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Category Archives: Legal Research

Facebook in the Spotlight: Dataism vs. Privacy

JURIST Guest Columnist Chris Hoofnagle of Berkeley Law, discusses the policing of Facebook’s privacy policies and FTC enforcement: “Are our institutions up to the challenge of protecting users from information-age problems? This is the high-level question emerging from the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica debate. While on one hand Facebook and similarly-situated companies will pay some regulatory price, our public institutions are also in the crosshairs. In the U.S., the much-praised and admired Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) approach is suffering a crisis of legitimacy. Facebook’s European regulator, the Irish data protection commissioner, is losing both control over its supervision of American companies and the respect of its regulatory colleagues. In a recent press release, the Article 29 Working Party announced that it was creating a working group focusing on social media, never mentioning the Irish in its statement. In this essay I explain the challenges the FTC faces in enforcing its 2012 consent agreement against Facebook and suggest ways it could nonetheless prevail. In the long run, everyone wins if our civil society institutions can police Facebook, including the company itself. While Facebook’s privacy problems have long been dismissed as harmless, advertising-related controversies, all now understand Facebook’s power over our broader information environment. After Brexit, the 2016 U.S. election, and violence in Myanmar, if consumer law fails, we risk turning to more heavy-handed regulatory tools, including cyber sovereignty approaches, with attendant consequences for civil society and internet freedom…”

See also – EPIC Sues FTC for Release of Facebook’s Audits

EPIC Sues FTC for Release of Facebook’s Audits

“EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain the release of the unredacted Facebook Assessments from the FTC. The FTC Consent Order. required Facebook to provide to the FTC biennial assessments conducted by an independent auditor. In March, EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the 2013, 2015, 2017 Facebook… Continue Reading

NYT – U.S. Investigating AT&T and Verizon Over Wireless Collusion Claim

The New York Times: “The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into potential coordination by AT&T, Verizon and a telecommunications standards organization to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers, according to six people with knowledge of the inquiry. In February, the Justice Department issued demands to AT&T, Verizon and the G.S.M.A., a mobile… Continue Reading

Treasury Data Act leaders now applying expertise to municipal government data

StateScoop: “Four years ago, Christina Ho led an effort through the U.S. Treasury Department to help Americans track the federal government’s spending of public funds. Now, she’s left government and embarked on a new project: aggregating data from the country’s more than 30,000 municipalities to help citizens shape local policy. On Monday, Ho launched a beta version of her… Continue Reading

Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act

News release: “US Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduc[ed] the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act. The new legislation merges two parallel efforts into one unified, bipartisan bill. In August of 2017, Senators Tillis and Coons introduced the Special Counsel Integrity Act, S. 1741, and Senators Graham… Continue Reading

Americans Favor Protecting Information Freedoms Over Government Steps to Restrict False News Online

“The widespread concerns over misinformation online have created a tension in the United States between taking steps to restrict that information – including possible government regulation – and protecting the long-held belief in the freedom to access and publish information. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that the majority of Americans are resistant to… Continue Reading

New searchable database of historical state campaign finance laws

“The Campaign Finance Institute is pleased to release a groundbreaking new tool, “CFI’s Historical Database of State Campaign Finance Laws”. The database covers all of the states’ campaign finance laws every two years since 1996. It is designed for everything from interactive and visualized lookups to downloadable datasets. Anyone with a serious interest in politics… Continue Reading

Immigration Court Cases Now Involve More Long-Time Residents

“The latest available data from the Immigration Court reveals a sharp uptick in the proportion of cases involving immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for years. During March 2018, for example, court records show that only 10 percent of immigrants in new cases brought by the Department of Homeland Security had just arrived… Continue Reading

Me Too Rising A visualization of the movement from Google Trends

Me Too Rising – A visualization of the movement from Google Trends – includes resources from specific to locations around the world – with subject matter focused on: legal services, survivor support, human trafficking, domestic partner violence, college students, sexual harassment, survivors with disabilities. Continue Reading

Ban on CDC gun violence research persists

BuzzFeed: The Government’s Two-Decade Ban On Studying Gun Violence Was Supposed To End. It Hasn’t. “In March, Congress gave CDC the green light to study the causes of gun violence. One month later there is no sign of that work starting, and there is little research on what causes America’s high gun death rates…The federal… Continue Reading

Bloomberg – Palantir Knows Everything About You

Peter Thiel’s data-mining company is using War on Terror tools to track American citizens. The scary thing? Palantir is desperate for new customers. “Founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel and some fellow PayPal alumni, Palantir cut its teeth working for the Pentagon and the CIA in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company’s engineers and products don’t… Continue Reading

Chart on Admissibility of Electronic Evidence

Craig Ball posted a well documented chart, Admissibility of Electronic Evidence, authored by U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm and attorney Kevin Brady. Thanks to all for sharing! Continue Reading