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

Daily Archives: November 20, 2023

Secretive White House Surveillance Program Gives Cops Access to Trillions of US Phone Records

Wired [read free]: “A little-known surveillance program tracks more than a trillion domestic phone records within the United States each year, according to a letter WIRED obtained that was sent by US senator Ron Wyden to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Sunday, challenging the program’s legality. According to the letter, a surveillance program now known as Data Analytical Services (DAS) has for more than a decade allowed federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to mine the details of Americans’ calls, analyzing the phone records of countless people who are not suspected of any crime, including victims. Using a technique known as chain analysis, the program targets not only those in direct phone contact with a criminal suspect but anyone with whom those individuals have been in contact as well. The DAS program, formerly known as Hemisphere, is run in coordination with the telecom giant AT&T, which captures and conducts analysis of US call records for law enforcement agencies, from local police and sheriffs’ departments to US customs offices and postal inspectors across the country, according to a White House memo reviewed by WIRED. Records show that the White House has, for the past decade, provided more than $6 million to the program, which allows the targeting of the records of any calls that use AT&T’s infrastructure—a maze of routers and switches that crisscross the United States…”

See also via Muckrock & EFF: “The collection of call record data under DAS is not wiretapping, which on US soil requires a warrant based on probable cause. Call records stored by AT&T do not include recordings of any conversations. Instead, the records include a range of identifying information, such as the caller and recipient’s names, phone numbers, and the dates and times they placed calls, for six months or more at a time.” It’s unclear exactly how far back the call records accessible under DAS go, although a slide deck released under the Freedom of Information Act in 2014 states that they can be queried for up to 10 years.”

Trustworthy AI in Government + Public Services

“We are pleased to share the Oxford Insights Trustworthy AI Assessment tool. This self assessment tool is designed to help policymakers in government understand how prepared their government is to use AI in a trustworthy way in the public sector. Why did we create this tool? Governments are increasingly using AI in their public services.… Continue Reading

Firefox 120 Now Available: Here’s What’s New

How to Geek: “Mozilla Firefox receives a major update about every four weeks, giving the web browser a steady stream of new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements. Firefox 120 will start rolling out today, with new link options, enhancements to data importing, new security features, and more. Firefox 120 has a few new improvements… Continue Reading

OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data – coordinates the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises. We advocate for effective and principled humanitarian action by all, for all… As an example of the data repositories, please see the following – occupied Palestinian… Continue Reading

Italian Poetry Translated

“This website offers translations of Italian poems into English in an interactive format. It’s a work in progress. Poetry is something to recite aloud, in company, enjoying the sound. Meter and rhymes are good things. You really can’t translate poetry, so you should read it in the original language. Well, I would like first of… Continue Reading

Use of Artificial Intelligennce in Criminal Cases

Agarwal, Srishti, Use of Artificial Intelligennce in Criminal Cases (October 21, 2023). International Review of Law and Technology Volume 2 Issue 2, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or  – “This research article deals with the use of AI in criminal cases. Artificial Intelligence is not a well defined term as everyone has their own… Continue Reading

Democracy By Design

Accountable Tech: A Content-Agnostic Election Integrity Framework for Online Platforms. Published September 2023. “With over 50 countries set to hold elections amidst tectonic geopolitical and technological shifts, 2024 will present unprecedented challenges for democracy and the information gatekeepers who support it. Those challenges are compounded by increasing volatility of the content policy landscape, as partisan… Continue Reading

Worst and Best Companies for Employee Retention U.S. and UK

Visual Capitalist: The Worst Companies for Employee Retention (U.S. and UK) – “Employees consider various factors when committing to a company long term, including a positive work environment, fair compensation, job security, opportunities for professional growth, and resilience against disruptive changes in the economy or technology. So, which companies have the worst employee retention? To… Continue Reading