Law and Legal

Gun Law TrendWatch 2018 Mid-Year Review

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence: “In 2018, a new wave of youth-led activism has spurred sweeping gun safety reforms across the nation. Mass shootings, far too common in our country, are often the catalysts for safer gun laws. After a gunman used a bump stock to kill 58 people and wound hundreds of others in Las Vegas in 2017, eight states banned these and other trigger activators. This year, the surge of youth activism following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, motivated state lawmakers to enact the strongest improvements to state gun laws in years, including two states raising the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21. While much of the legislation following mass shootings has been tailored to address this specific type of gun violence, lawmakers have also responded with broad policies to save lives from many types of shootings. In the first half of 2018, nine states passed legislation to keep guns away from domestic abusers, six enacted laws to improve background checks, and eight enacted measures to fund urban violence reduction programs. Undoubtedly, though, the laws with the greatest momentum in 2018 were extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws, which allow law enforcement, family members, and/or other designated members of the community to temporarily disarm a person in crisis. In addition to preventing mass shootings, ERPO laws can also prevent everyday gun deaths from suicide and stalking. Eight states, including Florida, have enacted ERPO laws so far this year…”

Categories: Law and Legal

American Airlines, TSA Testing New State-of-the-Art Screening Technology in New York

American Airlines Newsroom: “Research and development efforts have shown that CT is the most consequential technology available today for airport checkpoints worldwide. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), working collaboratively with American Airlines, is demonstrating a new computed tomography (CT) scanner at the Terminal 8 security checkpoint at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). State-of-the-art CT checkpoint technology is an enhancement to today’s two-dimensional (2-D) X-ray technology platforms scanning equipment, which is used at the majority of security checkpoints worldwide. Because CT technology is three dimensional (3-D), this new checkpoint technology has the potential to provide better visibility and allow the operator to rotate the bag’s image 360 degrees to show the contents of carry-on items at every angle. CT provides the capability to virtually see beyond unwanted clutter and greatly enhances the ability to visually inspect the contents of carry-on bags for explosives and other prohibited items. CT technology improves detection capability by more effectively detecting threats, thereby increasing overall security effectiveness. This results in more effective security screening at the security checkpoint. In the future, CT could offer the opportunity for passengers to leave liquids, gels and aerosols, as well as laptops, in their carry-on bags at all times. Deployment of this technology, both in the United States and abroad, is a critical component of raising the global aviation security baseline…”

 

Categories: Law and Legal

Former WH Stenographer reminds us – With No Official Transcript, Trump Can Muddle The Truth

NPR: “…Beck Dorey-Stein was Barack Obama’s…White House stenographer…part of a team responsible for going anywhere the president went, recording his every public utterance and then transcribing it for posterity. “Especially whenever he spoke with press, he made sure, just like the previous presidents did, that there was a stenographer in the room so that there was no miscommunication or confusion about what exactly was said,” says Dorey-Stein. She writes about the experience in her new memoir, From the Corner of the Oval. In an interview with Noel King for NPR’s Morning Edition, Dorey-Stein says “everything changed” with the inauguration of President Trump, whose team “didn’t know that stenographers existed.” She recounts how during the transition, it took her boss multiple tries before she was even able to get past a young press wrangler to introduce herself to the incoming West Wing staff. Things didn’t improve much from there. In a New York Times op-ed published last week, Dorey-Stein writes about how Stephanie Grisham, now the communications director for the first lady, told a colleague that White House stenographers would not be needed often, because “there would be video.”  “This seems like a fair point,” says Dorey-Stein, “unless you really know audio.” The audio that’s taken from media video might change or get trimmed during the editing process, she says. “We see that with music videos, so the idea of it just being like, ‘Oh, of course, we can just have this on video,’ it’s not the same.”

“We type up our transcripts from our audio, so it hasn’t been tampered with and it not only goes to the press office, the press, but also the presidential archive,” she says. “That’s really important to have an accurate recording at all times, especially when the press is involved, just to make sure that we are recording the truth and that no one has complicated that.” [emphasis added]…

Categories: Law and Legal

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate Questionnaire released to the public

BuzzFeed News: “On June 27, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his plan to retire from the US Supreme Court around midday. Later that same afternoon, White House counsel Don McGahn called Judge Brett Kavanaugh about replacing him. That’s according to the timeline that Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Kennedy, laid out in a Senate questionnaire released Saturday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh’s account sheds new light on the events that took place in the two weeks between Kennedy’s announcement and Trump’s East Room ceremony on July 9 introducing Kavanaugh as his nominee. The White House announced in November that Trump had added Kavanaugh and four other judges to his Supreme Court shortlist. Kavanaugh did not indicate any contact with the White House before news of Kennedy’s retirement broke late last month, however; the questionnaire asked him to describe his “experience in the entire judicial selection process.” Two days after the initial call with McGahn on June 27, Kavanaugh wrote that he then met in person with McGahn. That was a Friday. Two days later, on July 2 — a Monday — Kavanaugh met with Trump, along with McGahn. On Wednesday, two days later, he met with Vice President Mike Pence, again with McGahn and also with Pence’s counsel present. On July 8, a Sunday, Kavanaugh said he spoke with Trump by phone in the morning. That evening, Kavanaugh was at the White House to meet with Trump and first lady Melania Trump, when the president offered him the nomination and Kavanaugh accepted. Later that evening, he spoke again with McGahn. That left 24 hours until Trump’s public, televised announcement on the evening of July 9. The White House managed to keep Kavanaugh’s nomination under wraps until minutes before the ceremony, although he was considered the frontrunner from day one.

The future of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision that established a nationwide right to abortion, is a flashpoint in the fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination. He’s only handled one case about abortion in his 12-year tenure on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, and is expected to face robust questioning from Democrats about that case, as well as about his thoughts on Roe and abortion rights more broadly, when he has a hearing. The judiciary committee also posted copies of Kavanaugh’s speeches and writings over the years. Senate Democrats are pushing for the release of White House documents from Kavanaugh’s tenure in the George W. Bush administration..”

Categories: Law and Legal

DOJ Report of the Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force

United States Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General, Cyber-Digital Task Force Report. July 2, 2018. “In February 2018, the Attorney General established a Cyber-Digital Task Force within the Department and directed the Task Force to answer two basic, foundational questions: How is the Department responding to cyber threats? And how can federal law enforcement more effectively accomplish its mission in this important and rapidly evolving area? This report addresses the frst question. It begins by focusing on one of the most pressing cyber-enabled threats our Nation faces: the threat posed by malign foreign influence operations. Chapter 1 explains what foreign influence operations are, and how hostile foreign actors have used these operations to target our Nation’s democratic processes, including our elections. This chapter concludes by describing the Department’s protective efforts with respect to the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, and announces a new Department policy—grounded in our longstanding principles of political neutrality, adherence to the rule of law, and safeguarding the public trust—that governs the disclosure of foreign influence operations. Chapters 2 and 3 discuss other cyber-enabled threats our Nation faces, particularly those connected with cybercrimes. These chapters describe the resources the Department is deploying to confront those threats, and how our efforts further the rule of law in this country and around the world. Chapter 4 focuses on a critical aspect of the Department’s mission, in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation plays a lead role: responding to cyber incidents. Chapter 5 then turns the lens inward, focusing on the Department’s efforts to recruit and train our own personnel on cyber matters. Finally, the report concludes in Chapter 6 with thoughts and observations about certain priority policy matters, and charts a path for the Task Force’s future work. Over the next few months, the Department will build upon this initial report’s findings, and will provide recommendations to the Attorney General for how the Department can even more efciently manage the growing global cyber challenge.”
Categories: Law and Legal

GAO – Only One-Quarter of Agencies Publishing Timely, Accurate Spending Data

NextGov: “Eight agencies submitted financial data that was more than 75 percent wrong. Nearly three-quarters of federal agencies failed to meet internal auditors’ quality standards when publishing financial data, according to a congressional watchdog. Under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, agencies must use a standard framework when submitting quarterly spending data to the Treasury Department, but the Government Accountability Office found few agencies are submitting complete, timely and accurate information. After reviewing 53 inspector general reports on DATA Act compliance, GAO found only 15 agencies met IG standards for completeness, timeliness and accuracy. Just six of the 24 CFO Act agencies submitted high-quality data, auditors found.

“If you don’t have complete and accurate data, you don’t have transparency,” said Paula Rascona, who authored the GAO report. “The agencies definitely have a lot of work to do, and so do [the Office of Management and Budget] and Department of Treasury when it comes to their leadership.”..

Reported Quality of Agencies’ Spending Data Reviewed by OIGs Varied Because of Government-wide and Agency Issues GAO-18-546: Published: Jul 23, 2018. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2018. “The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) requires agencies’ Offices of Inspector General (OIG) to issue reports on their assessments of the quality of the agencies’ spending data submissions and compliance with the DATA Act. The scope of all OIG reviews covered their agencies’ second quarter fiscal year 2017 submissions. The files the OIGs used to select and review sample transactions varied based on data availability, and OIGs performed different types of reviews under generally accepted government auditing standards. Some OIGs reported testing a statistical sample of transactions that their agencies submitted and other OIGs reported testing the full population of submitted transactions. Because of these variations, the overall error rates reported by the OIGs are not fully comparable and a government-wide error rate cannot be projected. According to the OIG reports, about half of the agencies met Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Department of the Treasury (Treasury) requirements for the implementation and use of data standards. The OIGs also reported that most agencies’ first data submissions were not complete, timely, accurate, or of quality. OIG survey responses show that OIGs generally reported higher (projected) overall error rates for the accuracy of data than for completeness and timeliness. OIGs reported certain errors that involve inconsistencies in how the Treasury broker (system that collects and validates agency-submitted data) extracted data from certain federal award systems that resulted in government-wide issues outside the agencies’ control, while other errors may have been caused by agency-specific control deficiencies. For example, OIGs reported deficiencies related to agencies’ lack of effective procedures or controls and systems issues. Most OIGs made recommendations to agencies to address identified concerns. OMB staff and Treasury officials told GAO that they reviewed the OIG reports to better understand issues identified by the OIGs. OMB issued new guidance in June 2018 requiring agencies to develop data quality plans intended to achieve the objectives of the DATA Act. Treasury officials told GAO that they are collaborating with OMB and the Chief Financial Officers Council DATA Act Audit Collaboration working group to identify and resolve government-wide issues…”

Categories: Law and Legal

New book – It’s not that economists didn’t see a crash coming – they just didn’t see the crash that happened

The Prospect August 2018 issue – review by Duncan WeldonHow economists predicted the wrong financial crisis. “As the 10th anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers approaches, many books on the financial crisis will be published. Few are likely to match Adam Tooze’s Crashed in scope, ambition or rigour. This is truly contemporary history—the book runs right up to the end of 2017. It is hard to think of another author who can write as authoritatively on such a wide range of subjects—from the workings of the credit default swap market to the intricacies of Italian politics and the geopolitics of Ukraine. Tooze, an Anglo-German historian based in the US, is best known for his work on the first half of the 20th century: The Wages of Destruction (2006), a revisionist account of the Nazi economy and war effort; and 2014’s The Deluge dealt with the aftermath of the First World War, and the reshaping of the global order in the 1920s. So Crashed might, at first sight, seem like a radical departure. But the essential themes are familiar territory for him: the interactions of economics, finance and geopolitics—and how the world order is reshaped by catastrophe. The twist is that Crashed examines the financial crisis through a new lens: a sharp focus is kept on bank balance sheets, and the (often cross-border) capital movements between them. This is less a work of contemporary macro-economic history and more a work of contemporary macro-financial history.

It is often said that economists failed to see a crisis coming in 2008, but this is only half true. Before 2008 there was, as Tooze shows, a rising chorus of voices warning a crisis was imminent. The problem was that they predicted the wrong crisis. Using the old macroeconomic lens, they foresaw a crisis in which the patience of creditor countries like China would suddenly snap with persistent spendthrift societies and deficit nations, such as the US. But it turned out the crisis we got wasn’t about countries’ trading surpluses or national debts: it was about the sudden faltering of flows of purely private finance around a remarkably integrated international banking system…”

Categories: Law and Legal

FOIA request for Interior Department emails and sale of US national heritage sites reveals clear and present danger

Washington Post: “In a quest to shrink national monuments last year, senior Interior Department officials dismissed evidence that these public sites boosted tourism and spurred archaeological discoveries, according to documents the department released this month and retracted a day later. The thousands of pages of email correspondence chart how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his aides instead tailored their survey of protected sites to emphasize the value of logging, ranching and energy development that would be unlocked if they were not designated national monuments. Comments the department’s Freedom of Information Act officers made in the documents show that they sought to keep some of the references out of the public eye because they were “revealing [the] strategy” behind the review.,,

Aaron Weiss, a spokesman for the advocacy group Center for Western Priorities, said in an email that the “botched document dump reveals what we’ve suspected all along: Secretary Zinke ignored clear warnings from his own staff that shrinking national monuments would put sacred archaeological and cultural sites at risk.” “Trying to hide those warnings from the public months later is disgraceful and possibly illegal,” Weiss added…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Rescued From Obscurity: How Discarded Items Become Treasures

Rescued From Obscurity: How Discarded Items Become Treasures – “Now that information on obscure objects can be found on the internet and hobbyists can connect online, someone’s trash can become someone else’s treasure more easily. What is the value of a worn door from a shabby New York hotel, spray-painted with an X and thrown out during renovation? If the door was to Jack Kerouac’s room, $37,500. For Bob Dylan’s door, a whopping $125,000. How about a dilapidated house that a 1950s civil rights activist spent time in? At least $1 million. Most people would abandon items like these. But for others, the response is different: Cherish it the way someone else might prize a Picasso or a Renoir.  At a time when information on even the most obscure objects can be easily found on the internet and hobbyists across the world can connect online, some of that junk might actually become treasure.

“There’s barely a day that goes by that people aren’t presenting interesting collections to us,” said Arlan Ettinger, president and chief executive of Guernsey’s, an auction house that has staked its reputation on nontraditional objects. “Will it resonate with the public? That’s the answer to whether we go forward and sell it at auction.” At the end of the month, Guernsey’s plans to auction off a lot of African-American cultural and historical artifacts, including the first contract signed by the Jackson 5, boxing gloves worn by Archie Moore, a marked-up manuscript of Malcolm X’s autobiography and Rosa Parks’s will and estate plan…”

Categories: Law and Legal

CRS – Cybersecurity: Data, Statistics, and Glossaries

Via EveryCRSReport.com – Cybersecurity: Data, Statistics, and Glossaries – July 16, 2018 R43310 – “This report describes data and statistics from government, industry, and information technology (IT) security firms regarding the current state of cybersecurity threats in the United States and internationally. These include incident estimates, costs, and annual reports on data security breaches, identity thefts, cybercrimes, malware, and network securities. Much is written on this topic, and this CRS report directs the reader to authoritative sources that address many of the most prominent issues. The annotated descriptions of these sources are listed in reverse chronological order, with an emphasis on material published in the last several years. Included are resources and studies from government agencies (federal, state, local, and international), think tanks, academic institutions, news organizations, and other sources.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Wikipedia is embedded into higher education

The Chronicle of Higher Education: “LiAnna Davis remembers when people didn’t want to talk to her at academic conferences: “I had this woman one time who held her folder up over her head and was like, ‘Don’t let my department chair see me talking to you guys, but I’m so glad you’re here.’” Davis works for Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that was once considered anathema to the academic mission. She’s director of programs for its higher-education-focused nonprofit arm, Wiki Education. Academics have traditionally distrusted Wikipedia, citing the inaccuracies that arise from its communally edited design and lamenting students’ tendency to sometimes plagiarize assignments from it. Now, Davis said, higher education and Wikipedia don’t seem like such strange bedfellows. At conferences these days, “everyone’s like, ‘Oh, Wikipedia, of course you guys are here.’”

“I think it’s a recognition that Wikipedia is embedded within the fabric of learning now,” she said.

Categories: Law and Legal

How the Russians did it – unwrapping Mueller’s latest indictment

What Mueller’s Latest Indictment Reveals About Russian and U.S. Spycraft

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his investigation into interference with the 2016 presidential election, charged 12 Russian military intelligence officers with conducting “large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The indictment contains a surprising amount of technical information about alleged Russian cyberattacks against a range of U.S. political targets, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, members of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Illinois (probably) State Board of Elections, and an American election vendor, apparently VR Systems, and its government customers. While the indictment only describes the U.S. government’s charges in this case, the specific technical evidence presented is compelling and paints by far the most detailed and plausible picture yet of what exactly occurred in 2016. It also sheds light on what the U.S. government is capable of doing when it investigates cyberattacks, as well as how Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, or GRU, allegedly conducted the attacks — which it denies — and what operational security mistakes they made. Here are what I find to be the most compelling takeaways from the indictment…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Putin: The one-man show the West doesn’t understand

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – Putin: The one-man show the West doesn’t understand, Published online: 13 Apr 2016.

“The West is at an inflection point in its relations with Russia; the stakes for having an accurate understanding of its president, Vladimir Putin, have never been higher. A misreading of this man – now one of the most consequential international political figures and challengers to the US-led world order since the end of the Cold War – could have catastrophic consequences. Russia’s 8,000 nuclear weapons (and the vehicles to deliver them to any point on the globe) underscore the huge risks of not understanding who Putin is, what he wants, how he thinks, and why. Where do his ideas and conceptions come from? How does Putin look at the outside world? Why did he annex Crimea in 2014 and intervene in Syria in 2015? What does he know about the West? What does he think about the United States? These are all critical questions. Putin’s Russia is a one-man show. Yes, Putin has around him a group of associates (“cronies” as they are often called) whose relationships extend back decades – in St. Petersburg, where Putin grew up, studied, first joined the KGB, and became deputy mayor; in Moscow, where Putin moved in 1996 and began his ascent toward the presidency; and in Dresden, in the former East Germany, where Putin was posted by the KGB in the 1980s. But this group of men (they are all men) does not represent the kind of “old-boy” network most are accustomed to. Putin’s is a “one-boy” network.” He may listen to the counsel of his friends or not. We do not actually know. The circle is extremely narrow and difficult to penetrate, even for supposed Russian political insiders. What we do know is that there is no oligarchy or separate set of economic, business, or political interests that compete with Putin. In the end, he makes the decisions. This one-man show has deep roots in Russian political culture. A small inner circle that pivots around a single leader was the central element during long periods in both prerevolutionary czarist Russia and in the Soviet system. There are other elements of historical continuity in Putin’s system. For him, the Soviet-era international paradigm has not changed so much. Yes, communism is gone, and the Soviet Union has crumbled, but from his vantage point, Russia did not go anywhere. Military might still makes right, and wars still frame the playing field. In Putin’s view, the United States made this clear with its 2003 invasion of Iraq, shortly after the 2001 American intervention in Afghanistan. Russia’s own military operations in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria brought Russia back into the age-old game. There are China and other new players to contend with, but the old adversary, the United States, has been pared down to size in relative terms, which gives Russia more opportunity to assert itself.”

Categories: Law and Legal

1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

“Watch 1,150 movies free online. Includes classics, indies, film noir, documentaries and other films, created by some of our greatest actors, actresses and directors. The collection is divided into the following categories: Comedy & Drama; Film Noir, Horror & Hitchcock; Westerns (many with John Wayne); Martial Arts MoviesSilent Films; Documentaries, and Animation. We also have special collections of Oscar Winning Movies and Films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Charlie Chaplin.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Rebecca Solnit: They Think They Can Bully the Truth

Literary Hub: “Cousin to the noun dictator is the verb dictate. There are among us people who assume their authority is so great they can dictate what happened, that their assertions will override witnesses, videotapes, evidence, the historical record, that theirs is the only voice that matters, and it matters so much it can stand tall atop the conquered facts. Lies are aggressions. They are attempts to dictate, to trample down the facts and those who hold them, and they lay the groundwork for the dictatorships, the little ones in families, the big ones in nations. Black Lives Matter has shown us policemen who continued to insist on their version of events when there is videotaped evidence to the contrary, or when physical evidence and eyewitnesses contradicts their account of events. You realize that they had assumed they could dictate reality, because for decades they actually had, and they were having a hard time adjusting to reality dictating back. As one of the Marx Brothers quipped long ago, “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” The police assumed it was neither our eyes nor the evidence…That victims will remain voiceless was the presumption behind much of the sexual abuse that’s been uncovered in the #MeToo era. Getting away with it is the same thing as assuming that no one will know, because your victim will be intimidated or shamed into silence, or that if he or she speaks up they can be discredited or menaced back into silence, or that even if they don’t shut up no one will believe them because your credibility crushes theirs. [emphasis added] That yours is the only version that counts, even if you have to use savage means to make it so. Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow reported of former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman’s four victims, “All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal.” But it was he who faced reprisal in the end, because the rules changed, because a critical mass of women broke the silence and the system that perpetuated that silence, because the media that largely ignored or trivialized these stories began to take them seriously…” h/t JLS]

Categories: Law and Legal

Report – Challenging Truth and Trust: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation

Computational Propaganda Research Program – Oxford Internet Institute – Challenging Truth and Trust: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation, July 20, 2018: “The manipulation of public opinion over social media platforms has emerged as a critical threat to public life. Around the world, a range of government agencies and political parties are exploiting social media platforms to spread junk news and disinformation, exercise censorship and control, and undermine trust in the media, public institutions, and science. At a time when news consumption is increasingly digital, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and “blackbox” algorithms are being leveraged to challenge truth and trust: the cornerstones of our democratic society. In 2017, the first Global Cyber Troops inventory shed light on the global organization of social media manipulation by government and political party actors. This 2018 report analyses the new trends of organized media manipulation, and the growing capacities, strategies and resources that support this phenomenon.Our key findings are:

  1. We have found evidence of formally organized social media manipulation campaigns in 48 countries, up from 28 countries last year. In each country there is at least one political party or government agency using social media to manipulate public opinion domestically.
  2. Much of this growth comes from countries where political parties are spreading disinformation during elections, or countries where government agencies feel threatened by junk news and foreign interference and are responding by developing their own computational propaganda campaigns in response.
  3. In a fifth of these 48 countries—mostly across the Global South—we found evidence of disinformation campaigns operating over chat applications such as WhatsApp, Telegram and WeChat.
  4. Computational propaganda still involves social media account automation and online commentary teams, but is making increasing use of paid advertisements and search engine optimization on a widening array of Internet platforms.
  5. Social media manipulation is big business. Since 2010, political parties and governments have spent more than half a billion dollars on the research, development, and implementation of psychological operations and public opinion manipulation over social media. In a few countries this includes efforts to counter extremism, but in most countries this involves the spread junk news and misinformation during elections, military crises, and complex humanitarian disasters…”
Categories: Law and Legal

Airports Where You’re Most Likely To Be Hacked

Fortune: “Public Wi-Fi in airports might seen like a godsend to business travelers and weary parents. But it’s often a fast lane for hackers to access your information. Cloud security company Coronet has compiled a list of America’s most cyber insecure airports. And nowhere is worse than San Diego. Coronet looked at data from the 45 busiest airports over a five-month period, starting in January, then gave each airport a threat index score, based on the device vulnerability and Wi-Fi network risks.

“Far too many U.S. airports have sacrificed the security of their Wi-Fi networks for consumer convenience,” said Dror Liwer, Coronet’s founder and CISO. “As a result, business travelers in particular put not just their devices, but their company’s entire digital infrastructure at risk every time they connect to Wi-Fi that is unencrypted, unsecured or improperly configured.”

San Diego International Airport’s score was a 10 out of 10, notably higher than any other airport. There, says Coronet, a Wi-Fi access point with the name “#SANfreewifi” was running an ARP Poisoning attack. (While it appeared to users to be an airport-sanctioned free Wi-Fi server, it was not.) The odds of connecting to a medium-risk network in San Diego’s airport are 30%, while the odds of connecting to a high risk one are 11%. No other airport comes close to those high-risk odds. Here’s a look at the 10 most vulnerable airports…”

  • San Diego International (San Diego) – Threat Index Score: 10
  • John Wayne Airport-Orange County Airport (Santa Ana, Calif.) – Threat Index Score: 8.7
  • William P Hobby Airport (Houston) – Threat Index Score: 7.5
  • Southwest Florida International Airport (Fort Myers, Fla.) – Threat Index Score: 7.1
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark, N.J.) – Threat Index Score: 7.1
  • Dallas Love Field (Dallas) – Threat Index Score: 6.8
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix) – Threat Index Score: 6.5
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (Charlotte, N.C.) – Threat Index Score: 6.4
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (Detroit) – Threat Index Score: 6.4
  • General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (Boston) – Threat Index Score: 6.4
Categories: Law and Legal

EPA Report on Flint Water Crisis identifies past and moving forward crisis

On July 19, 2018 the EPA Inspector General released a 74-page report about the Flint Water Crisis (report #18-P-0221)  – Management Weaknesses Delayed Response to Flint Water Crisis – “The EPA should strengthen its oversight of state drinking water programs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s response to drinking water contamination emergencies.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Data Transfer Project

The Data Transfer Project (DTP) “is a collaboration of organizations committed to building a common framework with open-source code that can connect any two online service providers, enabling a seamless, direct, user initiated portability of data between the two platforms. The Data Transfer Project was formed in 2017 to create an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform so that all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want. The contributors to the Data Transfer Project believe portability and interoperability are central to innovation. Making it easier for individuals to choose among services facilitates competition, empowers individuals to try new services and enables them to choose the offering that best suits their needs. Current contributors include: Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter.

  • How does it work – The Data Transfer Project uses services’ existing APIs and authorization mechanisms to access data. It then uses service specific adapters to transfer that data into a common format, and then back into the new service’s API. Learn More
  • Why do we need DTP – Users should be in control of their data on the web, part of this is the ability to move their data. Currently users can download a copy of their data from most services, but that is only half the battle in terms of moving their data. DTP aims make move data between providers significantly easier for users.” Learn More
Categories: Law and Legal

Trump leaving lasting legacy throughout judiciary

Boston Globe [paywall]: “President Trump is not only poised to put his conservative imprint on the Supreme Court, but he’s restocking vacancies throughout lower US courts at a historic clip, ensuring a judicial legacy that will last decades. Trump has appointed 44 judges since taking office — including more appellate judges than any president in American history at this point in their tenure. He has another 88 nominees currently pending before the US Senate; and with an aging federal bench, future opportunities will assuredly arise. If Trump is able to fill just the current vacancies alone, he will be responsible for installing more than one-fifth of the sitting judges in the United States. It is the fruits of decades of labor by conservatives — or, critics might say, the result of calculated partisan attacks on a process that once had at least a hint of bipartisan flavor — that has allowed Republicans to send like-minded appointees to this powerful branch of government…Trump’s methodical efficiency in remaking the judicial system — not just on the high-profile Supreme Court choices of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and nominee Brett Kavanaugh — has been one of the largely unnoticed aspects of a presidency marked by chaos in many aspects of foreign and domestic policy. Almost once a week on average, the Senate has been processing a judicial nomination, sending yet another Trump-approved judge to the bench…”

Categories: Law and Legal

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