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Daily Archives: April 3, 2014

Introducing the ACLU’s NSA Documents Database

By Emily Weinrebe, ACLU National Security Project: “The public debate over our government’s surveillance programs has reached remarkable heights since the first set of NSA disclosures in June 2013 based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Since then, additional disclosures by both the press and government have illuminated our government’s vast and invasive surveillance apparatus. These documents stand as primary source evidence of our government’s interpretation of its authority to engage in sweeping surveillance activities at home and abroad, and how it carries out that surveillance. The ACLU hopes to facilitate this debate by making these documents more easily accessible and understandable. Toward that end, today we are launching the NSA Documents Database. This tool will be an up-to-date, complete collection of previously secret NSA documents made public since last June. The database is designed to be easily searchable – by title, category, or content – so that the public, researchers, and journalists can readily home in on the information they are looking for. We have made all of the documents text-searchable to allow users to investigate particular key words or phrases. Alternatively, the filter function allows users to sort based on the type of surveillance involved, the specific legal authorities implicated, the purpose of the surveillance, or the source of the disclosure. For example, you can have the database return all documents that both pertain to “Section 215” and “Internal NSA/DOJ Legal Analysis.” We will update the database with new documents as they become available to the public.”

Europe’s reforms beginning to pay off but continued effort needed

News release: “Action taken by many European countries to return their public finances to health are beginning to pay off, says the OECD. The Euro area economies which emerged from the crisis with serious current account deficits are now in surplus. Debt-to-GDP ratios are stabilising and market tensions have abated. Although Europe’s economies are slowly growing… Continue Reading

BLS – Payroll employment increases in March (+192,000)

“Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment grew in professional and business services, in health care, and in mining and logging.  Household Survey Data – In March, the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 10.5 million,… Continue Reading

The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis

CRS – The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis, David H. Carpenter, Legislative Attorney; M. Maureen Murphy, Legislative Attorney. March 27, 2014. “On December 10, 2013, more than two years after the statutorily mandated deadline, five federal financial regulators published final regulations (hereinafter, the regulations) implementing  Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (hereinafter, Section 619 or the statute). Together these… Continue Reading

Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview

CRS – Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview. Jared P. Cole, Legislative Attorney; Andrew Nolan, Legislative Attorney. March 31, 2014. “Recent disclosures of various National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance and data collection programs have prompted increased attention on the government’s collection of foreign intelligence. Pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)… Continue Reading

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments

CRS – Overview of Constitutional Challenges  to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments. Edward C. Liu , Legislative Attorney; Andrew Nolan, Legislative Attorney; Richard M. Thompson II; Legislative Attorney, April 1, 2014 “Beginning in the summer of 2013, media reports of foreign intelligence activities conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) have been published and are apparently based on unauthorized disclosures of… Continue Reading

Boston Review – Inequality Kills

“For nearly two hundred years America was one of the healthiest and longest-lived countries, but today, over thirty countries have better health by many measures. What happened? In answering this question, the distinction between health and health care is a critical one, but something that seems not to be well understood by the lay public, health… Continue Reading

Google posts 360-degree “temple view” from atop Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

Wander through Angkor’s thousand-year-old temples on Street View:  “The sunrise at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic and breathtaking vistas. Dawn brings to light the many temples that are thousands of years old, nestled in a web of ancient roads and jungles. Today you’ll be one step closer… Continue Reading

Report – The Case for Investing in Women

High-performing companies have women in senior management: “Cristian Dezsö at the University of Maryland, and David Ross at Columbia University Business School applied Standard & Poor’s ExecuComp data to the top 1,500 US firms from 1992 to 2006. They examined the relationship between firm quality as measured by Tobin’s Q (the market value of a… Continue Reading