Emerging Technology

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Emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and 5G internet have the potential to improve the standard of living for all of humanity but they also bring unique challenges and risks. How can regulatory oversight appropriately interact with pioneering technologies? Can regulation keep up but avoid stifling progress?

Deepfake Laws Risk Creating More Problems Than They Solve

March 1, 2021

Matthew Feeney explains what “Deepfake” technology is, assesses existing and proposed legislation to address the technology, and argues that any such legislation must be narrowly tailored to avoid unintended consequences.

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Deep Dive Episode 198 – Eyes to The Sky: Privacy, Property, Innovation, and Commerce in The Age Of The Drone

September 20, 2021

The editor and two of the co-authors of a new book joined us for a panel discussion of key legal and policy issues in “The Age of the Drone.”

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Deep Dive Episode 195 – President Biden’s Executive Order on Foreign-Controlled Apps

September 2, 2021

An expert panel breaks down Biden’s executive order on foreign-controlled apps and its implications for relations between the United States and its foreign adversaries.

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Deep Dive Episode 174 – Legal Issues for Commercial Drones: Privacy, Property Rights, and Federalism

April 28, 2021

Experts debate the issues of privacy, property rights, and federalism that have been raised the proliferation of commercial drones.

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Deep Dive Episode 168 – Deepfakes: What, If Anything, Should Policymakers Do?

March 18, 2021

Can lawmakers craft legislation that limits the worst uses of Deepfakes without hampering the creation of valuable and creative Deepfake media?

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Deep Dive Episode 163 – Shapers of Cyber Speech: Silicon Valley and American Discourse

February 23, 2021

Experts debate the pros and cons of regulatory proposals aimed at curbing social media content moderation.

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Deep Dive Episode 154 – Tech Policy Under the Biden Administration and 117th Congress

January 6, 2021

How might the approach to regulation of the new presidential administration and Congress impact innovation and the tech industry?

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Deep Dive Episode 153 – Reboot Conversations: The Future of Drone Policy

December 29, 2020

An expert panel discusses the future of drone policy in a Lincoln Network Reboot Conversation co-sponsored by the Regulatory Transparency Project.

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Explainer Episode 21 – How is Insurance Regulated?

December 23, 2020

Ian Adams discusses how insurance is regulated in the United States and explains how emerging technologies are poised to disrupt the industry.

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Tech Roundup Episode 12 – Airspace and Drone Regulations

December 16, 2020

Brent Skorup discusses the current state of drone technology and the history of airspace and drone regulations in the United States.

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Deep Dive Episode 149 – A Conversation with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

December 8, 2020

On November 30, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai joined the Federalist Society’s Columbia Student Chapter for a wide-ranging discussion on net neutrality, Section 230, and more.

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Explainer Episode 18 – Driverless Cars: Balancing Safety and Innovation

November 19, 2020

Ian Adams lays out the current state of driverless car technology and breaks down the decisions federal and state policymakers are facing when it comes to regulating it.

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Explainer Episode 17 – A Big Week for Section 230

October 16, 2020

Jennifer Huddleston and Ashkhen Kazaryan break down the recent news related to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

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Explainer Episode 16 – An Update on Antitrust and Big Tech

October 13, 2020

Neil Chilson breaks down the recent developments with antitrust and big tech and discusses how they fit into the broader picture of antitrust law in the United States.

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Tech Roundup Episode 11 – TikTok’s Running Clock

September 10, 2020

How might the standoff over TikTok’s U.S. operations play out? Does the app pose a significant enough national security threat to warrant the forced sale? And how does this situation fit into the broader picture of U.S.-China relations?

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Deep Dive Episode 131 – Free Speech in the Digital Era: Section 230 and the FCC

September 8, 2020

In this live podcast, panelists discuss the background of Section 230 and reflect on whether it continues to encourage innovation and free speech online, or if changes are needed.

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Tech Roundup Episode 10 – Trump’s Executive Order on Online Censorship

June 8, 2020

What is the legislative and legal background of the recent Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, how will it affect Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and what may be the unforeseen consequences of this move? These and other questions are addressed in this episode.

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Tech Roundup Episode 9 – COVID-19 and the Internet: A Conversation with Ajit Pai

April 27, 2020

In this episode, Ajit Pai joins Adam Theirer and Brent Skorup to discuss the principles driving the Federal Communications Commission in recent years, the “Keep Americans Connected” pledge, and how things have changed for the FCC in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tech Roundup Episode 8 – The Future of Facial Recognition

March 26, 2020

In this episode, Matthew Feeney hosts a discussion with Ashkhen Kazaryan and Caleb Watney on the approach regulators might take to the brave new world of facial recognition technology.

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Tech Roundup Episode 7 – Driverless Cars and Artificial Intelligence

January 21, 2020

In this episode, Adam Thierer and Caleb Watney discuss the emerging questions surrounding the progress of driverless car technology and its regulation.

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Cyber & Privacy

Tech Roundup Episode 6 – Constitutional Concerns about State Privacy Regulation

January 10, 2020

Do recent state privacy rules, like California’s CCPA, impinge on free speech, violate the dormant commerce clause, or are they preempted by other federal laws? Ian Adams and Jennifer Huddleston Discuss.

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Tech Roundup Episode 5 – Section 230

December 17, 2019

In this episode, experts discuss Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects platforms from liability for the content produced by users. Some legislators have recently floated the idea of enforcing ‘platform neutrality’ in a way that, according to critics, threatens the sort of free speech Section 230 is meant to protect.

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Deep Dive Episode 81 – Vertical Integration in Broadcasting: A Cause for Concern?

November 8, 2019

What can the United States learn from Canada, a broadcasting market with higher levels of vertical integration and cross-media ownership? Brad Danks and William Rinehart discuss in a conversation moderated by Paul Beaudry.

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Tech Roundup Episode 4 – The Future of Drone Policy: A Discussion with Sen. Mike Lee

November 5, 2019

In this episode, Adam Thierer and Brent Skorup speak with Senator Mike Lee on the current state of drone regulation. The senator speaks to his proposal for a cooperative, federal solution to regulatory holdup in drone technology innovation.

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Tech Roundup Episode 3 – The Download on California’s New Privacy Proposal

October 8, 2019

This podcast features a fascinating back-and-forth on the implications of new amendments to California’s privacy law, CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act).

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Tech Roundup Episode 2 – The Techlash: Big Tech and Antitrust

September 16, 2019

50 attorneys general have launched an investigation into Google for violations of antitrust law. Are they addressing real consumer harms? Is antitrust law the proper tool to address them? Adam Thierer, Geoffrey Manne, and Hal Singer debate.

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Tech Roundup Episode 1 – The Brave New World of Deep Fakes

August 29, 2019

What are deep fakes, and what are the societal and political implications of their emergence? What challenges do they present to regulators? These and other questions are explored in this episode.

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Deep Dive Episode 51 – Emerging Tech and Regulation

May 13, 2019

In this episode, leading thinkers from across the emerging tech space discuss the regulatory environment for everything from drones to autonomous vehicles.

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Deep Dive Episode 39 – Pepperdine Law Review’s 2019 Symposium Opening Address: Qualcomm’s Donald J. Rosenberg

March 29, 2019

In this episode, Donald J. Rosenberg of Qualcomm speaks on patent law and the dangers of regulatory capture in the emerging tech sector.

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Deep Dive Episode 27 – Self-Driving Vehicles: Addressing the Challenges of Groundbreaking Innovation

April 4, 2018

Ryan Hagemann (Niskanen Center) and Jamie Boone (Consumer Technology Association) examine the regulatory barriers to the introduction of self-driving vehicles and propose a potential path forward.

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Deep Dive Episode 12 – Can Government Regulation Keep Pace with Emerging Technology?

October 5, 2017

Greg McNeal (Pepperdine University) and Adam Thierer (Mercatus Center) discuss the law and policy frameworks impacting emerging technologies.

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Deep Dive Episode 4 – “Uber of the Sky”: The Story of Flytenow

July 13, 2017

Alan Guichard (Flytenow) and Jonathan Riches (Goldwater Institute) discuss how Alan’s innovative ridesharing platform for small planes was outlawed by the FAA.

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President Biden’s Executive Order on Foreign-Controlled Apps

September 2, 2021

An expert panel breaks down Biden’s executive order on foreign-controlled apps and its implications for relations between the United States and its foreign adversaries.

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Leave a Decent Comment: Section 230 & the Fight for the Future of the Internet

April 22, 2021

In this short film, Former Representative Chris Cox, Senator Ted Cruz, Ashkhen Kazaryan, Rachel Bovard, and Jeff Kosseff explain the history and current issues around Section 230.

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Regulating Big Tech: Lessons from the “Hall of Fallen Giants”

March 16, 2021

How can recent history inform current debates over “Big Tech” companies?

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Shapers of Cyber Speech – Silicon Valley and American Discourse

February 16, 2021

What are the realistic regulatory options for curbing Silicon Valley’s influence on the national discourse? What are the potential downsides of these options?

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A Conversation with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

December 8, 2020

On November 30, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai joined the Federalist Society’s Columbia Student Chapter for a wide-ranging discussion on net neutrality, Section 230, and more.

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Driverless Cars: Technology & Regulation

November 19, 2020

In this Fourth Branch video, experts and advocates discuss the regulatory questions raised by the advancement of driverless car technology.

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Washington or the States: Who Has the Authority to Regulate Commercial Drone Flights?

July 15, 2020

Commercial drone services are evolving rapidly but who regulates how and where they operate? The Federal Aviation Administration is authorized to oversee “navigable airspace.” On the other hand, drones fly low to the ground which would implicate property rights, which are governed by state laws. How might these regulatory issues be assessed and resolved, and how could they affect the future of drone technology and usage?

Brent Skorup is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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Regulating Big Tech: Should Social Media Platforms Be Viewpoint Neutral? Should the Government Care?

April 9, 2020

On March 4, 2020, the Regulatory Transparency Project sponsored a symposium with the University of Pennsylvania Federalist Society student chapter. The second panel of the symposium was titled “Should Social Media Platforms Be Viewpoint Neutral? Should the Government Care?”

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Executive Agencies’ Effects on Innovation and Consumers under President Trump

December 20, 2019

On December 4, 2019, the Federalist Society’s Triangle Lawyers Chapter, Fox Rothschild LLP, and the Regulatory Transparency Project co-sponsored an event at the Sheraton Hotel in Durham, North Carolina. The event discussed “Executive Agencies’ Effects on Innovation and Consumers under President Trump”.

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Pepperdine Law Review’s 2019 Symposium: Emerging Technology and Regulation

March 21, 2019

Today’s regulatory landscape presents challenges for public and private entities. Private actors are often faced with conflicting, ambiguous, or altogether absent regulatory frameworks. Is it possible for them to overcome these challenges while delivering the creativity and innovation the marketplace demands? How can government regulators and legislators avoid stifling opportunity, function more efficiently, and enact and enforce sensible and effective regulatory schemes?

Pepperdine Law Review’s 2019 Symposium, in partnership with the Regulatory Transparency Project, explored these vital questions from both the academic and practical perspectives. The third panel of the symposium focused on the potential impact of regulatory policies on emerging technologies.

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Here to Stay: The Modern World of Hospitality

February 25, 2019

Do home-sharing platforms like Airbnb need more regulation to protect consumers and the safety of local communities? How can the interests of private property owners, consumers, and small businesses be balanced? What might an optimal level of regulation look like, and who decides?

In this Fourth Branch video, Gwendolyn Smith (Grandview Bed & Breakfast), Matthew Feeney (Cato Institute), and Pete Clarke (Retired Commissioner, Orange County, FL) explore the legal and regulatory questions that have accompanied the rise of home-sharing platforms.

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Reboot 2018: Can We Still Be Optimistic About the Future of Work?

October 24, 2018

From robots to the gig economy, anxieties are rising about technology’s impact on labor and the future of work. While we may have to overcome significant disruptions and other challenges, are there still good reasons to be optimistic? Our expert panel will discuss the current political and policy landscape.

The Regulatory Transparency Project co-sponsored the Lincoln Network’s Reboot 2018 conference.

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Reboot 2018 Fireside Chat: Disruption and Civil Disobedience

October 24, 2018

We used to praise disruptors who flagrantly challenged outdated regulations. But the boundary-pushing of some companies has left a bad taste. Has this chilled the willingness of the next wave of startups and investors to take the same kinds of risks? Has this made policymakers more willing to intervene early? What’s the best legal framework to approach disruptive technologies?

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Regulating Planesharing: A Conversation on Regulation and Innovation

May 23, 2018

In a world of drone delivery and self-driving cars, do innovation and regulation need to be at odds with one another? Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and a variety of other experts weigh in on this critical discussion.

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Emerging Technology in Transportation

May 23, 2018

On Friday, May 18, 2018, the Regulatory Transparency Project and Capitol Hill Chapter of the Federalist Society co-sponsored a panel discussion on emerging technology legislation. Experts explored drone delivery, autonomous vehicles, flight sharing, and more.

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How the FAA Defines a Common Carrier

March 15, 2018

How has common carriage traditionally been defined? How has this definition changed over time? Christopher Koopman, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Technology Policy Program, Mercatus Center, discusses these important questions.

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Collaborative Acceleration of Regulation and Innovation

March 12, 2018

Gregory S. McNeal, Professor of Law and Public Policy, Pepperdine University, and Co-Founder, AirMap, acknowledges that “almost every industry has to have some D.C. touchpoint.” In this video, he discusses “collaborative acceleration” and what it means in practice for both innovators and government agencies.

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Regulating Planesharing: Exploring Common Carriage and Expense Sharing

February 12, 2018

The legal fate of Flytenow, a ridesharing platform for small planes, was sealed by the FAA’s determination that it acted as a common carrier despite Flytenow’s claim that it was engaged in permissible expense sharing. What are common carriage and expense sharing? A variety of experts discuss the legal aspects of the Flytenow case.

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Regulating Planesharing: Flytenow and the FAA

January 8, 2018

Flytenow, founded by Alan Guichard and Matt Voska, was a ridesharing platform for small planes. Hailed as the “Uber of the Sky,” Flytenow aimed to serve as an online bulletin board to connect pilots of small planes with those willing to offset the pilots’ costs. However, the FAA deemed the online nature of Flytenow to be impermissible and Flytenow was unable to take flight. Learn the story of Flytenow in this Fourth Branch video.

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Can Social Media Companies Censor Lawmakers’ Accounts?

Brent Skorup

September 2, 2021

“If courts progress down this path, social media companies may one day be severely limited in moderating lawmakers’ social media accounts.”

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The Arrival of the Federal Computer Commission?

Jim Dunstan

August 27, 2021

“…two proposals, if adopted, would throw the door wide open to transforming the Federal Communications Commission into the Federal Computer Commission…”

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Why Capitalists in Space Are Good for Americans’ Future

William Rinehart and Adam Thierer

August 5, 2021

Discouraging private space exploration would be a step backwards and undo positive reforms that have made space more accessible and affordable.”

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The Growing Legal Controversy About Drone Trespass

Brent Skorup

June 8, 2021

Can homeowners prevent drones from flying above their property? Is a drone that does so trespassing?

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Justice Thomas on Controlling the Tech Giants

Peter Wallison

April 29, 2021

How to control the tech giants has continued to raise concerns about both media bias and free speech. In a new concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas has provided some important thoughts and distinctions on the topic that will likely stir some new thinking in the legal world.

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What the Biden Administration May Bring for Tech Policy

Jennifer Huddleston

January 28, 2021

“The Biden administration should carefully consider the significant tradeoffs regulation can have and embrace bipartisan opportunities to build on the United States’ innovation-friendly approach.”

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New FAA Drone Rules: A Step in the Right Direction

Brent Skorup

January 20, 2021

The FAA’s new commercial drone regulations are cautious and incremental, but represent a major improvement by routinizing long-distance commercial drone operations.

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Why the DOJ Has a Strong Case Against Google

Rachel Bovard

November 18, 2020

Governing the Internet: Rather than building a case which attempts to satisfy a broad variety of grievances, the DOJ has designed its complaint against Google with one goal in mind: to win.

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The House Staff Antitrust Report Will Negatively Affect More Than the Tech Industry

Lawrence Spiwak

November 10, 2020

Governing the Internet: Every business—not just Big Tech—should be worried if Congress attempts to enact the report’s recommended legislative changes.

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Section 230 Legal Issues: The FCC’s Authority and the First Amendment

Randolph May

November 3, 2020

Governing the Internet: The FCC has the rulemaking authority to clarify the meaning of Section 230, and that narrowing Section 230 is not necessarily a First Amendment violation.

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The DOJ’s Weak Case Against Google

Neil Chilson

October 27, 2020

Governing the Internet: Antitrust enforcement can ensure competitive markets that benefit consumers. But politicized antitrust benefits a few companies and politicians at the expense of everyone else.

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The FCC Should Address Distortions of Section 230

Rachel Bovard

September 22, 2020

Governing the Internet: The current application of Section 230 has reversed its intended effect, prioritizing the speech rights of platforms over and above those of their users—and at a scale that distorts the information access, free thought, and market access for billions.

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Big Tech & The Whole First Amendment

Craig Parshall

August 14, 2020

Governing the Internet: Congress should create free-speech conditions for liability protections for market-dominant tech platforms whose trade is third-party content.

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FCC’s O’Rielly on First Amendment & Fairness Doctrine Dangers

Neil Chilson and Adam Thierer

August 6, 2020

Governing the Internet: Plenty of people claim to favor freedom of expression, but increasingly the First Amendment has more fair-weather friends than die-hard defenders.

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Welcome to the New “Tech Roundup Podcast”

Adam Thierer

October 15, 2019

Looking to stay on top of breaking policy developments surrounding the world of emerging technology? The new “Tech Roundup Podcast” has you covered.

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Emerging Tech and Regulation: What Will the Future Hold?

June 12, 2019

In March, the Pepperdine Law Review cohosted a symposium with the Regulatory Transparency Project on “Regulating Tech: Present Challenges and Possible Solutions”. The last panel of a very busy day was focused on emerging tech and government regulation, with leading thinkers from across several industries discussing the current environment for everything from drones to ridesharing.

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The Flaws in the Latest Proposal to Break Up Big Tech

William Rinehart

May 15, 2019

Sen. Warren essentially calls for a return to the regulatory structure of “the Gilded Age…” But the era’s efforts to pull apart companies hardly make an exemplary record.

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Qualcomm’s Donald Rosenberg on Regulation and Innovation

April 13, 2019

Donald J. Rosenberg delivered an address last month at the Pepperdine Law Review‘s Symposium, speaking on patent law and the dangers of regulatory capture in the emerging tech sector.

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The Modern World of Home-Sharing

Christina Sandefur

March 25, 2019

Since our country’s founding, Americans have allowed guests to stay in their homes for short periods of time, often in exchange for doing chores or paying for dinner. Today, technology allows people to do this in ever more efficient ways—to allow guests to rent a room or a house for a week or a night at time.

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SEC Report: Cryptocurrencies as Securities?

Jerry Brito

August 3, 2017

The SEC recently issued an investigative report concluding that some crypto-tokens can be securities. What the SEC did not say is that all tokens are securities.

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