Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

Metaphor of the Week

“The kale salad of a perfect response”

— student in my Internet Law class.

The context was why people saying nasty things online have an advantage, one reason being that it takes time to craft the kale salad of a perfect response.

Posted in Internet | Leave a comment

Dynasty Fatigue

When half a dozen voters in a conversation say they would back a law that would ban any Bush or Clinton from running, it makes you sit up and take notice.

Bush, Clinton and the Fatigue Factor – NationalJournal.com (via Political Animal).

The prospect of HRC (her royal Clintonness?) being the Democratic party’s nominee fills me with no joy and some dread due to her foreign policy views (too much support for invasions). The Wall St. stuff is bad too, but it’s possible that there might be a populist turn during the campaign…although how much that would translate into governing is a question.

Posted in 2016 Election | Leave a comment

Would You Like to be My Research Assistant?

Apologies, blog readers, but this announcement is for UM Law 1L & 2L students only:

I would like to hire a UM Law student to be my research assistant for 10-15 hours/week during the coming semester. If things work out we might continue into the summer and/or next year.

The work primarily involves assisting me with legal research relating to papers I am writing on privacy and on Internet regulation.

I need someone who can write clearly and is well-organized. If you happen to have some web or programming skills (some or all of WordPress, HTML, MySQL, Perl, Debian), that would be a plus but it is not in any way a requirement.

The pay of $13 / hr is set by the university, and is not as high as you deserve, but the work is sometimes interesting.

If this sounds attractive, please e-mail me the following with the subject line RESEARCH ASSISTANT 2015 (in all caps), followed by your name:

  1. A note telling me
    • Where you saw this announcement
    • How many hours you’d ideally like to work per week
    • When you are free to start.
    • Your phone number and email address.
  2. A copy of your resume (c.v.).
  3. A transcript of your grades (need not be an official copy).
  4. If you have one handy, also attach a short NON-legal writing sample. If you have none, I’ll accept a legal writing sample (whatever you do, though, please don’t send your L-Comm memo).
Posted in Law School | Leave a comment

Herald Buries the Lede

Deep in a Herald puff piece about how Coral Gables homeboy Jeb! Bush likes to play fast golf, we find this gem:

One reason Bush can play golf so quickly on Sundays is that there is nobody ahead of him slowing things down. Citing privacy concerns, Biltmore executives declined to say how the former governor ended up with the premiere tee time, followed by Miami-Dade’s top elected official. Owned by Coral Gables, the Biltmore course is public but also includes a membership option that the website says gives early access to tee-time reservations.

Such a mystery….

[Originally posted 1/12/15, reposted after my hosting service crashed and then restored (most of) the site from backup.]

Posted in 2016 Election, Coral Gables | Leave a comment

Justice Stevens to Speak at U Miami L Rev Syposium

Criminalized Justice: Consequences of Punitive Policy” will be held Feb 6-7 in the Student Activities Center: 1330 Miller Drive, University of Miami, Coral Gables.

The Symposium, entitled “Criminalized Justice: Consequences of Punitive Policy,” will take a critical look at how our nation’s laws have been increasingly criminalized over the past 30 years, the negative consequences of this criminalization, and recent positive developments. We will explore this topic through a variety of subjects, including sentencing policy, immigration, homelessness, and race and social class.

Keynote Speakers

The Honorable John Paul Stevens, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Ret.)
Introduced by Donna Shalala, President, University of Miami

Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney

Topics

 Panel I: The Criminalization of Race and Poverty

This panel will examine how and why an individual is more likely to be targeted by police because of their race, social class, or where they live.  We will discuss the cycle of crime and incarceration that this creates as well as possible solutions to this problem.

Moderator: Charlton Copeland, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Speakers:
Jeffrey Fagan, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Jonathan Simon, Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Tristia Bauman, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

 Panel II: Sentencing Policy and Mass Incarceration

This panel will focus on the impact that the same trend of criminalization has had on incarceration. We hope to discuss the radicalization of punishment and the problems that has created in our country’s prison systems as well as the recent movement away from heavy sentencing.

Moderator: Rebekah J. Poston, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

Speakers:
Franklin Zimring, William G. Simon Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Douglas Berman, Robert J. Watkins/Proctor & Gamble Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Nicole Porter, The Sentencing Project

Panel III: The Criminalization of Immigration Law

Since the Supreme Court’s landmark opinion in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza in 1984 categorizing immigration proceedings as civil in nature, the immigration laws and the ways in which they are enforced have become increasingly criminal. This panel will examine the issues that this criminalization has created and what procedural and substantive protections should be in place as a result.

Moderator: David Abraham, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Speakers:
 Daniel Kanstroom,  Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
Paromita Shah, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
Allegra McLeod, Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown Law

Panel IV: Roundtable Discussion

 Moderator: Mary Anne Franks, Associate Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Posted in Law: Criminal Law, U.Miami | Leave a comment

AALS Android App Wants Ridiculous Number of Permsissons

How many permissions does a meeting app need?

The American Association of Law Schools has an Android app to help guide the perplexed through the giant list of events that is its 2015 annual meeting.

The app seems to want a ridiculous number of permissions and I decided not to install it:

Version 1.0.0 can access:

  • Device & app history
    • retrieve running apps
  • Identity
    • find accounts on the device
    • add or remove accounts
  • Calendar
    • add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners’ knowledge
    • read calendar events plus confidential information
  • Contacts
    • read your contacts
    • modify your contacts
  • Location
    • precise location (GPS and network-based)
    • approximate location (network-based)
  • Phone
    • directly call phone numbers
  • Photos/Media/Files
    • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
    • test access to protected storage
  • Camera
    • take pictures and videos
  • Device ID & call information
    • read phone status and identity
  • Other
    • receive data from Internet
    • pair with Bluetooth devices
    • access Bluetooth settings
    • full network access
    • view network connections
    • control vibration
    • prevent device from sleeping
    • run at startup
    • use accounts on the device
    • send sticky broadcast
    • delete all app cache data

Not to mention that “Updates to AALS2015 may automatically add additional capabilities within each group.”

I’m disappointed that the AALS hasn’t offered an app that is more sensitive to the privacy interests of attendees. What possible functionality does it offer that needs all this?

There is also an iPhone version – no idea if it’s better behaved.

Posted in Talks & Conferences | 3 Comments

See You at the AALS?

I’ll be chairing a panel on “Automated Decision-Making” at the AALS’s Jan 2015 conference. It’s co-sponsored by the Section on Internet and Computer Law and the Section on Defamation and Privacy.

Please come by and say hello, or send an email and maybe we can meet up some other time. One of the good things about the AALS is a chance to see old friends and it’s been a while since I went to one.

The panel, Saturday at 10:30am, should be well worth your time:

Proliferating sensors, affordable data storage, indiscriminate personal data collection, and increasingly robust predictive algorithms individually raise issues related to privacy, security, and due process. Combined, however, these technological advances have created a nearly insatiable appetite for data in order to improve organizational decision-making. The domains across which this voracity reaches include consumer lending, insurance, advertising, legal compliance, national security, and employment.

Automated decision-making promises accuracy and efficiency, but it is also rife with peril. Humans irrationally trust decisions made by computers, even though bias is easily hard-wired into computer systems. The use of personal data to make extremely nuanced and particularized decisions raises a number of privacy concerns. Incorrect inputs risk correspondingly erroneous outputs. Automated decision-making could also have a disparate impact on vulnerable populations that are susceptible to certain kinds of influence or that find it hard to fight back. Compounding this problem is the almost complete lack of meaningful transparency for those subjected to automated decisions.

Policy makers are struggling to respond to the challenges posed by automated decision-making. This panel will explore those challenges and will attempt to identify similarities and differences among the varied domains in which automated decision-making operates.

Moderator:

A. Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law

Panelists:

  • Meg Leta Ambrose, Georgetown University School of Communication, Culture & Technology
  • Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • Dennis D. Hirsch, Capital University Law School
  • Michael Rich, Elon University School of Law

DATE: Saturday, 1/3/2015

TIME: 10:30 am-12:15 pm

ROOM: Thurgood Marshall West, Mezzanine Level, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Posted in Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment