Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Daily Archives: July 25, 2018

Election Security Update: Top 18 Most Vulnerable States

Election Security Update: Top 18 Most Vulnerable States, Committee on House Administration – Democrats – July 2018.

“It is now well-known that Russian hackers targeted voter registration databases in at least 21 states and attempted to access credentials of election technology vendors and election officials. If these attacks had succeeded, hackers could have deleted voter registration records, altered poll books, caused chaos on Election Day, and potentially swayed the results of the election. Moreover, the Intelligence Community has warned that foreign actors will likely continue to seek to interfere in our elections. In May, Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen said, ‘We see [Russia] continuing to conduct foreign influence campaigns.’ In June, Robert Mueller echoed this finding, stating in a court filing that foreign ‘individuals and entities’ are continuing to ‘engage in interference operations.’ In light of the ongoing threat of foreign interference in our nation’s elections, Congress appropriated $380 million in March 2018 to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for distribution to states to enhance election security. […] This report looks at the eighteen states with the most vulnerable election infrastructure and assesses: 1) whether they have requested the EAC grant money; 2) how the state plans on spending the grant money; and 3) whether the state’s response is sufficient given the threats and vulnerabilities it is facing.”

Thinking about quitting Facebook? There’s a demographic analysis for that

EurekAlert: “People are either Facebook users or they are not. Facebook user data can be used to draw conclusions about general social phenomena. According to Eric P.S. Baumer, who studies human-computer interaction, the simple statements above are, in fact, not so simple–nor are they true. Baumer’s new research takes a fine-grained look at Facebook use… Continue Reading

District Court denies motion to dismiss case re Trump hotel profits from foreign and state officials

The New York Times: “A lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by maintaining a financial interest in his company’s Washington hotel cleared a critical hurdle on Wednesday when a federal judge allowed the case to move forward. In the first judicial opinion to define how the meaning of the Constitution’s anticorruption clauses should… Continue Reading

Sexual Victimization Reported by Adult Correctional Authorities, 2012-15

Bureau of Justice Statistics: “Presents data on allegations and substantiated incidents of inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate sexual victimization reported to correctional authorities in prisons, jails, and other adult correctional facilities for each year from 2012 through 2015. Sexual victimization includes nonconsensual sexual acts, abusive sexual contact, staff sexual misconduct, and inmate or staff sexual harassment. Companion… Continue Reading

White House will no longer issue readouts of Trump’s calls to foreign leaders

CNN: “The White House has suspended the practice of publishing public summaries of President Donald Trump’s phone calls with world leaders, two sources with knowledge of the situation tell CNN, bringing an end to a common exercise from Republican and Democratic administrations. It’s unclear if the suspension is temporary or permanent. A White House spokesman… Continue Reading

National Parks Conservation Association Map of Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Species

“National parks are places where plants and animals have the opportunity to thrive. While this site provides detailed information on species in a few national parks across the National Park System, this map shows all national parks that, based on our methodology, provide habitat for threatened and endangered species. Explore the map or use the… Continue Reading

One more time – No, Amazon Cannot Replace Libraries

Vice: “In Saturday, Forbes published an article titled “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money,” that elicited extremely strong backlash on Twitter from librarians and library patrons alike. The article has since been taken down, though the (extremely ratioed) tweet from the author about it remains. In the article, writer Panos Mourdoukoutas argued… Continue Reading

Bloomberg – Inside Google’s Shadow Workforce

About half of Google’s workers are contractors who don’t receive the same benefits as direct employees – “Every day, tens of thousands of people stream into Google offices wearing red name badges. They eat in Google’s cafeterias, ride its commuter shuttles and work alongside its celebrated geeks. But they can’t access all of the company’s celebrated… Continue Reading

Federal Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation Up 89%

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “The latest available data from the federal courts through June 2018 show that new federal motor vehicle product liability lawsuits have risen sharply.  During four out of six of the past months, the number of new cases filed set new records.  So far during the first nine months of FY 2018,… Continue Reading

Where in the world does your e-waste go?

HuffPo: “In a sparse and sprawling factory complex on the outskirts of Shanghai, thousands of tiny plastic resin pellets are shivering along narrow conveyor belts, ready to be transformed into something new. The dark pellets are unremarkable at first glance, resembling any plastic granule used for manufacturing. But follow their journey from consumer to conveyor… Continue Reading