On the internet, it’s California’s way on the legislative highway – The Nevada Independent

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David Colborne

Trying to regulate the internet at any level, much less at the level of one of our 50 states, is always something of a fool’s errand. How do you convince an internet service provider in Ukraine to adhere to the current version of PCI’s Data Security Standard? (To borrow a clause from Nevada Revised Statute) 603A.215? What would a district attorney do to serve an online service provider if they failed disclose a significant security breach? NRS 603A.220?

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The answer, of course, is they can’t — but that doesn’t mean they can’t punish a misbehaving Strip casino for violating local statutes. 

Regulating the internet in a state is by nature and necessity a legal and secular exercise. Serenity Prayer — grant attorneys general the serenity to accept the out-of-state violations they cannot charge, courage to prosecute what malefactors they can, and wisdom to know the difference — or, failing that, at least the wisdom to recognize which windmills are politically beneficial to be seen tilting at. See the following for examples. Florida Texas.

California, however, isn’t like other states. California has more people than any other state in the U.S. — more than one in 10 Americans are also Californians and, were California a country, its population (a bit over 39 million) would rank 37th, between Ukraine (over 41 million, though the last census occurred before more than seven million UkrainiansCanada (just below 39 million) and the United States (which were evacuated in the wake of the latest Russian invasion of their country). If California were a country, it would have the following: fifth-largest economyIn the world, it is ahead of India, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. 

California is home to several multi-billion dollar technology firms, all of which are subject to California law. Not that it matters all that much where a company is hosted — because California’s well-heeled consumers are protected under California law, basing your company elsewhere won’t exempt you from California’s laws as long as you want to do business with Californians.

That includes the entirety of Nevada’s tourism industry.

To fully understand the effect California’s legislation has on the internet, consider the California Consumer Privacy ActThe 2018 amendments were approved. It required for-profit businesses with an annual gross revenue of more than $25 million to be eligible for a permit. “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link on the homepage of the website for the business and to maintain accessible privacy notices — and so MicrosoftThe California Consumer Privacy Act notice is available for, which is located in Redmond, Washington. Visit the website for more information. MGM Grand and look at the bottom, meanwhile, you’ll find a notice indicating that California residents should “see Cookie Settings for opt-out rights” ­— those rights, if you investigate further, are enumerated as follows:

California residents only have the right to opt out of having your personal data sold to third parties. Certain cookies that are placed on our sites by third parties may be considered a sale of personal data under the California Consumer Privacy Act.“CCPA”). Visit also http://ccpadsar.mgmresorts.com,To fully exercise your CCPA optout rights, you must use our Cookie Preference Tool on your device. The cookie preference tool works only on a specific device or browser. You will need to reset cookie preferences if you delete, clear, or change browsers or devices.

  • MGM Resorts International Privacy Preference Center

Microsoft and the MGM Grand do business in California. Therefore, while they do so, they must — and do — follow applicable California laws even though they themselves are not located in California. California therefore has more legislative power than any other state.

If you’re a Nevadan, don’t feel too sorry for yourself — NRS 603A.330 applies our state’s information security and privacy laws to anyone who does business with a Nevada resident. It’s the same trick California pulls — they’re just better at it because they have more than 10 times as many people and a tech industry that does something other than building slot machines, selling shoes to Amazon customersSelling, or buying municipally-backed NFTs.

As the old saying goes, don’t hate the player, hate the game.

At the end of August, California’s legislature passed two additional bills that further regulate the internet for Californians, California-based businesses, and anyone who connects or does business with them (that would be us and everybody else who uses the internet, in other words) — Assembly Bill 2273, which passed both houses of California’s bicameral legislature unanimously, and Assembly Bill 587The state assembly unanimously passed the bill, which was only opposed to by three state senators. Both bills are now on the governor’s desk. Gavin Newsom’s desk, awaiting his signature, but even without it, both bills passed California’s legislature with overwhelming, veto-proof majorities. 


AB587 requires social media companies that generate more than $100 million in gross revenue to post their terms of service, keep track of how their content moderation policies are enforced, and report back to California’s attorney general every six months about whether and how they monitor for hate speech, racism, extremism, radicalization, disinformation, misinformation, harassment, or foreign political interference. I’m sure the people running Parler — the conservative-catering, Henderson, Nevada-based social media network, which achieved a bit of notoriety for its relative popularity among the January 6th rioter set and was consequently kicked off of the internet for a week — are looking forward to preparing semiannual reports about their content-moderation policies to California’s attorney general, assuming their business is still clearing $100 million these days.

Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law Professor, is less flippant points out there’s a strong chance AB587 runs afoul of several constitutional protections because hate speech, racism, and so on, though noxious, are all constitutionally protected and American governments don’t get to keep closer track of it than other speech. It also simultaneously prohibits large social media companies from making sudden content-moderation decisions in the event of novel harmful social media content because the terms of service must include full details about the social media platform’s editorial policies and practices. Given every detail about how each social media platform enforces its editorial decisions around each type of content, it’s only a matter of time before malicious users rules-lawyer their way around each platform’s posted terms of service to post noxious and potentially harmful content that doesn’t run afoul of the platform’s existing filters. 

This will in the long-term lead to a worse user experience on social media, not only for those logging in from California.


AB2273 bills itself as “The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act.”It depends on who you ask. make the digital world safeAmerican (not JustCalifornian) children or require all websites on planet Earth to scan your faceBefore you can access their digital content.

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In practice, it will likely be somewhere in the middle. 

The idea behind AB2273 is to ensure children — anyone under the age of 18 — aren’t subject to “dark patterns”or privacy violations while using the internet. However, to do this, businesses must know if their website users are children. “scan your face”bit) or to increase privacy and content-protection policies across all users. 

The legal website JD SupraThe law is broken down in detail, so you can see which businesses are included and what requirements and restrictions apply.

To the bill’s credit, it wasn’t drafted ex nihilo from the fertile imaginations of California legislators — instead, they copied the United Kingdom’s Children’s CodeNearly word-for–word, this means that many online service providers are familiar and experienced with the concepts as well as the pitfalls involved with complying with new regulations. Age verification is a requirement in the UK. PAS 1296:2018The British Standards Institution published the standard. It defines various levels of acceptable age-assured approaches depending on severity and needs. Taking someone’s picture, to pick the most hyperbolic example, would qualify either as a “Liveness Detection”An “ID Validation,”Both of these are not required for use cases that require Level 3 or Enhanced age assurance. Standard-level checks require more passive age verification measures.

To the bill’s detriment, even the more passive methodsSome data collection requirements are quite intrusive, including verification of bank records and algorithmic profiling. The International Association of Privacy Professionals, (IAPP), also recommends that you collect data. points outThe law applies to all businesses that are subject to it “provides an online service, product, or feature likely to be accessed by children” — this, as the News/Media Alliance, a trade group representing The New York TimesAmong other publications, pointed outThese news agencies could even be for-profit, as older children read the news online.

Though the British version of California’s bill has produced some salutary effects in the desired direction — members of the U.S. Senate and Congress are already calling on U.S. tech and gaming companies to voluntarily adopt the UK’s code for American children, and similar legislative efforts are underway in Ireland, Australia and Canada — California’s law won’t be enforced by British bureaucrats interpreting the code under the relatively aspirational standards of British common law where good tries are rewarded. Eric Goldman suggests that instead, highlights, it will be enforced by California’s attorney general and the California Privacy Protection Agency under the considerably more adversarial rules-based norms of the American legal system.

That’s a problem given much of AB2273 is written closer to the now-unconstitutional standard of Montana’s 1990s-era “reasonable and prudent”Speed limit is not related to any type of firm metric. A court of law can decide between two antagonistic parties. What does it entail for a site? “likely to be accessible by children”? What is a “high level of privacy protection”? What is a “reasonable level of certainty”When determining the age of a website visit? When a disclosure is made “concisely, prominently, and using clear language suites to the age of children likely to access”What happens to a site if a California preschooler visits the site? Reno Gazette-Journal? Does the RGJ have to make its disclosures in a language that anyone can understand, even someone who is finished with potty training? 


To be clear, California’s new laws address some good, serious points worthy of potential regulation. “Dark patterns,”Malicious data sharing and the lack of online privacy raise serious concerns. Combining all three, The National Republican Senatorial Committee was recently caught sending uncredited text messages asking recipients if they support Trump — if they replied “YES,”The N.R.S.C. debited $25 against whatever credit card information was saved for that phone number in WinRed, the Republican Party’s fundraising platform. Unfortunately, they never asked WinRed for permission to use their data in that fashion for that campaign — and, even if WinRed consented, chances are the donors themselves never consented to lose money every time they merely replied to a text.

It is a noble goal to protect children from malicious data collection and to strictly protect their privacy. For over a decade now, there’s a recurring story that follows the contours of the game of “Capture the Flag” internet trolls played with Shia LaBeouf against the actor’s wishes, where random online participants, using data LaBeouf himself released about his flag, identified where his flag was located and stole it — only, instead of stealing flags, they send S.W.A.T. Teams were sent to their homes and push people into suicide. Preventing children from either harassing random strangers or being harassed themselves is a worthwhile goal, one I commend California’s legislature for trying to address.

Unfortunately, the American legal system California (and Nevada, for that matter) operates under assumes — to borrow a phrase from Alon Levy, a research scholar at NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management — that every agency, every corporation, and every individual is a baboon. Baboons are unmovable, stupid, and unreasonable. Baboons have no interest in resolving anyone’s problems, including their own. Coordinating and negotiating between baboons is impossible — the best you can do is draft firm, specific rules and regulations even a baboon can read and understand, then enforce them with as big of a stick as you can place in your hand. 

American companies will assume that legislators have given their bureaucrats the power to use the language like a stick wherever and whenever they can. In the case AB2273, this means that a California toddler will accidentally visit a casino website. Then, the company will assume that the legislators have given them the power to program the next refresh of the site defensively. Each paragraph is accompanied by a novel-length of terms and conditions. Basic English Learning English.

There is a way out. Gov. Newsom could veto the bill with instructions to California’s legislature to better incorporate the recommendations filed by Consumer Reports, among other things, to flesh out the instructions that the law gives to American standards. Or, we could wait until Congress finishes working on the matter. Kids Online Safety ActLeave nation-affecting legislation at national level. Better yet, we could just wait for companies to finish voluntarily complying with the United Kingdom’s Children’s Code worldwide, which many companies are already doing.

The United Kingdom is at most a country. California is a country. video games.
David Colborne was twice elected to office and served on the executive boards of his county and state Libertarian Party chapters. He is now an IT Manager, a registered nonpartisan voter and the father to two sons. Colborne also writes weekly opinion columns. The Nevada Independent. You can follow him Twitter @DavidColborneYou can email him at [email protected].

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