Posts Tagged ‘search engines’

Google de-ranking and Washington pressure

After Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California pressured its general counsel at a hearing, Google de-ranked the Russian state media enterprise RT in its search results. As a private company, Google would have been within its rights to arrive at such a decision for reasons of its own. But for it to do so in response to government pressure, as appears to have happened here, poses very real First Amendment problems [John Samples, Cato]

Bogus-lawsuit “reputation management” scheme comes to grief

After a push from (among others) Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, one elaborate scheme using dummy litigants and deceptively staged court orders to get Google to de-index some articles appears to have been knocked offline. Eugene Volokh and Paul Alan Levy have been among those recently exposing as fraudulent some practitioners of the art known as “libel takedown” or “de-indexing injunctions.” [Dave Lieber/Dallas News, Volokh in September and related on similar schemes here (takedown request against one of Volokh’s own posts) and here (private default judgment cited in request to Google to deindex government documents), earlier here, etc.]

Police roundup

  • Investigation of problems with no-knock “dynamic entry” police raids [Kevin Sack, New York Times; cf. Radley Balko’s work] But her living room furniture was just sitting there! Why shouldn’t we take it? [C.J. Ciaramella on Mississippi case]
  • Minnesota judge approves (which doesn’t mean Google will go along with) police demand for all search records on a certain name from any and all users in town of Edina [Mike Mullen, City Pages]
  • “The L.A. County sheriff wants to release names of 300 deputies with histories of misconduct. He can’t.” [Jessica Pishko, Slate; Tim Cushing, TechDirt (list is of cops considered highly impeachable in court testimony)]
  • Just catching up with this still-relevant Joshua Muravchik critique of Black Lives Matter [Commentary]
  • Feds indict seven members of elite Baltimore police gun trace task force on racketeering charges; underlying predicates include robbery, swearing out false search warrants, false overtime claims (“one hour can be eight hours.”) [U.S. Department of Justice, Baltimore Sun, Washington Post]
  • “New Orleans Police Chief Says He Needs to Hire and Fire Commanders at Will to Protect Reforms” [Ed Krayewski]

Free speech roundup

Intellectual property roundup

  • “Copyright Trolls Now Threatening College Students With Loss of Scholarship, Deportation” [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
  • Use the phrase “Law Firm 2.0”? Better cease and desist [Carolyn Elefant, MyShingle]
  • “How A Supreme Court Case On Cheerleader Costumes and Copyright Could Impact Prosthetic Hands” [Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
  • Have you violated your competitor’s legal rights when you buy search engine advertising with its name as keyword? [Eric Goldman on Edible Arrangements case]
  • Trader Joe’s keeps battling the Canadian knockoff/reseller Pirate or Irate Joe’s [Lowering the Bar]
  • “Unified Patents files legal challenges against top three patent trolls of 2016” [Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica]

August 24 roundup

  • Ingenious tactic to get bad review off search engines: arrange and win a pretend lawsuit in some other state [Paul Alan Levy, more: followup]
  • Law professor proposes to give out tax breaks based on race. Constitutional problems with that? [Caron/TaxProf]
  • $2,250 for the legal right to thread existing barrels: presidential order expands definition of “manufacturer” under arms treaty, which leaves some gunsmiths nervous [The Truth About Guns]
  • Political corner: Michael Greve reacts to Jonathan Rauch’s Atlantic article, “How Did Our Politics Go Insane?” [Liberty and Law] And for those following my commentary about the Gary Johnson campaign (see earlier), I’ve got a piece at Cato on his rocky relations with conservatives as well as a letter to the editor at the Baltimore Sun;
  • On Naomi Schaefer Riley’s new book, The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians [Carla Main, City Journal; Chris Edwards]
  • But which way would the causation run? Econometric analysis finds “EU membership is positively associated with economic freedom.” [EPI Center] Will Brexit promote freer outcomes in areas like agricultural subsidy, or simply a return to national protection? [Simon Lester, Cato]