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Daily Archives: June 12, 2014

Military spending continues to fall in the West but rises everywhere else, says SIPRI

“World military expenditure totalled $1.75 trillion in 2013, a fall of 1.9 per cent in real terms since 2012, according to figures released [April 14, 2014] by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org. The fall in the global total comes from decreases in Western countries, led by the United States, and despite increases in all other regions. In fact, military spending in the rest of the world excluding the USA increased by 1.8 per cent.  The next three highest spenders—China, Russia and Saudi Arabia—all made substantial increases, with Saudi Arabia leapfrogging the United Kingdom, Japan and France to become the world’s fourth largest military spender. China, Russia and Saudi Arabia are among the 23 countries around the world that have more than doubled their military expenditure since 2004.  The fall in US spending in 2013, by 7.8 per cent, is the result of the end of the war in Iraq, the beginning of the drawdown from Afghanistan, and the effects of automatic budget cuts passed by the US Congress in 2011. Meanwhile, austerity policies continued to determine trends in Western and Central Europe and in other Western countries. ‘The increase in military spending in emerging and developing countries continues unabated,’ said Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman, Director of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure Programme. ‘While in some cases it is the natural result of economic growth or a response to genuine security needs, in other cases it represents a squandering of natural resource revenues, the dominance of autocratic regimes, or emerging regional arms races.’

The Fourth Amendment Third-Party Doctrine – CRS

The Fourth Amendment Third-Party Doctrine, Richard M. Thompson II, Legislative Attorney. June 5, 2014. “In the 1970s, the Supreme Court handed down Smith v. Maryland and United States v. Miller, two of the most important Fourth Amendment decisions of the 20th century. In these cases, the Court held that people are not entitled to an expectation of privacyContinue Reading

Can Twitter survive in a Facebook world? The key is being different – Pew

“One way Twitter sets itself apart from Facebook is its use as a news platform. Our research has found that passing along information about breaking news is a core function of Twitter. Nearly one-in-ten U.S. adults (8%) get news through Twitter, and roughly half of Twitter’s own users get news on the platform. Twitter users as aContinue Reading

New NIST guidance planned as part of federal info policy

Adam Mazmanian via FCW.com: “Government officials can get ready to toss out their “For Official Use Only” stamps under a pending rule that would standardize how the government marks and stores information that is deemed sensitive but is not classified. The National Archives and Records Administration is leading the charge for a new policy on controlledContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – IRS 2015 Budget, Nuclear Nonproliferation

IRS 2015 BUDGET: Long-Term Strategy and Return on Investment Data Needed to Better Manage Budget Uncertainty and Set Priorities, GAO-14-605: Published: Jun 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 2014. NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION: Additional Actions Needed to Increase the Security of U.S. Industrial Radiological Sources, GAO-14-293: Published: Jun 6, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 2014. NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION: Additional Actions Needed to Increase the SecurityContinue Reading

CEO Pay Continues to Rise as Typical Workers Are Paid Less

Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis | June 12, 2014: “The 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s were prosperous times for top U.S. executives, especially relative to other wage earners and even relative to other very high wage earners (those earning more than 99.9 percent of all wage earners). Executives constitute a larger group of workers than is commonly recognized, andContinue Reading

Global Response to Snowden Disclosures Revealed in New Report – EFF

EFF – “It has been one year since the first Snowden disclosure and in lieu of this first anniversary, world privacy expert and publisher of The Privacy Surgeon, Simon Davies, conceived and published a report titled “A Crisis of Accountability: A global analysis of the impact of the Snowden revelations.”  The report includes contributions from individual countries, summarizing the extent toContinue Reading

Facebook to Profile User Browsing, May Violate FTC Consent Order

EPIC:  “Facebook has announced that it will collect detailed browser history on users for advertising purposes. Users who object were told to opt-out. The plan may violate a Federal Trade Commission order, prohibiting Facebook from changing its business practices without users’ express consent. The FTC order follows from complaints filed by EPIC and other consumer privacy organizations in 2009 and 2010.Continue Reading

Transparency and accountability key for Bay restoration success

Milestone Analysis: Pollution Reduced, Agriculture and Urban Runoff Reductions Falling Short: “An analysis of selected milestones, conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and the Choose Clean Water Coalition (CCWC), found that pollution is being reduced. However many jurisdictions fell short in implementing practices that reduce pollution from agricultural sources and urban and suburban pollutedContinue Reading

Political Polarization in the American Public – Pew

How Increasing Ideological Uniformity and Partisan Antipathy Affect Politics, Compromise and Everyday Life “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades. These trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life.Continue Reading