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Daily Archives: January 10, 2021

A Civilian’s Guide to Insurrection Legalese

The Marshall Project – Everyone’s talking about sedition, treason and conspiracy. Here’s what these terms actually mean and how they’ve been enforced. “In the 24 hours since a mob incited by the president of the United States stormed the Capitol attempting to halt the functioning of American democracy, the news media and everyone else have been at a loss for words to describe what happened. Was it a coup, or an insurrection? Did anyone commit treason, or sedition? What exactly does it mean to incite a crime, or to riot? These aren’t just word games. Knowing how these terms are specifically defined under federal law will have consequences for the most violent of the rioters who have been or could be arrested by federal authorities—and also for Donald Trump and others who instigated the crowd’s actions. To be sure, the most likely federal charges that could be levied against Trump supporters fall under the broad—and less serious—ban on committing “unlawful activities” on Capitol grounds, from “violent entry” to property destruction to disorderly conduct. Here’s a Marshall Project roundup of some of the terms in U.S. criminal law being batted around this week…”

The deplatforming of President Trump

Tech Crunch: A review of an unprecedented and historical week for the tech industry: “After years of placid admonishments, the tech world came out in force against President Trump this past week following the violent assault of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. From Twitter to PayPal, more than a dozen companies… Continue Reading

Advanced Searches Using Legislative Action Codes on

In Custodia Legis: “The following is a guest post by senior legal reference librarian Beth Osborne. Recently, one of my colleagues from the blog team asked me if I knew of any “hidden treasures” at the Law Library of Congress that I wanted to mention in her recent post. Of course, I realized she was… Continue Reading

What is Signal? The basics of the most secure messaging app

Mashable: “…Over the past three years, Signal has also been investing in more infrastructure and features to support its users. That’s a good thing: Signal first saw an increase in users in the spring as people participating in anti-racist protests around the killing of George Floyd realized how closely law enforcement was surveilling them and… Continue Reading

Mayor Bowser’s Letter to DHS Acting Sec Chad Wolf Regarding Inauguration Preparations

Sunday, January 10, 2021 (WASHINGTON, DC) – “Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser released her letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf regarding inauguration preparations. The full letter is below. Dear Acting Secretary Wolf: Following the unprecedented terrorist attack on the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and the continued threat… Continue Reading

Post-Riot, the Capitol Hill IT Staff Faces a Security Mess

Wired – Wednesday’s insurrection could have exposed congressional data and devices in ways that have yet to be appreciated. “…the mob Wednesday had ample opportunities to steal information or gain device access if they wanted to. And while the Senate and House each build off of their own shared IT framework, ultimately each of the… Continue Reading

Racial Allies – public interest law sector in the United States

Adediran, Atinuke O., Racial Allies (December 24, 2020). Available at SSRN:  – “Public interest law has played a critical role in American social and legal change both historically and in modern times. From abolitionist lawyers, to lawyers involved in civil rights and civil liberties, to lawyers challenging economic inequality, the eviction crisis and immigration, public… Continue Reading

Sealed U.S. Court Records Exposed in SolarWinds Breach

Krebs on Security: “The ongoing breach affecting thousands of organizations that relied on backdoored products by network software firm SolarWinds may have jeopardized the privacy of countless sealed court documents on file with the U.S. federal court system, according to a memo released Wednesday by the Administrative Office (AO) of the U.S. Courts. The judicial… Continue Reading

The scramble to archive Capitol insurrection footage before it disappears

MIT Technology Review: “As a violent mob incited by President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on January 6, halting the procedure in Congress to formally certify Joe Biden as president-elect, a Redditor with the username Adam Lynch began a thread on the subreddit r/DataHoarder—a forum dedicated to saving data that might be erased or… Continue Reading

Masked and armed rioters who were inside the Capitol intent on violence

Slate – They Were Out for Blood – “The men who carried zip ties as they stormed the Capitol weren’t clowning around. “…But there were other rioters inside the Capitol, if you look at the images. And once you see them, it’s impossible to look away. The zip-tie guys. Call the zip ties by their… Continue Reading

Right-Wing Political Violence – Historical Background

Researcher Ernie Lazar: “Despite the current attempt to portray some of our major cities in the grip of lawlessness and disorder which is incited or conducted by ANTIFA or Black Lives Matter or other “radical left” individuals and organizations, it should be noted that, historically, most of the politically-inspired violence in the United States during the past 50… Continue Reading

There’s No Single Domestic Terrorism Statute

TIME – But Those Involved in the Riot at the Capitol May Still Be Prosecuted Under These Laws – “The FBI defines domestic terrorism as “Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.” Its leadership… Continue Reading