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Category Archives: Government Documents

Libra: A Facebook-led Cryptocurrency Initiative

EveryCRSReport.com – Libra: A Facebook-led Cryptocurrency Initiative October 21, 2019: “On June 18, 2019, Facebook announced that, with 28 other members, it had founded the Libra Association, which planned to launch a new cryptocurrency, called Libra. The association released a white paper that outlined the characteristics of Libra and described its goal of creating a cryptocurrency that would overcome some of the challenges faced by other cryptocurrencies and deliver the possible benefits of the technology on a large scale. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin raised concerns about the Libra project, as did several Members of Congress during Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services hearings, although some Members were more welcoming of efforts to advance financial innovation. The House Financial Services Committee majority has drafted legislation that would effectively block the Libra project. Internationally, the G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed that Libra raises “serious regulatory and systemic concerns, as well as wider policy issues, which both need to be addressed before such projects can be implemented.” Subsequently and reportedly in part due to the level of official scrutiny of the project, several prominent members, such as eBay, Mastercard, PayPal, and Visa, withdrew from the Libra Association. This Insight briefly describes the potential benefits and concerns raised by Libra. For more information about cryptocurrencies and digital currencies, see CRS Report R45427, Cryptocurrency: The Economics of Money and Selected Policy Issues and CRS Testimony TE10034, Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain, by Rebecca M. Nelson….”

How Vladimir Putin Has Cracked Down on Russia’s Internet

Newsweek: “Russia President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that blocks websites and internet services offering Russians a loophole into viewing content banned in their country. The law, signed by Putin Saturday and published by the government Sunday, claims to combat the spread of extremism but once again shuts down an avenue used by many… Continue Reading

DHS has FOIA backlog in excess of 50,000 requests

Freedom of Information Act: DHS Needs to Reduce Backlogged Requests and Eliminate Duplicate Processing, GAO-20-209T: Published: Oct 17, 2019. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2019. “The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to provide the public with access to government records. The Department of Homeland Security continues to receive the largest number of FOIA… Continue Reading

Computers have an unlikely origin story: the 1890 census

FastCompany – David Lindsay Roberts – “The inventor of punched cards, which led to the first computers and companies like IBM, was aiming to solve a gnarly problem at the time: data collection for the census…The U.S. Constitution requires that a population count be conducted at the beginning of every decade. This census has always been charged… Continue Reading

BYU Law creates language database to help interpret Constitution

The Daily Universe: “The Constitution is America’s central legal document. However, it was written a long time ago, and language has since evolved. Changing language can make the law difficult for lawyers and judges to interpret.  What does it really mean to “bear arms?” How should readers understand the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors?” BYU… Continue Reading

Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free

ProPublica – Using lobbying, the revolving door and “dark pattern” customer tricks, Intuit fended off the government’s attempts to make tax filing free and easy, and created its multi-billion-dollar franchise. “…Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting product remains a steady moneymaker, but in the past two decades TurboTax, its tax preparation product, has driven the company’s steadily growing… Continue Reading

Census Bureau asks states for driver’s license records to produce citizenship data

WHYY – “The Census Bureau is asking states to voluntarily share driver’s license records as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to produce detailed data about the U.S. citizenship status of every person living in the country. According to a statement the bureau released Tuesday, the requests are in response to an executive order President… Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence, Legal Change, and Separation of Powers

Michaels, Andrew C., Artificial Intelligence, Legal Change, and Separation of Powers (September 24, 2019). 88 University of Cincinnati Law Review _ (2020, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3459069 “A number of prominent contemporary legal scholars have recently argued in favor of replacing human legal decision-making with Artificial Intelligence, assuming that AI technology improves to a level… Continue Reading

The Law & Politics of Cyberattack Attribution

Eichensehr, Kristen, The Law & Politics of Cyberattack Attribution (September 15, 2019). UCLA Law Review, Vol. 67, (2020, Forthcoming); UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-36. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3453804 “Attribution of cyberattacks requires identifying those responsible for bad acts, prominently including states, and accurate attribution is a crucial predicate in contexts… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 12, 2019

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, October 12, 2019 – 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