Blog Rolls

Nevada Caucuses 2020: Live Results And Analysis

The Democratic presidential primary has moved west for the Nevada caucuses. Follow NPR's live coverage.

(Image credit: Caroline Amenabar/NPR)

Categories: Just News

Trump Administration Targets Your 'Warrant-Proof' Encrypted Messages

Encryption is going mainstream, and some tech companies "throw away the key" so they can't decrypt messages even when police get a warrant. The government says that's taking privacy too far.

(Image credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Categories: Just News

Stacey Abrams Spearheads 'Fair Fight,' A Campaign Against Voter Suppression

Since losing the Georgia governor's race in 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams has launched Fair Fight — a voting rights campaign that's active in 18 battleground states ahead of this year's election.

(Image credit: Debbie Elliott/NPR)

Categories: Just News

Coronavirus Found In China Prisons, As Cases Spike In South Korea

More than 200 new infections have been identified in a prison in eastern Shandong province. Meanwhile, in South Korea, dozens from the same religious sect have contracted the virus.

(Image credit: Maksym Mykhailyk/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Why Amazon knows so much about you

BBC News article includes extensive history, narrative, graphics, photos and insight into how and why Amazon collects massive amounts of data Amazon on users through multiple channels of e-commerce and devices – by Leo Kelion – “You might call me an Amazon super-user. I’ve been a customer since 1999, and rely on it for everything from grass seed to birthday gifts. There are Echo speakers dotted throughout my home, Ring cameras inside and out, a Fire TV set-top box in the living room and an ageing Kindle e-reader by my bedside. I submitted a data subject access request, asking Amazon to disclose everything it knows about me Scanning through the hundreds of files I received in response, the level of detail is, in some cases, mind-bending. One database contains transcriptions of all 31,082 interactions my family has had with the virtual assistant Alexa. Audio clips of the recordings are also provided. The 48 requests to play Let It Go, flag my daughter’s infatuation with Disney’s Frozen. Other late-night music requests to the bedroom Echo, might provide a clue to a more adult activity…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Tracking The Money Race Behind The Presidential Campaign

See which 2020 presidential candidate has raised the most money, who has spent the most, where a candidate's funding comes from — and how the Democrats stack up against President Trump.

(Image credit: Sean McMinn/NPR)

Categories: Just News

Classaction.gov

Rose, Amanda M., Classaction.gov (February 10, 2020). Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 20-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3534317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3534317

“This Essay proposes the creation of a federally-run class action website and supporting administration (collectively, Classaction.gov) that would both operate a comprehensive research database on class actions and assume many of the notice and claims processing functions performed by class action claims administrators today. Classaction.gov would bring long-demanded transparency to class actions and, through forces of legitimization and coordination, would substantially increase the rate of consumer participation in class action settlements. It also holds the key to mitigating other problems in class action practice, such as the inefficiencies and potential abuses associated with multi-forum litigation, the limited success of CAFA’s notice requirement in spurring effective pubic oversight of class actions, and the potential for abuse inherent in cy pres settlement awards.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Charting a Way Forward – Online Content Regulation

Monika Bickert, VP Content Policy, Facebook: “…This paper explores possible regulatory structures for content governance outside the United States and identifies questions that require further discussion. It builds off recent developments on this topic, including legislation proposed or passed into law by governments, as well as scholarship that explains the various content governance approaches that have been adopted in the past and may be taken in the future.2 Its overall goal is to help frame a path forward—taking into consideration the views not only of policymakers and private companies, but also civil society and the people who use Facebook’s platform and services. This debate will be central to shaping the character of the internet for decades to come. If designed well, new frameworks for regulating harmful content can contribute to the internet’s continued success by articulating clear, predictable, and balanced ways for government, companies, and civil society to share responsibilities and work together. Designed poorly, these efforts may stifle expression, slow innovation, and create the wrong incentives for platforms…”

See also via LawFare – Facebook’s White Paper on the Future of Online Content Regulation: Hard Questions for Lawmakers

Categories: Law and Legal

Airfare Study Reveals the Best and Worst Times to Book Flights

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18, 2020 – PRNewswire – “Travel booking platform Qtrip.com today released its 1st Annual Airfare Study, carrying on the legacy of its sister brand CheapAir.com. The team crunched more than 917 million airfares in 8,000 markets to reveal the best and worst times to book U.S. domestic flights. The study finds that airfares have become less volatile over the last few years, and the best deals appear progressively earlier..”

Categories: Law and Legal

EPA Proposes to Regulate PFOAs and PFOS in Drinking Water

On February 20th, EPA Announced  it will make a regulatory determination (RD) for two emerging contaminants-perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)- under the Safe Drinking Water Act as part of its fourth Contaminant Candidate List. As part of this action, EPA plans to propose nationwide drinking water monitoring for PFAS under the next Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) monitoring cycle (UCMR 5) utilizing newer methods available to measure more PFAS and at lower minimum reporting levels than previous UCMR monitoring. EPA is also seeking comments on regulatory approaches for other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

A regulatory determination is a decision about whether or not to begin the process to propose and promulgate a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) for an unregulated contaminant. A preliminary regulatory determination set forths EPA’s view about whether certain unregulated contaminants meet three statutory criteria.In proposing this regulatory determination, EPA found that these substances meet the three statutory criteria:  (1)  PFOA and PFOS may have an adverse effect on human health;(2) that PFOA and PFOS occur in Public Water Systems (PWS) with a frequency and at levels of public health concern; and (3) that regulation of PFOA and PFOS presents a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by PWS.

After EPA considers public comment, EPA makes a final determination. For PFOA and PFOS,  the agency may promulgate a maximum contaminant level (MCL) or issue a treatment technique much like it has done with the lead and copper rule.  If EPA decides to issue MCLs for PFOA, PFOS, and/or other PFAS chemicals, PWSs could be required to monitor for these contaminants. In the RD, EPA says it may seek to minimize the monitoring burden on water systems while assuring public health protection. Minimizing the monitoring burden to the maximum extent feasible and allowed by statute could reduce costs for drinking water systems that have other important risk-reduction resource demands. The EPA is considering alternative approaches for this monitoring that reduce monitoring frequency for systems that are reliably and consistently below the MCL or do not detect the contaminant.

PFAS are found in a wide array of consumer and industrial products. PFAS manufacturing and processing facilities, facilities using PFAS in production of other products, airports, and military installations have been associated with PFAS releases into the air, soil, and water. PFOS and PFOA—two of the most widely-studied and longest-used PFAS and have been detected in up to 98% of serum samples taken in biomonitoring studies that are representative of the U.S. general population.

The pre-publication copy of the proposed regulatory determination may be viewed Here

The post EPA Proposes to Regulate PFOAs and PFOS in Drinking Water appeared first on Schnapf Environmental Law.

Categories: Law and Legal

Whiteout Conditions Lead To 140-Vehicle Pileup Near Montreal

The crash spread out over nearly two-thirds of a mile. According to police, two people were killed and 29 were injured.

(Image credit: William Dubuc via Storyful)

Categories: Just News

Evacuated For COVID-19 Scare, Pennsylvania Man Reflects On Life After Quarantine

As evacuees who cleared a 14-day quarantine return home to their communities, a U.S. man talks of his experience in China and the transition home.

(Image credit: Daniel Wethli)

Categories: Just News

Bezos' $10B Climate Fund, Bluetooth Bugs, and More News

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 17:49
Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
Categories: Just News

« Les Misérables », affaire classée ?

Leonard Cortana on why France’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards, Les Misérables, should be inscribed in the history of French cinema:

“The media described the film with the otherwise common expression "film coup-de-poing" (punch film) both allegories for the violence and the ephemeral. How can we transform these films often used as "booster shots" into a long-lasting dialogue where the civil society, whistleblowers and activists like Sihame Assbague and Assa Traoré take a significant part in the debate to highlight the process of criminalization of the victims in order to eliminate this systematic violence, made banal in our contemporary society? ”

Read more from Jeune Afrique (pay wall) or read a PDF of the article

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Facebook’s White Paper on the Future of Online Content Regulation

evelyn douek reviews a recent white paper from Facebook on online content moderation.

“Regulation is coming, and almost everyone—including Facebook—now seems to accept this is a good thing,” says douek. “But two wrongs do not make a right, and regulators themselves should not move fast and break things. The questions and concerns that Facebook raises in this white paper are real and difficult, and regulators should take them seriously.”

Read more from Lawfare

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

Leaked Document Shows How Big Companies Buy Credit Card Data on Millions of Americans

Motherboard – Yodlee, America’s largest financial data broker, says the data it sells it is anonymous. A confidential document obtained by Motherboard shows people could be unmasked in the data. “Yodlee, the largest financial data broker in the U.S., sells data pulled from the bank and credit card transactions of tens of millions of Americans to investment and research firms, detailing where and when people shopped and how much they spent. The company claims that the data is anonymous, but a confidential Yodlee document obtained by Motherboard indicates individual users could be unmasked. The findings come as multiple Senators have urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Envestnet, which owns Yodlee, for selling Americans’ transaction information without their knowledge or consent, potentially violating the law. “Let me be blunt. This is bullshit ‘anonymization,'” Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley, told Motherboard in an email after reviewing a section of the document….”

Categories: Law and Legal

Google AI no longer uses gender binary tags on images of people

INPUT Magazine: “Google’s image-labeling AI tool will no longer label pictures with gender tags like “man” and “woman,” according to an email seen by Business Insider. In the email, Google cites its ethical rules on AI as the basis for the change. This is a progressive move by Google — and one that will hopefully set a precedent for the rest of the AI industry…”

Categories: Law and Legal

New York City Tree Alphabet

Katie Holten has created a New York City Tree Alphabet.  Each letter of the Latin alphabet is assigned a drawing of a tree from the NYC Parks Department’s existing native and non-native trees, as well as species that are to be planted as a result of the changing climate. For example, A = Ash. Everyone is invited to download the free font, NYC Trees, and to write words, poems, messages, or love letters, in Trees. We’ll select some of these messages to plant with real trees around the city. JOIN US! * The New York City Tree Alphabet is an alphabetical planting palette, allowing us to rewrite the urban landscape by planting messages around the city with real trees. What messages would you like to see planted? Download the free font here or visit www.nyctrees.org to write with Trees….”

Categories: Law and Legal

As Compassion Fatigue Takes its Toll, Schools and Public Libraries Take Steps to Support Librarians

School Library Journal: “…Caring for others is often part of the job of being a school and youth librarian. In librarianship, as in some other professions such as nursing, there’s growing awareness that this caregiving is a form of work layered on top of other job responsibilities. It’s emotional labor, and when librarians are overworked and drained from dealing with others’ needs and not having time for their own, it can lead to what researchers call compassion fatiguLibrarians are often counseled at professional conferences, on blogs, and on social media that toward off compassion fatigue, they must practice self-care: go for a walk during lunch hour, take a five-minute meditation break, drink enough water. Although these tips are useful on an individual level, not everyone is able to take advantage of them, and to some, they seem like Band Aid suggestions that don’t address the underlying causes of burnout. However, some schools and public libraries are taking compassion fatigue seriously and using effective strategies to support their staff and insulate them from burnout. Researchers define compassion fatigue as the combination of secondary trauma and burnout—and have often applied it to the experiences of doctors, nurses, and first responders who are regularly exposed to traumatic events. Librarians, too, are often exposed to trauma. Librarians in Philadelphia made headlines a couple years ago because they were administering Narcan to people overdosing outside the library…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Precious Ethiopian Crown Returned —After 21 Years Stashed In A Dutch Apartment

Officials say the 18th century artifact disappeared in 1993. Then it turned up at Sirak Asfaw's place in the Netherlands in 1998. Not knowing what to do, he stayed quiet about it ... for two decades.

(Image credit: The Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed via AP)

Categories: Just News

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