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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

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

An elegy for cash: the technology we might never replace

MIT Technology Review – Cash is gradually dying out. Will we ever have a digital alternative that offers the same mix of convenience and freedom? – “This is a feature of physical cash that payment cards and apps do not have: freedom. Called “bearer instruments,” banknotes and coins are presumed to be owned by whoever holds… Continue Reading