The United States’ Sharp Response to Huawei–Is the Threat Overstated?

By Talia Lewis

Highly consequential and reported international squabbles are not uncommon in today’s political atmosphere. One such conflict emerged as a result of mounting fears in the West of Chinese dominance in the tech marketplace: The United States government’s conflict with Huawei.


Huawei–China’s leading technology company, and the world’s largest telecommunication’s equipment maker[1]– ascended to its rank by making smart decisions and employing tenacious business practices[2]. At least, that is the explanation its proponents give for the company’s rapid rise in the international tech marketplace. More skeptical analysts argue that Huawei received help from the Chinese government, a claim the company has failed to directly refute[3]. More recently, Huawei attained notoriety for allegedly stealing intellectual property from American companies Cisco and T-Mobile.[4]


Still, United States government officials did not cast a spotlight on the company until news media reported on Huawei’s swift development of 5g technologies.[5]5g promises to upgrade, expand, and revolutionize current 4g Networks.[6]It’s been referred to as “the emerging network of the future.”[7]American officials fear the Chinese government could use this 5g technology as a sort of “trojan horse,” through which it could gain access to foreign and domestic networks and a wealth of information.[8]


Accordingly, the Trump administration enacted a “total ban” on buying from or selling to Huawei.[9]Officials have gone so far as to issue threats to allies that continuing to employ Huawei may subject them to loss or limitation in their business relations with the United States.[10]Some countries, like Australia and Canada, seem to be following America’s lead, but many European, Asian, and African countries continue to rely on Huawei.[11]


The United States’ sanctions are arguably extreme in light of absent evidence showing any malfeasance by Huawei.[12]Officials claim to have “definitive proof,” but published reports have offered only general, conclusory information.[13]Mainly, officials posit that there is too much risk in relying on a Chinese company, necessarily beholden to “communist party directives.”[14]It remains to be seen if Huawei or America has more to lose in the corruption of their relationship, but arguments are heating up as the 5g revolution begins.




[1]Zen Soo Li Tao, How Huawei went from Small-time Trader in Shenzhen to World’s Biggest Telecoms Equipment Supplier, SOUTHCHINAMORNING POST(Feb. 18, 2019, 9:30 AM), https://www.scmp.com/print/tech/big-tech/article/2186494/how-huawei-went-small-time-trader-shenzhen-worlds-biggest-telecoms.

[2]The Company that Spooked the World; Huawei, THEECONOMIST (Aug. 4, 2012), https://www.economist.com/briefing/2012/08/04/the-company-that-spooked-the-world.


[4]Id.; Hiroko Tabuchi, T-Mobile Accuses Huawei of Theft from Laboratory, N.Y. TIMES (Sept. 5, 2014), https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/06/business/t-mobile-accuses-huawei-of-theft-from-laboratory.html?searchResultPosition=1.

[5]Zen Soo Li Tao, supranote 1.

[6]Samant Khajuria & Knud E. Skouby, Privacy and Economics in a 5g Environment, 95 WIRELESSPERS.COMMC’NSJ., 145, 148 (2017).


[8]THE ECONOMIST, supranote 2; Alyza Sebenius, Pentagon Chief Warns Allies About Relying on Chinese 5g Systems, BLOOMBERGL. NEWS(Sept. 19, 2019, 4:04 PM), https://www.bloomberglaw.com/product/blaw/document/X3C8UEG8000000?bc=W1siQmxvb21iZXJnIExhdyIsIi9wcm9kdWN0L2JsYXcvc2VhcmNoL2h1Yi9ncm91cC8yNGE5OTNmN2MzZWFlZjdjMTJiM2MxODg5NzcwNjI2Yy9yZXN1bHRzX3NuaXBwZXQ_aW5kZXg9NCZndWlkPTlmNDI4NjA5LTlhYjctNGE0Ny04ZDM1LWQ2OGNhYjdkMTI5MSJdLFsiU2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHMiLCIvcHJvZHVjdC9ibGF3L3NlYXJjaC9yZXN1bHRzLzJiYTVkYjZhYjEzYzIxOGM1MDE1ZmU4Njk3ZTNkN2RlIl1d–ce03ccf93f6dce86239a7507e363f35789a8c868&guid=25f5263d-e81e-4318-9731-a828300f5954&search32=6WPJ686TstI82kFo8eCI0w%3D%3DbHhfyHCL03t6-gK6MwD-x-MGEtXHikvTMZ7tDQBoqpaHVkUyNfNA4u-Th_fmeByLZ2OyrnFgyCg7-eQ7CWU36BqpEUnRinjXhg-kdfqZJkAArdnwXUbC1egRPKhlrJoZpdUBXyoOFeMk0zp8JnIv7AyeB5X3mh_2Sn5bmzXW-QaHvdh_QBpw0WgM40–Hh0VGlYJnlxARfer88IuAVZBJembxqypnFzPpHm19xJ9RMPaC3SeetGgTwutyINu6qN1.

[9]Paul Mozur & Cecilia Kang, U.S. Tech Companies Sidestep a Trump Ban, to Keep Selling to Huawei, N.Y. TIMES (June 25, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/25/technology/huawei-trump-ban-technology.html.

[10]Natalia Drozdiak, U.S. Unlikely to Renew Waiver for American Huawei Suppliers, BLOOMBERGL. NEWS(Sept. 26, 2019, 11:45 AM), https://www.bloomberglaw.com/document/X9RTJOG000000?bc=W1siU2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHMiLCIvc2VhcmNoL3Jlc3VsdHMvNTI2NjNhNWQxZWY4YTI4NGI5OTFiMDVkNThhNjhhMzUiXV0–95c2ef0d079e10f75e86eb5531b7ae970af68a5f&guid=43e84101-4e59-4c0c-95a6-33e7362c2a92&search32=hDnLV5Qd9mgxTquK05ilTQ%3D%3DWSTZ5eYwY8yAzgbwHArKVKFGBdTDivbQ_rShyliKvVZNrek226MKFrnu6OzXDCG8pI0r7pLGvp5tP4IyjDgWem1GBiVKw-3zvgBdgVz3Zv9pdVsel6hnDwlCiPvrbJThgRMZsY6_qOXuJEJvFMZwUNExA3vcV8ZmW65sNURdxQ2gD68nTLICOJ7PygzH670a4_G1EXNYI6QkjphwnPOidA%3D%3D.

[11]Dan Strumpf, Rob Taylor & Paul Vieira, Who’s Afraid of Huawei? Security Worries Spread Beyond the U.S.,THEWALLST. J. (Mar. 20, 2018, 8:21 PM), https://www.wsj.com/articles/whos-afraid-of-huawei-security-worries-spread-beyond-the-u-s-1521561391; Saheli Roy Choudhury, Wilbur Ross warns India about Huawei but says the country must ‘make its own decision’, CNBC (Oct. 4, 2019, 5:46 AM), https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/04/wilbur-ross-warns-india-about-huawei-says-country-must-make-its-own-decision.html; THE ECONOMIST, supranote 2.

[12]Dustin Volz & Josh Chin, U.S. Believes It Doesn’t Need to Show ‘Proof’ Huawei Is a Spy Threat, THE WALLST. J. (Jan. 23, 2019, 7:04 PM), https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-believes-it-doesnt-need-to-show-proof-huawei-is-a-spy-threat-11548288297.




U.S. and Brazil: Uber Drivers are Contractors, Not Employees

By Camila Rivero-Fernandez


Uber drivers around the world are demanding labor rights to no avail. Most recently, drivers in the United States and Brazil, have been categorized as contractors rather than employees. In each of these countries, this contractor characterization has a significantly limiting impact on what labor rights Uber drivers can claim. Without an “employee” designation, Uber drivers across the globe face an uphill battle for better working conditions.

In the U.S., “[c]ontractors lack the protection given to employees under federal law—and enforced by the labor board—for unionizing and other collective activity, such as protesting the policies of employers.”[1]The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a memo issued in May of this year, argued that Uber drivers were contractors and thus, their labor rights abuse allegations were outside the board’s jurisdiction.[2]Even though the NLRB does not have power over the laws that govern employees, if the board would have deemed the drivers as such, “the decision could have put pressure on the regulators who enforce such laws to reach the same conclusion.”[3]This characterization is contrary to the Obama administration’s approach, which suggested that people who find work via apps were more likely considered employees.[4]Even though the characterization flip-flop is no set in stone, is there hope for Uber drivers’ labor rights?

Last month, the Superior Tribunal of Justice in Brazil held that Uber drivers do not have a labor relationship with Uber.[5]The case came about when an Uber driver filed a lawsuit in state court for material and moral damages for having rented a car and subsequently getting suspended from using the app.[6]The state court refused to hear the case because of the labor-related issue.[7]However, the labor court also declined to preside over the matter, thus the case was heard by Superior Tribunal of Justice.[8]In justifying the conclusion, Minister Moura Ribeiro pointed to specific characteristics that are idiosyncratic to the Uber driver position that subsequently characterize these workers as contractors and not employees.[9]Among the reasons was the absence of employment relationship requirements such as “the personal nature of the work, habitualness of the work, subordination to an employer and burden on an employer.”[10]Furthermore, Ribeiro cited the absence of a hierarchical relationship with Uber “because their services are provided on an occasional basis, without preestablished hours, and they do not receive a fixed salary.”[11]

Although the prospects for Uber drivers’ labor rights in Brazil do not seem hopeful, drivers in the U.S. may still persevere. Because of the contrasting Obama and Trump-era policies, Uber drivers’ labor rights may be upheld by present or future pertinent regulatory bodies. Until then, drivers will likely continue to exercise their Constitutional rights by demanding a higher standard for their working conditions.






[1]Noam Scheiber, Uber Drivers Are Contractors, Not Employees, Labor Board Says, N.Y. Times(May 14, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/business/economy/nlrb-uber-drivers-contractors.html.




[5]Eduardo Soares, Brazil: Superior Tribunal of Justice Rules Uber Drivers Do Not Have a Labor Relationship, Global Legal Monitor (October 1, 2019), https://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/brazil-superior-tribunal-of-justice-rules-uber-drivers-do-not-have-a-labor-relationship/.








Kenya’s Failure to Criminally Prosecute Professional Athletes Pursuant to the 2016 Federal Anti-Doping Act Undermines the Act’s Inherent Purpose by Refusing to Provide Effective Measures to Adequately Deter Doping in Professional Athletics

By Melanie Ng


The failure to criminally prosecute professional Kenyan athletes who have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs is unconstitutional under the recently enacted Kenyan Constitution, despite the ambiguous and relatively confusing—yet seemingly direct—wording of the Anti-Doping Act (“Act”) that expressly provides for criminal sanctions for those “persons” who violate the Act.[1]The Act provides that “a person or body . . . [who violates the Act] . . . commits an offense and shall be liable, upon conviction, to a fine . . . or to a term of imprisonment . . . or to both such fine and imprisonment,” so, therefore, it appears that all athletes and support personnel—regardless of personal affiliation with professional or amateur athletes—who engage in activities prohibited by the Act will be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment;[2]however, the Act created the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (“ADAK”) to “prosecute” professional athletes for violating the Act and consequently impose eligibility restrictions on those professional athletes’ international competition.[3]As an independent third-party agency, ADAK does not have authority to impose financial—or criminal—penalties on athletes: according to its Policy, ADAK can only determine whether an athlete is eligible to compete professionally following a positive drug test or another violation of the Act—ADAK cannot impose additional financial penalties.[4]However, the Act provides a general penalty, seemingly applicable to all: “[a] personwho contravenes any provision of this Act for which no specific penalty is provided shall be liable to a fine of not less than one million shillings [roughly $1,000 USD] or to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to both such fine and imprisonment,” which appears to provide for criminal prosecution in addition to eligibility restrictions imposed by ADAK.[5]However, the Act specifies through multiple cross-references that professional athletes are “only” subjected to ADAK penalties.[6]At best, the Act misuses the word “person” by seeming to permit criminal punishment for athletes on its face.[7]Criminal enforcement for all athletes is a more effective method of deterrence than are lax third party eligibility sanctions, and, moreover, this failure to do so undermines the Act’s principal purpose:“[to] protect the fundamental right of athletes to participate in sports activities that are free from doping; and put in place co-ordinated and effective mechanisms to detect, deter and prevent the use of prohibited substances or prohibited methods in competitive and recreational sport with the aim of ensuring fairness and equity in sporting.”[8]As such, failing to permit application of criminal sanctions to allviolators unfairly imposes harsher penalties on non-professional athletes, which, ultimately, does little to advance the Act’s express goals.[9]Even though the wording of the Anti-Doping Act provides for a financial penalty and/or jail time, the criminal aspect of the legislation cannot be enforced by ADAK and, consequently, the criminalization of doping does not affect the athletes who consume performance enhancing drugs.[10]The Anti-Doping Act is ambiguous regarding criminal sanctions for professional athletes: although it expressly provides for ADAK dispute resolution, by failing to define “persons” as separate from general “athletes,” application of the Act’s general penalty appears to be applicable to all persons—regardless of athletic abilities.[11]As such, failure to criminally prosecute professional athletes in violation of the Act fails to provide for an effective deterrence mechanism, as there is still no true criminal penalty for professional athletes who consume performance enhancing drugs underneath existing legislation.[12]

[1]SeeCONSTITUTIONart. 19 (rights and fundamental freedoms) (2010) (Kenya); CONSTITUTIONart. 27 (equality and freedom from discrimination) (2010) (Kenya); CONSTITUTIONart. 43 (economic and social rights) (2010) (Kenya); CONSTITUTION art. 50 (right to a fair hearing) (2010) (Kenya); see alsoAnti-Doping Act (2016) (Kenya) (does not actually define “persons,” but the Act uses that word frequently—fifty-five times to be exact—without differentiating between “persons” and “athletes” and at times, appearing to use those terms interchangeably). The World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) distinguishes between “athletes” and “persons”: an “Athlete” is “Any Person who competes in sport at the international level [as defined by each International Federation] or the national level [as defined by each National Anti-Doping Organization]” while a “Person” is “[a] natural Person or an organization or other entity.” World Anti-Doping Agency, World Anti-Doping CodeAppendix One: Definitions, 133, 135, 142 (2018).

[2]Anti-Doping Act (2016) Part VI §§ 42-43 (Kenya).

[3]SeeAnti-Doping Act (2016) art. 7(u) (Kenya) (noting that Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya is responsible for “prosecut[ing] anti-doping offences before the Tribunal or the courts”); otherwise, constitutionally created courts would have the authority to prosecute offenders. SeeCONSTITUTION art. 157 § 6(a) (2010) (Kenya) (“The Director of Public Prosecutions shall exercise State powers of constitution and may—institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court . . . in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed.”) (emphasis added). Moreover, “[t]he aim of [ADAK] Policy is—To protect an Athlete’s fundamental right to participate in doping-free sport and thus promote health, fairness and equality for Athletes in Kenya.” Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Anti-Doping Policy, 21 Mar. 2016, §1.1.

[4]SeeAnti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Anti-Doping Policy, 2.8 (the applicable consequences for a violation of the Anti-Doping Act include one or more of the following: “a warning; a reprimand; withdrawal of some or all publicly-funded services or benefits currently provided directly or indirectly by ADAK and/or the Sports Fund; withdrawal of eligibility to receive publicly-funded services or benefits from or via ADAK and/or the Sports Fund or other source in the future, with conditions provided for the reinstatement of such eligibility; withdrawal (or withholding for a stated period, on terms to be determined by the Sports Tribunal) of some or all public funding awarded but not yet paid to the federation; requiring repayment of funding paid to the sports organization during the period(s) of non-compliance; withdrawal of eligibility to receive public funding from any Sports Fund or other source in the future, with conditions provided for the reinstatement of such eligibility; and/or such other consequences as are considered appropriate in all of the circumstances of the case; such as cancellation of registration for a specified period provided that where appropriate some or all of the consequences may be applied on a suspended basis (i.e., to come into effect only if the sports organization fails to comply with the Policy again within a specified period).”

[5]Anti-Doping Act (2016) Part VI § 43 (Kenya) (emphasis added); “ADAK shall have the sole and exclusive right and responsibility: to prosecute and Athlete, an Athlete Support Personnel or with a sports organization in violation of the ADAK Rules; provided that all other offenders shall fall under the criminal justice system.” Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Anti-Doping Policy, 21 Mar. 2016, §2.8.1(a).

[6]Anti-Doping Act (2016) Part VI § 42(3) (Kenya) (“A person participating in recreational sport in a gym, fitness centre, private club or other similar faculty who—[violates the code] . . . commits an offence and is be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not less than one hundred thousand shillings [roughly $950], or to imprisonment or for a term of not less than one year or to both such fine and imprisonment: Provided that if such a person is an athlete or athlete support personnel then such a person shall be subjected onlyto the sanctions specified in subsection (6).” (emphasis added); Anti-Doping Act (2016) Part VI § 43(6) (Kenya) says that “[a]n athlete or athlete support personnel who commits any of the prohibited activities under section 26, commits an anti-doping rule violation and shall be handled in the manner set out under this Act.” Anti-Doping Act (2016) Part III § 26 (Kenya) states prohibited activities under the Act; it does not provide for enforcement mechanisms following engagement in prohibited activities.

[7]Anti-Doping Act, art. 43(5) (2016) (Kenya) “Provided that if such a person is an athlete or athlete support personnel then such a person shall be subjected only to the sanctions specified in subsection (6).” However, subsection 6 of art. 43 provides: “An athlete or athlete support personnel who commits any of the prohibited activities under section 26, commits an anti-doping rule violation and shall be handled in the manner set out under this Act [i.e., by ADAK].” Moreover, Section 26 provides a list of prohibited activities for an athlete or athlete support personnel (different from a non-athlete). As such, ADAK cannot enforce the financial penalties as required under the Anti-Doping Act.

[8]Anti-Doping Act, art. 4 (2016) (Kenya). The purpose of the Act is “[to] give effect to the World Anti-Doping Code and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization Convention Against Doping in Sport in order to—protect the fundamental right of athletes to participate in sports activities that are free from doping; and put in place co-ordinated and effective mechanisms to detect, deter and prevent the use of prohibited substances or prohibited methods in competitive and recreational sport with the aim of ensuring fairness and equity in sporting activities and promoting the health of athletes globally.” (emphasis added).

[9]WADA recently concluded a two-year investigation which found no evidence of state-sponsored institutional doping; however, WADA admits the seriousness of the frequency that Kenyan athletes test positive. Kenya Athletics: Wada Report finds no evidence of institutional doping, BBC (Sept. 27, 2018) (last visited Oct. 23, 2019) https://www.bbc.com/sport/athletics/45671651. This investigation was the result of WADA’s threats to ban Kenyan athletes from participating in the most recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero; James Riach, Wada Warns Kenya to comply with its anti-doping rules or risk Olympics ban, The Guardian (Feb. 23, 2016) (noting that “Kenya has been dogged with allegations of widespread doping and there is a fear its athletes could be banned from competing in Rio.”) (last visited Oct. 23, 2019) https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/23/kenya-wada-rio-olympics-ban-risk-drugs-in-sport.

[10]However, the national provision criminalizing doping did garner extensive positive international press for the Kenyan government and ADAK (two organizations who previously appeared to be complicit in their corruption through avoidance of WADA Code). Associated Press, Kenya president signs law making doping criminal offense, ESPN (Apr. 22, 2016) (last visited Oct. 24, 2019) http://www.espn.com/espn/wire?section=trackandfield&id=15299833.

[11]Anti-Doping Act (2016) Part VI § 43 (Kenya).

[12]Id.;seeCONSTITUTION art. 19 (rights and fundamental freedoms) (2010) (Kenya); CONSTITUTION art. 27 (equality and freedom from discrimination) (2010) (Kenya); CONSTITUTION art. 43 (economic and social rights) (2010) (Kenya); CONSTITUTIONart. 50 (right to a fair hearing) (2010) (Kenya).

Communism and Human Rights: An Incompatible Duo

By Nicholas Beekhuizen



The most recent and vile of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) human rights violations has come in the form of “re-education” camps in the Xinjiang region of northwest China, which have been used to forcibly assimilate over a million Uighur Muslims into “acceptable Chinese citizens.” [1] The CCP has stated that the detainees are there voluntarily and that the purpose of the camp is to fight Islamist extremism. [2] Wang Yi, the state councilor and foreign minister of China, says that the “people free themselves from terrorism and extremism” at the camps. [3]

Horrific stories from within the camp tell a different story. Ms. Tursun, a former detainee in the Uighur concentration camp who now lives in exile in the United States, says she and other women forcibly received injections and unknown drugs that made her ill. [4] After the injections, the women realized that they no longer got their periods, and later American doctors confirmed that Ms. Tursun had been sterilized. [5] On a larger scale, the detainees are “tortured into renouncing their religion and forced to recite state propaganda.” [6]

It is apparent that CCP’s “re-education” camps have a broader goal, the suppression of Islam and the control of the Communist Party. The Uighurs’ distinct language and culture makes it easier for Beijing to label them as dangerous; however, the Hui Muslims, a people who “pride themselves on having thoroughly assimilated into Chinese society,” are becoming the next victims. [7] In the last year, Hui mosques and schools have been destroyed while their community leaders have been imprisoned. [8] The Hui fear that they will follow the fate of the Uighurs. [9]

Islam is not alone in its persecution. The CCP has forced the destruction of Christian churches and has placed heavy restrictions on the ability to practice Tibetan Buddhism. [10] Under Chinese law, there are only five recognized religions: Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism. Even when recognized by the State, these religions are still suppressed at the Government’s whim if they “disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the State.” [11]

Unfortunately, the international community has failed to take a serious stance against the CCP. The most vocal critics have come from the Trump administration, while various, mostly Western, countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council have asked China to close their camps. [12] However, many countries fear economic backlash were they to take a stronger stance against the CCP. [13] As communism continues to take its victims by the millions near a quarter-way through the 21st century, we can only hope that the international community will band together before China has its next “Great Leap Forward” or “Cultural Revolution.” [14]


  1. Jane Perlez, China Wants the World to Stay Silent on Muslim Camps. It’s Succeeding., The N.Y. Times (September 25, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/25/world/asia/china-xinjiang-muslim-camps.html


  1. Id.


  1. Id.


  1. Peter Stubley, Muslim women ‘sterilised’ in China detention camps, say former detainees, Indep. (August 12, 2019), https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/uighur-muslim-china-sterilisation-women-internment-camps-xinjiang-a9054641.html


  1. Id.


  1. Cathy Sun,Different but the Same: Religious Persecution in China,Harv. Pol. Rev. (April 4, 2019), http://harvardpolitics.com/covers/different-but-the-same/


  1. Emily Feng, ‘Afraid We Will Become The Next Xinjiang’: China’s Hui Muslims Face Crackdown, Nat’l Pub. Radio (September 26, 2019), https://www.npr.org/2019/09/26/763356996/afraid-we-will-become-the-next-xinjiang-chinas-hui-muslims-face-crackdown


  1. Id.


  1. Id.


  1. Sun, supranote 6.


  1. Id.


  1. Perlez, supranote 1.


  1. Id.


  1. Encyclopaedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/event/Great-Leap-Forward (last visited Oct. 2, 2019) (four-year period of industrialization in China resulting in twenty million deaths) ; Encyclopaedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/event/Cultural-Revolution (last visited Oct. 2, 2019) (radicalization of Chinese youth resulting in physical abuse of intellectuals and the purging of Mao’s political opponents).

The Variations in State Regulations Regarding the Testing of Autonomous Vehicles

By Ethan Katz


            In the past decade, self-driving technology has become increasingly prevalent in the automobiles available to consumers in the United States. Systems such as automatic emergency braking and automatic lane keeping have been available for several years, and newer technologies are even more capable.[1]The most advanced system that is currently available to the public is Cadillac’s Super Cruise[2], which uses an array of cameras, sensors and map data to allow hands-free driving on certain highways.[3]This is an example of level three autonomous technology, in which the “computer handles two or more simultaneous driving functions.”[4]The highest level of self-driving technology is known as level five autonomy, where the computer fully controls and operates the vehicle in all circumstances, with no need for human intervention.[5]Companies such as Uber and Waymo currently are in the process of developing level five autonomous technology.[6]


However, before cars equipped with fully autonomous technology are ready for public use, they must be thoroughly tested to ensure safety and reliability under all driving conditions. Companies consider a variety of factors, such as climate and roadway layouts, when determining where to test these vehicles, but state regulations may be the most important consideration.[7]Most testing of self-driving cars occurs with a safety operator present in the driver’s seat[8], but regulations regarding the use and testing of autonomous vehicles are highly inconsistent, with some states being far more welcoming to this new technology than others.[9]


As one of the states that has been more receptive to autonomous vehicles, Florida recently enacted a law allowing self-driving cars to operate without a safety driver present in the vehicle.[10]The law took effect on July 1, 2019 and requires the owners of autonomous vehicles to have a minimum of $1 million in insurance coverage, and a system in place to immediately report any crashes to law enforcement.[11]With this new legislation, Florida hopes to attract technology companies, and the lucrative jobs that accompany them, to the state. These technology firms are commonly based in California, where companies can apply for permits to test autonomous vehicles without a safety driver.[12]However, the requirements for eligibility in California are more stringent than those present in Florida. On the other end of the spectrum is New York, which has been more reluctant in its approach to allowing autonomous vehicles on its roadways. New York regulations require a licensed safety driver to be present in the vehicle at all times when testing self-driving cars, among other requirements. [13]


While autonomous vehicles offer the potential to revolutionize personal transportation, the shift will not happen overnight. The new technology raises many legal questions, which will only intensify as the products enter the mainstream. As of now, many of these questions, such as “which parties will bear the liability in the event of a crash?”, remain unanswered.[14]



[1]Adam Kaslikowski, Everything You Need to Know About Autonomous Vehicles,DIGITAL TRENDS (June 30, 2019, 4:00 AM), https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/the-current-state-of-autonomous-vehicles/


[3]Kirsten Korosec, With the 2020 Cadillac CT4, GM Begins to Expand its Hands-Free Super Cruise Driving System, TechCrunch(Sept. 12, 2019, 5:54 PM), https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/12/with-the-2020-cadillac-ct4-gm-begins-to-expand-its-hands-free-super-cruise-driving-system/


[4]Kaslikowski,supranote 1.



[7]Rob Toews, How AV Companies are Picking Their U.S. Launch Markets, AXIOS (Sept. 25, 2019), https://www.axios.com/how-av-companies-pick-us-launch-markets-0ad3606f-d50b-4ee8-8ce6-3007e862be0e.html

[8]Daisuke Wakabayashi, Self- Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam,N.Y. Times (Mar. 19, 2018), https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/uber-driverless-fatality.html


[9]Toews, supranote 7.

[10]Brendan Farrington, The Car Next to You on a Florida Road May Not Even Have a Driver – or Even a Person Inside, Sun Sentinel (June 13, 2019, 4:43 PM), https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-ap-driverless-cars-approved-in-florida-20190613-s2l27zxl5fbe7iiftxsb47m4ie-story.html



[12]Megan Rose Dickey, California DMV has New Regulations for Self-Driving Car Companies, TechCrunch (Apr. 2, 2018, 5:10 PM), https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/02/california-dmv-has-new-regulations-for-self-driving-car-companies/


[13]Annie McDonough, Self-Driving Cars’ Uncertain Future in New York, City & State N.Y. (Apr. 15, 2019), https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/policy/technology/self-driving-cars-uncertain-future-new-york.html


[14]Ron Schmelzer, What Happens When Self-Driving Cars Kill People?, Forbes(Sept. 26, 2019, 10:03 AM), https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/09/26/what-happens-with-self-driving-cars-kill-people/#41e146d6405c

A Brave New World: The Chinese Communist Party’s Increasingly Authoritarian Policies at Home and Abroad

By William Gardner


While the world watches the Hong Kong protests with great interest, the Chinese government has continued intensifying its increasingly Orwellian approach to governance, both at home and abroad.[1]As China continues to ignore international human rights conventions by silencing dissenters in Hong Kong, building “detention camps” for its Turkic Uyghur Muslim population[2], and, as of the past few days, interfering and silencing American media[3], the global community has done little but sit and watch, seemingly aghast at what it is witnessing.

As recently as 2006, the global community—witnessing similar, but far less violent and authoritarian behavior from the Chinese government—reacted with great condemnation to unabashed Chinese censorship of Google.[4]In response to the Chinese Communist Party’s (“CCP”) authoritarianism, a United States Representative introduced the Global Online Freedom Act.[5]Though the Act has since been dead in the water, its symbolic defiance of the CCP—that the United States presented a willingness to take a stand against censorship—matters far more in today’s context. Within the past few days, pressure from the CCP forced Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, to delete a tweet expressing solidarity with Hong Kong protestors.[6]So, too, have Activision Blizzard—a video game company—and ESPN been forced to censor or retract anti-CCP sentiment.[7]

The world is left with an interesting—and disturbing—series of questions: Why is nobody responding with the outrage that existed just over ten years ago? International bodies of law and human rights exist, so why isn’t the Chinese government being held culpable?

The first question is best addressed with skepticism—there perhaps is a response being proffered, but not in the means many would prefer. The United States has been continually combatting the CCP’s aggression in the South China Sea through a series of Freedom of Navigation Operations, sending American servicemen and ships to ensure free passage through the region, despite the man-made fortifications that China builds daily to ensure dominance over the area.[8]Further pressure from the Trump Administration on illicit Chinese surveillance in the US perhaps also lends itself as a response to the issue at hand.[9]And yet, many have claimed, this is not enough—the international outrage, especially in the age of social media, seems paltry at best.

Turning to the aforementioned bodies of law, why has the United Nations, as an arbiter of human rights, stayed relatively silent? Addressing the UN General Assembly, the State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China asserted great disdain for the US’ response to the CCP’s recent aggression.[10]Other than commentary on the US’ recent decision to move land-based intermediate-range ballistic missiles to the western Pacific, the Foreign Minister provided little by way of retraction.[11]The United Nations has not issued any formal statements on the matters of the past few days, and it is unlikely that anything will be said for some time.

The wheels of international diplomacy turn slowly. As the Chinese Communist Party increases its “iron boot” approach to measures foreign and abroad, and as any hope for a trade deal between the US and China seemingly evaporates, international stability—both economic and political—lies in the balance.

[1]Farhad Manjoo, Dealing With China Isn’t Worth the Moral Cost, N.Y. Times, Oct. 9, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/09/opinion/china-houston-rockets.html

[2]Jane Perlez, China Wants the World to Stay Silent on Muslim Camps. It’s Succeeding., N.Y. Times, Sept. 25, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/25/world/asia/china-xinjiang-muslim-camps.html

[3]Isaac Stone Fish, How China gets American companies to parrot its propaganda, Wash. Post, Oct. 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/how-china-gets-american-companies-to-parrot-its-propaganda/2019/10/11/512f7b8c-eb73-11e9-85c0-85a098e47b37_story.html

[4]William J. Cannici, Jr., Note: The Global Online Freedom Act: A Critique of its Objectives, Methods, and Ultimate Effectiveness Combating American Businesses that Facilitate Internet Censorship in the People’s Republic of China, 32 Seton Hall Legis. J. 123, 124 (2007).


[6]Fish, supranote 3.


[8]Lieutenant Commander Aaron M. Riggio, Article: Giving Teeth to the Tiger: How the South China Sea Crisis Demonstrates the Need for Revision to the Law of the Sea, 224 Mil. L. Rev. 597, 598-601 (2016).

[9]Manjoo, supra note 1.

[10]At UN Assembly, China says ‘it will not ever be cowered by threats,UN News, Sept. 27, 2019, https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/09/1047992





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