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Tech Week: Supreme Court Ruling on TX Social Media Censorship Law, Musk Weighs in on RTO Policies & More

June 03, 2022

SCOTUS Blocks TX Social Media Censorship Law

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a Texas law (HB 20) that would have prohibited online platforms like Facebook and Twitter from censoring content because of that content’s viewpoint.

The law was passed in September, but a lower court issued a preliminary injunction keeping it from taking effect. A federal appeals court for the Fifth Circuit stayed that injunction in mid-May pending a final ruling on the case, prompting tech industry groups to file an emergency petition with the Supreme Court.

The high court’s decision reimposed the injunction without addressing the constitutionality of the law. But it’s likely the court will be called upon to make that determination in the future. (CNBC, HOUSTON CHRONICLE)

Musk Tells Workers at Tesla, SpaceX to RTO Full-Time

Elon Musk weighed in on the debate over return-to-office policies during the pandemic with a pair of emails last week to his employees at SpaceX and Tesla.

In his message to workers at SpaceX, Musk said they were required to “spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week,” and those who failed to do so would be fired.

To the Tesla workers, Musk said: “Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla.” (NEW YORK TIMES)

DOJ Brings First Insider Trading Charges Associated with NFTs

Federal prosecutors in New York’s Southern District have charged a former employee of the online marketplace OpenSea with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the trading of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. Thirty-one-year-old Nathaniel Chastain used “confidential information about what NFTs were going to be featured on OpenSea’s homepage for his personal financial gain,” the DOJ said in a press release. DOJ officials said it was the first time they’d filed insider trading charges related to digital assets. (CNBC)

Carrot Approach to Better Cybersecurity in Spotlight

A panel at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week will be discussing states’ efforts to encourage businesses to implement cybersecurity policies by offering those that do protection from lawsuits over data breaches.

“It’s a promising model,” said Tony Sager, the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS) senior vice president and chief evangelist, who will be participating in the panel discussion. “This provides some lessons, both for other states, but also what could be done at the federal level.”

Ohio was the first to take the carrot approach with the passage of a safe harbor law in 2018 protecting businesses that followed well-established cybersecurity standards, like CIS’s Critical Security Controls. Connecticut and Utah enacted similar laws in 2021, while several other states, including Georgia, Illinois, Iowa and New Jersey have considered safe harbor legislation in the past two years. (GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY, JD SUPRA)

-- Compiled by KOREY CLARK

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