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

Category Archives: Legal Research

The True Cost of Acquisitions

An Archivist’s Toolbox – Words & Illustrations by Mary Kid: “Earlier this year, I read an article titled Hail the Maintainers. The authors, writing on the rise of Silicon Valley, argue that too much value is given to innovation, rather than the labor involved in maintaining the technologies resulting from it. “Maintenance and repair, the building of infrastructures, the mundane labour that goes into sustaining functioning and efficient infrastructures, simply has more impact on people’s daily lives than the vast majority of technological innovations,” the authors assert. That is worth a deeper dive. I drew parallels between this sort of technological maintenance labor that the authors described, and the day-to-day tasks performed by library and archives workers, especially within and in support of special or research collections. Coincidentally, I read this article while involved in two projects where I developed calculator tools that can measure the impact of a single acquisition in terms of staff capacity and associated supplies, transportation and labor costs. These calculators give evidence to the lasting impact acquisitions, both large and small, can have over an entire department. In addition, they offer a way forward for institutions to take informed steps towards more sustainable collection development. The Maintainers made me think about whether there were words or concepts commonly used within special collections like “innovation” that similarly obscure the lived realities of workers’ experiences. The word I honed in on was “donation”; as in, “an acquisition that was donated to the archive”. This word connotes something as free-of-charge to the recipient, which in the case of acquisition donations could not be farther from the truth…”

Here’s how to check your phone for Pegasus spyware using Amnesty’s tool

The Verge: “Amnesty International — part of the group that helped break the news of journalists and heads of state being targeted by NSO’s government-grade spyware, Pegasus — has released a tool to check if your phone has been affected. Alongside the tool is a great set of instructions, which should help you through the… Continue Reading

Justice by Algorithm: Are Artificial Intelligence Risk Assessment Tools Biased Against Minorities?

Conklin, Michael and Wu, Jun, Justice by Algorithm: Are Artificial Intelligence Risk Assessment Tools Biased Against Minorities? (June 30, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3877686 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3877686 “This is a review of Katherine B. Forrest’s new book When Machines Can Be Judge, Jury, and Executioner. The book does an excellent job discussing issues of fairness and… Continue Reading

National Archives Seeks to Revamp How Presidential Library Archives Social Media

NextGov: “The National Archives and Records Administration is looking to industry for ideas around how it might improve the way it collects and archives social media data from presidential administrations. NARA laid out its tentative plans in a request for information July 14. Through the RFI, NARA seeks information from companies “capable and interested in… Continue Reading

This tool tells you if NSO’s Pegasus spyware targeted your phone

TechCrunch: “Over the weekend, an international consortium of news outlets reported that several authoritarian governments — including Mexico, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates — used spyware developed by NSO Group to hack into the phones of thousands of their most vocal critics, including journalists, activists, politicians and business executives. A leaked list of 50,000… Continue Reading

Code of Federal Regulations (Annual Edition)

GovInfo: “The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. The 50 subject matter titles contain one or more… Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence: An Accountability Framework for Federal Agencies and Other Entities

Artificial Intelligence: An Accountability Framework for Federal Agencies and Other Entities GAO-21-519SP Published: Jun 30, 2021. “As a nation, we have yet to grasp the full benefits or unwanted effects of artificial intelligence. AI is widely used, but how do we know it’s working appropriately? This report identifies key accountability practices—centered around the principles of… Continue Reading

Text Analytics, Court Stats, and Privacy

National Center for State Court:  “A couple of weeks ago I shared some of “my problems with pending case statistics”.  Before that, I posted another note regarding an alternative for analyzing criminal justice data.  I generally try not to complain about things without having a solution in mind.  In this article, I will share a… Continue Reading

Long-Withheld Office of Legal Counsel Records Reveal Agency’s Postwar Influence

Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University: “Documents released in our FOIA lawsuit for OLC legal opinions issued prior to 1994. This Reading Room contains all of the documents produced to date in Francis v. Dep’t of Justice, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit the Knight Institute filed on behalf of five scholars, Campaign… Continue Reading

How Fear of Government Surveillance Influences Our Behavior

Literary Hub: “If surveillance doesn’t make us act differently, explain this: The psychology department’s coffee room at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom offers coffee and tea on the honor system: users put their money in a box. The department decided to rotate different price list signs as part of a research study. One week… Continue Reading