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Forest Service says Appalachian Trail isn’t “land” in pipeline fight at SCOTUS

Quartz: “It’s not every Supreme Court brief that goes off the beaten legal path, supplementing jurisprudence with humor and spicing up statutory interpretation with devastating wit. But the filing from environmentalists fighting the US Forest Service (USFS) over its grant of a license for a gas pipeline through the Appalachian Trail is one such gem.  Sadly, the substance of the case isn’t amusing. Whether you believe national and natural treasures should be protected from pesky energy companies, or that nature-loving tree-huggers should thank the heavens for businesses willing to drill deep and spend billions of dollars to someday deliver consumer savings, the case highlights the growing tension between government, industry, and the people over how to handle American land…”

Financial Secrecy Index 2020

Tax Justice Network – “The Financial Secrecy Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities. A politically neutral ranking, it is a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight. The index was launched on 18 February 2020. The… Continue Reading

Why Amazon knows so much about you

BBC News article includes extensive history, narrative, graphics, photos and insight into how and why Amazon collects massive amounts of data Amazon on users through multiple channels of e-commerce and devices – by Leo Kelion – “You might call me an Amazon super-user. I’ve been a customer since 1999, and rely on it for everything from… Continue Reading

Classaction.gov

Rose, Amanda M., Classaction.gov (February 10, 2020). Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 20-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3534317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3534317 “This Essay proposes the creation of a federally-run class action website and supporting administration (collectively, Classaction.gov) that would both operate a comprehensive research database on class actions and assume many of the notice and claims processing… Continue Reading

Charting a Way Forward – Online Content Regulation

Monika Bickert, VP Content Policy, Facebook: “…This paper explores possible regulatory structures for content governance outside the United States and identifies questions that require further discussion. It builds off recent developments on this topic, including legislation proposed or passed into law by governments, as well as scholarship that explains the various content governance approaches that… Continue Reading

Leaked Document Shows How Big Companies Buy Credit Card Data on Millions of Americans

Motherboard – Yodlee, America’s largest financial data broker, says the data it sells it is anonymous. A confidential document obtained by Motherboard shows people could be unmasked in the data. “Yodlee, the largest financial data broker in the U.S., sells data pulled from the bank and credit card transactions of tens of millions of Americans… Continue Reading

Google AI no longer uses gender binary tags on images of people

INPUT Magazine: “Google’s image-labeling AI tool will no longer label pictures with gender tags like “man” and “woman,” according to an email seen by Business Insider. In the email, Google cites its ethical rules on AI as the basis for the change. This is a progressive move by Google — and one that will hopefully… Continue Reading

As Compassion Fatigue Takes its Toll, Schools and Public Libraries Take Steps to Support Librarians

School Library Journal: “…Caring for others is often part of the job of being a school and youth librarian. In librarianship, as in some other professions such as nursing, there’s growing awareness that this caregiving is a form of work layered on top of other job responsibilities. It’s emotional labor, and when librarians are overworked… Continue Reading

Life Sentenced Population Exceeds Entire Prison Population in 1970

The Sentencing Project: “Nationwide there are more people serving life sentences today (206,000) than the entire prison population in 1970 (196,000), according to a new fact sheet released by The Sentencing Project’s Campaign to End Life Imprisonment. Starting in the 1970s, the United States’s prison population began its steady upward climb to the vastly overcrowded… Continue Reading

You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food?

Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local – “Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics. This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on the Environmental impacts of food and CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”People across the… Continue Reading