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Category Archives: Legal Research

Report – Regulating Electronic Means to Fight the Spread of COVID-19

In Custodia Legis Library of Congress – “It appears that COVID-19 will not go away any time soon. As there is currently no known cure or vaccine against it, countries have to find other ways to prevent and mitigate the spread of this infectious disease. Many countries have turned to electronic measures to provide general information and advice on COVID-19, allow people to check symptoms, trace contacts and alert people who have been in proximity to an infected person, identify “hot spots,” and track compliance with confinement measures and stay-at-home orders. The Global Legal Research Directorate (GLRD) of the Law Library of Congress recently completed research on the kind of electronic measures countries around the globe are employing to fight the spread of COVID-19 and their potential privacy and data protection implications. We are excited to share with you the report that resulted from this research, Regulating Electronic Means to Fight the Spread of COVID-19. The report covers 23 selected jurisdictions, namely Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union (EU). The surveys found that dedicated coronavirus apps that are downloaded to an individual’s mobile phone (particularly contact tracing apps), the use of anonymized mobility data, and creating electronic databases were the most common electronic measures. Whereas the EU recommends the use of voluntary apps because of the “high degree of intrusiveness” of mandatory apps, some countries take a different approach and require installing an app for people who enter the country from abroad, people who return to work, or people who are ordered to quarantine…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

There are so many coronavirus myths that even Snopes can’t keep up

Washington Post – “…Snopes, which delves into everything from bizarre urban legends to intricate government policies, has been overwhelmed with so many covid-19-related questions that the website can’t keep up. The company has done something that seems counterintuitive: It has scaled back operations by publishing fewer stories. There have been no furloughs or layoffs; but… Continue Reading

Majority of Public Favors Giving Civilians the Power to Sue Police Officers for Misconduct

“With legislation to address racism and the use of excessive force by law enforcement stalled in Congress, there is broad public support in the United States for permitting citizens to sue police officers in order to hold them accountable for misconduct or using excessive force. The legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” generally protects officers from… Continue Reading

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Lawsuit

Harvard University: “For many of our international students, studying in the United States and studying at Harvard is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. These students enrich the learning environment for everyone. Harvard, like many other institutions, has sought to balance addressing concerns for public health during this global pandemic with preserving our academic mission… Continue Reading

Legal experts say Supreme Court ruling on Trump financial records will have far-reaching effect

SCOTUS Blog – Opinion analysis – Disputes over Trump financial records to continue: “This morning [July 9, 2020] the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited rulings in the battle over efforts to obtain financial records belonging to President Donald Trump. By a vote of 7-2, the justices sent a pair of cases challenging congressional subpoenas for… Continue Reading

Federal workers are returning to the office

Washington Post – Some members of Congress say they shouldn’t be. “With the number of coronavirus cases increasing across much of the country, leading members of Congress on civil service issues are challenging orders by federal agencies for teleworking federal employees to return to their regular worksites. “I think we have to press the pause… Continue Reading

Thousands of contracts highlight quiet ties between Big Tech and U.S. military

NBC News: “Over the past two years, thousands of tech company employees have taken a stand: they do not want their labor and technical expertise to be used for projects with the military or law enforcement agencies. Knowledge of such contracts, however, hasn’t been easy for tech workers to come by. On Wednesday, newly published… Continue Reading

Audit Finds Facebook’s Decisions Were ‘Setbacks for Civil Rights

The New York Times – “An independent audit faulted the social network for allowing hate speech and disinformation to thrive — potentially posing a threat to the November elections. Auditors handpicked by Facebook to examine its policies said that the company had not done enough to protect people on the platform from discriminatory posts and… Continue Reading

Study – Google, Amazon funnel at least $25 million to coronavirus conspiracy sites

Why is ad tech paying US$25 million to COVID-19 disinfo sites? – Household brands are inadvertently funding disinformation sites to spread COVID-19 conspiracies, thanks to ad tech companies that do not effectively screen the sites to which they provide ads services.  New research from the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) shows that Google, Amazon and other… Continue Reading

New on LLRX for June 2020

Reopening Your Law Firm: Your Clients – Nicole L. Black has published a series of articles focused on helping your firm work remotely and effectively throughout the pandemic. As many firms throughout the country are planning and executing phased re-openings, Nicole identifies issues and actions to assess and implement to permit your firm to open… Continue Reading