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Category Archives: E-Records

Report – world has become more “permissionless” because of the diminished power of traditional gatekeepers

Via Axios – PERMISSIONLESS: What It Means, How It Happened, Will it Last: “While the Internet revolution enabled “permissionless” business models in finance, entertainment & politics, such unregulated disruptors are under growing attack. From the tech sector to the White House, many object to the divisions these new actors exacerbate or the externalities they often fail to address. Efforts to reign them in marked 2018 and may define 2019. Permissionlessness may be the ultimate form of capitalism, the free-est of free markets. But as with capitalism itself, there are mounting calls for new guardrails, gatekeepers or even systemic reform.” Mehlman, a partner at one of Washington’s major lobbying firms, produces quarterly reports about the political climate. In a new 35-slide PowerPoint deck, he argues that the world has become more “permissionless” because of the diminished power of traditional gatekeepers, the information technology revolution and the broad dissatisfaction with the pace of change.

  • “The tools of the permissionless society are the weapons of choice for both the Too Fast and the Too Slow coalitions,” Mehlman said. “The permissionless world has allowed lots of new solutions that people love. Think about something like Lyft and the good side of social media. So, on one hand, permissionless paths give people a chance to solve problems that weren’t being solved. At the same time, it can also reflect a world where fewer people win, where more people feel excluded and where more people become aware that they’re being excluded.”..

The Federal Government Offers a Case Study in Bad Email Tracking

EFF: “The U.S. government sends a lot of emails. Like any large, modern organization, it wants to “optimize” for “user engagement” using “analytics” and “big data.” In practice, that means tracking the people it communicates with—secretly, thoroughly, and often, insecurely. Granicus is a third-party contractor that builds communication tools to help governments engage constituents online.… Continue Reading

Why the PDF Is Secretly the World’s Most Important File Format

Motherboard – The story of the PDF, the file format that’s become one of the internet’s defining information tools. It’ll be with us after we’re long gone. “The Portable Document Format, or PDF, is everywhere. But it’s still a format that causes headaches for the average person. Just take former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort,… Continue Reading

Playing with data and its consequences

First Monday – Volume 24, Number 1 – 7 January 2019 > Gutiérrez. https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v24i1.9554 “The fundamental paradigm shift brought about by datafication alters how people participate as citizens on a daily basis. “Big data” has come to constitute a new terrain of engagement, which brings organized collective action, communicative practices and data infrastructure into a… Continue Reading

Our Cellphones Aren’t Safe

Opinion | Our Cellphones Aren’t Safe – The New York Times: “Security flaws threaten our privacy and bank accounts. So why aren’t we fixing them? America’s cellular network is as vital to society as the highway system and power grids. Vulnerabilities in the mobile phone infrastructure threaten not only personal privacy and security, but also… Continue Reading

How to Delete Online Accounts You No Longer Need

Consumer Reports – Having too many digital accounts raises your risk of data being misused or stolen. Here’s how to clean house. By Thomas Germain. December 27, 2018 [h/t Pete Weiss] “Deleting online accounts is one of the best ways to protect your data security and privacy. The less data you have stored on corporate databases… Continue Reading

NYT historical news clippings and photos via Google Cloud

Google Cloud: “For over 100 years, The New York Times has stored its historical news clippings and photographs in an underground archive lovingly named the “morgue.” Most of us keep stacks of pictures in our attic or basement. And media organizations are no different. The New York Times has archived approximately five to seven million… Continue Reading

Cellphones, Law Enforcement, and the Right to Privacy

Brennan Center for Social Justice: How the Government Is Collecting and Using Your Location Data “Cell phones are ubiquitous. As of 2017, there were more cell phones than people in the United States. Nearly 70 percent of those were smartphones, with 94 percent of millennials carrying a smart device. Cell phones go nearly everywhere, and… Continue Reading

US Treasury sanctions Russians for hacking and election meddling

engadget: “The US government isn’t done taking action against Russians accused of hacking and interference campaigns. The Treasury Department has leveled sanctions against 16 current and former GRU intelligence officers (some of whom were targeted in earlier indictments) for their involvement in multiple campaigns against the US, including the Democratic National Committee hacks, World Anti-Doping… Continue Reading

Almost every part of Trump’s life is under investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Investigations now entangle Donald Trump’s White House, campaign, transition, inauguration, charity and business. For Trump, the political, the personal and the deeply personal are all under examination. Less than two years into Trump’s presidency, his business associates, political advisers and family members are being probed, along with the practices of his late… Continue Reading

Library of Congress pushing digitization over next 5 years

Federal News Network: “The Library of Congress — which dates to Thomas Jefferson — is marching resolutely into the digital age. Recently it released a new, five-year digital plan. Kate Zwaard, the library’s director of digital strategy joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to provide more information.” Continue Reading

DHS OIG Report – CBP’s Searches of Electronic Devices At Ports of Entry

DHS Office of Inspector General Audit – CBP’s Searches of Electronic Devices At Ports of Entry / Redacted, December 3, 2018: “Between April 2016 and July 2017, CBP’s [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] Office of Field Operations (OFO) did not always conduct searches of electronic devices at U.S. ports of entry according to its SOPs. Specifically,… Continue Reading