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Category Archives: Legal Research

NARA Drives Govt Transition to All-Electronic Records

Secrecy News: “The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is embarking on an ambitious effort to phase out the acquisition of paper records by 2022 and to transition to all-electronic record keeping. The White House Office of Management and Budget has endorsed the initiative and has directed all federal agencies to adopt exclusively electronic formats for managing permanent records. But the move is generating anxiety about the feasibility of the transition and the possible unanticipated consequences for public access to government records. “The most significant part of [the new policy is the provision for NARA] to stop accepting paper records by December 31, 2022,” wrote David S. Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, in a June 28 notice to NARA employees. Accordingly, the Acting Director of OMB directed all agency heads to plan to operate all but exclusively in an all-electronic environment.

By December 31, 2022, all permanent records in Federal agencies will be managed electronically to the fullest extent possible for eventual transfer and accessioning by NARA in an electronic format,” the June 28 OMB memo stated. After 2022, agencies will be obliged to convert any remaining permanent analog records in their possession to digital formats for transfer to NARA. The new policy shows some signs of carelessness in its formulation. The paragraphs in the OMB memorandum are incorrectly numbered. The text includes reference to a “section 2.2” which does not exist. Meanwhile, several more substantial concerns have been raised by dissenting observers and employees. “There are significant and crucial [paper] records that have not been, and will not be, transferred into the system by 2022,” said one records specialist who is critical of the new policy. These include some original Department of State SCI-level records dating back to the 1940s, as well as many classified original records from CIA, NRO, NSA, DoD/OSD, and FBI that have been withheld from the National Archives…”

Anti-Piracy Efforts Are Unlikely to Beat Sci-Hub

Follow-up to previous posting with related links – Elsevier sends copyright threat to site for linking to Sci-Hub – see Torrent Freak – “Elsevier and other academic publishers see ‘pirate’ site Sci-Hub as a major threat to their billion-dollar industries. Many researchers, however, can’t function properly without the notorious site. Since anti-piracy efforts are unlikely… Continue Reading

Cutting the Funding of Disinformation: The Ad-Tech Solution

Global Disinformation Index: “Based on our research, we have mapped out how there is an unchecked funding line provided to disinformation domains thanks to online ads automatically placed by ad exchanges on them.” The world wide web turned 30 years old in 2019. Since its invention, how we live our lives online – and off… Continue Reading

Attempting to to keep your name and address off the internet – not easy

Cory Doctorow – Boing Boing – A tip on how to keep your name and address off the internet. “There are dozens of free “peoplefinder” sites that buy up commercial databases and combine them with other sources to make your home address searchable. You can find instances where this has happened to you by googling… Continue Reading

The Regulation of Cryptocurrencies – Between a Currency and a Financial Product

Jabotinsky, Hadar Yoana, The Regulation of Cryptocurrencies – Between a Currency and a Financial Product (February 7, 2018). Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper No. 18-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3119591 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3119591  – “As cryptocurrencies gain popularity, the issue of how to regulate them becomes more pressing. The attractiveness of cryptocurrencies is due in… Continue Reading

ABA Profile of the Profession 2019 Survey

“The growth of the legal industry has slowed in recent years, according to the 2019 ABA National Lawyer Population Survey, a tally of lawyers by every state bar association and licensing agency.In the past year, from 2018 to 2019, the number of active lawyers grew 0.7%. It was the third time in the past four… Continue Reading

ABA Votes to Urge Legal Profession to Address Emerging Legal and Ethical Issues of AI

Robert Ambrogi – LawSites: “The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, its policy-making body, voted this week to approve a resolution urging courts and lawyers to address the emerging ethical and legal issues related to the usage of artificial intelligence in the practice of law. Among the AI-related issues the profession should address, the ABA… Continue Reading

African Law for Everyone: AfricanLII and Laws.Africa

DipLawMatic Dialogues – “On Monday, July 15, 2019, the 2019 Schaffer Grant recipient, Mariya Badeva-Bright, who leads the AfricanLII project at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (and recently co-founded Laws.Africa, a legislative commons), delivered a fantastic presentation titled “African Law for Everyone: AfricanLII and Laws.Africa.” Mariya’s presentation was a summary of her motivations… Continue Reading

Capital One hacker took data from more than 30 companies, new court docs reveal

ZDNet: “Paige A. Thompson, the hacker accused of breaching US bank Capital One, is also believed to have stolen data from more than 30 other companies, US prosecutors said in new court documents filed today and obtained by ZDNet. “The government’s investigation over the last two weeks has revealed that Thompson’s theft of Capital One’s… Continue Reading

What is Section 230 and why does Donald Trump want to change it?

MIT Technology Review – This provision of the Communications Decency Act is being blamed for everything from social-media bias to enabling revenge porn. Here’s how to understand the law that created the modern internet. “Section 230 is one of the pieces of legislation that allowed today’s internet—and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—to develop. Now, it’s being… Continue Reading

Ethical ‘Fails’: Social Media Pitfalls and In-House Counsel

Law.com: “It’s an incredibly wired world we live in. Over 82% of the adult American population has at least one social networking profile, and in a single minute we’ll witness 293,000 status updates posted to Facebook, more than 360,000 tweets on Twitter, and roughly 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube. And while lawyers have… Continue Reading

Google’s jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals

Reuters: “Google’s fast-growing tool for searching job listings has been a boon for employers and job boards starving for candidates, but several rival job-finding services contend anti-competitive behavior has fueled its rise and cost them users and profits. In a letter to be sent to European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday and seen… Continue Reading