At a glance.
- New York establishes Joint Security Operations Center.
- FTC to fight car warranty robocalls.
- AI can't be creative (legally).
Joint Security Operations Center to oversee New York state cybersecurity.
After a meeting with the White House on Friday, this week New York state governor Kathy Hochul announced the establishment of the Joint Security Operations Center, a first-of-its-kind centralized cybersecurity hub. Located in Brooklyn, the center will be a one-stop-shop where state officials can benefit from the skills of federal and state law enforcement cyber experts as well as local and county government representatives. Also present will be members of NYC3, the coordinating body for New York City's cyber defenses, ZDNet reports. At the center’s announcement, Hochul, alongside the mayors of New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers, said hub will maximize New York’s threat detection posture "by centralizing telemetry data -- allowing officials to assess and monitor potential threats in real time” and "streamline threat intelligence and responses in the event of a significant cyberattack." In the governor’s office’s official statement, Hochul explains the motivation behind the center’s creation: “Cybersecurity has been a priority for my administration since Day 1, and this command center will strengthen our ability to protect New York's institutions, infrastructure, our citizens and public safety."
FTC fights against car warranty robocalls.
Scam robocalls warning consumers about their car warranties have become so ubiquitous that they’ve spawned memes. Just last year, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 427,000 complaints from consumers about such calls, and now the agency is trying to do something about it. The Washington Post reports that the FTC has filed a complaint against American Vehicle Protection Corp. (AVP), a Florida-based company that allegedly scammed victims out of $6 million in just the last four years by selling them sub-par warranty coverage. AVP has filed its own suit against the FTC, claiming they’ve done nothing wrong and that even if they had, the FTC doesn’t have the authority to file such a complaint, based on a Supreme Court decision last year. A statement from the AVP’s lawyer explains, “While AVP disagrees that it was violating the law, it embarked upon an extensive and unprecedented revamping of its policies and practices to ensure compliance.” That said, the FTC does not appear to be hacking down. Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated “We want to send a clear message that blasting consumers with robocalls, selling them bogus bumper-to-bumper warranties is not going to be tolerated by the commission.”
Artwork or artifice?
A recent ruling from the US Copyright Office indicates that artificial intelligence cannot copyright its own digital artwork, no matter how talented the AI might be. Digital artist Steven Thaler attempted to copyright a picture titled “A Recent Entrance to Paradise” on behalf of the AI that created it, an algorithm he’s calling Creativity Machine. But the Copyright Office turned him down, stating that a piece of art must contain an element of “human authorship” in order to fall under copyright protection. As the Verge explains, in a way, the algorithm’s talent is what is standing in the way of the copyright, as Creativity Machine can create art with extremely minimal human interaction. Explaining its decision, the Copyright Office states that “the nexus between the human mind and creative expression” is essential for copyright protection.