Law and Legal

Firefox Monitor arms you with tools to keep your personal information safe

“Your right to be safe from hackers starts here. Firefox Monitor arms you with tools to keep your personal information safe. Find out what hackers already know about you and learn how to stay a step ahead of them… Stay safe with Firefox Monitor protection. Sign up for Firefox Monitor. You’ll get a full report on your compromised accounts and notifications any time your accounts appear in new data breaches…”

Using one of my email accounts, the Firefox Monitor scan reported the following (recognize these services…and did you change your LinkedIn password?):

  • Exactis – [“Exactis is a leading compiler and aggregator of Premium Business & Consumer Data. With over 3.5 billion records (updated monthly), Our Universal Data Warehouse is one of the largest and most respected in the Digital & Direct Marketing Industry.”] Breach date: June 1, 2018 Compromised accounts: 131,577,763 Compromised data: Credit status information, Dates of birth, Education levels, Email addresses, Ethnicities, Family structure, Financial investments, Genders, Home ownership statuses, Income levels, IP addresses, Marital statuses, Names, Net worths, Occupations, Personal interests, Phone numbers, Physical addresses, Religions, Spoken languages.
  • LinkedIn Breach date: May 5, 2012 Compromised accounts:164,611,595 Compromised data:Email addresses, Passwords.
Categories: Law and Legal

The Supreme Court’s Overruling of Constitutional Precedent

Via CRSreports.congress.gov – The Supreme Court’s Overruling of Constitutional Precedent Updated. Report#: R45319. Author(s): Brandon J. Murrill. Date: September 24, 2018.
“By exercising its power to determine the constitutionality of federal and state government actions, the Supreme Court has developed a large body of judicial decisions, or “precedents,” interpreting the Constitution. How the Court uses precedent to decide controversial issues has prompted debate over whether the Court should follow rules identified in prior decisions or overrule them. The Court’s treatment of precedent implicates longstanding questions about how the Court can maintain stability in the law by adhering to precedent under the doctrine of stare decisis while correcting decisions that rest on faulty reasoning, unworkable standards, abandoned legal doctrines, or outdated factual assumptions. Although the Supreme Court has shown less reluctance to overrule its decisions on constitutional questions than its decisions on statutory questions, the Court has nevertheless stated that there must be some special justification—or, at least “strong grounds” — that goes beyond disagreeing with a prior decision’s reasoning to overrule constitutional precedent. Consequently, when deciding whether to overrule a precedent interpreting the Constitution, the Court has historically considered several “prudential and pragmatic” factors that seek to foster the rule of law while balancing the costs and benefits to society of reaffirming or overruling a prior holding…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Tracking Over 2 Million ICE Arrests: A First Look

“The latest available case-by-case data now allows the public for the first time to track in some detail over 2 million ICE arrests from October 2008 through June 2018. Simultaneously released with this report is the first edition of TRAC’s “ICE Arrests” app. Here, users can examine ICE arrest activity along 15 separate dimensions. The data available covering October 2014 – October 2017 includes the state and county where each ICE arrest occurred. Since Trump assumed office, one-quarter (25%) of ICE apprehensions were individuals arrested at their home, place of work, or elsewhere in the wider community, including at courthouses or at DHS offices when the noncitizen had appeared for an appointment. The remaining three-quarters (75%) were “custodial” arrests where ICE assumed custody of individuals already being held by another law enforcement agency. A large number of these (22%) were serving prison time in federal and state prisons and were released to ICE at the end of their sentence. An even larger number (41%) had been arrested by local police or sheriff’s offices. A small additional component (6%) involved law enforcement agencies that were deputized to enforce immigration laws through ICE’s 287(g) program. Recent ICE arrests from local jails were dwarfed by the level of ICE activity during the first half of the Obama Administration. Then ICE assumed custody of between 12,000 and 14,000 noncitizens from local jails each month. Under Trump, the highest monthly total in August 2017 only reached 6,585. While this number was up sharply from the level of activity during the last two years of the Obama Administration, ICE arrest numbers now appear to have stabilized and indeed during FY 2018 are down slightly from their peak during FY 2017. In June 2018, for example, there were only 5,363 ICE arrests from this source. Despite stepped up enforcement efforts, ICE also appears to be taking into custody fewer individuals directly from state and federal prisons than was true under President Obama. ICE at-large or “community” arrests have increased. In March 2017 community arrests climbed to 4,275, but have fallen back slightly since then. For example, there were 3,345 community arrests during September 2017 and 3,216 during June 2018. For complete month-by-month figures covering October 2008 – June 2018 read the full report at: http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/529/.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Safari’s “Siri Suggested” Search Results Highlighted Conspiracy Sites And Fake News

BuzzFeedNews: “Apple’s Safari, one of the internet’s most popular web browsers, has been surfacing debunked conspiracies, shock videos, and false information via its “Siri Suggested Websites” feature. Such results raise questions about the company’s ability to monitor for low-quality information, and provide another example of the problems platforms run into when relying on algorithms to police the internet. As of yesterday, if you typed “Pizzagate” into Apple’s Safari, the browser’s “Siri Suggested Website” prominently offered users a link to a YouTube video with the title “PIZZAGATE, BIGGEST SCANDAL EVER!!!” by conspiracy theorist David Seaman (the video doesn’t play, since Seaman’s channel was taken down for violating YouTube’s terms of service). The search results appeared on multiple versions of Safari. Apple removed all examples of the questionable Siri Suggested sites provided to it by BuzzFeed News.

“Siri Suggested Websites come from content on the web and we provide curation to help avoid inappropriate sites. We also remove any inappropriate suggestions whenever we become aware of them, as we have with these. We will continue to work to provide high-quality results and users can email results they feel are inappropriate to applebot@apple.com.”…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Network of Law Reviews: Citation Cartels, Scientific Communities, and Journal Rankings

Perez, Oren and Bar-Ilan, Judit and Cohen, Reuven and Schreiber, Nir, The Network of Law Reviews: Citation Cartels, Scientific Communities, and Journal Rankings (August 31, 2018). Modern Law Review, Forthcoming 2018/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3242052 “Research evaluation is increasingly being influenced by quantitative data. The legal field has not escaped the impact of such metrics. Law schools and legal journals are being ranked by multiple global rankings. The key rankings for law schools are the Times Higher Education and Shanghai University Subject Rankings for law and SSRN Ranking for U.S. and International law schools. Law Journals are measured by four different rankings: Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Journal Citation Reports (JCR), CiteScore from Elsevier, Scimago and Washington and Lee. Despite the opposition from the scientific community these metrics continue to flourish. The article argues journal rankings (as other metrics) are the consequence of theory-laden choices that can influence their structure and their pretense of objectivity is therefore merely illusory. We focus on the influential ranking of law journals in JCR and critically assess its structure and methodology. In particular, we consider the question of the existence of tacit citation cartels in the U.S. law reviews market and the attentiveness of the JCR for the potential influence of such tacit cartel. To examine this question we studied a sample of 90 journals included in the category of Law in the JCR: 45 U.S. student-edited (SE) and 45 peer-reviewed (PR) journals. We found that PR and SE journals are more inclined to cite members of their own class, forming two separated communities. Close analysis revealed that this phenomenon is more pronounced in SE journals, especially generalist ones. This tendency reflects, we argue, a tacit cartelistic behavior, which is a product of deeply entrenched institutional structures. Because U.S. SE journals produce much more citations than PR journals, the fact that their citations are directed almost exclusively to SE journals elevates their ranking in the Journal Citation Reports in a way that distorts the structure of the ranking. This distortion can hamper the production of legal knowledge. We discuss several policy measures that can counter the adverse effects of this situation.”
Categories: Law and Legal

300 new words added to Scrabble dictionary

The Guardian – Scrabble players will have to rethink their game after new words, including OK and ew, added to approved list:”Three hundred new words have been added to the official US Scrabble dictionary, including sriracha, aquafaba, beatdown, zomboid, twerk, sheeple, wayback, bibimbap, botnet, emoji, facepalm, frowny, hivemind, puggle and yowza. Merriam-Webster released the sixth edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary on Monday, four years after the last version. Included in the new edition are some long-awaited two letter words, notably OK and ew. “OK is something Scrabble players have been waiting for, for a long time,” said lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster. “Basically two- and three-letter words are the lifeblood of the game.” There’s more good news for Scrabble players with the addition of qapik, a unit of currency in Azerbaijan, adding to an arsenal of 20 playable words beginning with q that don’t need a u. “Every time there’s a word with q and no u, it’s a big deal,” Sokolowski said. “Most of these are obscure.”

Categories: Law and Legal

New on LLRX – Text Analysis Systems Mine Workplace Emails to Measure Staff Sentiments

Via LLRXText Analysis Systems Mine Workplace Emails to Measure Staff Sentiments – Giving the processes of observation, analysis and change at the enterprise level a modern spin, is a fascinating new article in the September 2018 issue of The Atlantic, titled What Your Boss Could Learn by Reading the Whole Company’s Emails, by Frank Partnoy. Alan Rotham summarizes and annotates this article that raises timely and significant issues around privacy, data mining and organizational management. Rothman concludes his review by posing important questions concerning the impact of text analysis data on executive training and development and on employee performance.

 

Categories: Law and Legal

National Parks Hit Harder By Climate Change Than Rest of the U.S.

Yale Environment 360: “America’s national parks are warming up and drying out much faster than the rest of the United States, according to a new study on the impacts of climate change on U.S. parks published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The changing conditions are threatening protected ecosystems from the Everglades in Florida to Denali National Park in Alaska. The study found that the 417 protected areas in the U.S. national parks system warmed an average 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) between 1885 and 2010 — twice the average U.S. rate — with the most significant temperature increases happening in Alaska. Annual precipitation in parks, which cover a combined 85 million acres, declined 12 percent over the same period, compared to a 3 percent average drop across the U.S…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Google secretly logs users into Chrome whenever they log into a Google site

ZDNET – Browser maker faces backlash for failing to inform users about Chrome Sync behavioral change. “Google has made an important change to the way the Chrome browser works, a move the company did not advertise to its users in any way, and which has serious privacy repercussions. According to several reports [ 1, 2, 3], starting with Chrome 69, whenever a Chrome user would access a Google-owned site, the browser would take that user’s Google identity and log the user into the Chrome in-browser account system –also known as Sync. This system, Sync, allows users to log in with their Google accounts inside Chrome and optionally upload and synchronize local browser data (history, passwords, bookmarks, and other) to Google’s servers. Sync has been present in Chrome for years, but until now, the system worked independently from the logged-in state of Google accounts. This allowed users to surf the web while logged into a Google account but not upload any Chrome browsing data to Google’s servers, data that may be tied to their accounts…”

See also A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering – Why I am done with Chrome: “…A few weeks ago Google shipped an update to Chrome that fundamentally changes the sign-in experience. From now on, every time you log into a Google property (for example, Gmail), Chrome will automatically sign the browser into your Google account for you. It’ll do this without asking, or even explicitly notifying you. (However, and this is important: Google developers claim this will not actually start synchronizing your data to Google — yet. See further below.) Your sole warning — in the event that you’re looking for it — is that your Google profile picture will appear in the upper-right hand corner of the browser window. I noticed mine the other day…”

Categories: Law and Legal

FBI Releases 2017 Crime Statistics

“After two consecutive years of increases, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation decreased 0.2 percent in 2017 when compared with 2016 data, according to FBI figures released today. Property crimes dropped 3.0 percent, marking the 15th consecutive year the collective estimates for these offenses declined. The 2017 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 382.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated rate of property crime was 2,362.2 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate fell 0.9 percent when compared with the 2016 rate; the property crime rate declined 3.6 percent. These and additional data are presented in the 2017 edition of the FBI’s annual report Crime in the United States. This publication is a statistical compilation of offense, arrest, and police employee data reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. The UCR Program collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies regarding the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault as well as the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson…

  • See also the Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Data Explorer: The Crime Data Explorer (CDE) represents a profound transformation in how data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is presented. Crime data is dynamic. Offenses occur, arrests are made, and property is recovered every day. The CDE is an attempt to somewhat reflect that fluidity in crime. The data presented here will be updated regularly in a way that UCR publications previously could not. As the data is dynamic, so is this gateway to the data. The CDE’s content and features are updated and expanded continually. So, look for a time stamp that reflects the refresh date of content or statistics. This is especially important to reconcile any differences that may exist between the data that is available on the CDE pages and the data that resides in the datasets for downloading. The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program provided updated data for 2017 on 9/24/2018.”
Categories: Law and Legal

NARA Responds to Controversial ICE Records Destruction Request

Library Journal: “The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has requested that National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Records Management sign off on a records retention schedule that would potentially destroy detainee records in 11 item categories, including accounts of solitary confinement, assault, sexual abuse, and investigations into deaths in ICE custody. Proposed retention periods ranged from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for solitary confinement reports; this means that records dating back to ICE’s founding in 2003 could be destroyed as early as 2023. All federal agencies periodically propose a retention schedule for a series of records to NARA, to determine which must be retained permanently in the National Archives and which can be considered temporary—and how long temporary records must be retained before they can be destroyed. NARA staff reviews each submission, typically meeting with agency subject matter experts, before the records schedule is approved by the Archivist of the United States. In addition to deciding which records have lasting historical or research value and warrant permanent retention, NARA reviews the retention periods proposed for temporary records to ensure that those spans protect the legal rights of both the Government and private parties. Public input on the proposed schedules is mandated by law, and is solicited through comments on a notice posted to the Federal Register. ICE’s proposed schedule DAA-0567-2015-0013, submitted in October 2015, represented a new request for the disposition of unscheduled records, rather than a change to an existing schedule. Since it was posted to the Federal Register on July 14, 2017, it has garnered an unprecedented number of comments, received substantial attention in the media, and raised concerns among archivists, historians, and civil liberties organizations…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Commentary – The Biggest Divides On The Kavanaugh Allegations Are By Party Not Gender

FiveThirtyEight: “Americans are deeply divided in how they view accusations of sexual assault, sexual harassment and other kinds of sexual misconduct. They’re divided on broader issues about gender and the role of women in American society. But, with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and new allegations coming out against Kavanaugh on Sunday, it’s worth noting that the biggest divide is not between men and women on these issues, but between Democrats and Republicans. Maybe that’s not too surprising when it comes to Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were in high school. A HuffPost/YouGov poll released last week found that 34 percent of men did not find Ford’s allegation credible, compared with 23 percent of women. Yet 60 percent of Republicans did not think her allegation was credible, compared with 8 percent of Democrats. But this pattern — a bigger split by party than by gender — is not just seen in heavily partisan situations, like a Supreme Court nomination fight. Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center asked how the increased attention on sexual assault and harassment has affected workplace dynamics. Overall, about 51 percent of Americans said it is now harder for men to know how to interact with women at work, compared with 33 percent who said it didn’t make much of a difference. Sixty-four percent of Republicans and 55 percent of men said it was harder for men to navigate the workplace in the #MeToo era, compared with 42 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of women. That’s a 22-point partisan gap, compared with only an 8-point gender gap. In a CNN poll conducted last year, 85 percent of Democrats said that sexual harassment is an “extremely serious” or “very serious” problem in the U.S., compared with 45 percent of Republicans. Again, the gender gap was more narrow: 73 percent of women and 63 percent of men said sexual harassment is an extremely or very serious problem. The #MeToo movement, according to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, is viewed favorably by 71 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of women, 36 percent of men and 26 percent of Republicans…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Mapping the Relationship Between Geography and Social Networks

Center for Data Innovation: “Mapping the Relationship Between Geography and Social Networks – The New York Times has created a series of maps illustrating how connected each county in the United States is to the rest of the nation based on Facebook connections. The maps color-code each county based on the number of Facebook friends its residents have outside its county, creating an index of social interaction. The maps demonstrate interesting relationships between geography and social spheres, such as how old historic migration patterns often mirror counties’ connections. For example, Chicago has significant connections to counties along the Mississippi River, where people migrated from during the Great Migration. Additionally, the maps show that while 63 percent of an individual’s Facebook friends lived within 100 miles of them in the average county, counties with more dispersed networks are richer, more educated, and have a longer life expectancy.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Ethics & Algorithms Toolkit

“Government leaders and staff who leverage algorithms are facing increasing pressure from the public, the media, and academic institutions to be more transparent and accountable about their use. Every day, stories come out describing the unintended or undesirable consequences of algorithms. Governments have not had the tools they need to understand and manage this new class of risk. GovEx, the City and County of San Francisco, Harvard DataSmart, and Data Community DC have collaborated on a practical toolkit for cities to use to help them understand the implications of using an algorithm, clearly articulate the potential risks, and identify ways to mitigate them.
We developed this because:

  • We saw a gap. There are many calls to arms and lots of policy papers, one of which was a DataSF research paper, but nothing practitioner-facing with a repeatable, manageable process.
  • We wanted an approach which governments are already familiar with: risk management. By identifing and quantifying levels of risk, we can recommend specific mitigations.
Our goals for the toolkit are to:
  • Elicit conversation.
  • Encourage risk evaluation as a team.
  • Catalyze proactive mitigation strategy planning.
We assumed:
  • Algorithm use in government is inevitable.
  • Data collection is typically a separate effort with different intentions from the analysis and use of it.
  • All data has bias.
  • All algorithms have bias.
  • All people have bias. (Thanks #D4GX!)…”
Categories: Law and Legal

Google Launches Search With No Query Required

Bloomberg: “For two decades, typing a line of text into a blank search bar was the way almost everyone interacted with Google. Now the company is taking an even more active role in leading users around the internet. The search giant announced a raft of new features at an event Monday to celebrate its 20th anniversary. A Facebook-like newsfeed populated with videos and articles the company thinks an individual user would find interesting will now show up on the Google home page just below the search bar on all mobile web browsers. “It helps you come across the things you haven’t even started looking for,” Karen Corby, a product manager on Google’s search team, said in a blog post. The company also unveiled a feature to let people save searches in a collection and pick them up again later, and said it would present more information directly in search results, ostensibly helping people find what they’re looking for without having to click through to a different website. The Alphabet Inc. unit wants to expand its presence on the web and get people to spend more time directly on Google rather than on independent websites. In its drive to help people find information they’re looking for, the company is taking on tasks that were previously left to others. At the same time, politicians, activists and competitors are calling for greater scrutiny of Google’s ever-growing power over data…”

Google Blog: “…As Google marks our 20th anniversary, I wanted to share a first look at the next chapter of Search, and how we’re working to make information more accessible and useful for people everywhere. This next chapter is driven by three fundamental shifts in how we think about Search:

Categories: Law and Legal

The Elevation Span of Every Country in the World

Visual Capitalist: “Giant countries like Canada or Russia can take their sprawling landmasses for granted, but for smaller oceanic nations, topography takes on greater importance. In the Indian Ocean, ringed by protective barriers, lies the island city of Malé – the capital of the Maldives. Malé has a thriving tourism industry and is one of the most urbanized islands in the world, but it has one major problem: its elevation (or lack thereof). Over 80% of the nation’s landmass is below 3.3 ft (1m), leaving it acutely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. If sea levels continue to rise, the entire chain of islands, including the homes of half a million people, could be submerged in as soon as 30 years…Today’s data visualization, via Fascinating Maps, is a global breakdown of every country’s elevation span, from the severe mountain peaks that dominate Bhutan’s landscape, to the sweltering Dead Sea depression that runs along the Israel–Jordan border. By looking at the data, we see interesting patterns and unique situations emerge…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The New York Public Library is loaning out ties and handbags for job interviews

Time to Dress Up: Introducing the NYPL Grow Up Work Fashion Library by Michelle Lee, Young Adult Librarian, Riverside Library, August 6, 2018

“If you are looking to get dressed up for a job interview, wedding, audition, graduation, prom, or other formal event, the Riverside Library can help. With our NYPL Grow Up work accessories collection, you can now borrow: neckties and bow ties, briefcases, handbags.

Adults and teens who have low fines (less than $15) or no fines on their library cards can borrow items for a one-time, three-week lending period.

We also have information sheets on job interview tips, free career resources and suggested books, and websites and organizations that can help with professional fashion advice and attire.

The New York Public Library Grow Up mini-lending library program is funded through the New York Public Library Innovation Project, which is made possible by a generous grant from The Charles H. Revson Foundation. Other donations came from Career Gear and private individuals.

For more information about the NYPL Grow Up work accessories lending library, stop by the Riverside Library at 127 Amsterdam Ave and 65th Street. Visit the second floor information desk, talk to a librarian, and check it out!”

Categories: Law and Legal

HBR – Uninformed Consent

Harvard Business Review – Companies want access to more and more of your personal data — from where you are to what’s in your DNA. Can they unlock its value without triggering a privacy backlash?

Leslie K. John – Marvin Bower associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School: “…Technology has advanced far beyond the browser cookies and retargeting that allow ads to follow us around the internet. Smartphones now track our physical location and proximity to other people — and, as researchers recently discovered, can even do so when we turn off location services. We can disable the tracking on our web browsers, but our digital fingerprints can still be connected across devices, enabling our identities to be sleuthed out. Home assistants like Alexa listen to our conversations and, when activated, record what we’re saying. A growing range of everyday things — from Barbie dolls to medical devices — connect to the internet and transmit information about our movements, our behavior, our preferences, and even our health. A dominant web business model today is to amass as much data on individuals as possible and then use it or sell it — to target or persuade, reward or penalize. The internet has become a surveillance economy. What’s more, the rise of data science has made the information collected much more powerful, allowing companies to build remarkably detailed profiles of individuals. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can make eerily accurate predictions about people using seemingly random data. Companies can use data analysis to deduce someone’s political affiliation or sexuality or even who has had a one-night stand. As new technologies such as facial recognition software and home DNA testing are added to the tool kit, the surveillance done by businesses may soon surpass that of the 20th century’s most invasive security states.

The obvious question is, How could consumers let this happen? As a behavioral scientist, I study how people sometimes act against their own interests. One issue is that “informed consent” — the principle companies use as permission to operate in this economy — is something of a charade. Most consumers are either unaware of the personal information they share online or, quite understandably, unable to determine the cost of sharing it — if not both…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Pop-Up Magazine

A night of true stories, documentary films, photography, and radio from some of our favorite writers, performers, and musicians. Unrecorded, live onstage.

  • Pop-Up Magazine is a live magazine, created for a stage, a screen, and a live audience. Each evening is unique, but here are a few things to look forward to.
  • Remarkable Storytellers – Some of the country’s most interesting writers, filmmakers, photographers, radio producers, and illustrators share new, true stories onstage.
  • Stunning Visuals – Stories come to life on a giant screen filled with photographs, films, illustrations, and animations.
  • A Live Score – Story soundtracks are composed and performed live onstage by Magik*Magik Orchestra.
  • A Fascinating Audience – Curious, creative people come to see old friends and meet new ones…
Categories: Law and Legal

The Plot to Subvert an Election: Unraveling the Russia Story So Far

The New York Times – The Plot to Subvert an Election Unraveling the Russia Story So Far. “For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack — hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means…For many Americans, the Trump-Russia story as it has been voluminously reported over the past two years is a confusing tangle of unfamiliar names and cyberjargon, further obscured by the shout-fest of partisan politics. What Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in charge of the investigation, may know or may yet discover is still uncertain. President Trump’s Twitter outbursts that it is all a “hoax” and a “witch hunt,” in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, have taken a toll on public comprehension. But to travel back to 2016 and trace the major plotlines of the Russian attack is to underscore what we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come. Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign. To many Americans, the intervention seemed to be a surprise attack, a stealth cyberage Pearl Harbor, carried out by an inexplicably sinister Russia. For Mr. Putin, however, it was long-overdue payback, a justified response to years of “provocations” from the United States. And there is a plausible case that Mr. Putin succeeded in delivering the presidency to his admirer, Mr. Trump, though it cannot be proved or disproved. In an election with an extraordinarily close margin, the repeated disruption of the Clinton campaign by emails published on WikiLeaks and the anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions of voters by Russia could have made the difference, a possibility Mr. Trump flatly rejects…”

Categories: Law and Legal

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