Law and Legal
Politico: “Twitter will not allow the National Archives to make former President Donald Trump’s past tweets from his @realDonaldTrump account available on the social media platform, the company told POLITICO on Wednesday, in the latest display of Silicon Valley’s power over communications channels used by the U.S. government. The statement came as the National Archives and Records Administration has been working to create an official online archive of Trump’s tweets as president, including those that prompted Twitter to permanently suspend him earlier this year as a threat to public safety. NARA already maintains archives for the institutional and personal accounts of many other former Trump administration officials, in which the old tweets live on the Twitter platform and users can retweet, like and otherwise interact with them. Twitter’s decision is further fuel for a debate in Washington about social media companies’ control over users’ speech, amid Republican accusations that Silicon Valley’s giants are censoring conservatives. Just two days ago, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas lamented in a 12-page opinion that technology has placed “control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties,” suggesting Congress may need to step in. NARA spokesperson James Pritchett said that while the National Archives “is still exploring the best way” to make the @realDonaldTrump archival content public, the agency would defer to Twitter on whether that archive should be available on the social media site and would still post the preserved tweets to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library website…”
Vox – Can Americans travel right now? Kind of. Should Americans travel right now? That’s more complicated…”There’s been a lot of debate about the ethics of traveling right now. While some borders are technically open, it raises concerns about bringing Covid-19 to different countries and possibly infecting locals. Early on in the pandemic, for example, there were worries about tourists bringing Covid-19 to Hawaii. Although the state had a strict quarantine policy, the New York Times reports that their recently loosened restrictions have brought maskless tourists and a lack of consideration for Native Hawaiians, who are at higher risk for Covid-19. The swarms of Americans who are vacationing in Latin America and the Caribbean are possibly spreading the virus to Black and brown people there as well, seemingly without much care for how this might impact their lives. It’s especially important to consider that other countries are not getting vaccine doses at the rate the United States is. Wealthier countries have been essentially hoarding their supply of vaccines, creating an imbalance elsewhere. The health and safety of others should be a priority, even as more Americans get vaccinated. The variants of the virus are also important to keep in mind, although recent data has made doctors like Johnson somewhat optimistic about the efficacy of available vaccines. “The main variant of concern now in the United States is the B117 variant, which is the one that was first recognized in the UK. From the data that we have so far, the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine seem to remain very effective against this variant,” Johnson said…”
Sound United – Americans Working Remote Rely on Music to Sustain Energy and Health – “During an otherwise bleak 2020, many Americans report that listening to music helped reduce stress and depression, while boosting work productivity, according to a new study. Per the study, music was more important to improving happiness over watching Netflix or even exercising. Additionally, nine out of ten respondents reported listening to more music in the last year than prior to March 2020. This survey of 2,000 American adults was commissioned by global audio company Sound United LLC, parent company to high-end audio brands like Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Classé, and Bowers & Wilkins. The survey explored the importance of music on overall well being and healing, particularly during the Covid pandemic. Given the strong market growth in the audio and video sectors last year, Sound United sought to better understand how music was impacting people and learn more about how people were listening given the many drastic changes in our collective lives. Overall, respondents say that listening to music improves their mental health by helping them stay sane (85%), boosting productivity (85%) and greatly decreasing loneliness (79%). Specific to the pandemic, respondents report that music has become more important amidst the stresses of 2020 (79%), and that listening to a musician or song has been key to battling the Covid blues (74%). Looking toward the future, many view music as critical, with 58% reporting that music improves their ability to work, encourages exercise (42%), makes them a better employee (32%) and makes them a better parent (25%). In fact, if forced to choose between giving up social media or listening to music, 69% would give up their favorite social account…”
Follow up to 533 million Facebook users’ phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online, see also Mashable: “At this point, there’s a good chance your Facebook data has been hacked, sold, leaked, or generally misused by third parties. Now, at least in the case of the latest troubling Facebook-related incident which made the news over the weekend, there’s a way to know for sure. On Tuesday, Have I Been Pwned?, a “free resource for anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account of theirs having been compromised,” announced it had added to its searchable database the 533 million Facebook users’ phone numbers that are being swapped around by hackers. The site, run by data breach expert Troy Hunt, lets people input their phone number to check if they’re included in the scraped Facebook data set (which includes more than just phone numbers). If so, the site tells victims what was likely exposed, and what steps they can take to protect themselves…”
See also ZDNET – “…Conducting a regular and general privacy check on your social media profiles is always worthwhile, and this can include whether or not you allow others to look you up on Facebook through an email address or phone number….”
- company information, for example registered address and date of incorporation
- current and resigned officers
- document images
- mortgage charge data
- previous company names
- insolvency information
You can also set up free email alerts to tell you when a company updates its details (for example, a change of director or address)…”
Lipton, Jacqueline Deborah, Law and Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers (Introduction) (February 24, 2021). In Law and Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers, Jacqueline D. Lipton, University of California Press, 2020, U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2021-06, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3792186
“Drawing on a wealth of experience in legal scholarship and publishing, Professor Jacqueline D. Lipton provides a useful legal guide for writers whatever their levels of expertise or categories of work (fiction, nonfiction, academic, journalism, freelance content development). This introductory chapter outlines the key legal and business issues authors are likely to face during the course of their careers, and emphasizes that most legal problems have solutions so law should never be an excuse to avoid writing something that an author feels strongly about creating. The larger work draws from case studies and hypothetical examples to address issues of copyright law, including explanations of fair use and the public domain; trademark and branding concerns for those embarking on a publishing career; laws that impact the ways that authors might use social media and marketing promotions; and privacy and defamation questions that writers may face. Although the book focuses on American law, it highlights key areas where laws in other countries differ from those in the United States. The purpose of the book is to explain to those in the publishing industry, or contemplating venturing into the industry, the nuts and bolts of the law as it applies to authors.”
“[April 5, 2021], CBO updated its interactive tool—initially released in November 2019—that allows users to create custom policy options to examine how different approaches to changing the minimum wage would affect earnings, employment, family income, and poverty. The estimates shown in the tool were generated using the same methods underlying CBO’s most recent reports on minimum-wage increases: The Budgetary Effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, published in February 2021, and The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage, published in July 2019. This blog post provides some additional information about the tool’s estimates and the methods used to generate them.”
Goldsworthy, Daniel, The Future of Legal Education in the 21st Century (2020). (2020) 41(1) Adelaide Law Review 243., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3774736
“Technological progress will continue to fundamentally alter how we relate to each other and to our work, necessarily shaping the future of legal education. In considering its future direction, this article contemplates various perspectives regarding the purpose of legal education, and the pressures that may be brought to bear on pedagogical practices as a result of current and emerging technologies. Situating these considerations within the broader commentary regarding the future of work and the role of human beings in an age of automation, this article argues that the nature and type of skills taught to future lawyers, as well as the substantive knowledge relevant in the 21st century, will depend upon the irreducible value of human beings to the law and legal processes. Tasks that require creativity, complex reasoning or social intelligence (such as the ability to negotiate complex social relationships effectively) will remain the province of human beings. This must inform and shape legal education. Consequently, this article argues that the future of legal education is one that recognizes lawyers will increasingly be required to attain a broad, liberal education enabling interdisciplinary insights, creativity and social intelligence.”
Tech Republic: “The majority of people want flexible remote work to continue, but new research from Microsoft warns leaders that they’re out of touch with exhausted employees and need to plan if hybrid work is to be successful. Otherwise, they will lose staff — especially Gen Z workers. There have been plenty of smaller-scale studies showing how working habits, attitudes to remote work and plans for the future have changed during the pandemic, but the scale of Microsoft’s Work Trend Index — interviews with over 30,000 people across 31 countries, plus analysis of trillions of mails, messages, Teams meetings and other activity across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn — lends it more weight. Indeed, with the data representing “a global and cross-industry view on how work is changing”, Microsoft will be using it to guide product development and even reorganise some of its own offices, Kamal Janardhan, general manager of Microsoft 365 Insights told TechRepublic…”
“A BuzzFeed News investigation has found that employees at law enforcement agencies across the US ran thousands of Clearview AI facial recognition searches — often without the knowledge of the public or even their own departments. A controversial facial recognition tool designed for policing has been quietly deployed across the country with little to no public oversight. According to reporting and data reviewed by BuzzFeed News, more than 7,000 individuals from nearly 2,000 public agencies nationwide have used Clearview AI to search through millions of Americans’ faces, looking for people, including Black Lives Matter protesters, Capitol insurrectionists, petty criminals, and their own friends and family members. BuzzFeed News has developed a searchable table of 1,803 publicly funded agencies whose employees are listed in the data as having used or tested the controversial policing tool before February 2020. These include local and state police, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Air Force, state healthcare organizations, offices of state attorneys general, and even public schools. In many cases, leaders at these agencies were unaware that employees were using the tool; five said they would pause or ban its use in response to questions about it. Our reporting is based on data that describes facial recognition searches conducted on Clearview AI between 2018 and February 2020, as well as tens of thousands of pages of public records, and outreach to every one of the hundreds of taxpayer-funded agencies included in the dataset…”
Getty – How to use Google Arts & Culture’s Pocket Gallery to see a new Getty exhibition: “While the pandemic limits in-person strolls through museums, the Google Arts & Culture app invites art lovers to explore a gallery of paintings from Getty’s collection, without leaving home. The Getty Museum is partnering with Google Arts & Culture to launch a new exhibition in Pocket Gallery, an immersive exhibition feature within the Google Arts & Culture app that uses augmented reality to open up a life-size virtual space that you can literally step inside using your smartphone. In Pocket Gallery, you can select from a list of virtual exhibitions to immerse yourself in. Wander through virtual rooms with paintings displayed on the walls by physically moving your phone, or by using your finger to navigate on your phone screen. Get up close or zoom in to see the paintings in greater detail and learn more about each artwork. Getty’s exhibition is called Better Together: Join the Crowd in Celebrated European Paintings, and is inspired by the social gatherings so many of us are missing during the pandemic. The exhibition features four virtual rooms to explore, and each room displays about seven to ten paintings around a theme: City Life, Music and Merriment, A Breath of Fresh Air, and Around the Table…”
“It’s been a year like no other, and we aren’t talking about the pandemic. There were rapid-fire public offerings, surging cryptocurrencies and skyrocketing stock prices. The number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755–660 more than a year ago. Of those, a record high 493 were new to the list–roughly one every 17 hours, including 210 from China and Hong Kong. Another 250 who’d fallen off in the past came roaring back. A staggering 86% are richer than a year ago. Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest for the fourth year running, worth $177 billion, while Elon Musk rocketed into the number two spot with $151 billion, as Tesla and Amazon shares surged. Altogether these billionaires are worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion in 2020. The U.S. still has the most, with 724, followed by China (including Hong Kong and Macao) with 698. We used stock prices and exchange rates from March 5 to calculate net worths. See below for the full list of the world’s billionaires and our methodology.”
- For daily updated net worths of all 2,755 billionaires, check out our real-time billionaires rankings.
“From remote work to company culture and benefits, the pandemic has highlighted the things workers value most in employment. And if they do not have them, they’re preparing to seek them out when the time is right, according to a newly released Prudential survey. The Pulse of the American Worker Survey: Is This Working? A Year In, Workers Adapting to Tomorrow’s Workplace was fielded in March 2021—one year since many workplaces shut down on-site operations and employees began working remotely. The survey, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Prudential, polled 2,000 adults working full-time and found that 87% of American workers who have been working remotely during the pandemic would prefer to continue working remotely at least one day a week, post-pandemic. Among all workers, 68% say a hybrid workplace model is ideal. This is a double-digit percentage point jump from a similar question in a survey fielded last fall and indicates that the positive aspects of remote work, such as flexible schedules and reduced commute times, outweigh the challenges of isolation and increased work hours that workers cited. “Our survey shows that American workers want the benefit of remote work, but still see value in coming together in-person at least some of the time,” says Rob Falzon, Prudential vice chair. “For Prudential, working nine-to-five, five days a week in the office will be a relic of the past. A hybrid workplace is better for our business and our employees.” According to the survey, 42% of current remote workers say if their current company does not continue to offer remote work options long term, they will look for a job at a company that does. This signals that a “war for talent” may be looming if companies don’t address workers’ needs. A significant number of respondents said they switched jobs during the pandemic (20%) or plan to look for a new job when the threat of the pandemic decreases (26%). Among those planning to seek new employment post-pandemic, 80% say they are concerned about their career growth, compared to 49% of all workers. Additionally, the majority of this group (72%) are rethinking their skill sets (compared to 46% of all workers)…”
“A nine-month investigation by the Guardian and Consumer Reports found alarming levels of forever chemicals, arsenic and lead in samples taken across the US by Ryan Felton and Lisa Gill of Consumer Reports and Lewis Kendall for the Guardian – “In Connecticut, a condo had lead in its drinking water at levels more than double what the federal government deems acceptable. At a church in North Carolina, the water was contaminated with extremely high levels of potentially toxic PFAS chemicals (a group of compounds found in hundreds of household products). The water flowing into a Texas home had both – and concerning amounts of arsenic too. All three were among locations that had water tested as part of a nine-month investigation by Consumer Reports (CR) and the Guardian into the US’s drinking water. Since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, access to safe water for all Americans has been a US government goal. Yet millions of people continue to face serious water quality problems because of contamination, deteriorating infrastructure, and inadequate treatment at water plants. CR and the Guardian selected 120 people from around the US, out of a pool of more than 6,000 volunteers, to test for arsenic, lead, PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), and other contaminants. The samples came from water systems that together service more than 19 million people. A total of 118 of the 120 samples had concerning levels of PFAS or arsenic above CR’s recommended maximum, or detectable amounts of lead. Testing of the samples showed:
- More than 35% of the samples had PFAS, potentially toxic “forever chemicals”, at levels above CR’s recommended maximum.
- About 8% of samples had arsenic, at levels above CR’s recommended maximum.
- In total, 118 out of 120 samples had detectable levels of lead.
The study has some limitations: the quality of the water at one location on a single day doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the water supplied by an entire system or at other times. But the ambitious undertaking, with community water systems chosen by CR’s statisticians from a representative mix of systems across the country, provides a unique view into some of the most significant challenges in America’s ongoing drinking water crisis…” [h/t Pete Weiss] – How to test your drinking water –
CNET – “By the time a company tells you your data’s been stolen as part of a breach, your information may already be on the dark web. Here’s how to keep pace with the hackers. Your personal data’s been stolen, but you often won’t learn about it until long after Facebook, Equifax, Marriott, Yahoo, DoorDash or some other company you’ve trusted with your information notifies you that your birthday, Social Security or credit card number, health records or some other piece of personal information has been exposed in a data breach. With your stolen information, hackers can do everything from making purchases and opening up credit accounts in your name to filing for your tax refunds and making medical claims, all posing as “you.” What’s worse, billions of these hacked login credentials are available on the dark web, neatly packaged for hackers to easily download for free…”
- The Case for Law Practice Management Software – The software that lawyers relied on to run their firms used to be premise-based, but as reported by Nicole L. Black, in 2021 cloud computing software is the most prevalent. In fact, even before the pandemic, lawyers were adopting cloud-based legal software at higher rates than ever before. According to the 2020 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, 59% of lawyers surveyed were already already using cloud-based software pre-COVID. Notably, the results of another survey conducted by MyCase in mid-2020, showed the social distancing requirements of the pandemic have only served to accelerate this trend.
- Education and Academic Resources 2021 – Marcus P. Zillman’s guide comprises an extensive listing of resources and sites for students, researchers, teachers, infopros and parents, on multiple study areas. Sourced from academic, public, private, association and corporate sectors, the subject matters include: distance learning; MOOCs, lecture guides and study notes, study skill resources, online tutoring and homework help, free e-learning videos, scholarship resources and PhD, Dissertation, thesis, and academic writing resources.
- Women frequently experience sexual harassment at work, yet few claims ever reach a courtroom – Sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, including at least three from current or former aides, are a reminder of just how commonplace unwanted touching, propositioning and other inappropriate behavior is in the workplace. Professor Joseph A. Seiner’s research explores the prevalence of toxic work environments – like the one described in Albany, New York – and just how startlingly common sexual harassment at work is. Seiner’s work affirms the fact that even when women try to find justice by suing their alleged abusers, their cases rarely see a courtroom.
- Summer associate preparation – With the summer associate season upcoming, Caren Luckie offers suggestions to participants on how to maximize the in-person and virtual services and resources that will be available to them.
- It’s not just a social media problem – how search engines spread misinformation – Chirag Shah, Associate Professor in the Information School, University of Washington and Founding Director of InfoSeeking Lab, which focuses on issues related to information seeking, human-computer interaction (HCI), and social media. Shah’s research describes how search engines are not just one of society’s primary gateways to information and people, but they are also conduits for misinformation. Similar to problematic social media algorithms, search engines learn to serve you what you and others have clicked on before. Because people are drawn to the sensational, this dance between algorithms and human nature can foster the spread of misinformation.
- Review: Dennis Kennedy’s Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law – Jerry Lawson is a lawyer, speaker, author, advisor and leader in the field of legal technology. If you are looking to get better results from your organization, whether a law firm or other legal organization, Lawson believes you can’t do better than letting Dennis Kennedy’s recent book be your guide.Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 27, 2021 – Four highlights from this week: Algorithms That Curate Feeds & Tech Company Secrecy; Public Employees’ Use of Personal Phones, Tablets Puts Local Governments at Risk; How to Find Hidden Cameras Using Your Mobile Phone; and Why non-human workers can increase security issues in your business.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 27, 2021 – Five highlights from this week: How to Wipe a Computer Clean of Personal Data; Phishers’ perfect targets: Employees getting back to the office; Anyone with an iPhone can now make deepfakes; Massive camera hack exposes the growing reach and intimacy of American surveillance; and Federal Government Needs to Urgently Pursue Critical Actions to Address Major Cybersecurity Challenges.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 21, 2021 – Four highlights from this week: Please Stop Using Text Messaging to Receive Login Codes; How to poison the data that Big Tech uses to surveil you; Ulysses Group Claims It Can Track Nearly Any Car in Real-Time; and Google Can Be Sued for Tracking Users in Private Browsing Mode.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 14, 2021 – Four highlights from this week: A directory of direct links to delete your account from web services; Rep. Suzan DelBene’s New Bill Aims to Protect Privacy in US; Experts Find a Way to Learn What You’re Typing During Video Calls; and America, Your Privacy Settings Are All Wrong.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 6, 2021 – Four highlights from this week: You Can’t Launder Bitcoins!; You got a vaccine. Walgreens got your data; NSA Pushes Zero Trust Principles to Help Prevent Sophisticated Hacks; and Accidental Wiretaps: The Implications of False Positives By Always-Listening Devices For Privacy Law & Policy.
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Sneed, Thomas, The Effect of COVID-19 on Law Libraries: Are These Changes Temporary or a Sign of the Future? (2020). Washburn Law Journal, Vol. 60, No. 1, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3815908
“Due to the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the traditional roles of the library were altered spontaneously. These sudden changes, coupled with the reality that libraries often struggle for relevance in an ever-changing legal education landscape, force one to ask the existential question: what will come from this crisis and what will academic law libraries look like on the other side? This Article examines the responses from academic law libraries to COVID-19-related changes and emphasizes the need for strong communication skills and effective crisis management strategies from our library leaders, and also discusses which of the changes necessitated by the pandemic should be temporary and which of the changes speak to the future of academic law libraries.”
PCWorld – Best practices for storing and creating: “Picking the perfect password comes down to a battle between two competing priorities: creating safe passwords that are lengthy and unique, and creating ones you can remember. You might think to yourself, I already have more passwords than I need! I’ve created passwords for years! But with the rise of password breaches, and with more passwords exposed that are linked to usernames, a solid password strategy is becoming more essential every day. We’ll start out with the basics: the best ways to store passwords, and how to avoid using popular, easily-guessed passwords. Next we’ll dive into the fun stuff: strategies to pick complex, memorable passwords that have a good chance of surviving a password breach so you have time to change it…”
Tech Republic – “When a Replace task goes beyond the basics, it requires wildcards and specialized knowledge. Learn how to use specific wildcards to limit the number of characters in a search string. Microsoft Word’s Replace feature is a powerful tool that can take on just about any search task. The problem is that it is so powerful that users have trouble applying it beyond the basics. It’s easy to replace a literal value with another, but once you throw in a few conditions, the task becomes more complex. For example, do you know how to limit the number of characters in a search string? Do you know how to replace one or more characters in a search string while leaving other characters alone? In this article, we’ll tackle both problems in the same search task. Even if you’re an expert, you might learn something new…”