Weekly Media Law Roundup April 19th

Welcome to this week’s Media Law Roundup, a summary of developing media law and policy news.

CISPA Plan to let Feds Receive Confidential Data Wins Big House Vote

On Thursday, the United States House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in a 288 to 127 vote, with 18 members abstaining. The bill would allow the government to share classified information with companies concerning possible cyber threats to American corporations’ information and patents. It also would allow companies to provide the government with information about cyber threats, including user data. Internet privacy advocates are concerned the bill will give the government the right to track any citizen, since it overrules all existing state and federal laws.

President Obama has threatened to veto CISPA, making it highly unlikely the bill will be passed through the Democrat-controlled Senate. A similar bill by the same name was passed in 2012, but did not receive enough votes in the Senate to pass. President Obama signed an executive order in January that requested the National Institute of Standards and Technology devise cybersecurity standards. The order also “expanded real time sharing of cyber threat information” and proposed a “review of existing cybersecurity regulation.”

Chinese Journalists Banned from Quoting Foreign Media

China’s media regulator-The General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television-handed down a directive this week banning the use of information products provided by foreign media or foreign websites. The notice is supposed to “stop the spread of harmful information” and “strengthen management” within the Chinese media. If the directive is implemented, Chinese newspapers would be the hardest hit, since they still rely heavily on news from foreign news organizations, like Reuters. The directive may not curb exposure to news produced by foreign media considering many citizens receive foreign news from microblogs, which are difficult to regulate.

Argentina’s President Criticizes Court Ruling that Negates Part of her Media Monopoly Law

Courts in Argentina ruled against key portions of a media law aimed at reducing the influence of Grupo Clarin, a major media corporation in the country. The court upheld the 2009 reform law, but ruled parts of the law unconstitutional including one section that would have limited the number of cable and broadcast networks an organization can own. The law would have forced Clarin to dismantle, weakening the influence of one of the largest media conglomerates in the Latin America.

President Cristina Fernandez plans to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court saying she has “never seen anything” like the ruling. Congress also plans on reviewing and reshaping the judiciary due to corruption and nepotism. The new system would feature a democratically selected board that would appoint, discipline, and even remove judges that typically serve for life.

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