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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Your employer might be spying on your tech. Here’s how to check.

Washington Post: “Your employer may be able to see everything you’re doing on your phone or computer. They might know you’re reading this article right now. (Hi!) But how can you be sure? Companies have a growing number of ways to keep tabs on workers. They can gather details from common workplace apps and use special monitoring software to see what’s happening on the company’s WiFi. The goal may be to protect sensitive company information or track employee performance, but there are bigger privacy implications for the people being watched. “There’s little transparency,” said Hayley Tsukayama, associate director of legislative activism at the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “Even figuring out what is on your computer can be a huge step to figuring out how you want to deal with it.” While there’s no foolproof way to know whether you’re being monitored, some techniques could provide insight, according to privacy and security experts…”

So What Is Going On With the Supreme Court in 2024?

Slate [read 5 articles free before paywalled] – “If you’re interested in understanding more about what the high court is, how it functions, and why it seems to have recently lurched to the right, start here…The 5 Circuit Court of Appeals covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Trump appointed six judges to this bench, some of… Continue Reading

Book bans in political context: Evidence from US schools

Book bans in political context: Evidence from US schools. PNAS Nexus, Volume 3, Issue 6, June 2024, pgae197, https://doi.org/10.1093/pnasnexus/pgae197 “In the 2021–2022 school year, more books were banned in US school districts than in any previous year. Book banning and other forms of information censorship have serious implications for democratic processes, and censorship has become… Continue Reading

What Animal Studies Are Revealing About Their Minds and Ours

TIME – “…The last few months alone have been something of a boom time for research into the intelligence and behavior of animals. German researchers discovered a sort of pre-verbal stage in finches—similar to the babbling stage in humans—that leads to their becoming fluent in song. Studies in Sweden and Vienna explored the role of… Continue Reading

States are already collecting more abortion data. And HIPAA won’t always keep it private.

Nebraska Examiner: “Years before the Dobbs decision, providers like Dr. Kylie Cooper were already uncomfortable with some of the reporting requirements for abortion procedures in states where they practiced. Cooper was a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for several years in Idaho before she reluctantly left the state in 2023 because of the near-total abortion ban that… Continue Reading

For the Women Who Accused the Trump Campaign of Harassment, It’s Been More Harassment

ProPublica:”…As the media has chronicled, Trump is a well-known bully. He has belittled and sought to dominate political rivals like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former allies like Bill Barr, who was his attorney general. Trump and his surrogates have appeared to relish hounding or humiliating women who have verbally crossed him, including media and… Continue Reading

OECD – Defining AI incidents and related terms

New AI report: OECD (2024), OECD Artificial Intelligence Papers, No. 16, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/d1a8d965-en.”Defining AI incidents and related terms,” it’s a must-read for everyone in AI. Important information: An AI incident is defined as: “an event, circumstance or series of events where the development, use or malfunction of one or more AI systems directly… Continue Reading

It is dangerously easy to hack the world’s phones

The Economist – A system at the heart of global telecommunications is woefully insecure [no paywall] “For year security experts have warned that a technology at the heart of global communications is dangerously insecure. Now there is proof that it has been used to snoop on people in America. Kevin Briggs, an official at America’s… Continue Reading

Generating Harms II: Generative AI’s New & Continued Impacts

“Today, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) released Generating Harms II: Generative AI’s New & Continued Impacts, a follow-up report that expands on the harms detailed in last year’s Generating Harms report. The new report includes a deep dive into four new issue areas and explores the different remedies and enforcement actions that are being… Continue Reading

We need an AI constitution that protects our civil rights

FT.com [unpaywalled]: “As chief scientist of one of the first companies to use AI in hiring, I built the system that passed you over for that job. The massive employers that were our customers didn’t need to wait for your job application; we in effect applied for you, whether you knew it or not. But… Continue Reading

Investigative report – FDIC Had A Culture Of Harassment And Discrimination

The Hill: “An investigation by a law firm confirmed that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. failed to provide a workplace safe from sexual harassment, discrimination, fear of retaliation, and called for a “necessary” cultural and structural change at the federal banking regulator. The review, Report for the Special Review Committee of the Board of Directors… Continue Reading

The Rise of AI: Insights from RAND

RAND – “Artificial intelligence—from machine learning that’s already widely used today to the possible artificial general intelligence of the future—has the power to transform the way we live, work, and interact. AI tools are evolving quickly, and decisionmakers are grappling with how to maximize the potential benefits, minimize the short- and long-term risks, and plan… Continue Reading