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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

TAKEN: How police departments make millions by seizing property

Greenville Online – In South Carolina, civil forfeiture targets black people’s money most of all, exclusive investigative data shows“. The Greenville News and Anderson Independent Mail examined these cases and every other court case involving civil asset forfeiture in South Carolina from 2014-2016. Our examination was aimed at understanding this little-discussed, potentially life-changing power that… Continue Reading

NYT Special tribute to extraordinary black men, women who were left out of obituaries when they died

A Design to Bring Life to Death – “A special section in the Sunday paper paid tribute to extraordinary black men and women who were left out of The Times’s obituaries when they died. Its design aims to bring joy to readers:  By Andrew Sondern…”Death is not often a cause for joy. But a special… Continue Reading

Baker’s Dozen: 13 Policy Areas that Require Congressional Action

POGO: Promoting Ethics and Addressing Corruption Improving Transparency and Accountability in US Immigration Detention and Exploring Alternatives Placing Proper Checks and Limits on Invasive Surveillance Slowing the Federal Revolving Door Smarter National Security Spending and Policy Reprioritize and Revitalize Work of Federal Inspectors General Commonsense Contracting Reforms to Protect the Taxpayer Ensuring Good Stewardship of… Continue Reading

One Lawyer, One Day, 194 Felony Cases

The New York Times – “High-level felonies carry sentences of 10 years or more and should each get 70 hours of legal attention, according to a workload study. For Mr. Talaska, that’s more than two years of full-time work. Mid-level felonies require 41 hours each.A few of Mr. Talaska’s clients faced life without parole. Such… Continue Reading

Gendered Languages May Play a Role in Limiting Women’s Opportunities

World Bank: “In many developing countries, women face significant barriers to their equal participation in society. While some of these barriers are easy to see, a new line of research is uncovering a surprising and less obvious possibility: the very structure of certain languages may shape gender norms in a way that limits women’s opportunities…At… Continue Reading

Investigative report – IBM eliminated more than 20,000 workers 40 and above

ProPublica – As it scrambled to compete in the internet world, the once-dominant tech company cut tens of thousands of U.S. workers, hitting its most senior employees hardest and flouting rules against age bias. “As the world’s dominant technology firm, payrolls at International Business Machines Corp. swelled to nearly a quarter-million U.S. white-collar workers in the… Continue Reading

Shoot Someone In A Major US City, And Odds Are You’ll Get Away With It

“A yearlong investigation by The Trace and BuzzFeed News, based on data obtained from 22 cities, has found that: In cities from coast to coast, the odds that police will solve a shooting are abysmally low and dropping. Homicides and assaults carried out with guns lead to arrests about half as often as when the… Continue Reading

AI is sending people to jail—and getting it wrong

MIT Technology Review – Using historical data to train risk assessment tools could mean that machines are copying the mistakes of the past. “AI might not seem to have a huge personal impact if your most frequent brush with machine-learning algorithms is through Facebook’s news feed or Google’s search rankings. But at the Data for… Continue Reading

San Diego’s Smart Streetlights Yield a Firehose of Data

IEEE Spectrum: “San Diego’s network of smart streetlights, which has been rolling out since early 2018, continues to grow. To date, some 2,000 of the sensor-laden devices have begun gathering pictures, sounds, and other data. So far, the city has focused on the image data, using it to count pedestrians and cars as they move… Continue Reading

Toying with Privacy: Regulating the Internet of Toys

Haber, Eldar, Toying with Privacy: Regulating the Internet of Toys (December 8, 2018). Ohio State Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3298054: “Recently, toys have become more interactive than ever before. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) makes toys smarter and more communicative: they can now interact with children by “listening” to them… Continue Reading

Judge Orders Trump Administration To Remove 2020 Census Citizenship Question

NPR: “A federal judge in New York has ruled against the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ordered the administration to stop its plans to include the controversial question on forms for the upcoming national head count “without curing the legal defects” the judge… Continue Reading

Redefining Representation: The Women of the 116th Congress

The New York Times – photographs of all but one (Liz Cheney of Wyoming) of the women (80% of them are Democrats) of the 116th Congress of the United States of America. “Just over a century ago, Jeannette Rankin of Montana won a seat in the House of Representatives, becoming the first woman ever elected… Continue Reading