The Cyberlaw Podcast

The Cyberlaw Podcast: The Robot Apocalypse and You

By Stewart Baker
Tuesday, May 4, 2021, 8:51 AM

Our interview is with Kevin Roose, author of Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation that debunks most of the comforting stories we use to anaesthetize ourselves to the danger that artificial intelligence and digitization poses to our jobs. Luckily, he also offers some practical and very personal ideas for how to avoid being caught in the oncoming robot apocalypse.

In the news roundup, Dmitri Alperovitch and I take a few moments to honor Dan Kaminsky, an extraordinary internet security and even more extraordinarily decent man. He died too young, at 42, as Nicole Perlroth demonstrates in one of her career-best articles.

Maury Shenk and Mark MacCarthy lay out the EU’s plan to charge Apple with anti-competitive behaviour in running its app store.

Under regulation-friendly EU competition law, the more austere U.S. version, it sure looks as though Apple is going to have trouble escaping unscathed.

Mark and I duke it out over Gov. DeSantis’s Florida bill on content moderation reform.

We agree that it will be challenged as a violation of the First Amendment and as preempted by federal Section 230. Mark thinks it will fail that test. I don’t, especially if the challenge ends up in the Supreme Court, where Justice Thomas at least has already put out the “Welcome” mat.

Dmitri and I puzzle over the statement by top White House cyber official Anne Neuberger that the U.S. reprisals against Russia are so far not enough to deter further cyberattacks. We decide it’s a “Kinsley gaffe”—where a top official inadvertently utters an inconvenient truth.

This Week in Information Operations: Maury explains that China may be hyping America’s racial tensions not as a tactic to divide us but simply because it’s an irresistible comeback to U.S. criticisms or Chinese treatment of ethnic minorities. And Dmitri explains why we shouldn’t be surprised at Russia’s integrated use of hacking and propaganda. The real question is why the US has been so bad at the same work.

In shorter stories:

  • Mark covers the slooow rollout of an EU law forcing one-hour takedowns of terrorist content
  • Dmitri also notes the inevitability of more mobile phone adtech tracking scandals, such as the compromise of U.S. military operations
  • Maury and I discuss the extent to which China’s internet giants find themselves competing, not for consumers, but for government favor, as China uses antitrust law to cement its control of the tech sector
  • Finally, Dmitri and I unpack the latest delay in DOD’s effort to achieve cybersecurity maturity through regulatory-style compliance, an effort Dmitri believes is doomed

Download the 360th Episode (mp3)

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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.