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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

47 countries witness surge in civil unrest – trend to continue in 2020

Political Risk Outlook 2020 – “The dramatic surge in protests in 2019 has swept up a quarter of countries in its tide and sent unprepared governments across all continents reeling. According to our latest data and forecasts, the turmoil is set to continue unabated in 2020. Our quarterly Civil Unrest Index reveals that over the past year 47 jurisdictions have witnessed a significant uptick in protests, which intensified during the last quarter of 2019. This includes locations as diverse as Hong Kong, Chile, Nigeria, Sudan, Haiti and Lebanon…The number of countries rated extreme risk in the Civil Unrest Index has also jumped by 66.7%; from 12 in 2019 to 20 by early 2020. Countries dropping into this category include Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Sudan, meanwhile, has overtaken Yemen to become the highest risk country globally. An ‘extreme risk’ rating in the index, which measures the risks to business, reflects the highest possible threat of transport disruption, damage to company assets and physical risks to employees from violent unrest. Most sectors, ranging across mining, energy, tourism, retail and financial services, have felt the impacts over the past year. The resulting disruption to business, national economies and investment worldwide has totalled in the billions of US dollars. In Chile, the first month of unrest alone caused an estimated USD4.6 billion worth of infrastructure damage, and cost the Chilean economy around USD3 billion, or 1.1% of its GDP…”

FBI Changes Policy for Notifying States of Election Systems Cyber Breaches

WSJ.com [paywall] – “The Federal Bureau of Investigation will notify state officials when local election systems are believed to have been breached by hackers, a pivot in policy that comes after criticism that the FBI wasn’t doing enough to inform states of election threats. The FBI’s previous policy stated that it notified the direct victims… Continue Reading

‘OK, Boomer’ makes a Supreme Court appearance in age case

AP: ““OK, Boomer” made its first appearance in the Supreme Court Wednesday, invoked by baby boomer Chief Justice John Roberts 12 days before he turns 65. The meme is a favorite of younger generations and Roberts used it in questions in a case about age discrimination in the workplace. “The hiring person, who’s younger, says,… Continue Reading

Trump impeachment trial: legacy of judicial independence at stake

The Christian Science Monitor – As Roberts enters fray, legacy of judicial independence at stake – Why We Wrote This: “Presiding over an impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts will seek to embody the judicial independence he often promotes. But the remainder of the Supreme Court term may be a tougher test…For an institutionalist like… Continue Reading

The Evil List Which tech companies are really doing the most harm?

Slate – Here are the 30 most dangerous, ranked by the people who know: “…The tech industry doesn’t intoxicate us like it did just a few years ago. Keeping up with its problems—and its fixes, and its fixes that cause new problems—is dizzying. Separating out the meaningful threats from the noise is hard. Is Facebook… Continue Reading

Can the Constitution stop the government from lying to the public

The Conversation – Helen Norton: “When regular people lie, sometimes their lies are detected, sometimes they’re not. Legally speaking, sometimes they’re protected by the First Amendment – and sometimes not, like when they commit fraud or perjury. But what about when government officials lie? I take up this question in my recent book, “The Government’s… Continue Reading

Technology Can’t Fix Algorithmic Injustice

Boston Review:”…Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have all publicly expressed their concerns about the advent of this kind of “strong” (or “general”) AI—and the associated existential risk that it may pose for humanity. In Hawking’s words, the development of strong AI “could spell the end of the human race.”…These are legitimate long-term worries.… Continue Reading

San Diego’s massive 7 yr experiment with facial recognition technology appears to be a flop

San Diego’s massive, 7-year experiment with facial recognition technology appears to be a flop – “Since 2012, the city’s law enforcement agencies have compiled over 65,000 face scans and tried to match them against a massive mugshot database. But it’s almost completely unclear how effective the initiative was, with one spokesperson saying they’re unaware of… Continue Reading

Water Peace and Security Partnership Predictive Tool

WPS – “Water insecurity is increasing worldwide. A third of the world’s people now live in countries that experience high levels of water stress, with droughts affecting around 50 million people and causing more than $5 billion in damage annually. These numbers are expected to rise as population growth, rapid urbanisation, increasing climate change and… Continue Reading

Ring Fired Employees for Watching Customer Videos

Vice: “Amazon-owned home security camera company Ring has fired employees for improperly accessing Ring users’ video data, according to a letter the company wrote to Senators and obtained by Motherboard. The news highlights a risk across many different tech companies: employees may abuse access granted as part of their jobs to look at customer data… Continue Reading

Judge backs Reveal’s suit to end secrecy around Silicon Valley’s diversity

Reveal: “A federal judge on Tuesday struck down attempts by the U.S. Department of Labor and several major Silicon Valley firms to keep companies’ staff diversity numbers secret, siding with the argument made by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting that the records are not confidential business information.  Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore of… Continue Reading