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Category Archives: Legal Research

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….”

Under digital surveillance: how American schools spy on millions of kids

UK Guardian: “Bark and similar tech companies are now monitoring the emails and documents of millions of American students, across thousands of school districts, looking for signs of suicidal thoughts, bullying or plans for a school shooting. The new school surveillance technology doesn’t turn off when the school day is over: anything students type in… Continue Reading

How to create RSS Feeds from Twitter

RSS.app: “Twitter is a great tool to stay up-to-date with everything that is happening: news, hobbies and interests, celebrities and influencers. However, some users prefer to consume and monitor this information via RSS feeds using RSS readers or custom integrations within their own apps. RSS.app allows users to create RSS feeds from any public Twitter… Continue Reading

Alexa and Google Home abused to eavesdrop and phish passwords

ars technica – Amazon- and Google-approved apps turned both voice-controlled devices into “smart spies”. – “By now, the privacy threats posed by Amazon Alexa and Google Home are common knowledge. Workers for both companies routinely listen to audio of users—recordings of which can be kept forever—and the sounds the devices capture can be used in criminal… Continue Reading

Equifax used ‘admin’ as username and password for sensitive data: lawsuit

Yahoo Finance: “Equifax used the word “admin” as both password and username for a portal that contained sensitive information, according to a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia. The ongoing lawsuit, filed after the breach, went viral on Twitter Friday after Buzzfeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko came across the detail. “Equifax… Continue Reading

New Survey on Technology Use by Law Firms: How Does Your Firm Compare?

Via LLRX – New Survey on Technology Use by Law Firms: How Does Your Firm Compare? – Nicole L. Black recommends firm conduct a technology audit to review the need for software updates, to identify and replace outdated technology and applications, and to plan and implement migrating operations such as document management and time and… 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

How Amazon.com moved into the business of U.S. elections

Reuters: “The expansion by Amazon Web Services into state and local elections has quietly gathered pace since the 2016 U.S. presidential vote. More than 40 states now use one or more of Amazon’s election offerings, according to a presentation given by an Amazon executive this year and seen by Reuters. So do America’s two main… Continue Reading

The Wayback Machine: Fighting Digital Extinction in New Ways

Internet Archive Blogs: Extinction isn’t just a biological issue. In the 21st century, it’s a technical, even digital one, too. The average web page might last three months before it’s altered or deleted forever. You never know when access to the information on these web pages is going to be needed. It might be three… Continue Reading