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Category Archives: Legal Research

Venice is watching tourists’ every move

CNN Travel – “They’re watching you, wherever you walk. They know exactly where you pause, when you slow down and speed up, and they count you in and out of the city. What’s more, they’re tracking your phone, so they can tell exactly how many people from your country or region are in which area, at which time. And they’re doing it in a bid to change tourism for the better. Welcome to Venice in a post-Covid world. The canal city may have been known as La Serenissima, or The Most Serene, during its centuries ruling the waves as the powerful Republic of Venice. In the past few years, however, things have become rather less serene, thanks to the almost 30 million visitors who descend each year on the city of just 50,000 inhabitants. Before Covid-19 struck, tourists were arriving in often unmanageable numbers, choking the main streets and filling up the waterbuses. Authorities had tried various measures, from introducing separate residents’ lines at major vaporetto (waterbus) stops to bringing in turnstiles that would filter locals from tourists on busy days. A planned “entrance tax,” due to debut in 2020, has been postponed to January 2022, due to the pandemic. But as well as controlling footfall, the authorities wanted to track tourism itself — not just by registering overnight guests but, in a city where the vast majority of visitors are daytrippers, by counting exactly who is in the city — and where they go…”

I looked at all the ways Microsoft Teams tracks users and my head is spinning

ZDNet – “…a couple of weeks ago Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declared, in an interview with the Financial Times, that Teams could soon be a digital platform as important as the internet browser. Yes, Microsoft Teams. This startled me a touch. The world seems to have moved rather quickly of late. I thought of all… Continue Reading

U.S. Secret Service: Threats to and Assaults on Presidents and Vice Presidents

CRS In Focus – U.S. Secret Service: Threats to and Assaults on Presidents and Vice Presidents, January 15, 2021: On January 6, 2021,Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress to certify the November 2020 presidential election electoral votes when a crowd breached the U.S. Capitol’s security. Due to these events,… Continue Reading

Misinformation dropped dramatically the week after Twitter banned Trump and some allies

Washington Post – Zignal Labs charts 73 percent decline on Twitter and beyond following historic action against the president -“Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods… Continue Reading

Institute breaks record in 2020, making laws easy to access

Cornell Chronicle – “As Congress prepared to certify the results of the November presidential election on Jan. 6, the law governing the counting of electoral votes was a trending topic on Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII), a pioneer in providing open access to U.S. legal information online. Those topics changed abruptly when a… Continue Reading

Biden Political Appointee Tracker

Washington Post – We’re tracking hundreds of positions here – “Presidents are required to fill roughly 4,000 politically appointed positions in the executive branch, including more than 1,250 that require Senate confirmation. The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service are tracking nominees for roughly 800 of those 1,250 positions, including Cabinet secretaries, chief… Continue Reading

The State of Online Harassment

“Stories about online harassment have captured headlines for years. Beyond the more severe cases of sustained, aggressive abuse that make the news, name-calling and belittling, derisive comments have come to characterize how many view discourse online – especially in the political realm. A Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults in September finds that 41%… Continue Reading

Self-pardon? It might not go how Trump thinks.

Politico: “An unprecedented move by President Donald Trump to grant himself a pardon during his remaining days in office could divide his handpicked Supreme Court majority. Court-watchers are bracing for an epic, intra-Federalist Society clash that could determine whether Trump — and future presidents — can declare themselves immune from criminal investigations even after leaving… Continue Reading

The Capitol attack set off a raging debate on Wikipedia: what to call it?

Fast Company – “‘Storming’? ‘Insurrection’? ‘Riot’? ‘Attempted coup’? On Wikipedia, where neutrality is prized above all, volunteers are still searching for the words….As facts came in, as editors double-checked and pruned according to Wikipedia standards, the text grew and shrank and grew again, so that only the most relevant verifiable and neutral language remained. “Once… Continue Reading

National Archives – Presidential Elections & Inaugurations

“Every four years, on the first Tuesday (after the first Monday) of November, we cast our votes for President of the United States. The National Archives and Records Administration has a unique role in the election process: NARA’s Office of the Federal Register administers the Electoral College. On the following January 20, the President of… Continue Reading

The Capitol Rioters Weren’t ‘Low Class’

The Atlantic – The business owners, real-estate brokers, and service members who rioted acted not out of economic desperation, but out of their belief in their inviolable right to rule: “They were business owners, CEOs, state legislators, police officers, active and retired service members, real-estate brokers [one of whom arrived in DC via private jet],… Continue Reading