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Does a dead horse have a right to self-defense when beaten?

Added 12-06-21 10:21:02pm EST - “Federal district judge Robert Pitman has enjoined enforcement of Texas's law regulating social media censorship.? In this episode, the ruling...” - Reason.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Does a dead horse have a right to self-defense when beaten?”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Federal district judge Robert Pitman has enjoined enforcement of Texas's law regulating social media censorship.  In this episode, the ruling sparks a fight between me and Nate Jones that ranges from how much weight should be given to  the speech rights of social media to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict imposed by Facebook when it decided he was guilty and wouldn't let anyone disagree. On the merits, as before, we agreed that the Obama appointee was on pretty solid ground (for now) in applying the Tornillo line of cases saying that government should not directly regulate the editorial judgments of publishers. But the judge's ruling on the transparency and due process requirements of the law suggests to me that he wasn't prepared to give the law a fair shake. So look for a competitive appeal on the topic and quite possibly a more than competitive certiorari petition as well. By the time we stop beating this horse, he's long past any possible right of self-defense.

Megan Stifel has an easier task: Explaining cybersecurity recommendations for rail and other surface transportation companies. The advice is mostly the kind of simple concepts that could have been offered in the 90s, so we both puzzle over the fierce resistance from industry. Maybe it's the 24-hour requirement to notify TSA of cyber incidents, though I suggest reasons why industry shouldn't be as worried by this requirement as by a similar deadline for data breach notifications.

Nate and I explore proposals from the Biden administration to muster a group of like-minded countries in a campaign to curb sales of surveillance gear to authoritarian regimes. No doubt the initiative was reinforced by news that U.S. State Department phones were recently hacked exported spyware from Israel. But I think the whole project fails for a simple reason: authoritarian governments can buy all the surveillance gear they need from China, which is happy to sell it. In the absence of credible enforcement, and international effort to condemn such sales is empty virtue signaling.

I mock an eminently mockable story from the Markup claiming that the PredPol crime prediction software is racist because it urges the police to patrol more poor black neighborhoods than rich white ones without asking whether that's where crime might be concentrated. Then, when the authors finally notice the overlap between neighborhoods with lots of arrests and neighborhoods recommended for heavy patrolling, they suddenly claim that the prediction software must be useless because the same results could be reached without the software.

Speaking of stupid, Megan explains how a "smart contract" turned out to be anything but, allowing hackers to steal $31 million in digital coin. I wonder exactly how much the hacker's feat differs from really good lawyering.


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