Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Legal Research

The Emoluments Clauses of the US Constitution – updated CRS report

CRS Report updated August 23, 2019 – The Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution – “Recent litigation involving President Trump has raised a number of legal issues concerning formerly obscure constitutional provisions that prohibit the acceptance or receipt of “emoluments” in certain circumstances. This In Focus provides an overview of these constitutional provisions, highlighting several unsettled legal areas concerning their meaning and scope, and reviewing the status of ongoing litigation against President Trump based on alleged violations of the Emoluments Clauses…

Each of the Emoluments Clauses has a distinct, but related, purpose. The purpose of the Foreign Emoluments Clause is to prevent corruption and limit foreign influence on federal officers. The Clause grew out of the Framers’ experience with the European custom of gift-giving to foreign diplomats, which the Articles of Confederation prohibited. Following that precedent, the Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits federal officers from accepting foreign emoluments without congressional consent…”

The Internet’s Invisible Cleanup Crew

Jacobin – Review of Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media, by Sarah T. Roberts (Yale University Press, 2019). “Commercial content moderation, or CCM, describes one of the dirtier jobs on the corporate internet: reviewing and removing violent, racist, and disturbing content posted to social media sites like Facebook and YouTube… Continue Reading

As Search Engines Increasingly Turn To AI They Are Harming Search

Forbes – “For more than half a century our digital search engines have relied upon the humble keyword. Yet over the past few years, search engines of all kinds have increasingly turned to deep learning-powered categorization and recommendation algorithms to augment and slowly replace the traditional keyword search. Behavioral and interest-based personalization has further eroded… Continue Reading

Major Telecom Companies Partner With Attorneys General to Implement New Principles to Combat Robocalls

Mass.gov: “…The principles, announced today by a group attorneys general in partnership with AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream, will help service providers incorporate call-blocking technology, monitor their networks for robocall traffic, and cooperate with investigations that trace illegal robocalls…The principles announced today include: Offering free call… Continue Reading

Just Security Launches the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse

“Today we launch the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse – a resource tool that seeks to provide, in one place, all congressional investigations materials related to Russia’s efforts to interfere in U.S. elections. We trust it will be a great resource for journalists, academics, and the broader Just Security readership. Bookmark the clearinghouse page to find… Continue Reading

Data Management Law for the 2020s: The Lost Origins and the New Needs

Pałka, Przemysław, Data Management Law for the 2020s: The Lost Origins and the New Needs (August 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3435608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3435608 “In the data analytics society, each individual’s disclosure of personal information imposes costs on others. This disclosure enables companies, deploying novel forms of data analytics, to infer new knowledge about other… Continue Reading

CRS Report to Congress on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

The following is the August 16, 2019 Congressional Research Service In Focus report – International Discussions Concerning Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems. “As technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), advances, lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS)—weapons designed to make decisions about using lethal force without manual human control—may soon make their appearance, raising a number of potential ethical,… Continue Reading

Modernization of Secrecy System is Stalled

Secrecy News: “Today’s national security classification system “relies on antiquated policies from another era that undercut its effectiveness today,” the Information Security Oversight Office told the President in a report released yesterday. Modernizing the system is a “government-wide imperative,” the new ISOO annual report said. But that is a familiar refrain by now. It is much the… Continue Reading

Journal Prestige and Journal Impact in Law

Cofone, Ignacio and Malé, Pierre-Jean G., Journal Prestige and Journal Impact in Law (July 5, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3415599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3415599 “American legal scholars often ignore journals’ impact-factor and choose in which journal to publish based on publishing schools’ ranking. To investigate the relationship between school ranking and journal impact, we collect and analyze… Continue Reading

NARA Drives Govt Transition to All-Electronic Records

Secrecy News: “The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is embarking on an ambitious effort to phase out the acquisition of paper records by 2022 and to transition to all-electronic record keeping. The White House Office of Management and Budget has endorsed the initiative and has directed all federal agencies to adopt exclusively electronic formats… Continue Reading

Anti-Piracy Efforts Are Unlikely to Beat Sci-Hub

Follow-up to previous posting with related links – Elsevier sends copyright threat to site for linking to Sci-Hub – see Torrent Freak – “Elsevier and other academic publishers see ‘pirate’ site Sci-Hub as a major threat to their billion-dollar industries. Many researchers, however, can’t function properly without the notorious site. Since anti-piracy efforts are unlikely… Continue Reading

Cutting the Funding of Disinformation: The Ad-Tech Solution

Global Disinformation Index: “Based on our research, we have mapped out how there is an unchecked funding line provided to disinformation domains thanks to online ads automatically placed by ad exchanges on them.” The world wide web turned 30 years old in 2019. Since its invention, how we live our lives online – and off… Continue Reading