast is open to feedback. Be sure to engage with @stewartbaker on Twitter. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions for topics or interviewees to [email protected]. Remember: If your suggested guest appears on the show, we will send you a highly coveted Cyberlaw Podcast mug!

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of their institutions, clients, friends, families, or pets.

Stewart A. Baker is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. He returned to the firm following 3½ years at the Department of Homeland Security as its first Assistant Secretary for Policy. He earlier served as general counsel of the National Security Agency.

Subscribe to Lawfare