The Cyberlaw Podcast

The Cyberlaw Podcast: Sam Altman-Fried Comes to Washington

By Stewart Baker
Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 3:06 PM

This episode features part 1 of our two-part interview with Paul Stephan, author of The World Crisis and International Law—a deeper and more entertaining read than the title suggests. Paul lays out the long historical arc that links the 1980s to the present day. It’s not a pretty picture, and it gets worse as he ties those changes to the demands of the Knowledge Economy. How will these profound political and economic clashes resolve themselves?  We’ll cover that in part 2.

Meanwhile, in this episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast I tweak Sam Altman for his relentless embrace of regulation for his industry during testimony last week in the Senate.  I compare him to another Sam with a similar regulation-embracing approach to Washington, but Chinny Sharma thinks it’s more accurate to say he did the opposite of everything Mark Zuckerberg did in past testimony. Chinny and Sultan Meghji unpack some of Altman’s proposals, from a new government agency to license large AI models, to safety standards and audit. I mock Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., for panicking that “Europe is ahead of us” in industry-killing regulation. That earns him immortality in the form of a new Cybertoon, left. Speaking of Cybertoonz, I note that an earlier Cybertoon scooped a prominent Wall Street Journal article covering bias in AI models was scooped – by two weeks. 

Paul explains the Supreme Court’s ruling on social media liability for assisting ISIS, and why it didn’t tell us anything of significance about section 230. 

Chinny and I analyze reports that the FBI misused its access to a section 702 database.  All of the access mistakes came before the latest round of procedural reforms, but on reflection, I think the fault lies with the Justice Department and the Director of National Intelligence, who came up with access rules that all but guarantee mistakes and don’t ensure that the database will be searched when security requires it. 

Chinny reviews a bunch of privacy scandal wannabe stories

Download the 458th Episode (mp3) 

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