W34Y23 Weekly Review: RNC v Google, Roblox, and US v SpaceX

+++Court Ruled Google Cannot Be Held Liable by RNC over SPAM Filter Policies
+++Roblox Accused of Enabling Child Gambling in Lawsuit Filed by Parents
+++The United States sues Elon Musk’s SpaceX over Hiring Discrimination Practices 

Court Ruled Google Cannot Be Held Liable by RNC over SPAM Filter Policies

The Republican National Committee failed to convince a Court that Google intentionally or negligently redirected Republican fundraising emails to its users’ spam folder costing the party hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential, political donations. A U.S. District Court Judge dismissed the RNC’s legal action as a matter of law; Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields Google from liability and the RNC failed to substantiate “bad faith” on Google’s part. Google stated its spam filter policies apply equally to all senders of emails. The RNC is allowed to amend its initial complaint.    

Read the full report on washingtonpost.com.
Read the full report on arstechnica.com
Read the case Republican National Committee v. Google Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, No. 2:22-cv-01904.

Roblox Accused of Enabling Child Gambling in Lawsuit filed by Parents

The parents of two minors have filed a lawsuit against game creation platform Roblox accusing Roblox of unlawfully enticing and facilitating child gambling. The plaintiffs claim that Roblox allows third-party gambling websites to use their platform to accept online bets using their virtual currency, Robux, on casino-style games. This is said to be in violation of Roblox’s own terms of service that prohibit simulated gambling. The lawsuit asserts that Roblox users, often children and minors, purchase Robux through the platform, and then link their Robux wallet to these external gambling sites, where Robux is converted into gambling credits. Roblox stated its commitment to combating such activities and it is maintaining a safe online experience for its users.

Read the full report on techcrunch.com.
Read the case Colvin v. Roblox Corporation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 3:23-cv-04146.

The United States sues Elon Musk’s SpaceX over Hiring Discrimination Practices 

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, for allegedly engaging in discriminatory hiring practices against asylum recipients and refugees. The lawsuit asserts that from September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX discouraged and refused to consider asylum recipients and refugees for employment based on their citizenship status, which violates the Immigration and Nationality Act. SpaceX incorrectly cited export control laws to claim it could only hire U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents in job postings and public statements. The lawsuit also points to CEO Elon Musk’s online statements as examples of discriminatory behavior. The lawsuit seeks back pay, policy changes, and civil penalties to ensure compliance with non-discrimination regulations. SpaceX claims the lawsuit is politically motivated and defends its practices based on international arms trafficking law.

Read the full press release by the Department of Justice.
Read the full report on bloomberg
Read the full report on reuters
Read the complaint United States of America v. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (8 U.S.C. § 1324b)

More Headlines

  • Digital Services Act: “Big Tech isn’t ready for landmark EU rules that take effect tomorrow” (by ArsTechnica)
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act: “YouTube Accused of Violating Pact Against Tracking Kids for Ads” (by Bloomberg Law)
  • Copyright Law: “Studios’ Offer to Writers May Lead to AI-Created Scripts That Are Copyrightable” (by The Hollywood Reporter)
  • Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act: “A Controversial Right-to-Repair Car Law Makes a Surprising U-Turn” (by Wired)

In Other News (or publications you should read)

  • Richard Allen’s regulate.tech blog: How to regulate the internet without breaking it
  • Benjamin Wittes, Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith’s lawfare: Hard national security choices 
  • Julie Zerbo’s the fashion law (TFL)
  • Justin Hendrix’ tech policy press: technology and democracy.

This post originated from my publication Codifying Chaos.

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