Law and Legal
Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues January 5, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: The 5 Best Authenticator Apps for Protecting Your Accounts; Major US companies breached, robbed, and spied on by Chinese hackers; US Army bans soldiers from using TikTok over security worries; and 7 types of virus – a short glossary of contemporary cyberbadness.
MIT Technology Review – Cash is gradually dying out. Will we ever have a digital alternative that offers the same mix of convenience and freedom? – “This is a feature of physical cash that payment cards and apps do not have: freedom. Called “bearer instruments,” banknotes and coins are presumed to be owned by whoever holds them. We can use them to transact with another person without a third party getting in the way. Companies cannot build advertising profiles or credit ratings out of our data, and governments cannot track our spending or our movements. And while a credit card can be declined and a check mislaid, handing over money works every time, instantly. We shouldn’t take this freedom for granted. Much of our commerce now happens online. It relies on banks and financial technology companies to serve as middlemen. Transactions are going digital in the physical world, too: electronic payment tools, from debit cards to Apple Pay to Alipay, are increasingly replacing cash. While notes and coins remain popular in many countries, including the US, Japan, and Germany, in others they are nearing obsolescence. This trend has civil liberties groups worried. Without cash, there is “no chance for the kind of dignity-preserving privacy that undergirds an open society,” writes Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, a policy advocacy group based in Washington, DC. In a recent report, Brito contends that we must “develop and foster electronic cash” that is as private as physical cash and doesn’t require permission to use…”
EveryCRSReport – Campaign and Election Security Policy: Overview and Recent Developments for Congress, January 2, 2020. “In the United States, state, territorial, and local governments are responsible for most aspects of selecting and securing election systems and equipment. Foreign interference during the 2016 election cycle—and widely reported to be an ongoing threat—has renewed congressional attention to campaign and election security and raised new questions about the nature and extent of the federal government’s role in this policy area. This report provides congressional readers with a resource for understanding campaign and election security policy. This includes discussion of the federal government’s roles; state or territorial responsibilities for election administration and election security; an overview of potentially relevant federal statutes and agencies; and highlights of recent congressional policy debates. The report summarizes related legislation that has advanced beyond introduction during the 116th Congress. It also poses questions for consideration as the House and Senate examine whether or how to pursue legislation, oversight, or appropriations…”
Inside Higher Ed – “Legal scholars are increasingly adopting and creating free textbooks in an attempt to increase affordability for students. But are these textbooks considered open educational resources? Law school is notoriously expensive, but a growing number of professors are pushing back on the idea that law textbooks must be expensive, too. Faculty members at the New York University School of Law have taken matters into their own hands by publishing their own textbooks at no cost to students. Barton Beebe, a law professor at NYU, published the sixth edition of his trademark-law textbook last year. Fellow NYU professors Jeanne Fromer and Christopher Jon Sprigman also published the first edition of their copyright-law textbook in 2019. Both titles are available to download electronically at no charge and are already in use at dozens of universities. Print copies of the textbooks can be ordered on demand through Amazon for the bargain-basement price of $20.26 and $15.40, respectively. The authors make no profit from these sales…”
The New York Times – Wanted: A Home for Three Million Records:”…Housed in a nondescript building in TriBeCa is the Archive of Contemporary Music, a nonprofit founded in 1985. It is one of the world’s largest collections of popular music, with more than three million recordings, as well as music books, vintage memorabilia and press kits. For point of comparison, the Library of Congress estimates that it also holds nearly three million sound recordings. Inside its space on White Street, there are shelves upon shelves upon shelves of vinyl records and CDs. Signed Johnny Cash records hang close to nearly 1,800 other signed albums. There are boxes of big band recordings, world music and jazz and original soundtracks. Most of the inventory is stored in the basement below. Notably, the archive, which still receives about 250,000 recordings a year, is home to a majority of Keith Richards’s extensive blues collection. (Mr. Richards, of the Rolling Stones, sits on the board of advisers.) And now it all has to go, somewhere. Rent in the neighborhood has continued to rise, challenging the organization to stay on budget, said Bob George, the founder and director of the archive. Recently, Mr. George reached an agreement with his landlord to get out of his lease early. He has until June to find another space…”
Bloomberg – The disruptive innovators of 10 years ago are today’s stable incumbents. “Internet-enabled industry disruption defined business strategy in the 2010s, but as 2020 begins, that era appears to be winding down. The disruptors have largely become the new establishment, and unlike a decade ago, it doesn’t look like the new leaders will be displaced any time soon. Today’s internet is a mature and mainstream technology. This was not the case a decade ago. In 2009, multiple industries were in the midst of upheaval thanks to internet-enabled transformations. The iPhone was only two years old. In the music industry, compact discs still represented a plurality of revenues, and most of the rest came from digital purchases. Streaming, whether of music or on Netflix, was still in its infancy. We were in the middle of the transition from print ads to digital ones; 2009 was the last year the newspaper industry had higher ad revenues than Google, and the last year Facebook’s revenues were less than $1 billion. E-commerce was growing, but Sears and Kmart were still large retail chains. YouTube was known mostly for a handful of viral videos (Susan Boyle, anyone?). Today, much has changed. The music industry has become the streaming industry, with compact discs and digital sales becoming less and less important; today’s industry growth is powered by subscriptions. Beginning a few years ago, total revenues have started to grow again after 15 years of declines. The competitive threats to the leader in music streaming, Spotify, come from well-financed competitors with similar offerings, like Apple Music and Amazon Music, rather than a brand-new technology. The music industry may have been the first to be threatened by internet-related disruption in the late 1990s, with the growth of mp3 sharing and Napster, and is now perhaps the first industry to have completed its transformation…”
- “How do you find all these fulltext articles? We harvest content directly from over 50,000 journals and open-access repositories from all over the world. We also use great open data from PubMed Central, the DOAJ, Crossref (particulary their license info), and DataCite.
- Is Unpaywall legal? Yes! We harvest content from legal sources including repositories run by universities, governments, and scholarly societies, as well as open content hosted by publishers themselves. We do not harvest from sources of dubious legality like ResearchGate or Sci-Hub. If you ever encounter content indexed by Unpaywall that is posted in violation of copyright, let us know and we’ll remove it immediately.
- How can I make sure content from my open repository appears in Unpaywall? Good question! We made a page about that here.
- How is this related to the oaDOI service? We used to call the browser extension “Unpaywall,” and the data source behind it “oaDOI.” That got confusing, so now the whole project is just called Unpaywall, including the database, the API, the extension, and everything else…”
MakeUseOf: “It’s seriously hard to keep track of which sites have the greatest content and resources. So to help make things easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of over 100 of the best websites on the internet. The sites on this list are those that we consider to be genuinely useful, top-of-the-line websites (not apps) where you’ll find what you need. We update this list regularly, so check back occasionally, and be sure to tell your friends! Jump Ahead: Books | Browsing | Files | Finance | Learning | Local | Movies | Music | News | Online Privacy | Productivity | Search | Shopping | Social | Software..”
New York Magazine Intelligencer: “Right now, on the outskirts of a hyper modern first world megapolis, at the end of a year in which the public seemed finally to wake up to the dramatic threat from global warming, a climate disaster of unimaginable horror has been unfolding for almost two full months, and the rest of the world is hardly paying attention. The New South Wales fires have been burning since September, destroying fifteen million acres (or more than two thousand square miles) and remain almost entirely uncontrolled by the volunteer firefighting forces deployed to stop them; on November 12, greater Sydney declared an unprecedented “catastrophic” fire warning. That was six weeks ago, and the blazes are almost certain to continue burning through the end of next month, the soonest real rain might arrive. They may last longer still, of course, aided in part by record-breaking heat waves that are simultaneously punishing the country (technically an entire continent, Australia as a whole averaged more than 100 Fahrenheit earlier this month) and devastating marine life in the surrounding ocean. “On land, Australia’s rising heat is ‘apocalyptic,” the Straits-Times of Singapore wrote. “In the ocean, it’s even worse.”…
Jason Leopold via BuzzFeedNews – The Documents The Justice Department Didn’t Want Congress To See – “BuzzFeed News sued the US government for the right to see all the work that Robert Mueller’s team kept secret. Today we are publishing the third installment of the FBI’s summaries of interviews with key witnesses…BuzzFeed News has obtained some of the most important and highly sought-after documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation: summaries of FBI interviews with key White House officials. [Read the documents here.] The hundreds of pages of documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, were the subject of a protracted legal dispute between the Justice Department and the House Judiciary Committee, which sought them over the summer as part of its impeachment inquiry. The committee had requested access to an unredacted copy of the Mueller report, grand jury testimony from the investigation, and the FBI’s summaries of 33 interviews. The Justice Department resisted, claiming the impeachment inquiry does not entitle the panel to see those records. A federal judge disagreed, ruling in October that “DOJ is wrong” and that the White House and the Justice Department were “openly stonewalling” the committee…”
WSJ via FoxBusiness: “The hackers seemed to be everywhere. In one of the largest-ever corporate espionage efforts, cyberattackers alleged to be working for China’s intelligence services stole volumes of intellectual property, security clearance details and other records from scores of companies over the past several years. They got access to systems with prospecting secrets for mining company Rio Tinto PLC, and sensitive medical research for electronics and health-care giant Philips NV. They came in through cloud service providers, where companies thought their data was safely stored. Once they got in, they could freely and anonymously hop from client to client, and defied investigators’ attempts to kick them out for years. Cybersecurity investigators first identified aspects of the hack, called Cloud Hopper by the security researchers who first uncovered it, in 2016, and U.S. prosecutors charged two Chinese nationals for the global operation last December. The two men remain at large. A Wall Street Journal investigation has found that the attack was much bigger than previously known. It goes far beyond the 14 unnamed companies listed in the indictment, stretching across at least a dozen cloud providers, including CGI Group Inc., one of Canada’s largest cloud companies; Tieto Oyj, a major Finnish IT services company; and International Business Machines Corp…”
Thanks to ProPublica – “Finding free online tax filing should be easier this year for millions of Americans. The IRS announced significant changes Monday to its deal with the tax prep software industry. Now companies are barred from hiding their free products from search engines such as Google, and a years-old prohibition on the IRS creating its own online filing system has been scrapped. The addendum to the deal, known as Free File, comes after ProPublica’s reporting this year on how the industry, led by TurboTax maker Intuit, has long misled taxpayers who are eligible to file for free into paying.
Under the nearly two-decade-old Free File deal, the industry agreed to make free versions of tax filing software available to lower- and middle-income Americans. In exchange, the IRS promised not to compete with the industry by creating its own online filing system. Many developed countries have such systems, allowing most citizens to file their taxes for free. The prohibition on the IRS creating its own system was the focus of years of lobbying by Intuit. The industry has seen such a system as an existential threat. Now, with the changes to the deal, the prohibition has been dropped…”
When humans dump unwanted goldfish into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay (also seen in the Susquehanna river) and even Chesapeake Bay, the little fish with lineage from Asia prove to be prodigious reproducers who grow far beyond captive size, displacing native species. According to the Chesapeake Bay Program – “With enough food and room to grow, wild goldfish can balloon to a monstrous five pounds and reach lengths of over 12 inches–roughly the size of a football. Goldfish are rampant, destructive eaters and can easily outcompete the Bay’s native species for food. They dine on algae, underwater grasses, insects, tadpoles, crustaceans, fish eggs and smaller fish, uprooting vegetation, stirring up sediment and destroying native fish habitat as they go…” Please do not dispose of goldfish in open waters – they thrive in freshwater and brackish water. Thank you.
Vox Populi – “Before there was the internet, there was la Bibliothèque nationale de France (the National Library of France) in Paris: an ever-expanding collection of books, manuscripts, maps and other cultural artifacts that has been operating continuously since the 15th century. The documentary Toute la mémoire du monde (All the Memory in the World), made by the influential and celebrated French filmmaker Alain Resnais in 1956, is an astounding tour of the institution before digitisation, when the world’s largest well of information wasn’t at our fingertips, but fastidiously collected and sorted behind library walls. Resnais focuses not only on the imposing scope of the library’s holdings, but also explores the vast enterprise of maintaining it for centuries to come, as well as the facility’s role as a bustling home for curiosity and enquiry. Through moody black-and-white cinematography of the library’s collection, architecture and meticulous processes, the film explores a place that, like human knowledge itself, is ‘destined to be forever a work in progress’. A dramatic score by Maurice Jarre – by turns pulsing, soaring and delicate – acts as a further guide through the labyrinth of the library, and the film itself.” Director: Alain Resnais
Wait But Why – “It’s finally the 2020s. After 20 years of not being able to refer to the decade we’re in, we’re all finally free—in the clear for the next 80 years until 2100, at which point I assume AGI will have figured out what to call the two decades between 2100 and 2120. We now live in the 20s! It’s exciting. “The twenties” is super legit-sounding, and it’s so old school. The 40s are old. The 30s even more so. But nothing is older school than the Roaring 20s. We’re now in charge of making this a cool decade so when people 100 years from now are thinking about how incredibly old-timey the 2020s were, it’s old-timey in a cool appealing way and not a boring shitty way. It’s also weird that to us, the 2020s sounds like such a rad futuristic decade—and that’s how the 1920s seemed to people 100 years ago today. They were all used to the 19-teens, and suddenly they were like, “whoa cool we’re in the twenties!” Then they got upset thinking about how much farther along in life their 1910 self thought they’d be by 1920. In any case, it’s a perfect time for one of those “shit we’re old” posts. So here are some New Years 2020 time facts…”
HBR – “…But some female leaders do establish strong networks—and they win greater influence and more-senior positions as a result. What are they doing differently? A new study sheds light on their strategies. “I was talking with many women about how to improve their networks, the challenges they face, and what they and their organizations could do better, and I realized that all the studies on the issue were pretty old and narrow,” explains Inga Carboni, a professor at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business and the study’s lead author. “I couldn’t answer their questions.” The researchers analyzed data collected from 16,500 men and women in more than 30 organizations across a range of industries over the past 15 years. Then they interviewed hundreds of female executives. This led them to identify four characteristics that distinguish the networking behaviors of more-successful women from those of their peers. In some cases those matched the behaviors of high-performing men; in others there were subtle but important differences. When shaping their professional networks, top women were…”
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LawSites – Robert Ambrogi – “In legal technology, it was a decade of tumult and upheaval, bringing changes that will forever transform the practice of law and the delivery of legal services. Feisty startups took on established behemoths. The cloud dropped rain on legacy products. Mobile tech untethered lawyers. Clients demanded efficiency and transparency. Robots arrived to take over our jobs. “Alternative” became a label for new kinds of legal services providers. An expanding justice gap fueled efforts at ethics reform. Investment dollars began to pour in. Data got big. Every year, I write a year-end wrap-up of the most significant developments in legal technology. But as we reach the end of a decade, I decided to look back on the most significant developments of the past 10 years. Looking back, it may well have been the most tumultuous decade ever in changing how legal services are delivered. (Here are my prior years’ lists of the most important developments: For several years now, I’ve closed out the year with a round-up of the 10 most important legal developments 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013. In 2017, I bypassed the list to focus on a single overarching development, The Year of Women in Legal Tech.)…”
Gizmodo: “[January 1, 2020] isn’t just a day to nurse your hangover from New Year’s Eve—it’s also a day to celebrate the public domain. Movies, books, music, and more from 1924 are all entering the public domain today, meaning that you’re free to download, upload, and share these titles however you see fit. And it’s completely legal. Some titles from 1924, like the movie The Thief of Baghdad, already entered the public domain because there were stricter rules about registering copyright before the 1970s. If a copyright holder forgot to renew a copyright or put a mandatory copyright notice on their work, it could slip into the public domain accidentally.But there are plenty of other works that finally lose their copyright-protected status on January 1, 2020, like classic movies from silent-era comedians Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. There are also books from Thomas Mann and E. M. Forster, and an English translation of We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, a pioneering dystopian science fiction novel from the Soviet Union. Even George Gershwin’s song “Rhapsody in Blue,” one of the most famous songs of the 20th century, finally becomes public domain today. While the list below, inspired by the work of Duke Law’s Center For the Study of the Public Domain and the Public Domain Review, may not be comprehensive, it’s a good place to start.
If something was published in 1924 or earlier, it’s no longer protected by copyright as of today. And if you’re waiting for stuff from 1925 to become public domain you have to wait exactly one year. January 1, 2021 isn’t so far away…”