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News@Law, 05/13/2016

News@Law is a selection of the day's news clips regarding Harvard Law School.
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Today's News

The Atlantic
A Bold New Scheme to Regulate Facebook
...But this week, Facebook’s reputation for neutrality took a major hit...But even if Thune and other Republicans wanted to regulate Facebook, it’s not clear how they would do it. “It’s all tricky, because it’s all speech,” says Jonathan Zittrain, a law and computer-science professor at Harvard University and a co-founder of the school’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. At the end of the day, Facebook makes an editorial product, and like any editorial product it is protected under the First Amendment. But federal regulators or entrepreneurial legislators would still have several options...But Zittrain said there may be an even more promising way to keep Facebook from acting against its users’ interest. In an unpublished paper that he is writing with Jack Balkin, a Constitutional law professor at Yale Law School, Zittrain recommends that certain massive repositories of user data—like Apple, Facebook, and Google—be offered a chance to declare themselves “information fiduciaries.” An information fiduciary would owe certain protections to its users, closing the “disconnect between the level of trust we place in [online services] and the level of trust in fact owed to us,” according to the paper.
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Reuters
U.S. must face lawsuit over beauty school student loans
A U.S. appeals court in New York revived a lawsuit seeking to stop the government from collecting on loans made to students of a nationwide beauty school chain, since it knew the now-defunct company routinely falsified student eligibility for those loans...It is a victory for thousands of borrowers who said Wilfred American Educational Corp victimized them into obtaining loans to attend its roughly 60 for-profit trade schools, popularly known as the Wilfred Academy. The last closed in 1994. Toby Merrill, director of Harvard Law School's Project on Predatory Student Lending, said low-income borrowers like many of the plaintiffs are "primary targets of predatory schools," and often unable to vindicate their rights. "This has been an enormous problem in for-profit trade schools," Merrill, who filed a brief supporting the plaintiffs, said in an interview. "The decision shows that the Department of Education can't sit on those rights."
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International Business Times
Facebook And The First Amendment: Legal Challenges To Trending Controversy May Prove Difficult
The pitchforks are out for Facebook, which is under increasing scrutiny for the role humans take in deciding what stories merit inclusion in its "Trending Topics" feature. As a First Amendment matter, it's an open-and-shut case: Facebook has the right to exercise editorial judgment — by human editors or algorithms — in any manner it chooses....A call for greater transparency in Facebook's role as a news organization might bring bad publicity, but it would have no legal authority. "There may be a call for greater transparency, accountability, but now you’re running right up against the First Amendment," said Andrew Sellars, the Dunham First Amendment Fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
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Bloomberg
Sex Offenders Don’t Have a Right to Facebook
An op-ed by Noah Feldman. North Carolina bans registered sex offenders from Facebook. Unsurprisingly, a sex offender wants the Supreme Court to strike down the law. Perhaps more surprisingly, he has support from 16 notable professors of constitutional law -- from left, right and center. I’m loath to disagree with an all-star cast of colleagues that includes some of my teachers and good friends. But I think their argument goes too far.
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