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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic

Washington Post – “…The three studies paint a picture of a media ecosystem that entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking steps to protect themselves and others.. There are many reasons our response to the pandemic tied to more than 120,000 U.S. deaths has faltered, experts say, including the lack of a cohesive federal policy, missteps on testing and tracing, and a national culture emphasizing individualism. In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others…

A lawsuit is threatening the Internet Archive but it’s not as dire as you may have heard

Vox: “The Internet Archive (also known as IA or Archive.org), home to the giant vault of internet and public domain history known as the Wayback Machine, is currently facing a crisis — one largely defined by misinformation. A group of publishing companies filed a scathing copyright lawsuit earlier this month over the IA’s controversial attempt… Continue Reading

Meet the Woman Behind the World’s Most Famous Coronavirus Tracker

US News: Her dashboard lets people track the spread in near real-time. She had no idea it would get this big. “The woman behind what may be the world’s most famous coronavirus tracker isn’t a medical professional – she’s a civil engineer. Since launching in late January, Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard – a black… Continue Reading

John Bolton’s Book That Trump Wanted to Stop Is Spreading Widely on Piracy Sites

Motherboard: ‘The Room Where it Happened’ is tearing up the charts on sites where people download the book for free. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memoir The Room Where It Happened is set to release tomorrow, but it’s already a huge hit on pirate sites. According to Torrent Freak, The Pirate Bay, Google Drive,… Continue Reading

Police Officers Rarely Charged for Excessive Use of Force in Federal Court

“Despite growing popular unrest and media attention in recent years over excessive use of force by police officers, the latest available case-by-case data show that federal prosecutors rarely bring relevant criminal charges known as “deprivation of rights under the color of law” (18 U.S.C. 242) against law enforcement. In the first seven months of FY 2020, federal… Continue Reading

Complaint: Trump Sues John Bolton Over His Memoir

Law.com – “…This is a civil action by the United States to prevent Defendant John R. Bolton, a former National Security Advisor, from compromising national security by publishing a book containing classified information,” the Justice Department said in its complaint Tuesday in Washington. The Trump administration on Tuesday went to court in Washington in an… Continue Reading

The Economist Democracy Index 2019

“The twelfth edition of the Democracy Index finds that the average global score has fallen from 5.48 in 2018, to 5.44. This is the worst average global score since The Economist Intelligence Unit first produced the Democracy Index in 2006. Driven by sharp regressions in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, four out of the five… Continue Reading

CDC Document Shows Just How Badly the U.S. Is Handling Coronavirus

Gizmodo: “The U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic continues to be faltering, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Leaked CDC documents dated June 9 that were obtained and published by Yahoo News this week show the U.S. is still exhibiting astronomical increases in new cases of the virus, doing… Continue Reading

ACLU files class action suit on behalf of journalist targeted during protests

ACLU: “We are facing a full-scale assault on the First Amendment freedom of the press. As people take to the streets to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and too many other Black people who have been killed by police in recent years, journalists have joined them to bear witness.… Continue Reading

Opinion – Libraries Must Change

The New York Times – By Anthony W. Marx, president of the New York Public Library. To stay true to their mission during the coronavirus pandemic, libraries should offer more digital services. “As we face tragedy, devastating economic turmoil and dislocation, public libraries will play a key part in the recovery of our country, cities… Continue Reading

William Barr’s State of Emergency

The New York Times – “The attorney general has long held an expansive view of presidential power. With multiple crises converging in the run-up to the 2020 election, he is busy putting his theories to work…Now nearing the end of his career, Barr did not take his current job for the glory. He had already… Continue Reading

Bad state data hides coronavirus threat as Trump pushes reopening

Politico – Test counts inflated, death tolls deflated, metrics shifted: “Federal and state officials across the country have altered or hidden public health data crucial to tracking the coronavirus’ spread, hindering the ability to detect a surge of infections as President Donald Trump pushes the nation to reopen rapidly. In at least a dozen states,… Continue Reading