Current Issue


Volume 18

The Economic Calculus of Fielding Autonomous Fighting Vehicles Compliant with the Laws of Armed Conflict

Evan Wallach, Erik Thomas

18 Yale J.L. & Tech. 1

In 2001, the U.S. Military had only 162 unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones. By 2010, that number exceeded 7,000, accounting for 41% of aircrafts in the U.S. Air Force.  As their numbers have increased, these systems have become increasingly automated.  Newly deployed weapon systems have taken the first steps towards target selection without input from human operators. The revolution in robotics and weapons technology raises numerous questions about the legality of deploying Autonomous Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) onto the battlefield.

A Warrant to Hack: An Analysis of the Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure

Zach Lerner

18 Yale J.L. & Tech. 26

In 2013, a federal magistrate judge denied an FBI request for a remote access search warrant, concluding that, among other deficiencies, Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure prevented him from granting a warrant to hack a computer when the location of the device was not known. Just five months later, the DOJ proposed amendments to Rule 41 seeking to eliminate the territorial limits on search warrants in two cybercrime contexts: (1) when suspects conceal their online locations and identities; and (2) when malware affects users in five or more districts. Despite approval from the necessary judicial committees and conferences, the amendments must now survive review by the Supreme Court and Congress. While the government argues that the amendments represent small but necessary changes, critics raise a number of far- reaching legal and policy concerns, labeling the amendments as the legalization of “New Invasive Global Hacking Powers.” This paper seeks to impartially present and evaluate both sides of the argument. This Article offers concrete alterations to the amendments, which ensure that law enforcement agencies are able to effectively investigate and prosecute cybercrimes while simultaneously protecting privacy, safeguarding civil liberties, and guaranteeing that remote access search warrants do not become ubiquitous tools of surveillance.

When Competition Fails to Optimize Quality: A Look at Search Engines

Maurice E. Stucke, Ariel Ezrachi

18 Yale J.L. & Tech. 70

The European Commission’s Statement of Objections forms the latest addition to the ongoing debate on the possible misuse of Google’s position in the search engine market. The scholarly debate, however, has largely been over the exclusionary effects of search degradation. Less attention has been dedicated to the dimension of quality – whether and how a search engine, faced with rivals, could degrade quality on the free side. We set out to address this fundamental question: with the proliferation of numerous web search engines and their free usage and availability, could any search engine degrade quality? We begin our analysis with a review of the network effects that may impact the relative power of a search engine. We next identify three necessary, but not sufficient, variables for quality degradation to occur in search results. With these three variables in mind, we consider instances when a search engine could degrade quality despite competition from rivals.