The New Kinship: Constructing Donor-Conceived Families

By: Ashley Jacoby

Introduction: In The New Kinship: Constructing Donor Conceived Families, author Naomi Cahn examines how families and relationships form when individuals utilize assisted reproductive technology (“ART”) to conceive and bear children. Cahn proposes that The New Kinship serves three purposes: firstly, it explores how emotional connections are created and develop within families who opt to use donor gametes, and documents these evolving relationships; secondly, it offers a legal foundation for promoting the development of these communities, and argues that current law should not be primarily focused on medicine, technology, and commodification, but rather family and constitutional law; thirdly, The New Kinship illustrates how donor families simultaneously reinforce and complicate the meaning of family, thereby offering an opportunity to reconsider the meaning of family generally.

In seeking to offer an in-depth look at how “donor families” both support and confuse the social, cultural, economic, and legal meaning of family, Cahn offers a chronological and thematic exploration of the donor world. Consequently, this review will begin by examining the basic meaning of family and outlining the composition of the donor world. The second section of the review will address the questions of “who” searches for donor-based relationships, and “why.” The third section examines the law’s approach to, and relationship with, donor-conceived families. The last section discusses Cahn’s proposals for legal reform in this emerging area of law. The review will conclude by addressing the broader implications and benefits of allowing for the expansive construction and conception of the meaning of family.

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The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation: How Will it Affect Non-EU Enterprises?

By: Manu J. Sebastian

Introduction: In a world where technology is ever changing and personal data is being processed and saved at every turn, corporations must be held accountable for the data they collect, store, and use. The consumer truly does not understand the levels of data capture and retention that corporations employ, and the European Union’s (“EU”) government is on a mission to ensure that its citizens are protected because it believes personal data protection is a fundamental right that all people should enjoy. The EU created the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in an attempt to protect data without detrimentally inhibiting cross-border data flow.

The GDPR is in its final stages of adoption and corporations around the world are working to preemptively establish controls within their internal structures in order to be compliant. These new changes will protect personal data on a level that has never before been seen, but it will come at a great cost to the consumer. The data that is being protected moves far beyond identification numbers and medical data. The GDPR seeks to protect names, phone numbers, addresses, economical data, cultural identity, racial origin, social identity, profiling data, and online identifiers such as IP address and location data, on top of the normal protections of health data and biological samples. The regulation is based on the notion that every single person has the right to have his personal data protected and it protects all people in the EU. These new changes make us ask a very important question: How exactly will Non-EU enterprises be affected?

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Domestic Presence in the Skies: Why Americans Should Care About Private Drone Regulation

By: Tyler Hite

Introduction: Within the past decade, drone strikes and the concept of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have become not only commonplace among major news headlines, but continue to lead the way for modern warfare tactics and strategy. With precision missile and surveillance capabilities, Predator drones have led to the successful elimination of high-valued targets listed as terrorists by the United States. However such success is not absolute, with several documented mishaps ending with civilian casualties. While the United States Military continues to implement UAVs overseas, American citizens should become cognizant that drone activity above U.S. soil is on the precipice of a market explosion comparable to that of Apple in the 1980’s. Yet these drones will not be operated by military personnel under specific military orders, but by fellow citizens, local governmental officials, and even neighbors regulated by yet-to-be developed laws and restrictions.

Thus the driving question becomes, what limitations will be developed for individuals who purchase and operate private drones? With some drones currently on sale for as little as $300, potential problems are primed to become actual issues. Additionally, federalism concerns arise regarding whether the regulation of drones will be left to the States to decide how to craft restrictions within their jurisdiction, or whether the Federal government is better suited to enforce private drone regulations. This paper will attempt to shed light not only on the capabilities and functions of privately owned drones, developed for use by private individuals, but will also look to the developing regulations already emanating from both state and federal governments, and how those regulations will shape the expansion of the private drone market. While legislators still have yet to determine the exact guidelines for private drone operation, the logical solution seems to be registration and licensing of unmanned aerial vehicle operation, either with the federal government or the several states.

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I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did [Social Networks and the Death of Privacy]

By: Justin McHugh

Introduction: Since the creation of Facebook, people have been flocking to social media to have their voices heard. Facebook now has over 750 million members making it the “third largest nation in the world.” With so many followers, Facebook has essentially become its own nation with its own followers, financial system, legal system, and relationships with fellow real world nations. Just like with any nation, there are issues of privacy and governmental intrusion into people’s lives. Generally, Facebook and the Internet have never given great reverence to users’ privacy. Instead, Facebook and sites like Spokeo continue to collect data on people and sell it to the highest bidder. Spokeo and Facebook are a part of a “multibillion-dollar industry of data aggregators.” These companies take Internet users data, bundle it up into neat little packages, and sell it to all sorts of interested third parties. Advertising agencies, businesses, and government agencies can all benefit from the research and use of this data. Advertising agencies can develop more narrowly tailored marketing strategies to get individuals to buy things that they do not really need. Businesses can perform intrusive background checks on potential employees. Lastly, the government or big brother can keep a better eye on us with promises of better security and protection. The true repercussions of the continued sale of our search histories and Internet use are the loss of our privacy. Sadly, one judge even went as far to say that once you start using Internet services, “the right to privacy is lost, upon your affirmative keystroke.”

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To Protect and Serve, But Not Drive: Police Use of Autonomous Vehicles

By: Geoffrey Wills

Introduction: Images of Knight Rider, Herbie the Love Bug, or HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey might be the first thing people think of when discussing artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicles, but that is quickly changing. While a self-driving car used to be just a pipe dream, an ever-increasing number of car manufacturers are taking off with the concept, but technology still needs to be developed and perfected before autonomous vehicles can be mass produced and used for daily use. Currently, fully autonomous vehicles have traveled safely at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. Car manufacturers including General Motors, Audi, Nissan, and BMW all expect fully autonomous, driverless cars to be in dealership showrooms by 2020.

As curiosity and demand for these vehicles increase, the need for understanding how the law applies to them also increases. This leads to an important question that could have major implications for the future: what if police departments use this technology to patrol the streets and keep cities safe? This note will analyze and attempt to answer these questions, and will also discuss the technological history of autonomous vehicles, as well as the evolution of applicable law that will dictate the use of these “driverless” cars. This essay will be broken down into several parts. Part I will give a brief rundown of how autonomous vehicle technology works. Part II will discuss the legality of vehicle automation and the technologies inside the car, including how many of these technologies not only currently exist, but are legally permissible for crime prevention and surveillance purposes. Part II will also look at social acceptability of autonomous vehicles patrolling the streets and enforcing laws. Finally, Part III considers how autonomous vehicles will have the capability to take subjectivity, discretion, and potential prejudice out of patrolling and traffic stops, as well as increasing officer safety and efficiency.

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Privacy Expectations in Online Video Games: In Light of Edward Snowden’s NSA Document Leak

By: Matthew Knopf

Introduction: On December 9, 2013, the British Newspaper The Guardian published documents from the National Security Administration (“NSA documents”) provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. These documents revealed that surveillance agencies of the United States and United Kingdom governments were conducting intelligence operations in a search for terrorists inside of massive multiplayer online (“MMO”) video games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. The documents contained a memo and a series of essays that detailed the ways in which video games, even those video games that do not directly connect to the Internet, could be used as recruitment and communication tools for terrorists. However, these operations have brought about privacy concerns for some who worry that their government could or would listen to their conversations as they are playing these videos games. It is not clear how the government collected or accessed the data or communication from these video games. It is likely that government agents created their own profiles and avatars in these games to access the virtual worlds. Additionally, privacy concerns have not be assuaged by the fact that there is no indication from the documents that any of the intelligence operations led to the foiling of any terrorist plots or to the arrest of any criminal. The National Security Administration (“NSA”) and the federal government may have free reign to spy on foreign peoples and foreign governments, but under the U.S. Constitution it does not have the legal authority to spy on American citizens without a warrant.

Online video games have players who live across the globe and within the United States. Many of the computer servers on which the video games operate and communicate are inside of the United States. Since the intelligence collecting process has not been revealed, it is unclear if the NSA or other federal agencies have been accessing the data and the monitoring communications of innocent Americans whose identity and nationality may have been concealed behind their virtual avatar. The debate over the expectation of privacy concerning different types of Internet communication is growing, especially concerning social media. Violations of privacy could hinder player anonymity, which is a key component of certain types of online gaming that encourages escapism. On the other hand, ending anonymity could encourage fairer and more civil discourse in the virtual gaming worlds. The revelations of these documents has led to the question of whether there are any expectations of privacy for video game players and the communications between players which occur within those video games.

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The Second Amendment Implications of Regulating 3D Printed Firearms

By: Michael L. Smith

Introduction: On May 1, 2013, the first firearm that had ever been produced with a 3D printer was successfully fired. Several weeks later, an engineer in Wisconsin used his own (relatively) cheap personal 3D printer to make a firearm that successfully fired nine shots. These two developments generated national media attention and prompted calls for restrictions on 3D printed firearms. But critics responded by arguing that restricting 3D printed firearms would violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The issue of the Second Amendment implications of 3D printed firearms combines an emerging and evolving area of the law with an even more cutting-edge area of technology. The Second Amendment as an individual right is a recent development: before the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, it was far from clear whether the Second Amendment protected an individual right. In the wake of the Court’s decision in Heller, and its incorporation of Second Amendment rights to the states in McDonald v. City of Chicago, there has been an explosion in scholarly coverage of the Second Amendment as commentators attempt to draw out the implications and limits of the individual right to bear arms. 3D printing is an even more recent development – and courts and commentators are just beginning to address issues that this technology will raise.

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Tragedy of the Commons: Snowden’s Reformation and the Balkanization of the Internet

By: Matthew Funk

Introduction: In 1517, Martin Luther put into motion events that would uproot the hegemony of the Catholic Church in Western religion. His Ninety-Five Theses would be the basis for an enormous upheaval of the sacred status quo, and challenge centuries of religious ordering. His “protest” of the practices of the Catholic Church would be disseminated with the power of the printing press, the pinnacle of information technology at the time, and lead to a great fork in the history of Christianity. Protestantism, with unique movements springing up throughout Europe, would ultimately separate from the oversight of the Catholic Church and create a new religious paradigm.

No different in principle, but perhaps in scale, has been the upheaval caused by the confessions of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. His “leak of [National Security] [A]gency documents has set off a . . . debate over the proper limits of government surveillance.” These leaks have “opened an unprecedented window on the details of surveillance by the NSA, including its compilation of logs of virtually all telephone companies in the United States and its collection of e-mails of foreigners from the major American Internet companies.” This, in turn, has rippled into raucous calls for a new Reformation—one of Internet, not religious, sovereignty and sensibilities. Such calls implicate the principles undergirding the purposes, governance, and even geography of the Internet. And while the calls may not lead to a catastrophic schism on the scale of Christianity’s division in the 16th century, they are certainly loud enough not only to question policy choices regarding the defining information technology of the new millennium thus far, but also to challenge the traditional dynamics of sovereignty-retention in the face of a global online commons.

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How Much Does J.Crew Really Know About You?: The Harsh Reality of a Mega-Retailer’s Privacy Policy

By: Laura Fleming

Introduction: Nowadays, one cannot visit an online shopping website which does not display a privacy policy. A privacy policy is a statement that declares a website’s policy on the collection and release of information about a visitor. Privacy policies usually state what specific information the company collects and whether this information is kept confidential, shared, or sold to third parties. However, very few people actually take the time to read through the privacy policy and consider its implications. While most retailers provide links to its privacy policy, and most companies send an email to subscribers when the company updates the policy, the link is usually in small font at the bottom of the page; thus, many website visitors never even notice that the policy is available for viewing.

Despite the growing number of online retailers, there are very few laws regulating companies’ use of customers’ personal information. Most states, with the exception of California, do not require retailers to provide privacy policies. However, while state law may not require a retailer to post a privacy policy, federal law might. For example, by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), websites that collect personal information from children under the age of thirteen must provide a privacy policy. Nevertheless, this widespread lack of regulation leads to a lack of privacy, which this society values highly.

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Review of “I Know What You’re Thinking: Brain Imaging and Mental Privacy”

Reviewed by: Jenna Furman

Since the 1980s, MRI scanners have been used in medicine to help diagnose various conditions, many of which are found in the brain. The use of such scanners has led to advances in understanding the human mind, both its structure and functions. Such advances have led to greater knowledge of neurological diseases and conditions. This subset of the MRI’s imagining technology is typically referred to as “neuroimaging.” However, recently many academics and doctors have questioned whether MRI technology could be used to one day “read the minds” of those studied. The use of MRI technology in this way raises not only legal issues regarding the right to privacy of the participant but also ethical issues, such as whether it would be appropriate to use this advanced technology to detect cognitive awareness of a person in a vegetative state. This book compiles essays from psychiatrists, neuroscientists, ethicists, anthropologists, philosophizers, and lawyers which address the legal and ethical issues, along with the scientific benefits and social concerns, raised by the possible future use of MRI-imaging technology to “read minds” of patients. This book review will outline certain arguments addressed in these various essays which provide insight into these legal and ethical issues regarding the use of neuroimaging to “read minds.”

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