Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
Legal News for Weds 4/3 - Trump Sues Truth Social Co-founders, NY'S AI Deepfake Election Concerns and CA Privacy Laws for Brain Scanning

Legal News for Weds 4/3 - Trump Sues Truth Social Co-founders, NY'S AI Deepfake Election Concerns and CA Privacy Laws for Brain Scanning

On today's episode Trump's lawsuit against Truth Social's co-founders, NY's AI deepfake election concerns, and California's brain-scanning privacy laws.
Union Hotel in Flemington, NJ, across the street from the courthouse where Hauptmann was tried.

This Day in Legal History: Bruno Hauptmann Executed

On this day in legal history, April 3, 1936, Bruno Richard Hauptmann faced the ultimate penalty under the law, execution by electric chair, for one of the most infamous crimes of the 20th century—the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the toddler son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The case, often referred to as "The Crime of the Century," captivated the nation and the world, unfolding a saga of mystery, tragedy, and a controversial legal battle that raised numerous questions about evidence and the fairness of the trial. Hauptmann's conviction was primarily based on the discovery of ransom money in his possession and his insistence on his innocence till his final moments did little to quell public debate over his guilt. His execution marked a somber finale to a case that still intrigues historians, legal scholars, and the public, reflecting on the complexities of justice and the media's role in shaping public perception.

Donald Trump has initiated a lawsuit against Andy Litinsky and Wes Moss, co-founders of Trump Media & Technology Group Corp., for allegedly improperly setting up the company, thereby disputing their entitlement to an 8.6% share currently worth $606 million. This legal action in Florida follows a suit by Litinsky and Moss against Trump in Delaware, concerning their promised shares in the social media entity. Amidst this legal tussle, Trump Media's stock experienced significant volatility, especially after revealing a substantial loss and minimal revenue for 2023, alongside a critical need for funding from a recent SPAC merger to continue operations.

Trump accuses the co-founders of failing in their duties to properly establish corporate governance, launch the Truth Social platform, and secure a suitable merger partner, claiming their actions jeopardized the company. Despite these challenges, Trump's stake in the company, constituting 57% and valued at $4.02 billion, significantly boosts his net worth, potentially aiding in settling legal debts. The legal disputes extend to a Delaware court, where the judge expressed surprise at Trump's choice to sue in Florida rather than counterclaim in Delaware, hinting at possible sanctions against Trump for this strategy. The ongoing legal battles underscore the complex dynamics within Trump Media and the significant financial stakes involved.

Trump Sues Truth Social Company Co-Founders to Zero Them Out (1)

In New York, a proposal aiming to regulate the use of AI-generated deepfakes in election campaigns is in jeopardy of being excluded from the state's final budget, as leaders deliberate on more pressing issues like housing and healthcare. Governor Kathy Hochul's proposal requires campaigns to disclose any artificial intelligence use in campaign materials 60 days prior to an election, a regulation echoing laws in states such as Michigan. However, lawmakers argue the complexity of the issue merits a separate legislative process, despite the potential difficulty in passing it outside the budget.

The proposal remains a topic of discussion, yet faces opposition, including concerns over broad definitions that might infringe on normal technology use and trigger extensive litigation. Critics, including the New York Civil Liberties Union, warn of potential First Amendment conflicts and advocate for a more thoughtful approach. The outcome of these budget negotiations could have significant national implications, especially with New York's role in determining the balance of power in the US House. The legislative session continues until June 6, leaving some time for debate, though the clock is ticking for addressing AI deepfake concerns before the 2024 election.

AI Election Deepfake Measure at Risk in NY Budget Negotiations

California is at the forefront of considering legislation to protect privacy concerning brain-scanning technology, alongside similar initiatives in Colorado and Minnesota. These proposed laws aim to safeguard consumer data from neural devices, which range from sleep monitors to brain-computer interfaces like those developed by Elon Musk's Neuralink. The push for regulation is driven by concerns over the rapid advancement of neurotechnology without corresponding privacy protections, highlighting the potential for misuse of brain activity data.

The California bill, if passed, would categorize neural data as "sensitive personal information," granting consumers rights to limit its use and disclosure. This legislative effort underscores a significant gap in current privacy laws, which do not fully address the nuances of neural data collected outside traditional medical settings. Advocates, including the Neurorights Foundation, stress the urgency of addressing these privacy issues, especially as AI advancements could amplify risks.

The tech industry, with stakeholders like Meta Platforms Inc. and Apple Inc., is closely monitoring the legislation, advocating for clear definitions to avoid overly broad applications. California's move to protect neural data is part of a broader trend to expand the scope of "sensitive personal information," posing new compliance challenges for businesses navigating the evolving privacy landscape.

Brain-Scanning Privacy Protections Get California Consideration

Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
The idea is that this podcast can accompany you on your commute home and will render you minimally competent on the major legal news stories of the day. The transcript is available in the form of a newsletter at