Sen. Schumer Tackles AI Regulation

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Episode 464 of the Cyberlaw Podcast

Stewart Baker |

Sen. Schumer (D-NY) has announced an ambitious plan to produce a bipartisan AI regulation program in a matter of months. Jordan Schneider admires the project; I’m more skeptical. The rest of our commentators, Chessie Lockhart and Michael Ellis, also weigh in on AI issues. Chessie lays out the case against panicking over existential AI threats, this week canvassed in the MIT Technology Review. I suggest that anyone complaining that the EU or China is getting ahead of the US in AI regulation (lookin’ at you, Sen Warner!) doesn’t quite understand the race we’re running. Jordan explains the difficulty the US faces in trying to keep China from surprising us in AI.

Michael catches us up on Canada’s ill-advised effort to force Google and Meta to pay Canadian media whenever a user links to a Canadian story.  Meta has already said it would rather ban such links. The end result could be that even more Canadian news gets filtered through American media, hardly a popular outcome north of the border.

Speaking of ill-advised regulatory initiatives, Michael and I comment on Australia’s threatening Twitter with a fine for allowing too much hate speech on the platform post-Elon.

Chessie gives an overview of the DELETE Act, a relatively  modest bipartisan effort to regulate data brokers’ control of personal data.

Michael and I talk about the growing tension between EU member states with real national security responsibilities and the Brussels establishment, which has enjoyed a 70-year holiday from national security history and expects the next 70 to be more of the same. The latest conflict is over how much leeway to give member States when they feel the need to plant spyware on journalists’ phones.  Remarkably, both sides think government should have such leeway; the fight is over how much.

Michael and I are surprised that the BBC feels obliged to ask, “Why is it so rare to hear about Western cyber-attacks?” Because, BBC, the agencies carrying out those attacks are on our side and mostly respect rules we support.

In updates and quick hits:

  • I bring listeners up to date on how things turned out for the lawyers who filed a ChatGPT-hallucinated brief in federal court: Not well.
  • Chessie flags the creation of a new Justice Department section in the National Security Division: Natsec Cyber
  • Chessie also welcomes the growing recognition, some of it in cold, hard cash, for cyber security clinics.

Download Episode 464 (mp3).

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