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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Guardian – Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ

Spencer Ackerman and James Ball – The Guardian: “Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal. GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to… Continue Reading

FTC Announces Top National Consumer Complaints for 2013

News release: “Identity theft continues to top the Federal Trade Commission’s national ranking of consumer complaints, and American consumers reported losing over $1.6 billion to fraud overall in 2013, according to the FTC’s annual report on consumer complaints released today. “Americans of all ages are vulnerable to identity theft, and it remains the most common consumer… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Critical Infrastructure Protection, Defense Transportation, Electronic Health Records, Internet Pharmacies, Oil and Gas Mgmt, School Lunch

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION: Observations on DHS Efforts to Identify, Prioritize, Assess, and Inspect Chemical Facilities, GAO-14-365T: Published: Feb 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2014. DEFENSE TRANSPORTATION: DOD Can Better Ensure That Federal Agencies Fully Reimburse for Using Military Aircraft, GAO-14-189: Published: Feb 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2014. ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS: VA and DOD Need to Support Cost and… Continue Reading

New York Public Library Supporter Spreads Word About His Cause in Innovative Way

The Atlantic – Svati Kirsten Narula: “On Saturday, he spent five hours handing out flyers on the street and talking to people about the library—specifically, the NYPL’s plan to renovate the main branch and sell two other branches, which Zadrozny thinks will be “a disaster.” He was recruiting participants for the “work-in” protests he’s started organizing on behalf of the grassroots Committee… Continue Reading

Pew – The Web at 25 in the U.S.

The overall verdict: The internet has been a plus for society and an especially good thing for individual users, by SUSANNAH FOX AND LEE RAINIE “This report is the first part of a sustained effort through 2014 by the Pew Research Center to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.… Continue Reading

Nimitz Gray Book Unveiling

“The Naval War College just unveiled a new online publication – the 4,000-page “Gray Book” collection of Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz communications that started in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack and ran right up until the closing days of the war. This eight volume collection is available here,  and will be a great… Continue Reading

Economic Crisis and Share Price Unpredictability: Reasons and Implications

Fox, Edward G. and Fox, Merritt B. and Gilson, Ronald J., Economic Crisis and Share Price Unpredictability: Reasons and Implications (February 19, 2014). Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper No. 468; Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper Forthcoming; ECGI – Law Working Paper Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: “During the recent financial crisis, there… Continue Reading

Offshore Tax Evasion: The Effort To Collect Unpaid Taxes On Billions In Hidden Offshore Accounts

Report by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) of the United States Senate, Majority and Minority Staff, February 26, 2014: Offshore Tax Evasion: The Effort To Collect Unpaid Taxes On Billions In Hidden Offshore Accounts. “…On the negative side of the ledger, despite evidence of widespread misconduct by Swiss banks in facilitating U.S. tax evasion, Switzerland has… Continue Reading

How States Are Reclaiming Revenue Lost to Offshore Tax Havens

U.S. PIRG – Closing the Billion Dollar Loophole – How States Are Reclaiming Revenue Lost to Offshore Tax Havens: “Every year, corporations use complicated gimmicks to shift U.S. earnings to subsidiaries in offshore tax havens – countries with minimal or no taxes – in order to reduce their state and federal income tax liability by billions of dollars.… Continue Reading

The Declassification Engine

Computational Analysis of Official Secrecy – a project by historians, data scientists, legal scholars, and transparency advocates from Columbia University:  “The enormous growth in the number of official documents – many of them withheld from scholars and journalists even decades later – has raised serious concerns about whether traditional research methods are adequate for ensuring government accountability. But… Continue Reading

EPIC – Supreme Court Allows Warrantless Search of Home

“In a case that narrows the warrant requirement for searches of homes, the Supreme Court upheld the warrantless search of a suspect’s home by the LAPD after the person objected. In Fernandez v. California, the officers returned to the apartment of the resident after he had been arrested, and obtained consent from a roommate to conduct… Continue Reading

Pew – Indians Want Political Change

“Seven-in-ten Indians are dissatisfied with the way things are going in India today, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. And, with the Indian parliamentary elections just weeks away, the Indian public, by a margin of more than three-to-one, would prefer the Hindu-nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to lead the next Indian government… Continue Reading