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Category Archives: E-Records

AALL Calls on Congress to Improve Access to Electronic Records of Federal Court System

“The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is advocating for the passage of the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus. This legislation would, for the first time, allow free access to electronic federal court records through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system and improve the efficiency and transparency of the courts. AALL coordinated a letter signed by 15 other organizations—including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Data Coalition, and the Project on Government Oversight—urging passage of the bill. “Access to the law, and information about the law, is the cornerstone of any democracy. The American Association of Law Libraries has long advocated for no-fee access to federal court records through PACER,and the Electronic Court Records Reform Act would finally make that vision a reality,” said Femi Cadmus,president of AALL. “Eliminating PACER fees will improve transparency of the courts and allow law libraries to preserve and provide access to court records.

We urge Congress to enact this legislation.”The Electronic Court Records Reform Act would: Consolidate the case management/electronic case files system and require all documents in the system be searchable, machine-readable and available to the public and to parties before the court free of charge; Protect private information, requiring the courts to redact any information prohibited from public disclosure…”

Consumer privacy concerns as Amazon buys Eero net routers

Consumer Reports: “Amazon’s agreement to buy the wireless router manufacturer Eero could make it easier for homeowners to manage a wide array of wireless devices, like smart thermostats and video doorbells, according to analysts and Consumer Reports’ in-house experts. But some of them expressed concern over how often high-profile startups get bought by the tech… Continue Reading

Terabytes of Enron data have quietly gone missing from the Department of Energy

Muckrock – Two terabytes on the 2000-2001 Western Energy Crisis were unpublished by FERC, and not even its custodians know why: “Government investigations into California’s electricity shortage, ultimately determined to be caused by intentional market manipulations and capped retail electricity prices by the now infamous Enron Corporation, resulted in terabytes of information being collected by the… Continue Reading

Seven Out of Every Ten Open Vulnerabilities Belong to Just Three Vendors

Computer Business Review: “Seven out of every ten open vulnerabilities observed by customers belongs to just three vendors, Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe. These are the findings of cyber security enterprise Kenna Security in their new report Prioritization to Prediction, which explores how enterprises are dealing with open vulnerabilities. In their report Kenna found that Oracle… Continue Reading

Google’s Sidewalk Labs Plans to Package and Sell Location Data on Millions of Cellphones

The Intercept: “Most of the data collected by urban planners is messy, complex, and difficult to represent. It looks nothing like the smooth graphs and clean charts of city life in urban simulator games like “SimCity.” A new initiative from Sidewalk Labs, the city-building subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has set out to change… Continue Reading

Best VPN services of 2019: Reviews and buying advice

PCWorld: “Choosing the right virtual private network (VPN) service is no simple task. A VPN should keep your internet usage private and secure, but not every service handles your data in the same way. Just look at the critiques of notable computer security experts and online pundits to understand the challenge. (Want to know more… Continue Reading

Report – world has become more “permissionless” because of the diminished power of traditional gatekeepers

Via Axios – PERMISSIONLESS: What It Means, How It Happened, Will it Last: “While the Internet revolution enabled “permissionless” business models in finance, entertainment & politics, such unregulated disruptors are under growing attack. From the tech sector to the White House, many object to the divisions these new actors exacerbate or the externalities they often… Continue Reading

The Federal Government Offers a Case Study in Bad Email Tracking

EFF: “The U.S. government sends a lot of emails. Like any large, modern organization, it wants to “optimize” for “user engagement” using “analytics” and “big data.” In practice, that means tracking the people it communicates with—secretly, thoroughly, and often, insecurely. Granicus is a third-party contractor that builds communication tools to help governments engage constituents online.… Continue Reading

Why the PDF Is Secretly the World’s Most Important File Format

Motherboard – The story of the PDF, the file format that’s become one of the internet’s defining information tools. It’ll be with us after we’re long gone. “The Portable Document Format, or PDF, is everywhere. But it’s still a format that causes headaches for the average person. Just take former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort,… Continue Reading

Playing with data and its consequences

First Monday – Volume 24, Number 1 – 7 January 2019 > Gutiérrez. https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v24i1.9554 “The fundamental paradigm shift brought about by datafication alters how people participate as citizens on a daily basis. “Big data” has come to constitute a new terrain of engagement, which brings organized collective action, communicative practices and data infrastructure into a… Continue Reading

Our Cellphones Aren’t Safe

Opinion | Our Cellphones Aren’t Safe – The New York Times: “Security flaws threaten our privacy and bank accounts. So why aren’t we fixing them? America’s cellular network is as vital to society as the highway system and power grids. Vulnerabilities in the mobile phone infrastructure threaten not only personal privacy and security, but also… Continue Reading

How to Delete Online Accounts You No Longer Need

Consumer Reports – Having too many digital accounts raises your risk of data being misused or stolen. Here’s how to clean house. By Thomas Germain. December 27, 2018 [h/t Pete Weiss] “Deleting online accounts is one of the best ways to protect your data security and privacy. The less data you have stored on corporate databases… Continue Reading