This Week in Tech 972 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

00:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's time for twit this week at tech.

Brianna Woo is here, kathy Gelliser, attorney, is here, rob Pegoraro is here, lily the dog is here and we're gonna talk about the DOJ versus Apple, congress versus tick tock and the state of Tennessee versus AI. The Elvis Act, it's all coming up. Next on twit right, right. This episode is brought to you by Z Scaler, the leader in clown security. Cyber attackers are now using AI and creative ways to compromise users and breach organizations. In a security landscape where you must fight AI with AI, the best AI Protection comes from having the best data. Z Scaler has extended its zero trust architecture with powerful AI engines that are trained in, tuned by 500 trillion daily signals. Learn more about Z Scaler zero trust plus AI To prevent ransomware and AI attacks. Experience your world secured. Visit Z Scaler comm slash zero trust AI Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is twit. This is twit this week in tech, episode 972, recorded Sunday, march 24th 2024 judicial whimsy.

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Get one month free when you Subscribe to any of ecamm's plans. Visit ecammcom slash twit. Eca, mmcom slash twit and don't forget to use a promo code twit at checkout. It's time for twit this week at tech, the show. We cover the week's tech news. This is a big week in tech news, so we have assembled and esteemed a accomplished, a talented, a brilliant panel To figure out what the hell is going on here, starting with Rob Peggar Raro. You know him From the Washington Post, where he was a long time ago, consumer reformer life.

And many other publications. It's great to see you again, rob. Thanks for joining us. Also with us a former Congressional candidate for the Massachusetts I never remember what district district a district, the nth district, brianna, who she's now director. Executive director rebellion pack.

03:34 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Hello Brianna, so good to see you. I always love being on this way. I have to spend a Sunday.

03:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You knew you should come out for GDC because you could have been sitting next to me with the Rob and our other panelists.

03:46 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
We could have been partying together. I make very bad decisions and now they're coming back to buy all right.

03:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
All right, I'm in party.

03:53 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Wait. I have to point this out before we go. Every time we come, I had a new vintage video game poster to my background. Now We've got Tekken 2. I believe this is from 1990. Was that 1994? Remember, this is a real one from Japan. Yeah it's very hard to get look at that haircut, holy cow. You should try that. Leo the Hachi, you should do that.

04:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, the Tekken 2 is there is now. They kept doing it right. There's like Tekken 4, 5, 7. We are at 8. Yeah, we're at 8.

04:25 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Wow, I don't want to get into your parenting style, but would you throw your son off a cliff Like they do in Tekken, would you do? No, I wouldn't do that, you know.

04:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
let's go and tell me to Gotta gotta acknowledge that Kathy Gellis is also here, cg council comm. She writes a tech dirt. She is a lawyer admitted to the bar at the United States Supreme Court. That gives her some standing, I think, to talk about the the meat of the matter this week. Yes, kathy, great to see you, thank you.

So, for those listening at home, keeping score at home, kathy and Robert in studio, which means Brianna is gonna have to assert herself To get in, get a wedge into this conversation. But I know you're capable of it, brianna. I will do my best, do your best. So, of course, the big story of the week I Would. I've been in the Cabo San Lucas for the last 12 days. Every day I just briefly check my phone to see anything happened. Nothing happens. Nothing happens. The day before I come home, oh, the Department of Justice sues Apple First for antitrust. This is a big one, probably the biggest one since 1998, when the DOJ sued Microsoft for similar antitrust reasons. Now, rob, you've, you've actually had. You told me you annotated, annotated the 85-page complaint. That is a roping right here. That is a bold.

05:55 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Highlighted it, you read it and you made notes.

06:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, which I'm sure you did as well, kathy.

06:02 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's been a week On my to-do list. She's on her list.

06:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
She's gonna get to it, folks, but that's not gonna stop you from having that's an informed opinion. Brianna, have you read the 85-page complaint?

06:16 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I I want to front with y'all. I've not done this, so, but I have read all the cover.

06:22 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I've read a variety of toots and skits. That's really all you.

06:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I can reflect the takes a variety of toots and skits, it's all it's necessary.

Actually, I'm not kind of an interesting commentator on this. Steven Sonofsky, who was the man responsible for the fine windows eight Debacle at Microsoft he's left Microsoft and actually becomes somewhat of an Apple fanboy in the years intervening and his block. He says it's gonna come down to Basically two parties, and I kind of agree with him the people who believe big tech is too big and that the federal government has got to reign them in the, the, the people in favor of federal Action to break up some of these monopolies or do something about these monopolies. And then the other side is gonna be big people who love Apple, the, the cult of Mac he calls them who who are just gonna say, but yeah, but what's the? Where's the harm? Your honor, we're pretty darn happy with our iPhones and our, our, our walled garden, and Where's the harm? So I guess I should ask each of you first. Let's start with you, kathy Are, are you on one of those two sides, or have you found a third, a middle?

07:39 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, I'm always on team nuance, so I'm rarely on team big one thing New ones is growing smaller by the day. Yeah, probably are very particular rules for how you join seems to be an obstacle. But you know, I don't think it's the very American thing of if a little is good, a lot must be better is just not, I think, a good way to run a country and have policy. So the To have these binaries. Are we going to be on team? Yes, everything tech does.

That's much better than everything the government do like no. There's a role for government, a tarot Lord one, and it can be big sometimes, but it still has to be careful, especially the bigger it's going to be. And then there's some role for Innovation to come out of what we seem to like to label as big tech, but sometimes they've actually got some good ideas and stand for reasonable principles. And sometimes it's too clunky and cumbersome. Don't tell me you're a both sides are I'm team nuance team nuance.

We're gonna change that to my caption, I think.

08:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's fair. Yeah, that's fair. This was, by the way, not with just from the Department of Justice, but with the help of a number of states. Attorneys general, new Jersey, arizona.

08:50 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
California, dc. Suspects there, though it isn't.

08:52 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
It's not the red states like there's, there are not that many areas where the the attorneys general of New York and North Dakota, yeah, great. Besides, like murder is bad, Either, but I'm Not necessarily.

09:09 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't look at a whole bunch of attorney generals on a brief and think, oh well, that lends credibility to it. I tend to actually look at and say that's it's keeps gonna keystone cops time. I think it actually sinks the credibility. I'd rather sort of see the deal because it's too politicized. I mean, that's one of the things that we see, where we do see weird clusters of Red ages and blue ages, but we tend to see them just wanting to assert their own, flex their own muscles, and I'm not sure that's good policy, especially for something that's really interstate commerce.

09:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, that is one of the intriguing Stories about this anti-big-tech movement is it is Reeled in people from both sides of the aisle, for differing reasons.

09:53 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And then they think they can regulate, even though the exact same they want opposite things out of the regulation, which means that it's impossible. Yeah they do a lot of destruction in the process of you know Never in the process of not coming to any possible agreement. They do a lot of damage.

10:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's an off ski kind of, says it is a political Move. Is it a political move?

10:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, everything is political. The question whether there's anything. Really intellectually redeeming about it and I have to sort of put a pin in it because I want to read it more. Yeah, but essentially, you know, one of the things to ask yourself is they're looking at the current state of affairs and saying this isn't good. We're deeming it wrong. So what is the? What is the picture they want to have painted instead? Is that a viable picture we could actually achieve, and is it one that's actually better, or does it cause more problem?

10:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Do they start talking about remedies, not at the beginning, at the end? Because they're not saying I thought they didn't specify Remind with the with the Microsoft case. They wanted to break Microsoft up.

10:54 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
As I read and the Google display ads case, where they also asked for structural off, your cell off. Remedies is bring me the circular saw right.

11:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They're not saying whether they want structural remedies, fines or Change behavior. They're kind of punting on that.

11:10 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, one of the things is, even if they're right, where the picture we currently have is a bad one, is the pressure that they're putting on this company and the ecosystem going to give us a new picture that is better? Yeah, because two things could be true. They could be right that you know Apple is wrong in some ways, but it could also be that the cure is worse than the disease. So there's a lot of analytical steps to go through here and again. That's kind of why I'm on team nuance as opposed to team go government or go big tech, because the answers to those questions may not be the same. And then what do you do? How do you get the better world if this world isn't good enough and we need something better?

11:54 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I really like that answer, team nuance, because I read about this, I heard about this and just before I say anything, I should say I'm so glad to be the non-lawyer guest on this week.

12:04 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I'm not a lawyer.

12:05 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
You've got. Oh, are you not okay?

12:07 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
No, he just plays.

12:16 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I'm happy to give you an analysis for a political and someone who's entirely unqualified to.

12:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But you, but you are any of this, but you do understand politics better than I understand tech politics.

12:26 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I mean how this stuff gets done. So what I would say with this is just being really honest. I heard about this suit and my first gut reaction it was not nuanced.

I love Apple, I use Apple products. I believe in the encryption, the privacy you know of Apple stuff, like I message, and you know you read the stuff. Like Android, you know like you read the the Justice Department arguing that you know Android users face quote-unquote social stigma From the green bubble and I'm like, come on, it's just really what the government needs to be messing with the encryption of my messages. Give me a break. But then, you know, you start really reading into it and reading some of the things that they've unearthed and the allegations that they've made and it really I don't know if y'all have had a chance to read Kara Swisher's new book yet burn book. It's excellent and one of the things she talks about is this just Unmitigated arrogance that has been going on with Silicon Valley for a long time and these men that feel like they control the world in her Very low on empathy for anyone else man that by the way, kara asked in interview her on her book tour all across the country.

13:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So there's a little my gosh question about her Objectivity in this matter and I don't plan to read it, but I'll let you read it, oh it's quite good.

13:44 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I really enjoyed it. But my point is, you know, I think there's real arrogance there. If you read some of the, the discussions that Apple had internally to reach these decision points, you can really see how it it was. Not the. The walled garden was very much a strategy, right?

14:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's. There's no doubt about that. This was, yeah, absolutely implemented by Apple intentionally. They've got the receipts to prove it. They've got the emails 100% yeah. I.

14:16 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Mean, I think. I think you know, in theory, this case is a big test for whether there is merit to the walled garden approach or whether there's never merit to the walled garden approach, and I'm sort of that's a very good point.

I'm sort of afraid of. I think that's a really significant question and I'm dubious that a Massive lawsuit like this is the way to actually answer it, because it also may be a question with no answer. But that seems to be the thing. Like there are, there's clearly anti competitive effects to having a walled garden, but Apple probably can make some reasonable assertions for. But there's also some benefits and I think one of the thing that's gonna get tested in this lawsuit is whether it's claimed to the benefits, how much water it holds and then also weigh that water to see whether that's enough water to overcome the harms that they have.

And I think some of the allegation, like with the green bubble thing, is the idea that no interoperability Really has Much more benefits, including for the bigger picture of the overall security of the ecosystem, and that the more Gatekeeping you have, the more difficult it is for the other systems to be secure. And maybe from a macro level the gatekeeping is bad. But I mean, apple has been telling a story and I don't think they're just using it as a pretext that one of the reasons they like the walled garden is because in theory they can control that well, dojo does think it's a pretext We'll get to that.

15:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Okay, which team are you on, rob so?

15:43 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I am a long-time customer of Apple's products, although not with this laptop.

15:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I see a windows laptop in your lap, but okay.

15:50 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Android phone in my pocket, the iPad is back at home, but also a long time skeptic of a lot of the things it does. I think the complaint here. It Makes a good case for Apple engaging in a lot of greedy rent seeking behavior. It is a little economic jargon which is not really news.

No, it's not when they announced the, the Apple tax. The 30% take on digital transactions, even when it is, you know, downloading a TV episode where Apple's not hosting it. They're not checking it for bugs, they're just running a credit card. That's not what you should pay 30% on. That seemed exploitative to me, you know, 1213 years ago. Does that amount to Apple creating and preserving of a monopoly? To argue that it has monopoly, the? The DOG argument is that there's this category of performance smartphones.

16:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The DOJ has a huge problem here. In fact, I think there's a risk Kathy You're gonna have to tell me if I'm off base that a judge might simply say they're not a monopoly. They have no more than 50 or 60 percent of the US smartphone market, 55 percent of the total market.

16:59 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
They say 70% in the performance. They had to create a new category. This is something you always see in antitrust cases. When two airlines want to merge, they'll say well, the market isn't just right. Air travel People might take the train or drive or hitchhike or bike long distances, and so really, appreciate him leaving at me when he said this Do you like to make long distance? I do like to buy she had an impressive skeet about a cycling achievement which seemed unimaginable to me. I remembered in that later and so.

So they have to say that there's this corner market a market, teenagers it's even higher. But yeah, you could also say what is the? The rod and flurrent relevant market as people with smartphones in the San Francisco Bay Area Right and so what?

17:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
it's artificial yeah so I don't do. Is that not possible that a judge might just dismiss it and say, look, you don't you need to have a monopoly to to invoke the Sherman antitrust Act. I Microsoft at 90% of this time market.

17:57 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
That was a much more question much more clear argument you had a monopoly there, or?

18:01 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think the answer is yes, but I'm not entirely sure that that's something that Necessarily happens at the motion to dismiss stage.

18:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm not not entirely positive certainly Apple will file a motion to dismiss Right away, right.

18:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Probably, but this is like the biggest and the most complex litigation, with a lot of strategic Components to it, so you can't dismiss it all. It's. You know what they want and how they want to play it and where they are like. I haven't looked into the venue and which courts and which judges and all Of that is going to well, they picked a, they picked a favorable Court and they picked a favorable Venue.

18:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm told I don't know. I think about that, but although it favorable to whom?

18:41 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
so, if it's a DOJ favorable one, one of the things Apple may try to do is go to a different one. Yeah.

You know, they'll kind of decide. I mean, maybe they want to do. They may decide for any number of reasons. They want to just plow through it and reach the merits, but there's gonna be a lot. I would be more likely to expect a lot of procedural stuff. Like you know, don't pop your popcorn yet because there's a lot that's going to unfold and it's gonna be stocking up on popcorn, though, definitely you can buy the popcorn, but don't pop it.

19:08 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Rob and I both copper features are up on the news.

19:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I guess Rob and I both covered the Microsoft DOJ thing and that went on for ten years. Yeah, it's early 90s. It came to a head 98.

19:20 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
That's yeah. So it's funny because in a multiple places the the current complaint Refers back to. That talks about the whole thesis of middleware, which I think was one thing that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson got very right in the Microsoft case. He he was actually a pretty good technology analyst. He said look, you will be able to write apps that run on the browser. That'll take the place Of these things you have to install on Windows. Microsoft sees that as a threat. They want to control the browser market. Well, lo and behold, how many, how many different Google Docs do we each have open on our laptops right now?

19:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Right, well, how many copies of Google Doc open? That's our show. I have word on this laptop. It's not running right now.

19:58 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Uh-huh, just I don't know the test bar, and so it's running that DOJ is sort of taking credit for you know, apple could do this because we helped them, which is kind of a stretch. That was wild. And and then they're saying you know, apple is thinking that maybe super apps will be the next middleware, which, yeah, I'm a skeptic of that entire category, because the number is what Elon wants to create right like do I want an American? We chat no interesting.

20:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We chat is available on the App Store. So this is hard, your hard press, to say Apple doesn't the real thing.

20:33 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
It's not as much CCB surveillance as the domestic.

20:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Okay but it's still, we chat. Yes, yeah, they chose New Jersey.

20:42 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, I like New Jersey.

20:45 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Native son of the garden state as a man is maybe not the nicest part of free on our.

20:50 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Do you have a connection to New Jersey or you no?

20:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
no, so they pick the third circuit which, according to a law professor quoted by a blog I'm reading, says that's favorable To antitrust enforcement, uncommonly friendly to monopolization cases. So you know it. This is one reason. By the way, all those AGs were on there. It allowed them to cherry pick the district and it was the New Jersey attorney general who filed.

21:21 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, if Apple doesn't want to go to New Jersey, they can move it. Well, I don't know if they can, but I wouldn't be surprised if they Didn't try, because I mean they're, in theory, a Delaware corporation Headquartered in California right. So the jurisdictional strings to pull to end up in New Jersey are a little bit more.

21:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I can assure you, your honor, that New Jerseyites are mostly the ones who were hurt by this Apple strategy. Am I wrong?

21:48 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
maybe. So I mean, if you look at this from like a 30,000 foot view, I mean I'm I'm not so certain about the merits of this particular case. What I do like is a justice department that's getting more involved in this.

22:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I do agree with you on that, yeah, and I will defend the FTC and Lena Khan and the DOJ because we have had, since Reagan, very little antitrust enforcement depends when they use it.

22:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, I don't think I like the complete as I fair that came out of a lot of the more conservative Administrations. I think for the reasons that you're intimating at like there's a lot of like this is probably going to be a problem for Consumers and they just sort of let it happen, let a ton of consolidation happen, but I've been very skeptical about a lot of the antitrust moves on the Technology front well, they've been very aggressive in the Biden administration.

I've been aggressive in the Trump administration too. I mean, I think the Biden is probably more principled about it, but.

22:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But I have some concerns like the threat to sue to force the sale of tick tock started under Trump. Yeah there's one example.

22:54 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, well and.

22:55 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I like to talk now, now.

23:00 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
No, but to come back to this, like I really do think this push is important I mean just taking tick, tock as an example. Imagine waking up tomorrow and China put what? 20 million listening devices through everyone's houses in America. We would be freaking out. And you know we're trying to do like the bare steps to like look at bringing in some regulation, the exact kind of kind of laws that we applied to TV and radio, just without blinking a few years ago.

But these tech companies have so much power overall. What did they do? They put a push notification out to every single person's phone and are basically Weaponizing that audience to try to defeat the democratic process. Right, like there is a lot of power here and I think is long past time that our government started pushing back on it. So, you know, I think we can have a conversation about how this legislation, how this lawsuit is going to go and what the remedies might be, and I'm sure, like we will really get into the details of like you know, like like monopsmes, of part manufacturing and encryption, and that's all going to be a valid conversation. I think, at the core, democracy itself is weaker because our government has not done its damn job at this and I think I really don't want that to get lost in the conversation.

24:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, in fact, I completely agree with you. Free market and capitalism does not work absent regulation on trust, that's what breaks the free market. You need competition to have a successful free market.

24:32 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The problem with some of this, though, is what the remedy is, because two things can be true Tech.

I'll just use big tech, although I don't completely want to validate the term, but big tech does a ton of dumb stuff where I'm constantly face palming and thinking, you know, anywhere from this is stupid to oh my gosh, what the hell were you thinking? But what does the role for government there? Because the role for government and when does it see the problem and when does it rush in can create some new problems, including impacts on speech, where, like a lot of like particularly the Trump DOJ was, he didn't like the speech that was getting facilitated, and so they're using antitrust as a cudgel to essentially go after messages, because, you know, big tech does have some clout in the speech department. This will be what we talk about with, like the Supreme Court cases, where, yeah, what?

How Facebook moderates does have a huge effect on the ecosystem of what speech is out there in the world, but to then look at it and say, well, there's monopolistic features to this and therefore is appropriate for the government to overrule their independent editorial discretion, that is a big consequence. And it's a big consequence where, even if you think Facebook is moderating badly. That remedy is really annihilating.

25:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let me, let me. I do want to say if I can jump in for just one second.

25:52 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Can I just say one thing super quickly, Like I hear you on that? I really do, and we are all at on this panel today. I think we're hypereducated on this stuff. We understand that nuance. But I also think there's this I don't know what to call it, except the tech pundit merry-go-round, right where we we look at this stuff.

26:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Hey, that's my business, young lady. Fair enough, I'm not messing with the merry-go-round.

26:16 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
But I'm talking like you pick a problem and you like, find some theoretical thing that could emerge from not doing it correctly. Fair work, we could all name a hundred with this today, but it consistently has paralyzed us from giving the government any kind of agency in playing a regulatory role, and I'm, I'm it's you have to understand. Name me an issue, whether it's porn regulation or social media or minors, what they're being exposed to, or encryption, like every single issue. We get on this merry-go-round and we trick ourselves into paralysis and I I I don't know if it's serving the conversation.

26:59 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, here's the good news we have absolutely nothing to do with the court process and so, whatever we say on this merry-go-round, we're just going to spin around, but the but, the actual process is ongoing and, I think we all hope, effective in one way or another. I don't think we need to agree on what, what the result needs to be, but I think we all agree that there should be a conversation about the power of the tech wheels in our lives, which is increasing, and the fact that that is increasingly dominated by a handful of companies, I think, is a reasonable cause for concern. So this conversation is an important conversation. I do because my brain is so limited, I don't. It'd be very easy for us to go off into tick-tock and other stuff. Let's, let's focus right now. We can do that later in the show, but I want to focus right now on this specific DOJ versus Apple lawsuit, because there's more than enough here to talk about Lots on pack.

Yeah, for instance, one of the things that DOJ complained about is the Apple watch. The only thing that I can have seen so far as a response from Apple is the response that your, your honor. We've been trying to get it to work on Android for three years and we we haven't been able to because it's technically too difficult. Now I'm not sure I believe Apple's response on that, but they do say but we tried, we really did try. I want to read the first paragraph of of the suit because I think, first of all, it's written not like what I think of as a normal lawsuit, but more like a time magazine article.

You know, in 2010, a top Apple executive emailed Apple's then CEO about an ad for the new Kindle eReader. The ad began with a woman who was using her iPhone to buy and read books on the Kindle app. She then switches to an Android smartphone and continues to read her books using the same Kindle app. The executive wrote to Steve Jobs. One quote message that can't be missed is that it is easy to switch from iPhone to Android. Not fun to watch, end quote. Jobs was clear in his response Apple would force developers to use its payment system to lock in both developers and users on its platform. Now they have the email right, so they know that this actually exchange happened many, many years 14 years ago. But they have, I'm sure, many more emails from previous lawsuits versus Epic and others. They have a lot, and Samsung and Google they have a lot of evidentiary documents. I'm sure one of the negatives of this, always for Apple, is that there will be even more discovery.

29:38 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Well, my favorite quote in it is not something that they had to go through discovery to get. It's when Tim Cook was asked. Somebody said when I text my mother, she she gets greeny videos and whatnot, because Apple only chose to support SMS for iPhone to Android messaging. Apple's response was by your mom and iPhone, which was bad, Incredibly stupid, Like right. Then I can imagine Apple's lawyers were throwing up in their mouths.

30:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And actually I think. Apple may not be in blame for this, because Apple's forced to use SMS and MMS, and these are the standards for those crappy.

30:13 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
RCS has been around, not just the, the, the school, they say to RCS this year. So this is interesting case, because I always thought Apple had no justification for doing what they did. If you're saying privacy is a fundamental human right, then you can't leave this important channel of communication totally unencrypted in the clear because we don't want to do RCS, when Google have been pleading publicly, apple get the message hashtag and none of the arguments for not doing it made sense. They would say we can't do RCS because it's not encrypted end to end. Right, why does Apple mail exist? Why does iCloud mail exist? Because that's not encrypted end to end. So if, if nothing but EDE encryption will will do, then you have to shut down your mail service and let people choose a third party mail client.

31:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We mocked that tasteful. We mocked that Google campaign for a long time because, of course, users don't care, and we thought, oh, they're trying to get users to complain to Apple. Now, in hindsight, I'm thinking maybe the real point of that message was the government and giving them perhaps the government organization based in Brussels or the EU.

31:24 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
The EU said you must have interoperability, and then hell froze over and Apple said we'll do this thing, which the settlement acknowledges, which in some ways undercuts the DAJ's case.

31:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But it also makes it in the sense that if with absent governmental pressure, apple's not going to do the best thing for its customers, so we need to pursue these.

31:41 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
And now there's this weird precedent that, because of all the stuff that's happening in the EU, the, the these sweeping giant regulatory packages Apple has already created the, the EU spec version of iOS, where you can do things like have other app stores. You can um, publishers can link out to their own payment systems, they can tell you that you can pay elsewhere and the developer doesn't have to fork over 15 to 30%. We in the US don't get that Right, so perhaps Apple will decide we'll offer you some of these things, We'll we'll bring over some of that, since we already did the work.

32:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There's another problem that I think comes again down to these teams. But Apple users don't choose the iPhone because they have to. Uh, I use an iPhone because I want to.

32:31 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't use an iPhone because I don't want to.

32:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And you have the choice.

32:35 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
It was that stupid lightning port and I'm still bitter about it.

32:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You have the choice. I'm not using the iPhone jack thing, so you guys are using Windows and Android. Because you have a choice.

32:43 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, there is the, the general thing of do we have adequate choices, or, um, uh, too many things being squeezed out, but? And the answer may be yes, but um yeah, I never really liked the Apple my Way or the highway. This is how we approach.

32:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And you have a choice.

32:59 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And, um, it was nice that I did. I sort of do feel like my choices are being constrained. I don't really feel like I've got adequate choices. But yes, technically there is at least one other option, maybe two other options. So, but you know, what do you want from your computing? Because now we actually kind of want and even need more than I think we necessarily saw before. We need the device, we need the operating system, but we also do need, um, this is not going to be the right word.

Some sort of babysitting like who's going to do my cybersecurity? Like you know, I can't. I don't have the time or the. I don't want to admit to the lack of sophistication, but I'm not. You know, this is not my day job, so, um, but that's.

33:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Apple's strong argument is look, we're doing all of this to make a ecosystem that is safe, secure and private for you.

33:45 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And the counter argument is, say offer all that so people can go to any payment provider, any app platform, but give the consumer a reason to choose yours. You can't just forestall the choice, and I think that's probably the crux of the case, that they're forestalling the choice as opposed to actually competing, because their delivery of these features would actually be better than anybody else's Cause it also doesn't give anybody else a chance to be better than Apple would be.

34:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is that the case, though? I mean, uh, I think you can make the case that Google has fumbled Android. Uh, Samsung has done a pretty credible job with their. You're using a Google phone.

34:21 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm using a Google phone.

34:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Google Pixel phone.

34:23 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You also?

34:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
pixel. I have a pixel. Well, not just in terms of offering many of the same ecosystem protections that Apple offers.

34:30 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Um, well, some of that is. You're now on an entirely different device ecosystem. The choice is much bigger. But I'm thinking for some of this of like um, make a lot of what Apple is delivering more a la carte Cause right now. I think there's a big tying and bundling argument wrapped up in it where once you are in the Apple ecosystem, it's Apple.

34:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Tying and bundling is what got Microsoft in trouble. Yeah, that was the big problem for.

34:52 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Microsoft, and that I mean this is tricky in the tech space where everything is evolving and moving so fast. But I think the idea is like, okay, you've got your device, you've got your operating system, you've got your app store, you've got the filtering you're doing on the app store, you've got payments, and the idea that it all has to be one stop with Apple as opposed to. Could you bifurcate and split off some of these features where other people can just compete, like for the payment process, open it up Another payment. Like could you use another payment processor, could you use another app store?

35:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Why is it? I can only use Apple pay with my NFC and my phone Every single feature that an Apple device so it makes a good argument that if you had app store competition, you could have one that was optimized for parents.

35:31 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
So we're only going to accept apps that you know you can have more restrictors more restricted more private points out that Apple has allowed enterprises, companies, whatever. If you're in an enterprise context, then you have these other options that American consumers don't get.

35:48 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
If I could just jump in, and something I would add to that is I don't think it's unreasonable now, like the smartphone market is very mature and every single year it seems like Apple is trying to come out with new features and things like that. I don't see any reason in the world where they can't form a standards committee with you know Android, about what a truly secure, like interoperable, like text message system would be. That you can opt into Voo or just choose not to participate in Like do this for all of these services that's. It seems to me that they've got the resources to do that and to like placate the antitrust people. It just seems like it's good for competition. It would be good for like an innovation feature. It's like data portability, something I thought a lot of tech people believed in. There's just no reason not to do this unless you are trying to lock people in.

36:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think that's a strong argument. I don't know if it's a legal argument, but that from the point of view of a consumer having a choice, you may still make the Apple choice, but having a choice is always going to be better. Having an open ecosystem, having being able to use the NFC on your iPhone for whatever payment system you feel like using is good for consumers and Apple can make. That's an opportunity for Apple to make the case. But ours is safer, but you can use whatever you want.

37:11 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, I think some of Apple's argument and maybe it's pretextual, but there could actually be something to it, so we don't want to just run roughshod over it is that they're going to argue that the closed ecosystem makes it a safer ecosystem because nothing ends up in it. That isn't supposed to be in it, because they're doing the vetting and the control.

37:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's only that we're true.

37:31 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
But there's the inconvenient fact that there is such a thing as Mac OS, where you are not right Handcuffed to a single app store. I remember seeing yeah, Apple has made this argument when they were trying to stop the EU from mandating a choice of app stores. If you make us do this, here are all the whole parade of horribles that can ensue. And of course, they never mentioned the cut they take of app store transactions. And they never mentioned the fact that they have this entire other computing platform, another category of general purpose devices where you can actually side load I'm sorry download apps from somebody's site, and it's quite often better for the developer that you do that, since they get much more of a cut of what you're paying them.

38:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And, by the way, android also offers that capability. They try to make it difficult they make it difficult, but they offer it. Apple's the only place where they have absolute control. You cannot get a browser that is not based on WebKit.

38:31 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
And Apple's. When you're the choke point, you will also see oppressive governments in the rest of the world lean on you to exercise that control. So the choice of VPN apps you have in the People's Republic of China it's probably not so great. You know, when Apple, like, is still doing business in Russia, there were various apps that were getting. It was the strategic voting app I think Alexa Navalny's people were trying to get people to use, and that Navalny app is banned in Russia on the app store, yeah, but I think both Apple and Google took it down, but Google put it back up sooner. It was not a great episode for either one, but in one of those cases it was not the only way to get the app.

39:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Right On Android and Apple. It was the only. This is we're going to. By the way, we'll wrap this up pretty quick because we have a whole show dedicated to the Macintosh coming up Tuesday in which this debate will rage for the whole show. But I do have to quote Corey Doctorow. We asked Corey to be on the show today. He couldn't. He's on an airplane, but he writes about it on his blog at Pluralisticorg. He's got that and he says and I have to laugh when I read it the foundational tenant of the cult of Mac is that buying products from a $3 trillion company makes you a member of an oppressed ethnic minority and therefore every criticism of that corporation is an ethnic slur. Call it Apple exceptionalism. The idea that Apple alone among the big tech firms is virtuous and therefore its conduct should be interpreted through that lens of virtue. He makes a point, as you just did, of China and Russia, that Apple is in fact a corporation following its best corporate interests and the interests of its stakeholders.

40:14 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Corporations are not your friends.

40:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They are not your friends. It is. It is, if it's at all true. It's a marketing cloud that Apple's woven quite well around itself and any points at Apple did go to the mattresses to fight the FBI when they tried to put a backdoor in their encryption. That Apple with, with that one click of the finger, with the application, tracking, permission, dialogue, ATT, completely decimated Facebook's ability to spy on you. So sad, To the benefit of Apple, we should point out, which is a first party, and Bruce Schneier this is again.

Corey Doctorow has a name for this practice feudal security. That's when you and this would be what you were talking about, Cathy when you seed control over your device to a big tech warlord whose walled garden becomes a fortress that defends you against external threats. And Corey points out that. External threats, yes. Internal threats not so much. And anyway, Corey, as always, is a very adept with his writing and makes a very strong case. Clearly he is of the of the more regulation, less Apple group. We're going to have three parties the nuanced party is definitely now one of the groups, the pro regulation group and then the cult of Mac group. We can add more if you need it.

41:40 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm not sure that's an equivalent taxonomy, but okay.

41:45 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I think Corey Doctorow, like I respect him, I respect, just love his work. I think he, I think his analysis of Apple is historically driven by real animosity for the company. I do think he undervalues I think he could use some team nuance because I do think he undervalues the you know, the benefits of vertical integration for normal people that are not going to like switch between five different VPNs to figure out which one works for them. I think there are benefits that he consistently discounts as analysis. I agree.

42:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
He quotes the DOJ's pleading. This is a, I think, to the point Apple wraps. This is from the Department of Justice. Apple wraps itself in a cloak of privacy, security and consumer preferences to justify its anti competitive conduct. Indeed, it spends millions on marketing and branding to promote the self serving premise Again, this is the Department of Justice that only Apple can safeguard consumers privacy and security interests. Apple selectively compromises privacy and security interests when doing so is in Apple's own financial interest, such as degrading the security of text messages, offering governments and certain companies the chance to access more private and secure versions of app stores, or accepting billions of dollars each year for choosing Google as its default search engine when more private options are available. In the end, this is to me, this is the biggest indictment of the whole 88 pages I've miscounted. In the end, apple deploys privacy and security justifications as an elastic shield that can stretch or contract to serve Apple's financial and business interests.

43:28 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
That's good writing, but is that actually a crime?

43:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It may not be a crime, but it is true. Let's say that, right. I think that that's. We know that that's the case, but is it a crime? Is it a crime, Kathy We'll?

43:41 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
see no answer Team.

43:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No answer on the game. Yeah, it's really complicated. Our friend Jason Snell wrote his opinion in his Six Colors blog. His first reaction and his biggest initial complaint is that how can you call a 60% share of a market a monopoly? And I think that that's going to be a problem too. I think. Do they not have to prove monopoly in order to make this case?

44:13 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, that's one of the things that's been kicked around in a lot of the recent from Trump and to Biden's administration about market definition is like a big thing that a crux of a lot of this hinges on, and it's not a precise science and it's an art form that seems to change to a lot of political whims, which is also not great.

So we kind of don't really have great tools, because one of the fundamental things that would make the tool work is wishy-washy, and I think there's probably things we could probably do to make it less wishy-washy. But I don't know if you can completely eradicate all of that, because sometimes markets are really it's a cross-sectional thing and especially in these new technologies where everything moves so fast, the market you thought you had today is not necessarily the market that you have tomorrow. Like, how much power did Twitter and Facebook have prior to Blue Sky and Mastodon? Like, in a year, all of a sudden there was an awful lot of market dilution and you got a lot more competition, and so that was quick and antitrust is slow.

45:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You use the word monopsony, and this is something Lena Kahn at the FTC has talked about. Senator Warren, from your state of Massachusetts, breonna, has talked about Commonwealth, not a state the Commonwealth, pardon me, pardon me. Let's get that right. Apple is a monopsony. I don't think the DOJ addresses that particularly.

45:39 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I haven't looked for it. Yeah, as far as I can tell they haven't. But sometimes you can have a company that the company itself is fine, but a thing they are doing is not fine, and sometimes the company inherently is so un-fine that like that's why you wouldn't want a merger or something like that.

45:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, one of the things and a lot of people brought this up as a kind of a howler in the DOJ document is that they said and now Apple is going to use this market power to dominate the auto industry, using CarPlay, which made a lot of us go. What?

46:09 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
But what I thought was GM not insane when they said we're not going to do CarPlay or Android Auto, but it's GM, so we could.

46:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Actually didn't GM back down, though I think GM back down and said yeah.

46:19 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
They back down and saying we're not going to sell our customers' data to insurance companies. Oh yeah, I mean unbelievable.

46:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's a multi controversy week in any of this space for any particular player it's hard to keep track of. Like you're the good guy in this one, you're the bad guy in that one. You're, you know, the victim in this one. It's just.

46:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Uh, neiline Patel in the Verge and this is again from Jason's article he points out said that there is that. This implies perhaps that Apple is going to pull a Google on car manufacturers and say you can't use CarPlay unless you let us take over the entire auto interface, which would be a grab for power. I don't know if the Apple car will live on that way. I don't know how effective it would be.

46:58 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think companies like GM you know there will be other companies that would say, well, no, that's too lucrative for us to control that, or too important, or I think what we're seeing is that the car manufacturers want to actually use the leverage and the fact that people still need cars to then become tech players themselves, where they want to actually be able to compete full throatedly with Google and Apple, et cetera, because essentially now we've realized the car is the computer on wheels. So they want to be tech companies more than they may necessarily want to be auto companies.

47:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)

47:29 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The same way, airlines are now credit card companies.

47:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, everybody's a tech company nowadays. Yeah.

47:34 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And you know, on the one hand, that should say, ooh, more players equals better stuff, but everybody is really trying to build, you know, their land grabbing, so they're all trying to build the biggest fences that they possibly can. It's kind of interesting that Apple is taking the first hit, but I might actually be more worried about some of the stuff that's happening on the sidelines with other things about. Like you know, are the car manufacturers doing things where they get maybe an undue amount of influence over what everybody else is competing? You want to bundle something in a car?

48:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, you're bundling it to their specific. That's the ultimate. I mean it's, it's. You're on four wheels, you can't use anything else. Yeah.

48:12 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And we didn't really have this problem, I guess in the car industry where, yeah, you could have third party radios and third party sunroofs and stuff like that and the ability to have third party features and services in a car Is that under threat right now?

48:30 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
And is it good, bad or otherwise under threat? What kind of third party gear have you put in that Porsche, yours lately?

48:35 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I'm a Porsche purist so I only do Porsche stuff. But it's a real problem. The lock in. I mean for the Porsche 718 Cayman, for that particular model you can't use an Android phone in it just because they have a contract with Apple and you're completely locked out, have to buy the. It comes at very high cost because you've guys spent $1,567 to add the Porsche version of that. Just have navigation in your hundred thousand dollars.

49:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, that's ridiculous. Oh, that's so. I drive a BMW which is running on Android Auto. You use the Android operating system, but I can run car play or Android Auto on top of it, but when I run car play on top of it, I really end up in the BMW interface. They don't. You could live in the car play interface, but it it. Lots of stuff doesn't work right, and so I think that car manufacturers are very aware of Apple and would be very reluctant to give over much power to Apple.

49:34 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I think that's fair. Yeah, Something I'm really worried about with all of this is, you know, it's an election year and I I I see the Biden administration picking some big fights. I personally agree with them the TikTok ban now kind of going after Apple, but this is going to be a really close election. I really it's really interesting to see like Congress picking this fight, when the regulatory consequences of the fights they're picking are going to be salient, election issues and having done nothing back when no one would have noticed or cared. It's just. It's very interesting, cause I can see a lot of this swinging the election.

50:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, that's interesting Really.

50:17 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, definitely oh the TikTok. Ban 100% oh the TikTok.

50:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But swinging it for whom?

50:25 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
They're, they're, we're going to need to see to win this thing. It's, it's, it's.

50:30 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Democrat suicide to go antagonize the youth vote.

50:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't understand why their response would be to not vote, not to vote for the other guy.

50:39 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, am I voting for the other?

50:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
guy. Well, I'm not, he was the guy who wanted the ban TikTok in the first place, yeah, but now he's different. But I don't.

50:46 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But they're not going to see they're not going to see any sort of agency that Democrats are going to be speaking for them. They're going to see the Democrats are.

50:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's a huge mistake.

50:55 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's a huge mistake.

50:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let's take a break. I do. We can move on from the Apple thing I do. But we should address this TikTok thing, cause that's very it's a very interesting and new I think it that talk about team nuance. It's a nuanced conversation.

51:07 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm not entirely sure. Actually it is. I mean, I'll always bring nuance, but but I think it's.

51:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't think the things hold, hold on hold the thought. Okay, hold the thought. I think it we'll see. I think there's some nuance here, but we'll see our show today brought to you. By by the way, great to have all three of you here. Kathy Gellis obviously knows where she speaks. We've had her on many times. She's an attorney, writes for tech dirt and is admitted to the bar for the Supreme court. We are going to talk about McMurthy McMurthy Murthy versus Missouri in a little bit. Okay, both of you have a stake in. That's Rob Paragaro, who is also more than welcome on our microphone, although it's only your second time, but we're. That was just because you live in DC, but I guess we could use zoom to talk to you. It's great to have you in here, rob. And, of course, brianna Wu from rebellion pack speed runner. Princess peach, you still, you still, number two.

52:07 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I'm still number two, but there's a new princess peach game out. It's called princess peach show time and I am obsessed with it and already working to set the world record.

52:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Do you ever do princess peach cosplay?

52:18 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
No that's not my look, leah, I don't know I thought maybe I don't know, I don't know. I'm super not working. I'm sorry.

52:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
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Here's the one point of concern. First of all, there seems to be now, that was a. It was passed out of the Committee into the house. The house passed it. It is now sitting on Chuck Schumer's desk. He has refused to bring it up in the Senate. It's up to him. I'm not sure why.

The Senate has received briefings from the intelligence community saying something Scary, and I think it's one of the reasons the house suddenly passed this and that President Biden, by the way, has has promised to sign it if the Senate will get it through. In fact, there are some members of Congress who are saying Well, maria Cantwell, the chair of the Commerce Committee, said the next steps might be something more public, a hearing in a joint way, or perhaps to let the intelligence report Go public. People need to hear this. What could it say? That would make these members of Congress so adamant about banning tick-tock, by the way? A ban or a sale? But the Chinese government has been pretty clear they're not going to allow a sale of tick-tock. So it would be. It would effectively ban it in the United States.

57:21 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Well, we'll see if they blink. If we do that, china says a lot of stuff and then you know the diplomatic process kicks in. But let's be really clear. It's not like bite dance has not been caught spying on people already, leo, you're a journalist. Byte dance got caught basically surveilling Journalists on the platform to try figure out who their employees were leaking data to. They promised to do better and it's very unclear that they that they have. So I have zero, zero doubt that they are going to abuse this massive amount of information that they've had. And let's also be clear, like tick-tock has had four years to clean up their mess since the Trump years and they have fallen into scandal after scandal after scandal after scandal. They're not serious about this and we need to take them at their word with that. So there's a very long history in this country of making sure that foreign powers do not have control over our information space. Rupert Murdoch was forced to become an American citizen before he could complete one of his major television station deals.

58:28 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I wish it was such a good idea.

58:31 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
You know what I actually do, because something Rupert Murdoch has done is he's always really treasured a good relationship With whoever is president of the United States, particularly when they are Republicans, and I think I have, as a Democrat, a lot of criticisms of Fox News, but I don't think they're inherently trying to push the the agenda of the CCP. Or Russia said these are important Like precedents in law. Yeah, I don't know why the hell big tech just gets a pass on any of this.

59:00 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, but none of this solves this problem. I mean, one of the things I came up with okay, so let's say you force the sale of tiktok. Then a whole bunch of people came out of the woodwork saying, well, we can fund the purchase of it. They're not people. I want to have my data anyway. Meanwhile, all the American companies are completely free to collect whatever and then just sell it to China because there's no law banning that, like there is a.

Yeah, let's say, there's a legitimate problem of apps being able to slurp a lot of data and sending that data to people who really shouldn't have it.

That is a significant policy problem.

But forcing the sale doesn't solve that policy problem and it runs headlong into and I think facially and I think this is also why a lot of the the Politicians are going along with it it impinges on speech because right now there's a prop, that is, a platform that seems to induce an exchange, a certain type of information that isn't necessarily Hospitably found on other platforms and that will go away, and that is a problem.

So you end up inflicting that problem of the huge hit to speech and the ability of people to express themselves and consume other People's expression, and you still haven't solved the keeping data out of the hands of people who really shouldn't have it. So you're not solving the problem, you're just creating a new one and on that front it's garbage and unredeemable garbage. And thank goodness Like there's a little bit more sanity on the Senate side to sort of realize hang on a second, this is not fit for purpose in terms of what we're doing and it's not like the Democrat, it's not like anybody in the house Really engage team nuance to sort of notice that this is actually not a solution to the problem that we're addressing and there's no recognition that it won't, or acknowledgement or even some sense of loss in terms of what can't, what problem it would actually induce is it cynical of me to say that the house passed it because they don't care if it hurts Biden's candidacy?

01:00:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
that the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, is a little bit more concerned is purely cynical on their part.

01:00:55 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
It's not cynical. It's not cynical, but I do have to take contention.

01:00:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It does seem like it does seem like a performative law if they're not willing to pass comprehensive. I don't think it is. I don't think it's.

01:01:06 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I don't think I have to take contention with that. I just don't agree with you. I think this does a lot. It's it's a precedent. And again we're on the tech pundit Mario go round where, if it doesn't solve everything, we can't start to pick off one part of the problem. That's not how the political process works. I'm not on it, just hold on, hold on, hold on. I let you finish it like that's not how the political process works.

You start with something. You start like working in New Jersey, for instance, with it. So here we've got something. It's very clear, is very easy to find bipartisan consensus on something. It's a national security issue, right. So if we can start doing this, it is a very big deal if the CCP can directly go and say we want this algorithm, we want this story, we want to suppress this about the weaker, something we have absolute information that they are doing. There's objective information. It proves that they are doing that. And you know your argument about speech being suppressed. I don't think this is true. This exact same format of speech is available on YouTube shorts, facebook reels and Instagram reels. In fact, most tiktok creators take their content and then go recycle it on the other platform.

01:02:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, my son, henry and I have to say I'm a little bit biased in this Does exactly that. You're right, but he has far more followers and I think it's far more effective for him Sure on tiktok than it is on Instagram or YouTube. Oh, he does actually. He started on tiktok, became famous on tiktok and then was able to spread that to Instagram and YouTube. I don't think it would have worked the same way, and I have to say it's to a great deal Due to tiktok's algorithm. For some reason maybe the Chinese government liked him, I don't know picking up his videos and promoting them, and that made that he went from 30,000 followers to two and a half million in a matter of months. It's been a. It's created a business for him. So to some degree, I have a dog in this hunt. Do you, are you concerned at all, breanna, about the creators who use tiktok? You think they'll all that, just move to Instagram?

01:03:15 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I Think there will be a market for them to take this exact product somewhere else. I think someone else can come into this. There is a secret sauce with the way you edit tiktok videos that is unique to that. Yes, take time to do it. Facebook has tried to capture this, but I really have to push back by the way, by stealing basically the format Right.

01:03:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
All of these are copycats of tiktok.

01:03:39 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
But it was copying vine right, the secret sauce of tiktok, and my job is.

01:03:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I was eight seconds.

01:03:46 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
My job is to work with people to that are on tiktok and other platforms and work to get political Messages out in a very strategic way. Okay, I have really strong opinions about these tools. I can see how someone could have some really malicious motivations and go in and do the exact same thing I'm doing with a bunch of money from someone. There was a like. It's just so Manipulatable. I think if you, if you don't work in this field, you don't understand it.

01:04:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)

01:04:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I. The point I want to interject is I'm not a tech pud did on the merit ground. I'm a legal advocate and my job is to basically say that violating the First Amendment is never a viable first step in Solving any policy problem. That cannot be the first thing that's on the table. Let's have a discussion about what the privacy problems are with tiktok and with absolutely everything else that's running on our technology devices. That's the conversation we should be having. That's something we need a nuanced and targeted Policy remedy for. But this is just going to squelch the speech and I don't regard that as an incidental consequence, not just because of Leo's son, but that's.

01:04:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's just one of the many, many many Millions of people may or make their living on tiktok and I mean the politics.

01:05:01 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't care about the politics. Violating the First Amendment is not a legitimate first step in solving any particular policy Problem. It is not minor and my job in this world is to make sure we don't do it.

01:05:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Can you do privacy, a comprehensive privacy laws that don't violate?

01:05:16 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think we got to be really careful and nobody seems to be in the mood to actually be careful. But I'm gonna be an optimist and say, yes, I mean, one of the things that the First Amendment Requires is Narrow taro, narrow tailoring. So it's not to say that it's a permanent obstruction to anything, but you better be really damn careful about where you're making. Cuts you can probably make, you can probably do some things that don't implicate the First Amendment and then, if you did actually bump upon it, you might be able to be really, really, really careful about how you're, how you're excising the problems. But nobody's being careful right now and everybody's just blundering in as if there is no massive First Amendment problem With what they are trying to talk about. A tiktok ban is a ban on tiktok expression, and that's not the problem. That's allegedly not the problem they're trying to solve.

01:06:04 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
But yes, I actually probably think that some of the reps are there, so I think only one of them really holds up the Privacy issue. I don't think that is realistic at all. There is a huge business of data brokers collecting data from every other app. Do you think those data brokers will turn down money if the credit card happens to be from some office in Beijing or Shanghai? No, they will not. So that problem exists, no matter what you could. I think they talk to the market, and this same house that rushed to ban tiktok hasn't done a damn thing about that.

01:06:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I've been running about that's because the intelligence agencies buy that data and they want that data, and so they're telling Congress senator.

01:06:44 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Why is trying to stop that yeah?

01:06:45 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
they're saying, congress, you wouldn't, really don't want to ban those if somebody is talking about tiktok and is not talking about meaningful privacy legislation, which we do not have at the federal level, they're not serious.

01:06:56 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I agree so. So I is literally my job to do this stuff for our in. By the way, I don't like being contentious. Y'all all seem awesome.

01:07:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean you don't like us. It just means you're fighting, that's good.

01:07:10 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I have a different point of view, rob. I think you imagine when you're thinking of data With these platforms, I think you're imagining an old school Excel spreadsheet like where you just give them a ton of data and let them surf through. I can tell you as someone who has worked at this at a hyper micro level with every single platform that's out there, it does not work that way. You're going to a single data broker and then they have a long conversation If you're asking to innovate or do anything different because, remember, most of what they want to do is just sell you ads with their own targeting. It gets so tricky because they've got their, their policies and they don't want to give up any access to their internal database.

This is absolutely my experience. So I think if you're imagining, like them just going to quote, unquote a data broker and getting all this information and passing it to the CCP, I am telling you it does not work that way in practice and someone would go to jail, like they would get fired. They couldn't get all that data out. You've got to actually have the credentials and work with the data scientists to get micro targeted.

01:08:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm sure there are Cutoffs in the United States working for the CCP who could do all of that and pass that information along the CCP.

01:08:28 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
It would be a credit card, it would be, it would be an export ultimately. And it would be, it would be trackable, and it does.

01:08:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Brianna, you could be a Chinese operative for all we know, buying the same information and then passing along the Chinese Communist Party, the. If you can get that information, there's nothing to stop it from being sent to somebody in Beijing. There's literally nothing to stop that.

01:08:52 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I have no reassurance in an American citizen slurping data.

01:08:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We know look Mark Zuckerberg slurping at all. Yeah, we know that. I guess the Congress is saying, well, it's better if Mark does it than if she Jing Ping does it.

01:09:05 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
What Congress has said so far is the only privacy problem we think actually exists as tick-tock and nothing else is actually worth even getting a bill out of committee.

01:09:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But? But, brianna, you're making a case not so much as partly its privacy, but you're also making the case that it could be used to propagandize America.

01:09:21 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
So that's the second thing I look at, there are multiple things go ahead, yeah um, the Chinese are already doing that.

01:09:28 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
The Washington Post had a good start not too long ago, pointing out that, because content moderation is the low order bit at the former Twitter, they're going to town there and using that for yeah, they have free reign on Twitter.

And they've been trying that on Facebook and for years as well. So banning TikTok or, in this case, realistically banning commercial transactions, what the government can do, like Huawei, is a non-incity in the US because it's on the-. They can't they can't legally do I mean, look, this is-. But that doesn't mean the government cannot tell me like I cannot go to the site, I'm not allowed to read stuff from this place.

01:10:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, what they were effectively doing is ban it from the app store. Probably, right, right, and they can do that.

01:10:12 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Which, of course, if you could sideload TikTok because of what the DOJ is doing you can go to the web. I'm on the web right now.

01:10:17 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, all, right Now I'm on to DOJ, because they're going to make sure that we can still get our TikTok, because we just have to slurp it from some offshore app store.

01:10:26 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
So, to wrap up, there is the argument that the Chinese government doesn't let any American social media apps operate there, including TikTok, by the way. Right, that's an export only thing. We don't have to invite them there. But the other problem is this is the United States.

01:10:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We are not China, we are China. But there is a longstanding tradition in the United States to keep foreign governments from influencing our government, and this would I mean, that's a longstanding tradition, so I don't-. In fact, there's a very good piece in the Atlantic I know you've seen this, brianna from Zephyr Teachout. Critics at the TikTok bill are missing the point.

01:11:03 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
America has a long history of shielding infrastructure and communications platforms from farm to troll, but she filed an amicus brief in the Merty case, I believe which basically argued that our government should be able to control what people-.

01:11:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, she did. Yeah, I think she Zephyr.

01:11:20 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It was a brief I'm blanking on it because it's been a month.

01:11:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
She's a professor at Fordham At law school.

01:11:25 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
There is a brief with her and Wu and, I think, lesig, and it's kind of on Team State Sensor and I don't really understand exactly how you get there, so-.

01:11:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We should point out, teachout's book is called Break them up Recovering our Freedom from Big Ag, big Tech and Big Money, so-.

01:11:44 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's like getting so committed to wanting to burn down the big that you don't sort of recognize how bad the forest fire is.

01:11:50 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Now hold on partaking an article, someone's point in an article, because you don't like something they've written or said. Someone else is not getting directly at their point. So let's take what was actually written in this article on their merits. Okay. And the fact is we have a lot of laws in this country that have been deemed constitutional. It's like control foreign entities having control of mass media in the United States.

And coming back to an earlier point you made about free speech, you know, look, just for the sake of argument, let's assume you're correct and this is a free speech argument. I don't think it is and I think the criteria that this does go to court, how that's going to be decided, is like what the principles are or what they're using to limit this or force the sale. But let's just for the sake of argument, assume that you're right. So the Senate will pass this, biden will sign it, it will go through jurisprudence, the Supreme Court will rule it down and strike it down and you'll win. But ultimately you're positing something and it is your opinion. It has not been ruled that. It is just a very specific way to look at this, that I really think there's a wider legal argument that is not on your side.

01:13:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
In fact, teach Out says that the First Amendment constitutional claims of the First Amendment on behalf of foreign governments are extremely weak, and she quotes a judgment from Brett Kavanaugh when he was a judge in 2011 on a federal court writing the country has a compelling interest in limiting the participation of foreign citizens in such activities, quote thereby preventing foreign influence over the US political process. So there probably is precedent.

01:13:36 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm not sure that's the framing of what exactly the ban would do, because this would be a ban that is inherently impinging on American citizens.

01:13:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's American citizens using TikTok, yeah, so you're banning their platform, but you're also secondarily banning them.

01:13:51 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, I.

01:13:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And, by the way, brianna, I know you say they can move to Instagram, but this is this is my son's page on TikTok, which is, you know, much more vital and active, has download views. This is his same page, same content, on Instagram. I think even he would say it is not nearly as compelling on Instagram. Sure, it's not for him. It wouldn't be a equivalent replacement. He has, wisely, because he listens to his pop, been trying to move to YouTube and Insta for some time now because of my concerns over TikTok. He doesn't want to be a one platform guy either, but there are plenty of other people who are solely platformed on TikTok and don't get me wrong what do you say to them Brianna, you say sorry, but it's a Chinese company, so get off.

01:14:38 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I think my hope would be that Sainter heads would win and that there would be a forced investment and that these companies are ultimately about like, like, making money. And I don't think it would get to that point. But you know, I haven't particularly enjoyed Twitter since Elon bought it. Like, these platforms don't go forever, changes happen and the reality is, if he's a content creator, whatever he's on is going to change, so he can learn that lesson now or learn it later.

01:15:07 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The reason why I care about the First Amendment arguments is because, totally agree, like these platforms don't live forever and they should be able to die because they deserve to die and therefore we get something better alongside.

I care about the legal ecosystem that is going to enable something new and better to come and I'm afraid of.

I don't consider it benign to say that let's pass this law and let the courts deal with it as something that is benign. That is something really chilling to the ecosystem to get something. Look, let's get everybody off a tick tock. Great, I don't have any problem having the conversation about should you be there or not, but we need to get a substitute and I really care about running roughshod over major legal doctrines that are going to allow us to be able to get the better thing and that's going to scorch the earth, at least for a while. So we're not going to get the tick tock up or we're not going to get the tick tock alternatives. If this is the approach to getting rid of tick tock itself, I think it's just. You know, it's a very salting the earth where, even if all the arguments for why this company needs to go away, even if I agreed with about the foreign control, which I don't, but let's say I do. This is just going to be so devastating to the ecosystem to even getting something domestic out of it.

01:16:21 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I think I hear what you're saying and I respect it, but I think there is, from my point of view, the person that is ignoring jurisprudence and the laws, and the precedent here is you, because we do have a very, very, very long history of applying these laws to radio, to television, to newspapers.

01:16:42 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Very, very different from stuck to ryanally.

01:16:45 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
It doesn't seem like that precedent is important to you. I think this is a really key part. It is normal for a country to want to have control over its information ecosystem. How can we have a democracy if hostile foreign powers are the ones to decide if we get to see a story or not? That's a free speech issue.

01:17:08 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But doctrionally the ability for the government to say and exert more control over the radio. It can exert control over spectrum because spectrum is scarce. That is the way that the First Amendment's bar to that sort of meddling is worked around. They don't get to say with newspapers, the newspaper is a much stronger thing In any case where a decision may have gone the other way. I think it's really aberrant and an outlier. I'm going to be a little bit optimistic about what's coming out of the Supreme Court, but I think the Supreme Court is recognizing that the model for the Internet is the newspaper model. The newspaper model has a much stronger First Amendment doctrine where the exceptions that you're referring to would not apply to TikTok and that form of ownership. I do think the First Amendment stands as a bar and the precedent by and large supports that Congress does not get to do what it is trying to do right now.

01:18:04 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I hear you respect Jay, I just don't agree. No, that's fair?

01:18:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, that's fair. That's why we have this conversation. If you all agreed, it would be kind of pointless. I think it's important to get both points of view out of there. I don't know what's going to happen. The Chinese government has said and I kind of take them at their word, because they don't have the same economic interests as TikTok does we're not going to allow the sale of TikTok because there's important algorithms that we don't want the US to have. While that seems silly on the face of it, they certainly have the power to do it.

01:18:43 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, it's certainly not an effective PR campaign to get.

01:18:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Congress to back off.

01:18:48 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It doesn't make me trust TikTok. No, we're going to do exactly what. You see, there's a lot of reason not to trust TikTok.

01:18:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They even when TikTok posted a message saying write your member of Congress, they got flooded. Congress said look see, we told you.

01:19:03 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I understand it got panned, but I actually liked it Arguably other tech companies probably should have rallied their troops to say do you realize how you're being affected by the things that are getting discussed in Congress? I think when people realize how much it affects them, that also does connect the dots for Congress, because I think Congress is not paying attention to how much it is going to affect the lives of its constituents. I think if it did know, it might exercise more caution.

01:19:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The reason I mentioned the Chinese government's unwillingness to sell TikTok is. It changes the equation dramatically. If you say no no, we're not saying it should be owned by a US company, we're saying shut it down, Take, put it out of business. No US citizen should have anything like TikTok Then I think it focuses the mind. That would be gone. It strikes me as a bit of a loss, but on the other hand, I agree with you, Breanna. If they are a threat to us as America, then that's something to be considered too. So it's a really this is a tough one. I don't think there's an obvious, right answer. Why?

01:20:11 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
would you take the CCP at their word immediately with the first public statement that they put out? This is like. I do follow a foreign policy enough to know this is a normal thing that they do, right. They'll insist and they'll try to signal that nothing will be done. And they'll insist. They'll take the most drastic step and then the political process kicks in and you come to a compromise. I think you're following for something that's a real scare-mokering tactic.

01:20:42 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm not sure I thought we were deciding that the Chinese government said the thing. That was actually like as scary as everybody thought it was, and we do believe them. But that notwithstanding, I don't think it changes what the policy reaction should be. And I think the distilling bit about, like if it were. So I think Leo's point was if it was just a ban, we might recognize the speech interest more directly, because it goes away. I think if it's a forced sale and whether that's allowed by China or not, it is relevant. But all the people coming out of the woodwork wanting to buy it I think puts into stark contrast the fact that this is really a privacy problem, because it's, we're no better off with Steve Mnuchin wants to buy it.

Yeah, I don't want him to have it either, Like that really sort of.

01:21:22 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Well, he wasn't the worst member of Trump's cabinet, not by a long shot.

01:21:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But that helps crystallize the fact that maybe we're not actually focusing on the correct problem here.

01:21:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So either way, I think we can all stipulate that that privacy is not being protected in general by the United States Congress and that this is a Maybe. Okay, we may disagree on whether this is a performative law or something that needs to be done, but it doesn't really address the larger privacy issue at all.

01:21:51 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, I think it's probably a mixed bag.

I think all the bad policy that comes out of Congress is an amalgamation of a whole bunch of interests, some of which are genuine and some of which are cynical, and I think for some people yeah, I mean, this is a big issue, something scary is going on, china's looking pretty scary and something must be done, and they may legitimately really want to. Something must be done. I want to do it Like that may be coming from a good place, but I don't think it's got enough of a grasp of what the policy problem actually is. And then I think they've got some political bedfellows of I don't like that the things that people are talking about on TikTok, and oh good, here's a chance to make them stop talking about these things on TikTok and they'll go on Team Anti-China to help push that policy, because that's going to get them what they want. I think we've got multiple things going on, but everybody in Congress needs to take a better look at what the actual problem is and what the full impacts of the regulatory quote unquote solution would be.

01:22:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And nobody's doing that. Brianna, one of your dear friends, Bobby Kotick, is also in the market for.

01:22:52 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I love Bobby. I love Bobby. I'll buy TikTok.

01:22:57 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Oh, he's such a good person.

01:23:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean really seriously. If the two people who said you know we'd buy it are Steve Mnuchin and Bobby Kotick, that does kind of rob. You're right. That tells you something about the value of what TikTok is. You just got to wonder when.

01:23:12 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Matthew, I want to ask you a straight question. I want to determine where your principles are because, okay, media is not in a great place in this country right now overall. So let's say we wake up tomorrow and Vladimir Putin goes to all the Russian oil oligarchs and puts together something. Mark Zuckerberg is brought up on some charges or whatever and decides to sell Facebook. Russia's got control of Facebook, and then Washington Post, which has just had a bunch of layoffs. They get bought out by China and then, because our media ecosystem is falling apart, other nations around the world go. You know what, instead of funding a bunch of tanks and helicopters and cruise missiles, let's just buy out all these American media companies. And then slowly, bit by bit, we find out that every bit of American media is controlled by our enemies. Am I correct to understand, if that scenario happened, that hypothetical You'd still be like free speech issue, that's just, andy, like you really wouldn't have a problem with that.

01:24:18 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Because that's what gets us. Alternative is we can stop reading the Washington Post, the New York Times and anybody else when we've got like a mon team making sure independent media is going to be able to publish.

01:24:30 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Actually, wouldn't that be a separate issue that you can block the sale of a US company to a foreign company? There's existing law, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, sipheus. For those in the know, that is a thing, and it's easier to block the sale of a US company. There was a case where a Chinese company was going to have control over Grindr, the gay dating app. Sipheus forces the investment of that, I guess because that was less strategic to Xi Jinping, who, for the record, I think sucks. Just to be clear.

Nobody here is in favor of the CCP.

01:25:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think we can safely say that they're bad people. There's also, by the way, Brianna let me ask you the same hypothetical, if this costs President Biden the election because young people then don't vote. If it causes retaliation by the Chinese government against US companies like, let's say, apple, kicking them out, would that be okay with you? I mean, there are consequences on either side.

01:25:29 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I think he's insane to be doing this before the election. I think it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. It makes my job 10 times harder. The timing is terrible, so I think it's not good for anybody.

The Democratic Party not understanding this, but I fundamentally I think this is y'all. The world is not in a great national security state right now. I think there's a one in three chance that we're going to be in a swear to God war with China over Taiwan in the next few years. Ukraine is not going well, democracy is weakening all around the globe and the information ecosystem that we swim in is a major reason for that, and I respect y'all, but I think you're really undercutting that in your analysis.

01:26:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
By the way our Discord points out, you can watch RT Russian TV in the United States. You can watch CCTV Chinese TV in the United States, both of which are Because you have a First Amendment right. Because you have a First Amendment right.

01:26:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Because you have a First Amendment right Consume information. Two points I want to make. What I'm saying is that I am going to not sacrifice the constitutional doctrine that makes sure that we have alternatives and the ability for nascent independent press and voices to continue to be able to speak to each other. What I will absolutely stand against is, just because the big things and the corporate things are bad, I'm not going to do something that scorches the earth so we don't get the independent voices to ultimately rebuild rebirth and at least allow our pamphleteering and talking to each other to happen, because if that goes away, then we're completely at the mercy of any foreign nor domestic power that wants to do us in.

Second point to make I was sort of amused at the hypothetical, because it isn't really a hypothetical. Some of it is already happening in the context that you're talking about. And then I play in the copyright wars and copyright is very alienable. And are you paying attention I don't mean you in a pejorative way, but is anyone paying attention to who is actually buying the massive catalogs like? Who owns our cultural repertoire now locked up for years and years and years because we're extending copyright terms? This problem is already here and I'm not going to-. I stand against that. If we're taking the measure of me, I think that I'm not against the alienability of copyright, but I'm certainly against the maximalist ownership and lockout potential that an owner has. That's actually where I think we are already. The hypothetical is real and we're kind of just sleepwalking into that problem.

01:27:56 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
So buying up the Washington Post Do you think copyright? I don't understand your argument. How does copyright apply to a hostile foreign power?

01:28:04 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
They're owning our ability to sing our own songs. Essentially, I mean just as one simple sentence that narrows it down. It's more complex in that it's bigger than that, but that is one bottom line.

01:28:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Are foreign companies buying copyrights to American content?

01:28:17 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, they're buying out now the music catalogs they can buy out. I mean, you already had record company consolidation and you had foreign investors who are owning the major record labels the Canadians the Bronfons are buying us out.

I'm not crazy about it being watched up by any American oligarch, but copyright is inherently alienable. You kind of want it to be, because our entire economic regime of it is built to that's where the injection of the capital comes in. But yeah, we keep also making that the what you can buy when you buy a copyright becomes more and more valuable and the lockout power becomes stronger and stronger. Yeah, any foreign power essentially can lock us out of our own cultural repertoire, especially the more we undermine fair use. No, the hypothetical is real and I don't think we're spending nearly enough time talking about it. I need to write about it more. But hey, here's the headline of something I've been thinking about for quite some time.

01:29:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, the Vendy's a French company, umg is a foreign company. Yeah, yeah, it's interesting. And, by the way, umg pulled all their music off TikTok. So there, let me take a break.

01:29:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean it's nice when you can just knock all the heads together.

01:29:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And not to mention Bill Gates buying up all the farmland in America. Where's he from? Oh, whenever my. That's Kathy Ellis. She is an actual practicing attorney at law. You can find her at CG councilcomC O U N S? E? Lcom and her various suit writings on tech dirt is wonderful Having you here, brianna Wu. You know Brianna Wu. Besides being a speed runner at Princess Peach, she is the executive director of rebellion pack, and watch out, because she's buying your personal information online Even as we speak.

01:30:05 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
No, I target you with ads If I have a politician, I think as a policy that you would agree with.

01:30:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What I said, what I said, yes, and I don't mind, although can you knock off the text messages, cause I Dude.

01:30:23 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I want this whole space regulated with the. Yeah no kid. I, I, oh, my God.

01:30:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It is going to be a tough year as we head into the fall elections.

01:30:34 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Oh, my God.

01:30:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We just had our primary here in California and I just kept saying stop, stop, stop, stop. And they do. Fortunately that law does work. They do stop If you say stop. But they have plenty of other numbers to use and I think they got my. I think they got a number from act blue. I might be wrong, but I think they got my number.

01:30:51 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Act. Blue cannot sell your number. They can't. I've I've talked to them. Oh, that's such good news. What happens is someone list, matches it and compares it with another database and gets your information that way, even though legally they shouldn't. It is a practice and no one is prosecuting Because somebody got my number and I and I I don't know how.

01:31:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And then I remember, when I got my mobile, a number of sponsors I guess it had been owned prior to that by a guy who had skipped out in his students loans and was an ad, an avid mega supporter. Cause man, you should have seen both the dunning notices saying you know, you gotta pay your loans, dude, and when you give me money, from every Republican in Congress. So that was a lot of fun. They were boy. You know, I saw my father in law's phone, holy cow. You know, once you donate I don't know how they do it, but once you pick a side, that side inundates you with stuff. It's endless and it could be a lot of fun. You know, and I'll Rob Pergaros here, who had Peg Gararo. Yes, sir, it's a nice Venetian name, peg Gararo. You actually have a video on your website on the about tab, on how to pronounce it.

01:32:09 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
It is always mispronounced a lot of the time that air will pass into your peg. Oh people's brains, just lock up halfway. I'm just saying it like it's spelled.

01:32:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's very easy, it's like it spells Peg Gararo.

01:32:20 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
In Italy it's more Peg Gararo Family. We don't know what sort of sales pitch was involved to get somebody to emigrate from Vachenza and then settle in the upper peninsula of Michigan. But once you go there the vowels get flattened, and so is Peg Gararo, Peg Gararo.

01:32:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's kind of in Midwest.

01:32:36 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Oh, but Peg Gararo is okay, but if you put in other vowels or freeze halfway through, that's not the correct way to say it. Keep the schwa is what you're saying yeah, our show today brought.

01:32:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
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01:34:53 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I think we've settled both of those Until next time, until next time, until next time, first time a judge wears an avocado shirt in court, but you know there's always a first time.

01:35:04 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It may not be.

01:35:07 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I don't want to know what you're, what you're what you're doing no just surmising.

01:35:11 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You know, they don't have to wear robes. Well, they might Underneath the road.

01:35:15 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Yeah, I mean I'm kind of ties somebody in California, I mean, and sometimes judges appropriately engage in whimsy so appropriate engagement.

01:35:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Sometimes you just appropriately. I think we need more judicial whimsy in our lives.

01:35:29 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't know. Actually, every time they quote like song lyrics saying their decisions, it tends to actually be a disaster. There is some reason to be said for not bringing the whimsy into the law, but occasionally maybe appropriate.

01:35:42 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Judicial whimsy or judicial cringy.

01:35:45 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's going to be cringy even when it's bright yeah.

01:35:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But I think, as somebody who has to read a lot of brief briefings and pleadings and decisions, that you probably appreciate it once in a while when a little whimsy sneaks in.

01:35:59 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The problem is it tends to actually the better. The more I agree with where the judge is going, I think, the more it actually weakens the rhetorical value of the point that they're making.

01:36:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yes, be serious. Yeah, so you may not support the new Tennessee law, but I think the most US state protecting musicians from AI it's the Elvis Act.

01:36:20 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm not a fan.

01:36:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The retronome is for ensuring likeness, voice and image security. Elvis Billy signed it into law on Thursday. I mean you might be a fan of the idea to protect artists from unauthorized use by artificial intelligence, or not.

01:36:38 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, I'm not on. I mean, in very little of this Am I ever on. Nothing to see here. There's absolutely no policy tension whatsoever. So I think there, you know, I don't. I think the deep fakes can be a problem, but I think it's On the other hand. But I. But not every regulatory solution, especially one rushed through, is going to be a good one that solves it, that doesn't create other problems.

01:37:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And I love hearing Johnny Cash sing the Barbie Girl song. I just think.

01:37:05 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
There's some really creative things that people can legitimately do and there's some issues with tightening what we sometimes refer to as like the pseudo-intellectual property doctrines. They are somewhat untethered and not very doctrinally pure and they end up giving a lot of disproportionate power. That does cause a tremendous amount of First Amendment tension.

01:37:30 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
It's a pretty good work. Honestly, I sort of have to stop having, from what I've read of the other output of the Tennessee legislature. You know, these are the people who were in such a rush to let's kick out the outspoken black eye.

01:37:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, yeah, that's right, I forgot about them, but that's Makes me nervous. So I understand and this is actually a large. I mean, I brought it up just because of the judicial whimsy, but I or, in this case, the legislative whimsy but I do think there is a very strong tension between the creatives who want to keep AI from involved, getting involved in their content at all and people and I include myself in this group who think AI should proceed untrammeled because that's the only way you're going to get a really good AI.

01:38:22 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
So the whole name, image, likeness thing? This one of the panels I saw at South by Southwest in between stuffing free talkers in my face, was a SAG after his chief negotiator, duncan Crouchy, ireland talking about how the Actors Union brought Hollywood to heel on the subject of AI. But then he said what we need to deal with deep fakes is some way to control the commercial use of your name, image and likeness. I don't have a case I can bring when somebody does a deep fake of me trying to undercut SAG after his agreement with the studios which I heard that Because he's not protected Right and creating new kinds of intellectual property can lead to all kinds of nasty consequences, and I am skeptical that that's how we want to.

That should be the first tool we reach for in the drawer the drawer there's my Jersey accent when we see some misuse of technology.

01:39:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I agree. I will see a drawer as well, just to demonstrate my accent. And also say that and also say that, oh, and it's a Florida orange. Just so we're clear it is an orange yes, it's an orange.

01:39:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
it's from.

01:39:25 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Florida, and I will say yes plus one to what Rob is saying, Like not to say that there's A lot of the stuff that's happening feels creepy. But just because it feels creepy doesn't mean there should be a law, and even to the extent that there is.

01:39:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, I love that. That's Underscore that Just because it feels creepy doesn't mean there ought to be a law, right.

01:39:47 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And to the extent that there should be a law, it should be a careful law, because there will be dragons when you start to just ignore the First Amendment but even to just get off. That hobby horse of unintended consequences are rife with any sort of policy action, and I don't think anybody in the Tennessee legislature was fully vetting what the consequences are.

01:40:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, they like to name the Elvis Act. I think they were saying it was real. They like to name it. It was just going to vote against.

01:40:12 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)

01:40:13 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But I think there's also an interesting schism, and I don't remember exactly which side was which, but I think, if I'm guessing, the RI Bulay was on one side and the MPA was actually on the other, and I think one of it was One of the organizations is sort of recognizing that a law like this could impinge certain creative freedom that they were counting on having Now, maybe for the most cynical profit-driven reasons possible. But I think if there is that recognition that they can sense that it will impinge on something expressive that they want to do, they may not be wrong. And so it's unusual to have the two organizations not on the same side, but I think in this case they were not on the same side.

01:40:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I'm all in favor of protecting creatives, although, as Corey has pointed out, as you just pointed out, copyright really is no longer about preserving an individual's right to own their works but, in fact, large corporations' right to swoop up every bit of work they can and profit from it.

01:41:09 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
We've talked before about training. I think training is a discrete thing, really needs to be unfettered, and the way we've talked about it is the right to read, because if you can read all the books, then your tools can help you read all the books, and if your tools are software-helping you read all the books, well, so be it.

01:41:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I've seen people say that. Why are you saying that a machine or a company reading your stuff is the same as a human reading your stuff? Of course everybody accepts the right to read for a human, but why should that extend to a company?

01:41:37 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You can't use tools, I mean you can't use CliffsNotes, you can't Like. I'm not entirely sure there's a way to say, oh, you can do this but not this. I don't think there's a logical place to draw that line.

01:41:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Where do you draw the line?

01:41:48 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You can use tools, and you can use software tools, because isn't it cool that the software can help you glom onto and process information a lot faster. So if you're using it as a study aid and you want to scan a whole bunch of text and then be able to ask the computer like okay, what did you do there?

01:42:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I love doing that. By the way, I do that all the time. Okay, so that's what AI is really good at.

01:42:06 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, so it's basically the same thing. It's an individual behavior. But we're not liking it because this individual behavior is being exercised by a company and then the company wants to profit from outputs and so we're cynical about that. But I think you really need to kind of file off the training as an individual discrete thing and say that no, copyright law does not stand in the way of it. Maybe copyright law stands in the way of some forms of output let's have that conversation. But I don't like the way we conflate input, output, training, toggling inputs and stuff like that. You have to look at everything on its Team. Nuance will tell you that you need to look everything on an individual, what is going on here, and you can't just conflate things.

01:42:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't often agree with Sam Oppen, but he did say if you only allow AI to train on public domain content, you're not going to get much of an AI.

01:42:55 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
No, it's going to be a very skewed sample and a very skewed voice, and that's the problem with Honestly, we want it to train on everything.

01:43:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We really want the most content possible. Do you agree, Brianna?

01:43:07 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
No, I don't. I didn't think you would. That's why I asked my hope is my hope is my hope that we can still be friends after this panel is that every lawyer I've ever met loves to argue and that's why they go into that field. I hope that at least I can be a good recluse.

01:43:24 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I just like being bright.

01:43:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Sam's fighting words.

01:43:29 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
So this is. I was with you as far as the first example, the music. It seems to me that getting the state legislature of Tennessee to adjudicate that is probably not going to lead to good public policy. I would be inclined to let the civil courts, like, figure that out, figure out how damages have been done, let major music labels get involved. That said, you come back to the other, and my principle here is tending to democracy and I think if you're looking at the media landscape right now, it is in really really rough shape. It is a bad time to be a media company, I don't care how big or how small you are. So if you're taking something like the entire store of value of decades of New York Times reporting, and AI can just come suck that up and then I pay for chat GPT it can spit that output out and help me analyze stuff. Like it's a helpful tool for me, clearly, but that is going to affect like the New York Times has invested a ton of money in that information and it seems like that's just tapping that database. I think that's true across media.

There's a huge trend right now where SEO results like if you're trying to get information on tech products. I urge everyone listening to this right now go look this up Like, think about a new graphic card and just go try to find a review of a new graphic card or a new CPU. Those used to happen, they don't happen anymore and you get a bunch of SEO clickbait garbage that's AI created using, just like data and performance specs about the piece. That doesn't put it in any journalistic context. I want these tools to be built, but I think it's reasonable to say to you know everything from the New York Times to GameSpot that you know the public needs to access this information, but what you're saying has value and we don't just want to like let AI come along and steal all that value from you. That doesn't seem quite fair to me. I don't know why they shouldn't be paying licensing fees as the journalist on this panel.

01:45:43 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I've absolutely agreed that my industry is not great, bob. So one point I was going to make. We were talking about what the sort of revival of anti-trust action I think the DOJ case brought against Google's display ads business, where Google has set itself up so it is at every level. They have a quote from a Google executive in the DOJ complaint that it's as if Goldman and Citibank ran the New York Stock Exchange. It's a bad state of affairs. The programmatic anti-industry I don't think is serving readers or publishers very well. It's working great for Google and it's a convenient monopoly. And that's a case where you have the vast majority of state AGs in the US also thinking that Google is up to no good. So to sort of circle back to Apple, I don't think that work is on the same level as the Google display ads case you were going to solve my industries business model problem, please hey, it's not just your industry.

01:46:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We're suffering too. Everybody in independent media is really suffering. And then, of course, the larger media companies. Some are doing all right. New York Times doing all right. Your former journal, maybe not so much. The Washington Post had to lay off 1500 people a couple of months ago, not 15. I think it was 150. 150. Okay.

01:47:08 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I had it as zero. I did so in a very ham-handed way.

01:47:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, it was not good, though let's talk about. As long as we're talking about AI, new York Times points out, in one key AI metric, we might be in a little bit of trouble. China is now producing more, far more, top AI engineers than the United States. Currently, new research shows that China has eclipsed the US as the biggest producer of AI talent. About 50% of the world's top AI researchers are from China. By contrast, the US 18%, a number which hasn't changed much over the last few years. It was China that jumped. They used to produce about a third of the world's AI engineering talents three years ago. The United States has not changed. Is that a cause for concern? I mean, one of the things I do bring up is that even if we decide we should constrain our AIs and we should pause our AIs or we should in some way regulate our AIs, there are plenty of other countries that won't.

01:48:18 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
That's inherently true. I mean a lot of this. Is, you know, bailing a leaky boat Like it doesn't matter, or no? That's not the metaphor. Maybe a deck chair is on the Titanic. It's just, you're doing something and there's a sense of we have done something, but you've not done something useful because you can't control the world, although I suppose a lot of the people in Congress wish they could control the world. They think they can and they try.

I think, though, in terms of your initial thing, the thought that came to my head is we are also, at this point, decimating our entire system of education.

And quite frankly, that's actually more of a concern as far as I'm concerned Because one of the things that any of these other unfriendly countries don't do as well, and haven't done as well historically, is intellectual freedom and the ability to, you know, educate the masses and make sure that there is free expression and understanding that we're just taking all of our value out of why a country much smaller than some of these can be a global power. We're just decimating everything that gave us that special sauce, and that's the bigger problem, like more than how many.

01:49:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What is it that we're doing wrong with our education system? All of it. At this point, I mean including just making. You're making it an accessible.

01:49:28 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
How much time do we got?

01:49:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, you're making it an inaccessible and at this point, Are we underfunding it? Underfunding it and also really unclear on what the value of an education is, including a liberal arts education. That matters for all the STEM stuff too.

01:49:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I've seen people say if you want to become an AI scientist, don't study computer science, Become a generalist, because ultimately a liberal education is going to give you a better grounding in the world and make you a better AI scientist.

01:49:58 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean especially if you're thinking about something that's so language based. You sort of need to understand how human beings use language and have used language. You're trying to build artificial intelligence. You need the social sciences to understand what the human intelligence was doing. So by over focusing on STEM, perhaps we're training people who are that's a mistake and, quite frankly, a lot of the just tearing up, tearing up tenure, tearing up a lot of the universities, just destroying them, as you know.

01:50:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They're pastions of liberal thought. Don't you know that?

01:50:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
was the point yeah.

01:50:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You mean a liberal education is the same thing as liberal politics.

01:50:33 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, but there's. So there's some really cynical things happening from the red team. But even the blue team is underfunding and doesn't really understand or is just putting the money in STEM.

01:50:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But that's not the beginning and ending of the education we live in a blue state and I have to say, the standards for public education in California have dropped dramatically, as have our test scores as a result, I think If I could just Going back to the issue with China producing more AI specialists, this is, I feel, like I'm on the National Security Watch today.

01:51:05 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
That's good.

01:51:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Somebody needs to.

01:51:06 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Good. This is a huge NatSec issue. There's a rumor going around that open AI and chat GPT is not going to be able to scale until there's a massive, massive infusion of hardware because what they're doing is so computationally expensive. And there are rumors going around that the US government may end up getting involved in this. Why would the United States government need to get involved in this? Because the military technology of the future is going to need AI. It's already a part of it, not to gain the current politics, but when someone is going through and like trend decides if they're going to bomb a site or not bomb a site, there are AI algorithms that go through right now and determine like, okay, let's look at the population here. Waste the percentage based on our math. The civilian is going to be killed here. The weapons of tomorrow are going to be. If you think things are smart today, imagine once we get AI technology baked into that.

So China having a strategic advantage when it's already unclear if we would win a naval battle with China like this is a really, really big deal. So I want us to quadruple down on producing graduates. I think that for things like this that are in the national interest, I think it should be completely free to go to college, for and I think this is something that should really really scare us, not just because we're not going to have that expertise like being generated here at home there was a company in Massachusetts that brought in Chinese interns because they did not have the data expertise. They ended up stealing absolutely all of their intellectual property and fled the country. That ended up going out of business here. So it's a national security crisis top to bottom and we got to get serious about it. We did at least pass the Chips and Science Act last August of 2022.

01:53:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Intel, in fact, has just received another, I think, $20 billion in federal funding from the US government to build chip plants in the United States. We are doing something. There is some concern, though, that we don't have the educational system to support this expansion, that we don't have enough engineers. I don't know, maybe we'll have to bring in some more Chinese engineers to steal our technology. I think there's a tension being paid to this. I don't know if it's sufficient.

01:53:38 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, attention versus useful attention Like useful, appropriately credulous. That's the depressing thing I mean. Hard problems need good thinking to dig ourselves out, and this is not what we necessarily excel at, rob.

01:53:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You and I were talking about Ron Wyden the senator from Oregon and his very accomplished chief of technology, Chief of Staff or Chief of Technology Technology advisor.

01:54:05 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Chris Aguayan. The former chief technologist with the ACLU.

01:54:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Bright, brilliant guy and certainly knows what he's talking about. Wyden seems to, as a result, know what he's talking about.

01:54:17 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
He's known what he's talking about for a long time.

01:54:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I guess you have to be smart enough to hire Chris Aguayan in the first place, so there's some hope. Did you face this in your congressional run, breanna? I mean, I know one of the reasons you wanted to run is to add some smarts to Chris.

01:54:36 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
No, it's a huge issue top to bottom, like this kind of expertise, particularly in Boston. We have two industries here it's tech and it's biotech and we have a lot of people that come here from outside the US to do this. So it is a real problem that we're not creating this kind of expertise at home, and I think we should get serious about it.

01:54:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let's take a little break. Rob Pagararo is here.

01:55:01 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Just let him introduce himself.

01:55:03 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Hey Robby, he's calling me Pega, for sure.

01:55:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Roberto Pagararo is here. It's great to have you, Rob, anytime you're in town, or even not Breanna Wu, who is, of course, way across the country in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

01:55:18 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Thank you, thank you.

01:55:19 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And it's wonderful to have Kathy Gellis she comes up whenever we can get her up here, it's nice to also not have the most prone to mispronunciation last name.

01:55:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yes, you win this time.

01:55:29 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
That's my value.

01:55:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
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01:57:58 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I can't believe it, but yes, I think it was early this week on Merti versus Missouri.

01:58:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But this, everybody knows this case, this is the case of the government talking to social media about vaccine misinformation, terrorist accounts.

01:58:19 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
CISA related.

01:58:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
CISA stuff, foreign accounts, bots things, and the debate, of course, is whether they should be allowed to do that.

01:58:29 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well it ended up. It shouldn't have been a debate, but somehow it ended up with the Fifth Circuit saying no, they should not be allowed to do this and issuing an injunction that prevented these conversations. In theory, it is a limited injunction. In effect, it's a across the board injunction with a huge chilling effect that's already been endured, because there's really no way to figure out what's okay and what's not okay.

And oral argument was heard on Monday and I am tentatively optimistic that the Supreme Court is not buying what the plaintiffs were selling. I'm not entirely sure I'm completely comfortable with some of it, because there were, there's been some media coverage about Kavanaugh and Kagan, who used to be in government service and other capacities, talking about how we're always talking to the press and saying knock it off with this order to coverage this and the other thing, and it's like, yeah, it's kind of, but I don't think it does not necessarily rise to a First Amendment violation and most of what was alleged is a very weak record. Oh, and Justice Sotomayor, I believe, took the plaintiffs to task in their brief for seriously mistating the record in terms of who said what and what the context was and what the consequences were. That everything alleged reads much more insidious than it actually was.

01:59:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That they in fact, and there's emails to prove it. We're not ordering these companies to take down content, but we're informing Twitter and others that this content was misinformation or Like one of them that was like in theory.

02:00:06 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
On the face of it, most egregious was somebody in the Biden administration really being like you do this right now, and I was like, oh gosh, whatever, you know that's no way to speak to a platform, but it turns out that the that's no way to talk to a platform. If you were the government? If you were the government.

02:00:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
First Amendment protects that platform.

02:00:24 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, so we've got a couple things up in the air, but that one was, I think, pointed out and I think maybe Mike Masnick covered it and teched her that I think it was actually Biden's own Instagram account where something screwy had happened and he's complaining about. Like you know, fix this because it's my account as opposed to fix this because I am the government telling you to fix it. That seems okay, and this is.

That is a significant distinction. So there's a number of problems with this case, one of which, which I don't think is getting a lot of attention, is how it is that Missouri and Louisiana are state plaintiffs with any form of Article III standing to complain about an injury here, and the oral argument didn't really speak to that. But they were pretty dismissive to, I think, the individual plaintiffs, as the record isn't there and, of course, the government needs to be able to. The government needs to be able to talk to the people and the people need to be able to talk to the government. And, just as a practical level, I don't think the Supreme Court thought that anything that was being alleged was First Amendment problematic because they're kind of like, you know, conversations between government and media have happened for generations and what do you mean? That shouldn't happen. That is a thing that does happen. So I left Well, I wasn't there for this one, but I turned off my computer, feeling slightly more optimistic.

02:01:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Now, there won't be a decision till this summer, or?

02:01:48 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean it may be one of the last decisions, but it's also probably going. They heard another case at the same time, the NRA versus Vullo case. That one was a little bit more insidious because it actually mimics a case called Backpage versus Dart, where Sheriff Dart in Illinois was putting a lot of pressure on services that back Like, I think, the payment providers that Backpage was using. Where he couldn't crush Backpage himself, he tried to put the squeeze on other services they needed as a way of shutting down Backpage by proxy. And something pretty similar seems to have happened in the NRA case and that is one where that level of government interference might not satisfy the Supreme Court.

And the Supreme Court might be right to sort of say you know, there's a fowl here. I'm not sure how that case will go. I haven't followed it as critically, but I think the appropriate inquiry was being made. So we'll see how that one shakes out. And then there's what I'm referring to as the net choice cases, which I want to apologize, that's a bad way to refer to them partly because it was these cases were net choice and CCIA. So there's two plaintiffs and I don't mean to eliminate one of them.

02:02:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But we all call it the net choice case.

02:03:00 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's this pair that's the lead petitioner on these cases.

02:03:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
These are the Texas and Florida. These are the Texas and Florida cases.

02:03:07 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And the other problem we're calling it the net choice cases is. Net choice I think to its credit is challenging all sorts of crappy legislation that's coming out of the states.

02:03:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There are many net choice cases.

02:03:17 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And so there are many net choice cases, including net choice v Bonta, which is challenging one of the quote-unquote age-appropriate design laws, which are a problem unto themselves. But getting back to the Supreme Court, net choice cases, that's the one that I think is even more meaningful. Will the Supreme Court recognize and we were talking about this earlier that the model that the First Amendment follows when applied to the Internet is more the newspaper model where the government hands off? You look at a case like Miami Herald versus.

02:03:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You shouldn't be even saying anything at all.

02:03:50 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
That the editorial discretion of the media entity is something that the government cannot touch, because it's not spectrum, it's not radio, it's not TV. It is close to the case like Miami Herald versus I was saying Torneo, but I've been told it was in Italian, so I think it's Tornello that in that case there was a Florida law that said you had to run op-eds from candidates that the newspaper didn't like and didn't want to support and they're like no, the government and the Supreme Court decided no. Even where there's market consolidation, the government still doesn't get to say that. You know, control the editorial pages.

02:04:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That sounds a lot like the fairness doctrine, but again, that was about spec. That was more spectrum-related and it may not have actually been good policy?

02:04:33 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
anyway, but so the key question in the NetJoyce cases is will the Supreme Court recognize that the First Amendment model for the Internet and platforms being able to moderate and choose what expression to host, what expression not to host, who to associate with, et cetera, is a core First Amendment right belonging to those platforms? If the court says yes, our Internet is going to be a lot more protected and then it's going to ripple down into these other cases, because then when you go and you look at the Merti case, that's actually one where, if they didn't have the First Amendment right to resist the government like it's implicated in this case, because as long as the platforms have the ability to say no, you know the government can call up and say I would like you to take this down. But as long as the platform is in a position to say no, that's okay. But if they never had the First Amendment right to say no, then it wouldn't be a First Amendment violation if the government took the ability to say no away. So you kind of need that core fundamental thing to ripple down through these other cases and it will matter basically for every piece of Internet regulation though the platforms have a recognizable First Amendment right on their own to choose what expression they facilitate and what expression they don't facilitate.

If the court says no, I think we have big, big problems. But I am cautiously optimistic after having sat there for four hours listening to them thrash this out. They will probably say yes, but I don't know if that decision will be a clean one. But I was feeling a little bit better by the time they got to the Merti case, where it almost seemed like they had decided that the newspaper model was the appropriate one. And if that's true then I don't know.

You know, everything else in the country screwed up, but maybe the Internet and First Amendment policy won't be quite as much and I will have some better tools to go fight the stupid regulations with. I'm very worried about what I lose if they decide otherwise.

02:06:24 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
You agree, rob? Yeah well, I talked to Kathy for a piece I did about the first Judge, doty's Doty's opinion for the New Republic, where Kathy pointed out you know, yes, there's a lot of jaw-boning. The government's saying you need to do something about this, there's a problem with an IVAC's misinformation, olexan misinformation. But what they don't document was the plaintiffs don't prove that there's an or else. Do this or else, and the opinion overall, like I found it insultingly bad. You called it legal gibberish.

The judge says if the allegations made by plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in the United States history. What the Not sits Like in the 1920s, we put actual socialists in jail. There is no possible universe where the feds this is the most massive attack right saying that Facebook, you should do more about misinformation, even if the government is wrong in that is the same as putting people in jail and I thought you had to know that if you, you know, were to actually graduate from law school, much less be appointed to have a lifetime gig as a judge.

02:07:39 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I hate to tell you. You can graduate law school without ever taking a First Amendment class.

02:07:43 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
It's possible to be asleep, but did they teach law in law school?

02:07:46 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, that too, but there's a number of things that could easily escape your notice as you go through law school. Yeah.

02:07:52 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
So yeah, the whole thing. It just seemed like this judge watched a lot of Fox News and really decided that the real victims here are the anti-vaxxers and the election deniers. And how dare that elected officials offer any value to judge on these cases whatsoever?

02:08:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But it is likely that this is going to be overturned by the Supreme Court. This is not they kind of have to.

02:08:14 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Yeah, it's just as a matter of law. Public policy, just basic logic. This is a garbage opinion and the Supreme Court should put it in the rubbish bin, where it belongs.

02:08:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I am cautiously optimistic. I don't think it's going to be 9-0, but I think there were enough justices who were like this is dumb. We can see it's dumb and you're, but 7-2 and the two are Thomas and Alito.

02:08:36 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
It's really like unanimous among them.

02:08:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They're not terrible judges. You can't throw out two judges, even if.

02:08:42 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I would like to honestly.

02:08:44 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The mystery was what does Gorsuch think? I mean, gorsuch wrote a decision I think is really really good in the 303 creative decision, which I get criticized for as somebody who leans blue to say, no, this is actually what you would want if you want to actually stand up for vulnerable populations. But I think he wrote, with one small exception, which really doesn't ruin it, and I think, a doctrinally pure decision and, quite frankly, the Sotomayor dissent was really, really disappointing and it gets quoted in the Murthy plaintiff's briefs of all the arguments she made that are like that can't possibly be how the First Amendment works, because somebody in government is going to be a decider of what is the good content, what is the bad content. So what do we?

02:09:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
want. We want it possible for the FBI or the Surgeon General to say to social network hey, you know, guys, you should just know this is a bad actor posting this. You know Mike Posts publishes on Tectur some examples of these emails. Here's one from an FBI email address Whatever your review determines in action Twitter deems is appropriate. Or you know another one here is saying for your review and action as deemed appropriate, is that what we want the FBI to be able to be kind of this advisory capability, but it's ultimately up to the platforms. Or do we want just the government to tell the government just none of your business, let them do their thing.

02:10:16 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So I wrote an amicus brief, in this case on behalf of Tectur, the Kopey Institute, one and the same and we made a couple of points. One of them is we didn't file directly on the government's side because we kind of pointed out that look, let's. I think step one is that the platforms have a First Amendment right to say no to the government. And if the government steps on that right and says you do what we're telling you or else, I think that is a First Amendment violation and there should be a remedy. I don't think that's what happened here. But the other thing is that the remedy cannot be enjoining the government to such an extent that they can't talk to the platform.

So they should have the ability to advise the platforms Well, because it's not just on their volition, like, okay, any government entity can call up a platform and a platform can say buzz off. But what's happening in a lot of these things is the platforms wanted to have the conversation with the government. They needed that information.

And we pointed out that there's also very well not buried woven into the First Amendment is the right to petition, and the right to petition can be construed as the right to talk to your government, and right now the platforms cannot talk to their own government, which is really fundamental to representative democracy, because the government can't take the call and have the conversation.

02:11:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What about the argument, though, that, even if the FBI says you do what you want, it's the FBI and it carries more weight than just me calling up and saying, hey, that's the plaintiffs made that argument that basically, like you know, they think the or else is implied because some of these government agencies are big and scary like the FBI.

02:11:47 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But we also pointed out and I was reading my brief in a footnote to say the thing that they were alleging that the FBI was talking about was that some foreign actors were actually trying to mess with the platforms, at which point the scarier thing to the platform was what the foreign areas were trying to do, not the FBI telling them. So it really does presume a lot. Now I think in general, you know, I wish this case hadn't been such garbage, because there is a fair argument. You don't where's the line, for when the government is making an offer they can't refuse, and I think that's the question that comes up more closely in the NRA case.

The NRA versus Volo of it wasn't so directly brought to them. It was basically like we are going to make your life held by telling everybody else what they need to do vis-a-vis you, and I think that's a bigger problem. There is a universe where the government could go too far. It isn't this universe which is a problem. The other point they made that I think is valid, but they buried so it never got adjudicated is.

I think even what Kevin on Kagan were saying is there's a lot of like behind the scenes dialogue between government and media and if that ends up affecting the speech of other people and they're never aware of it, that does feel a little bit creepy because it's so untransparent. I don't know what you do about that policy problem, but that's not the lawsuit that they brought. That wasn't the one they did. They basically were like we were, we were on Facebook, we got off of Facebook, we were driven off of Facebook and we know that there was a conversation, so quid pro quo and that's terrible, and somehow the state of Louisiana is going to sue for this.

02:13:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is it just a coincidence that two days after the oral arguments, the FBI resumed its efforts to share information with tech companies about foreign propaganda?

02:13:29 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't know, maybe they were doing some vote counting. I mean I might wait, but you know.

02:13:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It was put on hold in the wake of that lawsuit and the decision in Louisiana, but the program was resumed on Wednesday.

02:13:43 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You really shouldn't get cocky with counting these things. The Supreme Court, as we know, will break your heart, but there was a lot of the arguments that the people trying to fight this were making did not seem to be falling on deaf ears. The enough justices seemed to say hang on a second. This can't possibly be right, and I mean the moment when Sotomayor was very politely, very judicially, pointing out your brief is deceptive. Oh, that's not good, it was every lawyer who's an advocate is having like a cringe moment.

02:14:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Deceptive is not a good word.

02:14:16 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't remember which words she used, but they were not words you want to do here. If you were the advocate and he was chagrin.

02:14:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Brianna, anything you want to add before we move on.

02:14:27 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I'm good to go.

02:14:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Smart wise. Let's take a little break and I do want to talk about. I got about 20 more stories. We'll run through real quickly because we're getting long here. You're watching this week in tech with our great panelists and it's great to have all three of you. Obviously, we love having Kathy on when there's a Supreme Court stuff going on, because you're an expert on it, and, of course, brianna whenever there's anything about the government involved. Rob Pegararo is always great, because he's just great all by himself. Have my moments Without any effort.

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K-o-l-i-d-e collidecom slash Twitter. Learn more. Watch this demo. It's fantastic. It explains it beautifully. If you use an octa, you need collide. K-o-l-i-d-e dot com Slash Twitter. We thank you so much for their support of this week in tech. Oh boy, there's so much more to talk about. Briefly, I don't know what the long-term impact of this is gonna be, but I think I should mention it. I'm sure Steve Gibson will cover it. Speculative execution has been a problem in Ooh yeah, you know what I'm talking about here Processors from Intel and ARM. You know about Spectre and Meltdown.

02:16:43 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Why were you thought you were meaning due process and the death penalty?

02:16:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, you would think that but no, no, no, we're talking chips here, baby. All right, go. This is chips and it's been a problem on the Intel and ARM side for some time. Apparently I'm sorry, amd, not ARM on the x86 side, apparently the same problem may be plaguing ARM devices. In fact there is a new side channel attack on Apple's M series chips the one, two and three that leaks encryption keys, again with speculative execution, and this problem apparently cannot be fixed. The floss I'm reading now from Dan Gooden's article at ours Technica a side channel allowing end to end key extractions when Apple chips run.

Implementations of widely used cryptographic protocols cannot be patched directly because it stems from the micro architecture of the silicon itself. It can only be mitigated by building defenses into the third party cryptographic software. But that, just as with Spectre and Meltdown, severely degrades the performance, Basically turns off, I'm guessing speculative execution. Now, it's not something you as an M12 or three user probably has to worry about. It's much more an issue in the server room because the targeted cryptographic operation and the malicious application have to run in the same CPU cluster. So either somebody have to have access to your computer, but mostly, just as with Spectre and Meltdown, this issue affects shared CPUs in servers and places like that.

02:18:21 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Well, that is a big deal.

02:18:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, it, sure is. It's the way that.

02:18:25 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I mean I remember when Russia targeted me when I was running for office. Like the truth is, hostile foreign powers like dedicate like really strong resources to running these kinds of attacks. I mean, imagine a senior person at DoD right Like having the MacBook, all their emails read, all their security clearance Like this is a non-trivial problem. People can't go to the skiff every single time they need to like look at top secret stuff. So there's so many parts of this that are concerning. There's the fact that this issue of speculative execution is baked into like the M12 and three chips already. That's problematic because we did have the preface of Spectre and Meltdown. The thing I couldn't believe about this story was Leah, do you have the exact number? It was like 123 days since they reported this to Apple and Apple did not respond to it and eventually they go okay, well, we've done what we can, and then they went out and talked to the public about this. It's really concerning to me to see Apple not address this forthrightly. So every part of this is really concerning.

02:19:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, this is from a team of researchers from the University of Illinois, urbana-champaign, ut Austin, georgia Institute of Technology, uc Berkeley, university of Washington, carnegie Mellon. This is a very credible report. It may be that Apple has nothing that they can do about it. They call it GoFetch breaking constant time cryptography implementations using data memory dependent prefetchers. That's where the name GoFetch comes from and, yeah, as you point out, they've published now a proof of concept and more information about it. As usual, companies that discover this stuff will wait, giving the company a chance to patch it, but after a certain amount of time they go public with it, and we're at that point.

02:20:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So I realize this is missing the point, but I keep wanting to make Pentium 5 jokes.

02:20:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Why is that?

02:20:35 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Remember the Pentium 5?. Oh, the floating point implementation. What is 2 plus 3?

02:20:39 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Well we'll get back to you on that. It seems like it was such an innocent time it was easy days.

02:20:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Those were the good old days. Yeah, I don't know what Apple's gonna do about this. There really isn't much to do about it. But again to reminder, if you're a single user working at home, this isn't gonna be a problem for you.

02:20:55 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Threat model is an important thing to keep in mind when we're reading about things like this. Realistically, for the vast majority of people who are listening, who read the story, they will see their data compromised because they clicked on a link to enter their password at a phishing site that's much more dangerous or they reused a password. They did all the other things you're not supposed to do. This is a real problem, the same way it was for Intel with Spectre and Meltdown, and I do not envy the job of the people who have to figure out how do you mitigate this in software, given the hardware? It's in the laptop, it's in the desktop, it's in my Mac mini at home and it's not much you can do about that.

02:21:34 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's somewhat more relevantly. I'm looking at this and wanting to think about does it change the right to repair ecosystem or a policy ecosystem? Because how do you fix it If the chips are not fixable? Wouldn't it be nice if you could pop it out and replace it with a new one?

02:21:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But that's a long way to go. For it you need a framework laptop to do that.

02:21:55 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't think people are gonna be at home brewing their own in a fork chip. And, by the way, there's no chip you can go to that is not vulnerable to something like this, but the point being that Apple has been in particular, although they may have moved around, so I don't know their latest positions, but they've been very resistant to again that walled garden. How tightly they engineer everything.

And here's a bit where your product has a defect and now you even can't cost effectively fix it because your product was unfixable and maybe, if there's gonna be any liability attached to it for how unfixable it is, maybe it causes the company to be a little more friendly towards not hot gluing everything and to make parts a little bit more poppable out.

02:22:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I know Steve will be covering this on Tuesday on security. I don't know for sure, but I would expect Steve will be covering this on security Now. It'll give us a more technical explanation of what's going on. He will also, I'm sure, as he does every year, cover Pone to Own, the wonderful fun party they have in Vancouver every year where contestants can earn big prizes by hacking into systems. On the first day of Pone to Own, contestants demoed 19 zero day vulnerabilities that you should understand that the people competing this save these all year long. They're saying I found one, I'm gonna bring it to Vancouver and we're gonna make some money. Windows 11 was hacked. Tesla was hacked. Ubuntu Linux was hacked. The first day alone, $732,500 won by these teams and a Tesla Model 3. Usually it's if you can hack this, you win it. The first exploit was from Habub, sa's Abdul Aziz Arruri using an Adobe Reader exploit. Rob, those are the good old days on Adobe.

02:23:44 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Reader exploit.

02:23:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's a deep cut right there, yeah yeah, yeah, on Mac OS to earn $50,000.

02:23:50 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
You should be using preview anyways come on.

02:23:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Synactive, which is always a big player in these competitions, won a Tesla Model 3 and $200,000 after hacking the Tesla ECU with vehicle can bus control in under 30 seconds, this time with an integer overflow. By the way, the money usually comes from the companies that are being hacked because they wanna find out what these are so they can fix them. Theory researchers earned $130,000 after escaping a VMWare Workstation VM to gain code execution as system on Windows OS. Reverse tactics collected $90,000 exploiting two Oracle Virtual Box bugs and a Windows UAF to escape the VM. And the final action of the day Ha ha ha, the fist is all. In the first day, manfred Paul hacked Apple Safari, google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, exploiting three zero day vulnerabilities, winning $102,500. Pwn to Own always so much fun. Steve will have more Pwn to Own results, but after day one, synactive, as often is the case, leading with 20 points.

02:25:06 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Oh, my goodness.

02:25:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
This, forget speed running. This is what have you ever? Wanted to be, like you know, an ethical white hat hacker to do this kind of thing.

02:25:17 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Look, I don't know about you, but War Games was on growing up. That made me feel like we all did that, like dialing until you would find someone getting into their system, Like that was that was my idea.

02:25:29 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
It wasn't the whopper and early AI implementation. W-o-p-r operations plan.

02:25:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh you mean like oh, very good, even knew the acronym.

02:25:37 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I got a head full of useless facts.

02:25:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Shall we play a game? Well, yeah, and then we end up with the computer fraud and abuse act.

02:25:45 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So that's a good point. Well, that's a good point, I'll listen to you.

02:25:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Talk about overreaction.

02:25:49 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, that's a very good point.

02:25:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let's take a little time out. We've got a little video we'd like to play for you, recapping and it's really for me because I wasn't here All the fun we had this week on Twitter, oh, previously on Twitter.

02:26:04 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Twitter news.

02:26:05 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Welcome to GTC Black Wall. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy this, the largest chip Chips are physically possible. Oh my Lord, let's put two of them side by side. Oh and then they just keep going. 30 cow for that chip. Oh God, they're gonna be on Mars before you know it.

02:26:21 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
I can't even conceptualize 645 ex-knops Tech news weekly, the Department of Justice is suing Apple for violating antitrust laws. They're accusing Apple of illegally monopolizing the smartphone market by locking in customers and making experiences worse for rival products. I think what it is going to do is open up really important conversations how we need to put into place some guardrails over how dependent we are on these devices and the services that they offer.

02:26:53 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Mac break weekly.

02:26:55 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Apple talking to Google about licensing Gemini for use in iOS 18.

02:27:03 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
In addition to Google's doing a lot more work and probably ahead of Apple.

02:27:06 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
There's also the case of we tell you it's by Gemini or by Google, and if something goes wrong, it's Google's fault, apple's fault, because I think that Apple's self-correction process makes it really hard for AI to work.

02:27:19 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
This Week in Google.

02:27:21 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
A new Solana-based meme coin, slurf, has faced significant challenges after the project's developer accidentally burnt a major portion of the token supply, effectively losing 10 million, or the entirety of the presale participants' money.

02:27:35 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Oh my God, guys, I effed up Project's official ex-account wrote You're buying things from a sloth named Slog. I don't why would you do that?

02:27:44 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
Michael, you don't understand is the dog with hat currency might be able to purchase an ad on the Las Vegas skier. So I don't Ugh the sadness in your eyes over just that second the world is so broken you could bottle that.

02:28:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Twit I got your Bitcoin right here. What's even worse, is that the same?

02:28:04 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
people who are doing this stupid stuff are now in charge of AI and they think they can destroy the world.

02:28:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I do appreciate Paris Martin though, micah Sargent, devendra Hardware, jason Snell, all of whom covered for me during my vacation. Thank you for doing such a great job. Some really good shows this week, and I had zero to do with it. I was on the beach the whole time.

02:28:27 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Oh, aw, aw. Was that an aw? Yeah, I would love to go on the beach. Just 40 degrees in Boston.

02:28:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh yeah, you're getting a second snow sand. Oh it's 35.

02:28:38 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Second winter 35 actually.

02:28:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I am so sorry.

02:28:41 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The first aw was a sympathy. Aw, poor Leo missed all this. The second aw was a lot more self-directed, that's right.

02:28:48 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Aw, yeah, you're on it.

02:28:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Why do?

02:28:50 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I live in the Commonwealth.

02:28:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I help you warm up a little bit. We did. We talked to Corey Doctro and a few other sci-fi authors because I really wanted to get them on, but fortunately we have somebody here who can talk about one of the greats passed away this week, werner Vingey, at the age of 70. Is that right? Let me do some math. He was 80 years old. He was the author of so many great science fiction books but, perhaps even more importantly, remembered as the guy who created the idea of a singularity. He just a fascinating writer. If you haven't read any of Vingey's stuff you should, but his. He was the first science fiction author to write about the idea that an AI could perhaps become as smart as a human being. I'm not sure where he wrote about that. You exchanged emails with him, rob.

02:29:48 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Very briefly, it was in 2009,. It was writing a piece for the Washington Post about the concept of augmented reality.

You see, you see, 15 years before Apple got around to putting Vision Pro in the market, and somebody put it out to me that there's a novel by Vingey Rainbows N which describes a world in which people are walking around with overlays generated by computerized contact lenses and clothing. And I thought, oh, you know, I should email this guy for a comment, what the hell. And he actually emailed me back. I updated the blog and he talked about, I think, overlays dependent improvements in two technologies wearable display devices. Still working on it. We do not have the smart contact lenses, accurate location and direction of look information. We're kind of there on the second one, where you can pin down your location to a very precise degree and you know these devices do know which way you're looking. And so he emailed me. This was yeah, again in 2009. Probably thought mass market versions would come around 2012, 2017. He noted Rainbows N, based on an earlier story, fast times at Fairmont High from 2001.

I love them man so pretty good tech funded like good, good future, logical work.

02:31:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
He wrote an op-ed piece in Omni Magazine in January 1983, in which he talked about AI. We are caterpillars, soon to be butterflies, and when we look to the stars we take that vast silence as evidence of other races, transformed, he talked. This is where he talked about the singularity, technological unemployment. This is 1983. A chromagnon brought into our present could eventually understand the changes of the last 35,000 years. The difference between contemporary man and the creatures who live beyond the singularity is incomparably more profound. Even if we could visit their era, most of what we see would be forever incomprehensible, he says. Let me give you his definition.

The evolution of human intelligence took millions of years. We will devise an equivalent advance in a fraction of that time. We will soon create intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity as far as I know, the first time that term was used an intellectual transition as impenetrable as the knotted space time at the center of a black hole and the world will pass far beyond our understanding. This is, by the way, what a lot of AI accelerationists are telling me today is that it's gonna get very weird very fast.

The singularity, vinje says it, already haunts a number of science fiction writers. It makes realistic extrapolation to an interstellar future impossible. To write a story set more than a century Hence, one needs a nuclear war in between to retard progress enough so that the world remains intelligible. He believed the singularity. Now remember he's writing this in 1983. He believed the singularity would happen sometime in the next 20 years, between 1983 and 2023, and certainly before 2030. So maybe he wasn't so far off. A wonderful science fiction author, I think, to some degree a really important thinker as well, and I wish he'd had more time to write.

Werner Vinje passed away this week at the age of 79. Falling into the singularity is, admittedly, a frightening thing, he says, but we now might regard ourselves as caterpillars who will soon be butterflies. I hope that's the case. I think there are a lot of people who think that AI is not gonna do that. We tried to get ahold of John Scalzi as well. He wrote a very good piece which I recommend in his blog whateverscalzicom, memorializing Vinje. David Brinn was the first to announce it in a Facebook post. Three-time Hugo Award winner for best novel, fire Upon the Deep, a Deepness in the Sky. Rip Werner Vinje, and on that note, I think we can say RIP to this week in tech, for this week Anyway, brianna Wu, your husband writes sci-fi.

02:34:29 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
He sure does.

02:34:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Does he a Vinje fan? Do you know?

02:34:32 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I have done asked him. I will ask him as soon as this show is over. I shout out to File 778, which covered it, written by Mike Glyre. This guy is a one-man press shop for the entire science fiction industry. He gets it's just amazing Like to literally be the only industry press of a lot of the stuff. That's really.

02:34:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What is the website?

02:34:57 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
File 770,. It's in our notes today. So.

02:35:01 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest) Okay.

02:35:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's it Good, this is good to know about. I will add this to my regular Mike is great. Yeah, he writes mostly about sci-fi or, yeah, sf fandom.

02:35:14 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
He basically he writes about fandoms, all of the like the sad puppies came out. He covers out books, he covers deaths, he covers big contracts. He's just like he's the Washington post of the science fiction, like writer industry. It's really cool stuff, Wow great.

02:35:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm glad to follow this. Let me add this to my RSS. I hope he has RSS. Let me add this to my RSS speech Brianna Wu, executive director of Rebellion Pack. What's Rebellion Pack?

02:35:44 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
We basically work on election strategy. I personally work with a lot of streamers and try to get political messages out on new mediums. So that means TikTok, twitch, youtube, all that kind of good stuff, kind of the good side of information warfare, if you will.

02:36:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Nice and, of course, a Princess Peach speed runner. Where can we find your latest speed run?

02:36:09 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
If you wanna follow me on Twitch, it's. Oh yeah, brianna Wu on Twitch, I will be there speed running the new game, princess Peach Showtime. Quite a bit, I'm looking forward to that, oh good.

02:36:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, it's, oh yeah, brianna Wu.

02:36:24 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
Oh yeah, Brianna Wu.

02:36:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's easy to remember oh yeah, brianna Wu. You don't mean like oh yeah, brianna Wu. You mean like oh.

02:36:33 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
No it's like you guys got passion.

02:36:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh yeah, brianna Wu. Oh yeah, thank you, brianna, always great to see you. I hope we come out and see you in September. I'm looking forward to it.

02:36:44 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
We got party. I'm not to September or April. Next one, I'm gonna destroy a Godzilla pinball, just so you know. Yeah, it's going down.

02:36:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh boy, here she goes, here she goes. Ladies and gentlemen, princess Peach, she's on her way, I love it. I love it. Kathy Gellis, she is an attorney at Law CGCOUNSEL dot com. She's also Kathy Gellis, c-a-t-h-y-g-e-l-l-i-s. On Mastodon.

02:37:10 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And also on Blue Sky. That's it.

02:37:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Are we all moving to ski?

02:37:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I yeah, I've been slow too because I kind of believed in the Mastodon model and I wanted it to succeed. I won't give up. But Blue Sky was a client on my net choice case as a Mekus brief, so it's not like I don't like them either. And Maznik is a big Blue Sky and he's yeah, but I don't think he has Mastodon Hate, he just but he definitely likes a lot about the Blue Sky model and so it's the closest to Twitter.

02:37:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Mastodon is not trying to be another Twitter. Blue Sky is the closest thing to a Twitter replacement.

02:37:47 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean if we hadn't had a Blue Sky, we probably would have evolved the Mastodon ecosystem a little bit more, but there ended up being another off-ramp and that off-ramp had some appeal sooner. But but it's anyway, it's where I'm spending most of my time. So I probably should change that. But I haven't done one of the custom domain names yet, so at the moment, but my handle Kathy Gellis. I'm trying to own all the Kathy Gellis's and I think I have, and I feel bad for the one other woman who may also be named Kathy Gellis I got him, I got him and I don't know.

Having said that, somebody's probably going to. If it's not one I've been to, it's not me, but anyway. But the Twitter and the Blue Sky and the Mastodon.

02:38:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Actually threads this week really open up.

02:38:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm not on threads crap. If you see a Kathy Gellis there, it's not me.

02:38:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, don't get on threads, but cause that's a meta product, but they did just open up an activity pub subscriptions to threads.

02:38:38 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think we alluded to it in our Amicus brief about. You know, ecosystem is important and that really needs to change. You know the legal analytical model of okay, if all you had was Facebook, twitter, google, et cetera, maybe you would find that certain First Amendment incursions were more warranted. But as long as you can get other stuff that can talk to each other and take the open standards, I think that needs to be a regulatory guidepost and I think definitely a constitutional guidepost.

02:39:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, we'll always have truth social.

02:39:08 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)

02:39:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
He never said that.

02:39:11 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think you just violated the Elvis act with that.

02:39:14 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, that's it. Tennessee is gonna be a huge one, Exactly.

02:39:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Unless I'm in AI, I think I'm off the hook. Rob Peregrino actually Rob Pegoraro has his own handle on the Blue Sky. Robpegararocom. Registered a long time ago.

02:39:29 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
So I do like that feature. Yeah, I spent a lot of time experimenting on Macedon as well. Blue Sky has an approachability that Macedon doesn't, even though I like the composition UX on Macedon better. Like that. There's an edit button that exists and that is easy to use. But, yeah, definitely Twitter after Alex Jones. I'm like I cannot support this site with free writing. Yeah, I know more Twitter.

02:39:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And also Twitter. You're still a Twitterer, though, aren't you?

02:39:58 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I know stop touching me.

02:40:00 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
I'm gonna get you off there. I'm gonna get you off there. I had much less to talk about. I have 150,000 followers.

02:40:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I have 550,000 and I left. If I could do it, you can do it.

02:40:09 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Oh, and, by the way, somebody in the Discord is saying that I'm on TikTok. I am not on TikTok, so that is not me.

02:40:15 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
But there is a Kathy Gulls. I have a TikTok account, which I have not. Do you wanna see me sing or dance? Absolutely not.

02:40:23 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Actually I have thought about having a TikTok account, but I want to know on a sexually isolated device, not my real device, and I've never managed to just organize one. Oh, I have TikTok on all my devices.

02:40:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What is the Chinese government gonna find out about me that I care about? They can just watch the show and they'll know everything there is.

02:40:40 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I, in theory, have a lawyer in ethical duties to be a little less wee about my devices, oh yeah.

02:40:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Not me, thank God. I have no fiduciary responsibility to absolutely anybody, although, I have to say, lisa ambushed me on our vacation. I'm lying on the beach. She said, quick, let's do a TikTok of what you think of the Apple lawsuit. So I don't even know. I haven't. No, I know, I don't know anything. I know nothing. Truthfully, I really passed the buck because I don't wanna have an opinion by myself. I wanna listen to all you smart people and then decide.

02:41:21 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, but some of us haven't done the homework.

02:41:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, Cathy, I'm sorry. Yeah, Cathy, come on, that's all right. You read the skits.

02:41:29 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I read the skits. That's what matters.

02:41:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Rob, where else can we? I see you writing for the New Republic, of course.

02:41:34 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Oh, that was the one piece of, so there. The one thing it helped that a friend of mine was guest editing at that particular month. Well, where?

02:41:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
else can we see yourself.

02:41:40 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Most often place to find me writing is PCMag. I also write for a fast company. There's a couple of guides I maintain at the New York Times Wirecutter site. I write for various trade pubs.

02:41:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, what do you do for a wire cutter? What's the-.

02:41:52 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
The phone plans guide is my fault. Phone plans yeah, that's important. It's a lot of math really. It's risking a lot by taking it on. Yes, oh, there is a huge spreadsheet. I have Huge spreadsheet If you need to use this much data Is there a clear winner For most people, I think, in terms of if you use a lot of data and certainly if you travel internationally, T-Mobile has got a great-.

02:42:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that's what I am, yeah.

02:42:13 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
We judge that for if coverage is a priority, especially rural coverage, if you want to drive, like two or four in the north of these studios, T-Mobile, you may find this network a little disappointing.

02:42:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's gotten better though, yeah, so.

02:42:26 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
ATT is a little better in that respect. One thing we're going to have to sort of watch out for T-Mobile and AT&T are both working to introduce rowing via satellites in low-worth orbit, so that could change the whole picture. It'll be a fun update.

02:42:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What will the performance?

02:42:40 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
be like We'll have to see. At&t is working on a system where their partner company, ast Space Mobile only 90 giant satellites in low-worth orbit, they say, will allow global coverage data included. T-mobile is partnering with Starlink SpaceX and then it's going to be messaging first, then voice and data, probably not at an awesome speed.

02:43:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So this could be a revolution in mobile connectivity.

02:43:08 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Yeah, you'll never have an excuse for being offline.

02:43:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
This was always my hope. In fact, one of the reasons I was a big Starlink supporter in the early days was I thought, well, this is going to provide low-cost global internet, but it's not low-cost, no, and that's the problem. So maybe it'll be from the carriers in the long run.

02:43:25 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
We'll have to see. It's an exciting story to follow.

02:43:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Not known for their low-cost offerings, however, maybe T-Mobile. You know I always recommend Mint Mobile, our sponsor, if you're not traveling internationally, because that's cheaper than T-Mobile, but it is domestic only. Yes, so that's the drawback. Got some great prices, rob, great to have you. He is robpegararrowcom as a sketer. There's this little skeet. I really hate the word skeet, me too. It sounds like a mosquito bite kind of.

02:44:00 - Rob Pegoraro (Guest)
Yeah, and living in the Midland, I don't like mosquitoes.

02:44:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I got a real detestive.

Yeah, yeah, we got to work on something else. Thank you everybody for joining us. We do this week in tech Sundays. I think of it as my first podcast the weekend the last word in tech from two to five PM Pacific time, that's five to eight PM Eastern time, 2100 UTC. You can watch us do it live. We have a YouTube stream at youtubecom slash twit. Follow it there if you want to only participate with live show, but honestly, it's probably more convenient especially if you've got a Monday morning commute to subscribe in your favorite podcast player and that way you can download it and listen at your leisure. You can also get it from our webpage and from YouTube. There's a video channel dedicated to this week in tech.

If you're not yet a club member, can I import you to become one? It makes a big difference in our ability to continue to grow, to keep doing the shows we're doing, perhaps even ad shows. Club twit is only seven bucks a month. For that. You get, I think, quite a bit ad-free versions of all of our shows, video of all of our shows as well. We've recently made the audio for everything available to the public, but the video is on club members' terms only. You also get bonus content we don't put out anywhere else, like Stacy's book club and our little parties we have in studio.

We're gonna do an inside twit soon for club members and the fabulous Discord, which is really the place to hang. If you are a geek, you will find much to talk about, not just the shows in our Discord. All of that for seven bucks a month. Twittv slash club twit. And, of course, the most important thing is you're helping us stay afloat in an era where independent journalism is a few and far between. It's getting more and more difficult to do that and we think it's really important, so thank you in advance. Oh, I didn't tell you how Twittv slash club twit. We've been doing this for a long time.

02:46:04 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
You know what I just realized, what I have a bug in my Windows production machine. The reason I'm facing this wall today is because my $4,000 computer doesn't work. I could go to club twit and probably get tech support.

02:46:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You bet there are people here who would gladly help you Please help me. Help Brianna get her PC. Rhettcon5 says I could fix it.

02:46:30 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
He is an IT guy for a very well-known company in the Bay Area.

02:46:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Keith512, says I could fix it. I know Keith Ken, he's one of our great resources. Lavabeing says okay, what's the problem?

02:46:45 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So yes, there is help in there.

02:46:46 - Brianna Wu (Guest)
I'm getting static through my XLR box for my mic. I'll talk to them about it. Oh my God, this is great yeah there's some great people in there.

02:46:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Of course, brianna is a member of the club, in fact, rob and Kathy. We also would like to extend complimentary membership so that we can go in there anytime you want. It's nice to have our experts in there. I was going to say that coming up April 17th. Well, there are a couple of things coming up. First of all, april 7th and April 21st is that the two dates we are going to open our studio to club members, so that's another benefit for club members. Now, I believe we're sold out for April 7th, but I think we have a few seats left for April 21st.

I'll tell you what best thing to do club members go into the club and look at the events and you can sign up there. There's a form there. You can sign up so you can join us Attend a live recording. Yeah, there, it is the 7th and the 21st. Let us know if you're interested. Space is limited. It is club members and they're immediate families. Only you could bring a spouse if they're not a club member.

That's one thing I wanted to tell you about. What was the other one? Oh, in a couple of weeks we're gonna turn 19. The show first twit was April 17th, 2005. So in a couple of weeks, april 17th, I think we should have a party. We'll let you know. We're gonna work on that. It's something to celebrate. On the twit on April I guess it'll be the 14th as we celebrate our 19th birthday, begin our 20th year of doing this show, and I thank those of you who have been listening for all 20 years. I thank those of you who've been listening for a few months or a few weeks. It's great to have you and I will tell you I will say this at the end of every show, as I have been for the last 19 years Another twit is in the can. We'll see you next time. Bye, bye. 


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