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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

What Americans Know and Do Not Know About the Holocaust

“Most U.S. adults know what the Holocaust was and approximately when it happened, but fewer than half can correctly answer multiple-choice questions about the number of Jews who were murdered or the way Adolf Hitler came to power, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. When asked to describe in their own words what the Holocaust was, more than eight-in-ten Americans mention the attempted annihilation of the Jewish people or other related topics, such as concentration or death camps, Hitler, or the Nazis. Seven-in-ten know that the Holocaust happened between 1930 and 1950. And close to two-thirds know that Nazi-created ghettos were parts of a city or town where Jews were forced to live. Fewer than half of Americans (43%), however, know that Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany through a democratic political process. And a similar share (45%) know that approximately 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Nearly three-in-ten Americans say they are not sure how many Jews died during the Holocaust, while one-in-ten overestimate the death toll, and 15% say that 3 million or fewer Jews were killed.

This raises an important question: Are those who underestimate the death toll simply uninformed, or are they Holocaust deniers – people with anti-Semitic views who “claim that the Holocaust was invented or exaggerated by Jews as part of a plot to advance Jewish interests”?

Who Owns the Law? Why We Must Restore Public Ownership of Legal Publishing

Leslie Street and David R. Hansen. Who Owns the Law? Why We Must Restore Public Ownership of Legal Publishing, 26 J. Intell. Prop. L. 205 (2019) “Who owns the law? In the United States, most law is published by a handful of companies. Among the largest are Thomson Reuters, a Canadian mass-media information firm, and… Continue Reading

AI Will Not Reduce Discrimination in Hiring Practices. Does the Public Agree?

r x y, r “…I agree with Dr. Narayanan’s assessment that using AI to predict social outcomes is “fundamentally dubious,” but I don’t believe that AI is doomed to always be worse than humans at assessing job candidates for quality. This is not because we have reason to believe AI will ever be particularly good… Continue Reading

All we owe to animals It is not enough to conserve species and ecosystems

Aeon – We have an ethical duty to care for each individual animal on earth: “…Australia [has been] on fire. The fires have killed at least 25 humans and more than a billion animals. Animals such as koalas are especially at risk, since their normal response to threats – climbing to the tops of trees… Continue Reading

Banning facial recognition – it is not enough to ensure privacy

The New York Times Opinion – We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point. The whole point of modern surveillance is to treat people differently, and facial recognition technologies are only a small part of that. “…These efforts are well intentioned, but facial recognition bans are the wrong way to fight against modern surveillance. Focusing… Continue Reading

Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2019

“In Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2019, Nicole D. Porter highlights key changes in criminal justice policy achieved in 2019. Highlights include: Sentencing: California repealed a one-year sentence enhancement for each prior prison or county jail felony term, impacting 10,000 people. Felony Disenfranchisement: Nevada and New Jersey expanded voting rights to people on… Continue Reading

2020 Edelman Trust Barometer

“The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that despite a strong global economy and near full employment, none of the four societal institutions that the study measures—government, business, NGOs and media—is trusted. The cause of this paradox can be found in people’s fears about the future and their role in it, which are a wake-up call… Continue Reading

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

The New York Times – “A little-known start-up helps law enforcement match photos of unknown people to their online images — and “might lead to a dystopian future or something,” a backer says. Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow… Continue Reading

ICivics

“iCivics works to ensure every student in America receives a quality and engaging civic education and graduates from high school well prepared and enthusiastic for citizenship. With your support, that vision is within our reach. Today, more than 108,000 teachers and 6 million students in all 50 states utilize iCivics’ innovative and free online resources.… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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