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Category Archives: Legal Research

Chief FOIA Officers Council’s Technology Committee Releases Best Practices and Recommendations

National Archives FOIA Ombudsman: “Looking for ways to bolster the use of technology within the FOIA process? Check out a report from the Technology Committee (Committee) of the Chief FOIA Officers Council (Council) to the Council Co-Chairs that discusses FOIA Information Technology (IT) best practices and recommendations. In response to a recommendation by  the 2016-2018 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee, the Archivist of the United States directed that the cross-agency Council establish a technology subcommittee in partnership with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council, to study the use and deployment of technology in agency FOIA programs and identify best practices and recommendations that can be implemented across agencies. In September 2018, the Council established the Technology Subcommittee (later renamed the Technology Committee). Members hail from five Cabinet-level agencies and six independent agencies and met throughout Fiscal Year 2019…”

Artificial intelligence What Think Tanks are thinking

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is usually understood as the ability for a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. The ‘Holy Grail’ for many governments and companies seeking to benefit from the digital revolution, the first to invent and apply true AI could achieve an enormous… Continue Reading

The ends of the Earth are melting really fast. Here’s what you need to know

The Correspondent: “The ends of the Earth are melting at a rate not seen in at least 115,000 years. And over the past few months, there’s been increasing evidence that the changes we’re seeing at our planet’s poles are only growing more severe. On 1 August, the Greenland ice sheet lost 12.5bn tonnes of ice… Continue Reading

CA Auditor Damning Report About Law Enforcement’s Use of Automated License Plate Readers

EFF: “California police and sheriffs are failing to protect the privacy of drivers on city streets, the California State Auditor’s office determined after a seven-month investigation into the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) by the Los Angeles Police Department and three other local law enforcement agencies. California State Senator Scott Wiener sponsored the… Continue Reading

Mapping Wikipedia

The Atlantic – “An unprecedented data set shows where the encyclopedia’s editors are, where they aren’t, and why. A map of the United States shows the percentage of households editing Wikipedia by county. Analysis of Wikipedia IP editor activity.  Wikipedia matters. In a time of extreme political polarization, algorithmically enforced filter bubbles, and fact patterns… Continue Reading

The Lost 110 Words of Our Constitution

Politico – “The U.S. Constitution is famously short—a mere 7,591 words, including its 27 amendments. That makes it all the more remarkable that 110 of those words have been, in effect, lost to the ages. These forgotten words form Section 2 of the 14th Amendment, which was designed to guard against the infringement of voting… Continue Reading

Oversight Subcommittee Seeks Information About Ring’s Agreements with Police, Local Governments

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 19, 2020)—”Today, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter to Amazon seeking information about its subsidiary Ring Inc.’s partnerships with city governments and local police departments, along with the company’s policies governing the data it collects. Ring sells internet-connected home surveillance equipment, such… Continue Reading

Use Amazon, Uber or Walmart.com? You’ve probably signed away your right to sue them

CNN Business: “Tucked into the sign-up process for many popular e-commerce sites and apps are dense terms-of-service agreements that legal experts say are changing the nature of consumer transactions, creating a veil of secrecy around how these companies function. The small print in these documents requires all signatories to agree to binding arbitration and to… Continue Reading

Forest Service says Appalachian Trail isn’t “land” in pipeline fight at SCOTUS

Quartz: “It’s not every Supreme Court brief that goes off the beaten legal path, supplementing jurisprudence with humor and spicing up statutory interpretation with devastating wit. But the filing from environmentalists fighting the US Forest Service (USFS) over its grant of a license for a gas pipeline through the Appalachian Trail is one such gem. … Continue Reading

Financial Secrecy Index 2020

Tax Justice Network – “The Financial Secrecy Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities. A politically neutral ranking, it is a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight. The index was launched on 18 February 2020. The… Continue Reading

Classaction.gov

Rose, Amanda M., Classaction.gov (February 10, 2020). Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 20-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3534317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3534317 “This Essay proposes the creation of a federally-run class action website and supporting administration (collectively, Classaction.gov) that would both operate a comprehensive research database on class actions and assume many of the notice and claims processing… Continue Reading

Charting a Way Forward – Online Content Regulation

Monika Bickert, VP Content Policy, Facebook: “…This paper explores possible regulatory structures for content governance outside the United States and identifies questions that require further discussion. It builds off recent developments on this topic, including legislation proposed or passed into law by governments, as well as scholarship that explains the various content governance approaches that… Continue Reading