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Category Archives: Government Documents

Update Complete: U.S. Nuclear Weapons No Longer Need Floppy Disks

The New York Times: The Defense Department has transitioned away from a 1970s-era nuclear command and control system that relied on eight-inch floppy disks. The “modernizing” effort was quietly completed in June. “The system, called Strategic Automated Command and Control System, or SACCS, “is still in use today but no longer uses floppy disks,” David Faggard,… Continue Reading

Drivers overtaking bikes biggest reason for fatal cycling crashes

McClatchyDC: “Drivers overtaking bike riders are the biggest cause of death among cyclists, says a study released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board. Bike safety is a growing problem that appears to be getting more worrisome, and, the board reported, “current available data likely underestimate the level of bicycling activity in the United States.”… Continue Reading

DHS will have comprehensive biometric data on more than 250 million people

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expects to have face, fingerprint, and iris scans of at least 259 million people [Quartz – paywall] in its biometrics database by 2022, according to a recent presentation from the agency’s Office of Procurement Operations reviewed by Quartz. From the report: That’s about 40 million more than the… Continue Reading

America on Trial

Jon Meacham, Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian, author of The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels – TIME: “Here we are … trapped in a time of demagoguery, reflexive partisanship and a Hobbesian world of constant and total political warfare. We know all the factors: the return of the kind of partisan media… Continue Reading

A Constitutional Right to Public Information

Marzen, Chad G., A Constitutional Right to Public Information (October 19, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3472464 “In the wake of the 2013 United States Supreme Court decision of McBurney v. Young (569 U.S. 221), this Article calls for policymakers at the federal and state levels to ensure governmental records remain open and accessible to the… Continue Reading

401(k) contribution limit increases to $19,500 for 2020; catch-up limit rises to $6,500

“The Internal Revenue Service today announced that employees in 401(k) plans will be able to contribute up to $19,500 next year. The IRS announced this and other changes in Notice 2019-59 (PDF), posted today on IRS.gov. This guidance provides cost‑of‑living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2020.… Continue Reading

GPO has digitized more than 1,300 historical Congressional Hearings dating back to 1958

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has digitized more than 1,300 historical Congressional Hearings dating back to 1958 and made them available on govinfo, GPO’s one-stop site to authentic, published Government information. Through these digitization efforts, the public can access records of Congressional Hearings for free. These include the transcripts from meetings or sessions of… Continue Reading

The Executive’s Privilege: Rethinking the President’s Power to Withhold Information

LawFare:”What is “executive privilege”? In the specific context of information disputes between the executive branch and Congress, the Supreme Court has never addressed—let alone answered—that question. Nevertheless, as the Trump administration repeatedly relies on that constitutional doctrine to reject demands for information and testimony, the question has been at the forefront of a spate of… Continue Reading

The Government Protects Our Food and Cars. Why Not Our Data?

The New York Times – The United States is virtually the only developed nation without a comprehensive consumer data protection law and an independent agency to enforce it – “Why are Americans protected from hazardous laptops, fitness trackers and smartphones — but not when hazardous apps on our devices expose and exploit our personal information?… Continue Reading

How Trump Reshaped the Presidency in Over 11,000 Tweets

The New York Times: “When Donald Trump entered office, Twitter was a political tool that had helped get him elected and a digital howitzer that he relished firing. The Times examined how, in the years since, he has fully integrated the social media platform into the very fabric of his administration…Early on, top aides wanted… Continue Reading