Law and Legal

Do Courts Have Inherent Authority to Release Secret Grand Jury Materials?

CRS Legal Sidebar via FAS – Do Courts Have Inherent Authority to Release Secret Grand Jury Materials? Michael A. Foster, Legislative Attorney, October 5, 2018. “The U.S. Constitution requires that any prosecution of a serious federal crime be initiated by “ a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.” The “[g]rand [j]ury” contemplated by the Constitution is a temporary, citizen-comprised body that obtains evidence and considers whether it is sufficient to justify criminal charges in a particular case. Though a grand jury works with federal prosecutors and functions under judicial auspices, it is considered an independent“ constitutional fixture in its own right ” that“ belongs to no branch of the institutional Government, serving as a kind of buffer…between the Government and the people.” One long-established principle that has been deemed essential to the grand jury’s functioning and independence is that matters occurring before it are to be kept secret. Secrecy prevents those under scrutiny from fleeing or importuning the grand jurors, encourages full disclosure by witnesses, and protects the innocent from unwarranted prosecution. For these and other reasons, prosecutors, the jurors themselves, and most others involved in grand jury proceedings are generally prohibited from revealing “such matters as the identities or addresses of witnesses or jurors, the substance of testimony, the strategy or direction of the investigation, the deliberations or questions of jurors, and the like.” The prohibition endures even after a grand jury’s work is completed. That said, Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), which enshrines the traditional rule of grand jury secrecy, establishes exceptions that allow grand jury materials (such as transcripts of witness testimony) to be disclosed to certain outside parties in limited circumstances. Some of these exceptions allow for automatic disclosure—to necessary government personnel, for example—but many of the exceptions require that disclosure be authorized by the federal di strict court in the jurisdiction where the jury is convened, as the court ultimately has some degree of “supervisory authority” over the grand jury. Rule6(e)(3)(E) provides in relevant part that the court“ may authorize disclosure . . . of a grand-jury matter” (1) preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding; (2) to a defendant who shows grounds may exist to dismiss the indictment because of something that occurred before the grand jury; or (3) at the request of the government, to a foreign court or prosecutor or to an “appropriate” state, state-subdivision, Indian tribal, military, or foreign government official for the purpose of enforcing or investigating a violation of the respective jurisdiction’s criminal law. Persons seeking court authorization under one of these exceptions must make a “strong showing of particularized need” that “outweighs the public interest in secrecy.”

Categories: Law and Legal

20 years after brutal murder Matthew Shepard will be interred at Washington National Cathedral

Washington Post [paywall] – His family didn’t bury his remains after Shepard was beaten and left to die near Laramie, Wyo., out of concern that the site would be desecrated: “When Matthew Shepard died on a cold night 20 years ago, after being beaten with a pistol butt and tied to a split-rail wood fence, his parents cremated the 21-year-old and kept his ashes, for fear of drawing attention to a resting place of a person who was a victim of one of the nation’s worst anti-gay hate crimes. But now with the anniversary of their son’s murder approaching on Friday, the Shepards have decided to inter his remains inside the crypt at Washington National Cathedral, where gay-equality activists say they can be a prominent symbol and even a pilgrimage destination for the movement. Although the cause of LGBT equality has made historic advancements since Shepherd was killed, it remains divisive in many parts of a country reembracing tribalism of all kinds…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Expert attorneys command 4 figure hourly billing fees

The Business Journals [paywall]: “Boston-based Ropes & Gray partner Douglas Meal, one of the most sought-after data privacy and cybersecurity attorneys in the country, typically charges $1,550 an hour for his services, according to a recent court filing. The filing offers a rare public glimpse into what some of the attorneys at Boston’s largest law firm bill on an hourly basis. It was made last week in a landmark case before a federal appeals court over the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to punish businesses for consumer data breaches. Ropes and other firms that worked on the case are asking the court to require the U.S. government to pay their attorneys’ fees, which is sometimes allowed in cases involving the government. Ropes’ client, an Atlanta medical laboratory named LabMD, is now out of business because of the litigation brought against it by the FTC [added link to FTC case summary, timeline and filings/documents], according to the firm. The appeals court sided with LabMD and against the FTC in the case. Ropes disclosed the typical hourly rates of Meal and other attorneys to show the court that they are offering to take a significant discount for their work on the case…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

Categories: Law and Legal

Report – To confront climate change, we need to democratize, decarbonize, and decommodify our energy resources

Follow-up to recent posting U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – global warming crisis and 10 year ticking clock please see this study via Brookings – Eco-Socialism or Bust – By Thea Riofrancos, Robert Shaw, Will Speck.

“To confront climate change, we need to democratize, decarbonize, and decommodify our energy resources. Broadly, our energy vision should center on the three D’s: decarbonize, democratize, and decommodify. Decarbonizing energy sources requires massive political confrontation with the fossil-fuel industry — a movement currently being led by the frontline communities most impacted by fossil-fuel extraction and its transformation — combined with federal and state-level policies that punish carbon emissions and a regulatory framework that encourages transition to renewable sources. Meanwhile, democratization and decommodification — the collective control of energy distribution that treats energy access as a human right rather than an opportunity for profit — are another point of entry. To achieve these ends, socialists must politicize the grid, and propose alternative visions of ownership and decision-making. In the United States, over two-thirds of electricity users are served by for-profit utilities. These private monopolies are often overseen by state-level energy commissions that are ripe for regulatory capture by Big Energy and the fossil-fuel industry. Even where utilities are publicly owned, technocratic governance structures provide limited fora for public input, let alone real democratic control. Building a bridge toward a socialist energy future requires a vision of a system that removes the profit motive from the delivery of utilities services and establishes energy as a universal human right alongside other basic human needs.

Ultimately, the three D’s of an eco-socialist energy vision are interconnected. If a transition away from fossil-fuel energy sources is absolutely necessary for human and planetary survival, the capitalist status quo of private, for-profit utilities is an obstacle to a sustainable future. Unlike coal, oil, and natural gas, solar and wind power are seasonally variable and unevenly distributed. Collective, democratic control of the energy grid is vital not only to put an end to fuel poverty and ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met, but to reliably combine and redistribute renewable energy sources. Our choices are eco-socialism or barbarism…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Municipal Equality Index rates 506 cities on 49 different metrics

Route Fifty: “A record-breaking 78 cities received perfect scores on the 2018 Municipal Equality Index, a Human Rights Campaign ranking system that measures “LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services.” “From San Antonio, Texas to Brookings, South Dakota—this year’s MEI again proves that there are no barriers to municipal LGBTQ equality for a city with dedicated, pro-equality elected officials,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Forward-looking leaders across the U.S. are stepping up, protecting their youth from so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ increasing anti-bullying protections, ensuring transgender city employees have access to inclusive health care benefits and protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in all areas of life.” The index rates cities on 49 different criteria, including non-discrimination laws, employment tendencies, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership’s public positions on equality. A perfect score totals 100, a grade given last year to 68 cities. This year’s index, the seventh, rates 506 cities, including all 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the country and the five largest municipalities in each state, among others. The 2018 index added several new benchmarks, including access for all genders to single-user public restrooms, protecting LGBTQ youth from bullying and if they have policies regarding conversion therapy, a largely discredited practice that attempts to stop people from being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The index also now deducts points for laws that include provisions that license discrimination against the LGBTQ community…” h/t Mary Whisner]

Categories: Law and Legal

What’s new to in October?

In Custodia Legis: “For this release the Enhancements include:
Enhancement – Advanced Legislation Search – Committee selection pages list all names

Enhancement – Search Results Navigation – Page through all amendments for a specific bill

  • From the Amendments tab of a bill with more than one amendment (for example, HR2810), click on an amendment in the list to see the full amendment record.
  • Use arrows to move to next or previous amendment without needing to return to the list.
  • Use Back to Amendments link to return to the list on the amendments tab of the bill.

Enhancement – Congressional Record Index Navigation – Page through all entries

  • Use arrows to move to next or previous entry in the Congressional Record index without needing to return to the main index page.
  • Use Back to Results link to return to your search results, or to the main index page if you are browsing.
  • Click on totals in each cell to see legislation with newly added information…”
Categories: Law and Legal

OECD – Job Creation and Local Economic Development 2018

Job Creation and Local Economic Development 2018 – Preparing for the Future of Work: “This third edition of Job Creation and Local Economic Development examines the impact of technological progress on regional and local labour markets. It sheds light on widening regional gaps on job creation, workers education and skills, as well as inclusion in local economies. Drawing on new data, it examines the geographical distribution of the risk of automation and whether jobs lost to automation are compensated by the creation of jobs at lower risk of automation. Building on data from labour force surveys, the report looks at the rise of non-standard work, highlighting the main regional determinants of temporary jobs and self-employment. Finally, it considers determinants of productivity and inclusion in regional and local labour markets, as well as policies to foster greater inclusion of vulnerable groups into the labour market. Individual country profiles provide an overview of regional labour markets and, among other things, an assessment of the performance in terms of “quality” jobs created among different regions.”

Categories: Law and Legal

More than 9 million broken links on Wikipedia are now rescued

Internet Archive Blog: “As part of the Internet Archive’s aim to build a better Web, we have been working to make the Web more reliable — and are pleased to announce that 9 million formerly broken links on Wikipedia now work because they go to archived versions in the Wayback Machine. For more than 5 years, the Internet Archive has been archiving nearly every URL referenced in close to 300 wikipedia sites as soon as those links are added or changed at the rate of about 20 million URLs/week. And for the past 3 years, we have been running a software robot called IABot on 22 Wikipedia language editions looking for broken links (URLs that return a ‘404’, or ‘Page Not Found’). When broken links are discovered, IABot searches for archives in the Wayback Machine and other web archives to replace them with. Restoring links ensures Wikipedia remains accurate and verifiable and thus meets one of Wikipedia’s three core content policies: ‘Verifiability’. To date we have successfully used IABot to edit and “fix” the URLs of nearly 6 million external references that would have otherwise returned a 404. In addition, members of the Wikipedia community have fixed more than 3 million links individually. Now more than 9 million URLs, on 22 Wikipedia sites, point to archived resources from the Wayback Machine and other web archive providers…”

Categories: Law and Legal

#femfacts combatting media disinformation

News Mavens: “#FemFacts is a Newsmavens consortium project dedicated to tracking and debunking damaging misrepresentations of women in European news media.

  • Why – With the evolution of the media landscape brought about by the digital disruption, Europe has seen a concerning increase in content propagating misleading, false or manipulative information pertaining to women. Whether based on stereotypes about women’s inherent predetermination for the “domestic”, or riding a wave of anti-feminist backlash, this misinformational has an adverse effect on the equal rights and opportunities, health and safety of women in regions throughout Europe. #FemFacts will reveal, debunk, comment and research the sources of this trend. We will promote our findings and create social media campaigns to strengthen media literacy and awareness via Newsmavens editorial channels.
  • HOW – Newsmavens dedicated #FemFacts team will follow a strict methodology designed to grade the accuracy of fact-checked claims and identify the nature of the misconception being promoted..”
Categories: Law and Legal

Pew – Women and Leadership 2018

“Two years after Hillary Clinton became the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party, and with a record number of women running for Congress in 2018, a majority of Americans say they would like to see more women in top leadership positions – not only in politics, but also in the corporate world – according to a new Pew Research Center survey. But most say men still have an easier path to the top and that women have to do more to prove their worth. And the public is skeptical that the country will ever achieve gender parity in politics or in business. Republicans and Democrats have widely different views about where things stand today and what factors are holding women back. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are more than twice as likely as Republicans and those who lean Republican to say there are too few women in high political offices (79% vs. 33%). And while 64% of Democrats say gender discrimination is a major reason why women are underrepresented in these positions, only 30% of Republicans agree. There are also wide gender gaps in views about women in leadership. About seven-in-ten women say there are too few women in high political offices and in top executive business positions; about half of men say the same. And women are far more likely than men to see structural barriers and uneven expectations holding women back from these positions. About seven-in-ten women – vs. about half of men – say a major reason why women are underrepresented in top positions in politics and business is that they have to do more to prove themselves. And while about six-in-ten women say gender discrimination is a major obstacle to female leadership in each of these realms, smaller shares of men say this is the case in the corporate world (44%) or in politics (36%). To a large degree, these gender gaps persist within parties. Among Republicans and Democrats, women are more likely than men to say there are too few women in political and corporate leadership positions, and there are substantial gender differences, particularly among Republicans, in views on the obstacles holding women back from these positions.

Despite the surge of female candidates this year, women are increasingly doubtful that voters are ready to elect more female leaders. A growing share cite this as a major reason why women are underrepresented in high political offices: 57% of women now say voters not being ready to elect women is a major reason, compared with 41% in 2014. Men remain much less likely to see this as a major impediment (32% of men do so). The survey also finds that Americans largely see men and women as equally capable when it comes to some key qualities and behaviors that are essential for leadership, even as a majority (57%) say men and women in top positions in business and politics tend to have different leadership styles. Among those who say men and women approach leadership differently, 62% say neither is better, while 22% say women generally have the better approach and 15% say men do…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Technology, Evidence, and Its Procedural Rules

Chasse, Ken, Technology, Evidence, and Its Procedural Rules (September 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

“The rules of procedure that govern proceedings concerning discovery, disclosure, and admissibility have to be flexibly applied to fit each technology that produces the evidence being dealt with because technology cannot be made to change its nature to suit rules of procedure. That is particularly important for those sources of very frequently used kinds of evidence such as, electronic records management systems (records now being the most frequently used kind of evidence), mobile phone tracking evidence, breathalyzer/intoxilyzer devices, and, TAR (technology assisted review) software programs that are used to conduct the “records review stage” of electronic discovery proceedings. Motivations to limit the time and cost of legal proceedings by limiting the issues to be decided are now outmoded because the more complex the sources of evidence become, the greater are the number and complexity of issues of law and fact that must be decided to determine the reliability of such evidence and adequacy of its production. And, the more complex a technology, the more ways it has to break down. And so, a motor vehicle has more ways, and therefore a greater probability to perform inadequately than does a bicycle. As a result, when society becomes dependent upon a more complex technology, legal proceedings must be expected to take longer and cost more. And so, mass transportation based upon motor vehicles, has imposed a vastly greater burden upon the justice system than did mass transportation based upon horses. But technology is constantly changing and so lawyers’ education has to change accordingly so that they can challenge the reliability of complex technology’s sources of evidence. Specialist legal research lawyers, able to advise all lawyers as to the nature and vulnerabilities of such technology will have to be formally recognized by law societies, and made available in law society-sponsored centralized legal research support services, operated at cost, per case so serviced. How else to provide the legal profession at large with such complex and ever-changing information with which to compose its cross-examinations and arguments adequately? That includes arguments as to why and how the rules of procedure must be flexibly applied so as to know, for example, the exact point at which the onus of proof can in fairness be transferred to the opposing party to provide “evidence to the contrary.” Given that technology is a constantly evolving, moving target, how to teach lawyers and law students about such factors as, software errors rates and architecture, the strengths and vulnerabilities of particular technologies, its national and international standards, and the requirements for its adequate manufacture, usage, and maintenance? Very little of that has an adequate legal infrastructure. Manufacturing motor vehicles allegedly does. Nevertheless, every year its manufacturers must recall millions of automobiles that they have inadequately made.

Technology that produces such evidence raises issues as to the reliability of software. The technical literature warns repeatedly, we trust software far too much. And so knowledge of technology is essential to “doing justice.” Otherwise, by default lawyers treat its sources of evidence as being infallible. It is far from that. And therefore, so are the rules of procedure that govern the use of such evidence. Blame lawyers; not judges. Judges must decide cases using only the evidence and argument provided by lawyers. Their purpose is to decide disputes; not to educate lawyers. The legal profession is just another industry that must keep up with technology in law and practice, or be bypassed by technology…”

Categories: Law and Legal

A Two-Minute Guide To Artificial Intelligence

Forbes: “If you keep hearing about artificial intelligence but aren’t quite sure what it means or how it works, you’re not alone.  There’s been much confusion among the general public about the term, not helped by dramatic news stories about how “AI” will destroy jobs, or companies that overstate their abilities to “use AI.”  A lot of that confusion comes from the misuse of terms like AI and machine learning. So here’s a short text-and-video guide to explain them..”

Categories: Law and Legal

Alexa, Should We Trust You? The voice revolution has only just begun

The Atlantic: “…Cynics of every age suspect their virtual assistants of eavesdropping, and not without reason. Smart speakers are yet another way for companies to keep tabs on our searches and purchases. Their microphones listen even when you’re not interacting with them, because they have to be able to hear their “wake word,” the command that snaps them to attention and puts them at your service. By 2021, there will be almost as many personal-assistant bots on the planet as people. The speakers’ manufacturers promise that only speech that follows the wake word is archived in the cloud, and Amazon and Google, at least, make deleting those exchanges easy enough. Nonetheless, every so often weird glitches occur, like the time Alexa recorded a family’s private conversation without their having said the wake word and emailed the recording to an acquaintance on their contacts list. Amazon explained that Alexa must have been awakened by a word that sounded like Alexa (Texas? A Lexus? Praxis?), then misconstrued elements of the ensuing conversation as a series of commands. The explanation did not make me feel much better. Privacy concerns have not stopped the march of these devices into our homes, however. Amazon doesn’t disclose exact figures, but when I asked how many Echo devices have been sold, a spokeswoman said “tens of millions.”

By the end of last year, more than 40 million smart speakers had been installed worldwide, according to Canalys, a technology-research firm. Based on current sales, Canalys estimates that this figure will reach 100 million by the end of this year. According to a 2018 report by National Public Radio and Edison Research, 8 million Americans own three or more smart speakers, suggesting that they feel the need to always have one within earshot. By 2021, according to another research firm, Ovum, there will be almost as many voice-activated assistants on the planet as people. It took about 30 years for mobile phones to outnumber humans. Alexa and her ilk may get there in less than half that time…”

Categories: Law and Legal

American democracy is fracturing. Libraries say they know how to help

Quartz: “Don’t mess with libraries. One economist learned that lesson the hard way in July after posting a story on Forbes arguing that Amazon should replace local libraries to save taxpayers money. The collective outrage of librarians and Twitter was so great that Forbes deleted the story from its site. The passionate defenders of libraries aren’t just up in arms about books. They say that in a fractured society, libraries are a crucial way to fight the ravages of scorched earth partisanship, rising social discord, and educational inequalities.

“Libraries are the last safe, free, truly public space where people from all walks of life may encounter each other,” says Philipp Schmidt, director of the MIT Media Lab’s Learning initiative, which launched a partnership with public libraries last year. “Where else can anyone legitimately go and spend time without a commercial angle anymore?”

As fault lines in the US deepen every day around class, race, political party, gender, and education, libraries are quietly providing the social glue that society seems to lack. Most have reading programs and career resources.  Some have media production studios and maker spaces. Millions use libraries for internet access, and to work. They are a first stop for immigrants, a place for parents to introduce their kids to reading—an essential gateway to learning—and where the the socially isolated go for human contact. They welcome the poor and the homeless. Some librarians and staff administer have even been trained to administer naloxene to those who have overdosed on opioids.

The library is quietly one of the places that is saving democracy,” says Tony Marx, president of the New York Public Library. If that sounds like self-serving hyperbole, consider: more people visited the New York Public Library last year (around 17 million) than all museum visits and sporting events in the city combined. In 2017, more than 1 million people attended the city’s early literacy programs; in 2018, enrollment in its English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) was at 15,586, up 100% from four years ago, and 523% from 2011…”

Categories: Law and Legal

6 Supreme Court cases to keep an eye on this term

MarketPlace: “The U.S. Supreme Court has been in the spotlight in recent weeks over the confirmation of its latest justice, Brett Kavanaugh. Now attention turns to the cases the fully staffed high court will consider this session. For more on what the new makeup of Supreme Court will mean for business and the economy, and some of the cases to watch, we spoke with Jessica Levinson, a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. The following is an edited conversation with Levinson…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Publishers Escalate Legal Battle Against ResearchGate

Inside Higher Education: American Chemical Society and Elsevier are again suing academic networking site ResearchGate in an attempt to stop it distributing copyrighted research papers.

“ResearchGate, a popular for-profit academic social network that makes it easy to find and download research papers, is facing increasing pressure from publishers to change the way it operates. On Tuesday, the American Chemical Society and Elsevier, two large academic publishers, launched a second legal battle against the Berlin-based social networking site — this time not in Europe, but in the U.S.The publishers accuse ResearchGate of “massive infringement of peer-reviewed, published journal articles.” They say that the networking site is illegally obtaining and distributing research papers protected by copyright law. They also suggest that the site is deliberately tricking researchers into uploading protected content. A spokesperson for ResearchGate declined to comment on the accusations. The court documents, obtained by Inside Higher Ed from the U.S. District Court in Maryland, include an “illustrative” but “not exhaustive list” of 3,143 research articles the publishers say were shared by ResearchGate in breach of copyright protections. The publishers suggest they could be entitled to up to $150,000 for each infringed work — a possible total of more than $470 million…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Comparing Survey Sampling Strategies: Random-Digit Dial vs. Voter Files

Pew – “Despite sparseness of telephone numbers, a national registration-based poll yielded estimates on par with a parallel random-digit-dial poll: “A new telephone survey experiment finds that, despite major structural differences, an opinion poll drawn from a commercial voter file can produce results similar to those from a sample based on random-digit-dialing (RDD). The study intentionally pushed the boundaries of current polling practices by employing a voter file and a registration-based sampling (RBS) approach as the basis of a full national sample. While voter files are widely used for election surveys at the state and local level, relatively few pollsters have employed them for national surveys. As a result, there are few settled best practices for how to draw national samples from voter files and how to handle missing phone numbers. The study also tackles the question of how successful voter files are in representing Americans as a whole, including those who are not registered to vote. This research was possible because voter file vendors are increasingly trying to provide coverage of all U.S. adults, including those who are not registered to vote, by combining state voter rolls with other commercially available databases. On the large majority of survey questions compared (56 of 65), RBS and RDD polls produced estimates that were statistically indistinguishable. Where the polls differed, the RBS results tilted somewhat more Democratic than the RDD results. An analysis of survey participation among registered voters in the RBS sample found that any partisan differences between RDD and RBS surveys are unlikely to be the result of too many Democrats responding. In fact, the set of confirmed registered voters who participated in the RBS survey were somewhat more Republican than the national voter file as a whole in terms of their modeled partisanship (38% vs. 33%, respectively). The routine demographic weighting applied to the sample corrected most of this overrepresentation…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

Categories: Law and Legal

Profiling Who ICE Detains – Few Committed Any Crime

The vast majority (58%) of individuals in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody as of June 30, 2018 had no criminal record. An even larger proportion – four out of five – either had no record, or had only committed a minor offense such as a traffic violation. Case-by-case records on each of these 44,435 individuals held in ICE custody were recently obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. These data provide a detailed snapshot of ICE custody practices. Individuals were mainly from four countries. Forty-three percent were from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, while an additional 25 percent were Mexicans. At least 18 percent had resided continuously in the U.S. for ten years or more, and one out of four had been in the country for at least five years. Many individuals had been held in ICE custody for a relatively short period of time. Forty-one percent had thus far stayed in ICE custody for 30 days or less. At the other extreme, almost 2,000 individuals had been detained for more than a year, and a few individuals had already been continuously detained according to ICE records for over ten years. The data document the dominance of private for-profit prisons in the large-scale detention of ICE detainees. Overall, fully 71 percent of detainees were housed in facilities operated by private companies. The rest of the facilities were operated by government, including by counties, cities, and the federal government. Texas held 29 percent of all ICE detainees.”

Read the full report at:

Categories: Law and Legal

Brookings – A blueprint for the future of AI

John R. Allen – President, The Brookings Institution: “Emerging technologies of the 21st century are poised to fundamentally transform modern society. Artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and other emerging technologies are upending everything from transportation to manufacturing to health care, and as these and related technologies mature, they will have far-reaching impacts over our work, our lives, our security, and our politics. From gene-editing to quantum computing, each of these technologies represent substantial challenges and novel solutions to myriad problems, and are just a glimpse of what the future holds. And if society is to fully embrace the full range of social and political changes that these technologies will introduce, then we need to be thinking now about how best to maximize the benefits of these technologies while minimizing the risks to humanity along the way. The research community has a critical role to play in informing policymakers of the coming challenges associated with emerging technologies, and here, Brookings intends to be a leader. As a part of a new effort, an impressive assembly of the Institution’s scholars have stepped forward to address the complex challenges associated with emerging technologies within the context of their relevant areas of expertise. Each of the papers in this series grapples with the impact of an emerging technology on an important policy issue, pointing out both the new challenges and potential policy solutions introduced by these technologies. This compendium showcases in no uncertain terms the enormity of the changes to come, as well as many of the key policy imperatives as we move forward in the 21st century.” [h/t Mary Whisner]

Categories: Law and Legal

IMF – World Economic Outlook October 2018

“The World Economic Outlook (WEO) database contains selected macroeconomic data series from the statistical appendix of the World Economic Outlook report, which presents the IMF staff’s analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups and in many individual countries. The WEO is released in April and September/October each year. Use this database to find data on national accounts, inflation, unemployment rates, balance of payments, fiscal indicators, trade for countries and country groups (aggregates), and commodity prices whose data are reported by the IMF. Data are available from 1980 to the present, and projections are given for the next two years. Additionally, medium-term projections are available for selected indicators. For some countries, data are incomplete or unavailable for certain years. The World Economic Outlook (WEO) database is now available in SDMX format from our Entire Dataset page. For more information about SDMX, please visit”

Categories: Law and Legal


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