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Category Archives: Government Documents

Is This the Beginning of the End of the Internet?

The Atlantic: “Occasionally, something happens that is so blatantly and obviously misguided that trying to explain it rationally makes you sound ridiculous. Such is the case with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’s recent ruling in NetChoice v. Paxton. Earlier this month, the court upheld a preposterous Texas law stating that online platforms with more than 50 million monthly active users in the United States no longer have First Amendment rights regarding their editorial decisions. Put another way, the law tells big social-media companies that they can’t moderate the content on their platforms. YouTube purging terrorist-recruitment videos? Illegal. Twitter removing a violent cell of neo-Nazis harassing people with death threats? Sorry, that’s censorship, according to Andy Oldham, a judge of the United States Court of Appeals and the former general counsel to Texas Governor Greg Abbott. A state compelling social-media companies to host all user content without restrictions isn’t merely, as the First Amendment litigation lawyer Ken White put it on Twitter, “the most angrily incoherent First Amendment decision I think I’ve ever read.” It’s also the type of ruling that threatens to blow up the architecture of the internet. To understand why requires some expertise in First Amendment law and content-moderation policy, and a grounding in what makes the internet a truly transformational technology. So I called up some legal and tech-policy experts and asked them to explain the Fifth Circuit ruling—and its consequences—to me as if I were a precocious 5-year-old with a strange interest in jurisprudence…”

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

CRS Report – RL33514| Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?: “Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund. Under their intermediate assumptions and undercurrent law, the Social Security trustees project that the OASI trust fund will become depleted in 2034 and the DI… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Trust, Job Approval at Historical Lows

Gallup: “Forty-seven percent of U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the judicial branch of the federal government that is headed by the Supreme Court. This represents a 20-percentage-point drop from two years ago, including seven points since last year, and is now the lowest in Gallup’s… Continue Reading

Climate Change: Enhancing Federal Resilience

GAO – Climate Change: Enhancing Federal Resilience GAO-22-106061 Published: Sep 19, 2022. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2022. “Between fiscal years 2015 and 2021, selected appropriations for disaster assistance totaled $315 billion. Disaster costs are projected to increase as certain extreme weather events like drought or extreme rainfall become more frequent and intense because of climate… Continue Reading

FCC Targeting and Eliminating Unlawful Text Messages

“The Federal Communications Commission today proposed new rules to fight back against malicious robotext campaigns. The agency will take public comment on ideas to apply caller ID authentication standards to text messaging and require providers to find and actively block illegal texts before they get to consumers…The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released today proposes and… Continue Reading

GAO – Federal Agencies Lack Senior Leadership to Effectively Implement Privacy Programs

EPIC: “A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, prepared in consultation with privacy experts including EPIC Senior Counsel John Davisson, canvassed 24 federal government agencies and found that most have failed to fully implement statutory privacy requirements. The GAO found that despite the massive amount of personally identifiable information (PII) collected by these agencies and the… Continue Reading

All 50 states get green light to build EV charging stations covering 75,000 miles of highways

National Alternative Fuels Corridors: “The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designates a national network of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along national highway system corridors. To designate these Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC), FHWA solicits nominations from state and local officials and works with other… Continue Reading

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: CRS Products

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: CRS Products, September 20, 2022: “…CRS selected its products below by searching CRS.gov using the terms climate and greenhouse gas and through discussion with CRS subject matter experts. Products were selected from the search results and included here if they met the search criteria, contained substantial discussion of GHG mitigation, and have… Continue Reading

US politicians tweet far more misinformation than those in the UK and Germany

The Conversation: “Politicians from mainstream parties in the UK and Germany post far fewer links to untrustworthy websites on Twitter and this has remained constant since 2016, according to our new research. By contrast, US politicians posted a much higher percentage of untrustworthy content in their tweets, and that share has been increasing steeply since… Continue Reading

CREW urges Judicial Conference to implement judicial ethics rules

CREW: “The Judicial Conference—a national policymaking body for the federal courts…should implement a comprehensive prohibition on all federal judges and Supreme Court Justices owning or trading individual securities and develop a strong code of conduct for the Supreme Court. In a letter sent [September 20, 2022], CREW urges the Judicial Conference to act swiftly to… Continue Reading

The Data Liberation Project

Jeremy Singer-Vine: ” The Data Liberation Project is a new initiative I’m launching today to identify, obtain, reformat, clean, document, publish, and disseminate government datasets of public interest. Vast troves of government data are inaccessible to the people and communities who need them most. These datasets are inaccessible. The Process: Identify: Through its own research,… Continue Reading

Census.gov Design Refresh

“As part of our mission to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people, places and economy, the U.S. Census Bureau announced the launch of the refreshed census.gov website that is designed to present data in an even more user-friendly way. The Census Bureau conducted extensive customer research and usability testing to identify… Continue Reading