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Category Archives: E-Records

Government secrecy is growing during the coronavirus pandemic

The Conversation: “Students at the University of Florida who want to know how they are being protected from the COVID-19 pandemic can’t find out. The university is hiding its emergency response plan under a legal loophole intended to keep terrorists and enemy combatants – not viruses – from exploiting government weaknesses. Since the spread of coronavirus accelerated in recent weeks, local, state and federal officials throughout the United States have locked down information from the public. Examples include:

  • The city of Palestine, Texas, banned a news reporter from a city council meeting on March 23, even though fewer than a maximum of 10 people would be in the room, and did not allow the public to listen in on the meeting through a toll-free phone number, as required by state law.
  • The Council of the District of Columbia decided on March 19 that district employees do not have to respond promptly to public records requests any more.
  • The FBI no longer accepts requests for information online or by email because of the virus. If anyone wants information they must mail their request, which ironically is more apt to pass along the virus…”

ACUS Launches Webpage to Help Agency Adjudication Offices Navigate Coronavirus

“The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) is pleased to announce the launch of a new webpage to help federal agency adjudication offices navigate challenges posed by the ongoing national emergency surrounding COVID-19. The new webpage compiles relevant orders, policies, news releases, and other statements related to federal agencies’ responses to the ongoing situation. It includes… Continue Reading

How Much Data Does Clearview Gather On People?

TechDirt – The Answer (Sadly) Will Not Surprise You – “Clearview’s facial recognition app links to a database of 4 billion pictures. And those photos are linked to all the data that got scraped up with them, culled (without permission) from sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn… pretty much anywhere people post photos and personal information. There’s… Continue Reading

How to Digitize Your Most Important Documents

The New York Times – If you have some spare time at home and want a productive project, consider creating a digital archive of your personal papers.  “While this week’s World Backup Day is typically celebrated most by hard-drive makers and data-storage services, it’s supposed to make people remember to back up their computers. But… Continue Reading

NYC launches portal to crowdsource COVID-19 information

StateScoop – “New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications this week launched a new website aimed at getting residents to contribute to the city’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic by self-reporting symptoms or encounters with people who may have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 illness. The “NYC COVID-19 Engagement Portal” is designed… Continue Reading

Commentary – Maybe we shouldn’t use Zoom after all

FBI warns Zoom, teleconference meetings vulnerable to hijacking: “…The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language,” the FBI cautioned. “As individuals continue the transition to online lessons and meetings, the FBI recommends exercising due diligence and caution in your cybersecurity efforts..to prevent against unwanted participants… Continue Reading

Smartphone data reveal which Americans are social distancing (and not)

Washington Post – “If you have a smartphone, you’re probably contributing to a massive coronavirus surveillance system. And it’s revealing where Americans have — and haven’t — been practicing social distancing. On Tuesday, a company called Unacast that collects and analyzes phone GPS location data launched a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” that grades, county by county,… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues March 22, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues March 22, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

What your health plan will cover if you get coronavirus

Washington Post “In his prime-time speech, President Trump announced Wednesday night [March 11, 2020] that health insurers had pledged to eliminate “all co-payments for coronavirus treatments” and “extend insurance coverage to those treatments. That is not exactly correct. A broad swath of the nation’s private health insurers has agreed to waive the charges for a… Continue Reading

Dressing for the Surveillance Age

The New Yorker – As cities become ever more packed with cameras that always see, public anonymity could disappear. Can stealth streetwear evade electronic eyes? By John Seabrook: “…Advances in computer vision have occurred so rapidly that local and national privacy policies—what aspects of your face and body should be protected by law from surveillance machines—are… Continue Reading

Key Source of COVID-19 Testing & Infection Data

TPM – Josh Marshall: “This seems to be the best and really only source of information I’ve seen with detailed and frequently updated data on the rate of COVID-19 testing and infections broken down by states within the United States. This is the breakdown by states. [Per the author – The utility is that it… Continue Reading