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Category Archives: Congress

TikTok’s Rules Deter Researchers From Crunching Data on Users, Misinformation

Bloomberg Law via Yahoo Finance: “As TikTok gets more popular, researchers at leading academic institutions want to study what users are doing there. Publicly, the company says it’s open to this, and is partnering with academics. But researchers said so far, the video app’s rules about data are too burdensome. TikTok is in the process of making its application programming interface, or API, open to researchers to analyze data on the platform. But the terms of service are so strict, academics at leading institutions say they’re hesitant to accept them. The difficulty in researching TikTok comes as competing platforms also are making it more difficult to review their data and are starting to charge for access to their APIs. Social scientists say it’s important to gain access to TikTok to understand the app’s impact on a variety of issues such as elections, public health messaging or the spread of misinformation. By monitoring social media conversations, researchers have been able to flag inaccurate polling information that was turning away voters, for example, and help local governments better communicate with the public during natural disasters like Hurricane Idalia, which hit Florida last month. TikTok’s rules state that academics must provide advance notice about upcoming research, allow the company to review papers before publication and delete some data after it’s used. Researchers said those terms could severely hamper their efforts and that some of the requirements are more demanding than rival platforms, including Google’s YouTube, Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter. TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., comes under a unique level of scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers concerned that US user data could end up in the hands of the Chinese government…”

A comprehensive and distributed approach to AI regulation

Brookings – Alex Engler August 31, 2023 – Proposing the Critical Algorithmic Systems Classification (CASC) A defining challenge of AI regulation is creating a framework that is comprehensive, but still results in rules that are tailored to the nuances of AI in different applications, such as in educational access, hiring, mortgage pricing, rent setting, or healthcare… Continue Reading

Political contributions, enhanced

Jeremy Singer-Vine, Data is Plural: “Political scientist Adam Bonica’s Database on Ideology, Money in Politics, and Elections (DIME) gathers “500 million itemized political contributions made by individuals and organizations to local, state, and federal elections covering from 1979 to 2020.” The project, which received a major update last month, “is intended to make data on… Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence’s Use and Rapid Growth Highlight Its Possibilities and Perils

GAO, September 6, 2023: “The rise of artificial intelligence has created growing excitement and much debate about its potential to revolutionize entire industries. At its best, AI could improve medical diagnosis, identify potential national security threats more quickly, and solve crimes. But there are also significant concerns—in areas including education, intellectual property, and privacy. Today’s… Continue Reading

Google to require disclosure of AI use in political ads

Politico: “Starting in November, Google will mandate all political advertisements label the use of artificial intelligence tools and synthetic content in their videos, images and audio. As campaigns and digital strategists explore using generative AI-tools heading into the 2024 election cycle, Google is the first tech company to announce an AI-related disclosure requirement for political… Continue Reading

Sen. Whitehouse Lodges Ethics Complaint Against Justice Samuel Alito

“U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee, today wrote a letter Chief Justice John Roberts to lodge an ethics complaint against Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito for violating several canons of judicial ethics.  Whitehouse’s formal complaint follows revelations that Justice Alito accepted but did not disclose gifts of luxury travel… Continue Reading

CBP Tells Airports Its New Facial Recognition Target is 75% of Passengers Leaving the US

404 Media: “Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has told airports it plans to increase its targets for scanning passengers with facial recognition as they leave the U.S., according to an internal airport email obtained by 404 Media. The new goal will be to scan 75 percent of all passengers, the email adds. The news signals… Continue Reading

US Copyright Office opens inquiry into laws needed to rein in genAI

“The agency move is part of an ongoing effort to gather public feedback on why AI can sometimes flagrantly use copyrighted materials to produce content. The agency plans to hand over its findings to Congress. The US Copyright Office is seeking public input on copyright law and policy issues raised by generative AI and is… Continue Reading

Tracking Federal Awards: and Other Data Sources

CRS Report – Tracking Federal Awards: and Other Data Sources, Updated August 23, 2023., available at, is a government source for data on federal awards by state, congressional district (CD), county, city, and zip code. The awards data in are provided by federal agencies and represent contracts, grants, loans, and other… Continue Reading

Georgia’s indictment of Trump is a confirmation of states’ rights, a favorite cause of Republicans since Reagan

Via LLRX – Georgia’s indictment of Trump is a confirmation of states’ rights, a favorite cause of Republicans since Reagan – Prof. Stefanie Lindquist elucidates a critical fact respective to the Trump indictment. All U.S. citizens are actually citizens of two separate governments: They are citizens of the United States as well as citizens of the… Continue Reading