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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

The Covid Resilience Ranking

Bloomberg – The Best and Worst Places to Be in the Coronavirus Era – “…The Magic Formula?…The under-performance of some of the world’s most prominent democracies including the U.S., U.K. and India contrasted with the success of authoritarian countries like China and Vietnam has raised questions over whether democratic societies are cut out for tackling pandemics. Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking tells a different story: eight of the top 10 are democracies. Success in containing Covid-19 with the least disruption appears to rely less on being able to order people into submission, but on governments engendering a high degree of trust and societal compliance…The Ranking will change as countries switch up their strategies, the weather shifts and the race intensifies for a viable inoculation. Still, the gap that has opened up between those economies at the top and those at the bottom is likely to endure, with potentially lasting consequences in the post-Covid world….”

The Danger Of Deliberate Destruction Of Documents By President Donald Trump

WAMU Podcast – 1A – “President Donald Trump is known to be keen on controlling the flow of information surrounding himself and his businesses. He reportedly tears up notes or documents from White House meetings. He employs nondisclosure agreements in both his professional and personal life. And White House aides have been known to use apps… Continue Reading

Inside the Chaotic, Cutthroat Gray Market for N95 Masks

The New York Times – “As the country heads into a dangerous new phase of the pandemic, the government’s management of the P.P.E. crisis has left the private sector still straining to meet anticipated demand…The N95 respirator is emblematic of globalized capitalism: It is made out of fossil fuels, manufactured at enormous scale, often in… Continue Reading

‘Extremely aggressive’ internet censorship spreads in the world’s democracies

“The largest collection of public internet censorship data ever compiled shows that even citizens of what are considered the world’s freest countries aren’t safe from internet censorship. The University of Michigan team used its own Censored Planet tool, an automated censorship tracking system launched in 2018, to collect more than 21 billion measurements over 20… Continue Reading

Proposal to install spyware in university libraries to protect copyrights shocks academics

Coda Story – “A recent proposal recommending the deployment of surveillance software in order to monitor those accessing academic material has drawn fire from digital rights advocates and scientists. The plan was outlined on October 22 during a virtual webinar hosted by a consortium of the world’s leading publishers of scientific journals, featuring security experts discussing the threats posed… Continue Reading

Free software to create full copies of sites to archive

“HTTrack is a free (GPL, libre/free software) and easy-to-use offline browser utility. It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site’s relative link-structure. Simply open a… Continue Reading

The Potential Role Of Open Data In Mitigating The COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges And Opportunities

Health Affairs: “The scale and diffuse impact of the global 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetime. As of October 23, 2020, less than a year into the pandemic, there have been more than 41.7 million cases and more than one million deaths globally. Without a vaccine or widespread treatment access, the… Continue Reading

Growing Discomfort at Law Firms Representing Trump in Election Lawsuits

The New York Times via MSN – “There was Big Tobacco. There was the Bin Laden family. There was even the hated owner of the Cleveland Browns football team as he moved the franchise to Baltimore. Now Jones Day is the most prominent firm representing President Trump and the Republican Party as they prepare to… Continue Reading

Biden may have trouble unearthing Trump’s national security secrets

Politico: “From tearing up documents and hiding transcripts of calls with foreign leaders to using encrypted messaging apps and personal email accounts for government business, the Trump White House’s skirting of records preservation rules could limit the incoming Biden administration’s visibility into highly sensitive foreign policy and national security secrets….The Presidential Records Act, which requires… Continue Reading

In hunt for virus source W.H.O. let China take charge

The New York Times: “…Nine months and more than 1.1 million deaths later, there is still no transparent, independent investigation into the source of the virus. Notoriously allergic to outside scrutiny, China has impeded the effort, while leaders of the World Health Organization, if privately frustrated, have largely ceded control, even as the Trump administration… Continue Reading

You have rights when you go to vote – and many people are there to help if there’s trouble at the polls

Via LLRX – You have rights when you go to vote – and many people are there to help if there’s trouble at the polls – Despite all the challenges to this year’s election – long lines, calls for voter intimidation, baseless claims of fraud – voting is a fundamental civil right. As a political scientist… Continue Reading

Internal Documents Reveal COVID-19 Hospitalization Data The Government Keeps Hidden

NPR: “As coronavirus cases rise swiftly around the country, surpassing both the spring and summer surges, health officials brace for a coming wave of hospitalizations and deaths. Knowing which hospitals in which communities are reaching capacity could be key to an effective response to the growing crisis. That information is gathered by the federal government… Continue Reading