Washington, D.C., Stanford, Calif., and New York, February 18, 2020 — The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), Stanford Law School, and New York University School of Law are pleased to announce the release of a major report exploring federal agencies’ use of artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out administrative law functions. This is the most comprehensive study of the subject ever conducted in the United States. The report, entitled Government by Algorithm: Artificial Intelligence in Federal Administrative Agencies, examines the growing role that machine learning and other AI technologies are playing in federal agency adjudication, enforcement, and other regulatory activities. Based on a wide-ranging survey of federal agency activities and interviews with federal officials, the report maps current uses of AI technologies in federal agencies, highlights promising uses, and addresses challenges in assuring accountability, transparency, and non-discrimination. Stanford Law School Professors David Freeman Engstrom and Daniel Ho, NYU Law Professor Catherine Sharkey, and California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar served as principal advisors on the report. They received research assistance from 30 Stanford law, computer science, and engineering students, and five NYU Law students, who participated in the Spring 2019 Stanford policy lab, Administering by Algorithm: Artificial Intelligence in the Regulatory State. Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, with which Engstrom, Ho, and Cuéllar are affiliated, also provided seed funding for the report…”
The Guardian – The industry says its containers are safe but some experts point to a lack of data and warn that plastic and heat aren’t a good mix: “Many of us have an overflowing kitchen cupboard of plastic containers to store our leftovers.But as awareness grows over the health and environmental pitfalls of plastic, some consumers may be wondering: is it time to ditch that stash of old deli containers? Only 9% of all the plastic waste ever created has been recycled. From its contributions to global heating and pollution, to the chemicals and microplastics that migrate into our bodies, the food chain and the environment, the true cost of this cheap material is becoming more apparent. There are thousands of compounds found in plastic products across the food chain, and relatively little is known about most of them. But what we do know of some chemicals contained in plastic is concerning.
Phthalates, for example, which are used to make plastic more flexible and are found in food packaging and plastic wrap, have been found by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in measurable levels across the US population (including in the body of Guardian journalist Emily Holden). They have been linked to reproductive dysfunction in animal studies and some researchers have suggested links to decreased fertility, neurodevelopmental issues and asthma in humans…”
Some people were already grumbling about the redesign, but drivers soon noticed a bigger problem: The new license plates can be hard to read at night.
(Image credit: Andrew Collins)
ZDNet- From disorganised crime to state-backed hackers these groups can make the internet a dangerous place. Here’s a guide to the major menaces to avoid. “Criminals are drawn to the internet for as many different reasons as the rest of us. Some of them just want to break things, many want to get rich, and some want to change the world. Some are lone wolves, some are part of sophisticated criminal gangs and some even work with the tacit approval and support of their governments. But thanks to the borderless nature of the internet you could be unlucky enough to find that some — or all — of these groups could be targeting you. Just as the rise of the web created new business models and allowed existing firms to sell and communicate globally, so it has also created new types of crime that didn’t exist before, as well as giving existing crimes a turbo boost by allowing crooks to perpetrate them from anywhere in the world…”
ZDNet – A new report suggests that vulnerabilities in medical devices could put hospital patients at risk from hackers – but there are some simple ways to protect against these attacks: “Connected medical devices are twice as likely to be vulnerable to the BlueKeep exploit than other devices on hospital networks, putting patients and staff at additional risk from cyber attacks. This is especially concerning when healthcare is already such a popular target for hacking campaigns. BlueKeep is a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) service which was discovered last year, and impacts Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft issued a patch for BlueKeep after it came to light in May 2019, and security authorities including the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued urgent warnings about patching vulnerable systems. It was feared that BlueKeep could be deployed as a worm in a similar fashion to EternalBlue — the exploit that powered WannaCry. This cyber attack affected organisations around the world, but one of the most high-profile victims was the UK’s National Health Service, which saw a number of hospital networks taken offline by the incident. However, despite warnings over a potential repeat, large numbers of standard Windows systems – and bespoke medical devices running Windows — remain vulnerable to BlueKeep attacks…”
AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 18, 2020 – “American Bar Association President Judy Perry Martinez delivered a strong defense Monday of the judiciary and prosecutors in remarks to the ABA House of Delegates, the association’s policy-making body, on the final day of the ABA Midyear Meeting. “The personal attacks on our judges and prosecutors must cease,” she said. “No one, no one, should interfere with the fair administration of justice. And no one, no one, should have to live in fear for following the law and upholding our Constitution of the United States.” Martinez also noted that Americans of all backgrounds are paying renewed attention to issues of justice. “They’re talking about due process, evidence, attorney-client privilege, fair trials and just punishment; the imperative of the oath to protect and defend the Constitution, no better demonstrated than when lawyers and public servants operating within the framework of law are able to do so free from obstruction, intimidation and retribution,” she added.”
The bank says it will shed nearly 15% of its workforce and $100 billion in investments as it refocuses on growth markets in Asia and reduces operations in Europe and the U.S.
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Alex Stamos discusses his experience at Facebook handling 2016 election interference, as well as his work on cybersecurity, disinformation, and end-to-end encryption with evelyn douek and Kate Klonick.
The Pearl River crested at 36.7 feet in Jackson, Miss. — lower than feared. Flooding also hit parts of Tennessee, where one official said, "It is a chess match we're playing with Mother Nature."
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The move would free Blagojevich from federal prison four years before he would have been eligible for parole. He is among 11 people receiving clemency, the White House says.
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Oklahoma used to have more public shelters that could accommodate wheelchairs. But many have closed, and there's still no financial aid for renters with disabilities to build safe alternatives.
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Julie Owono was recently quoted in leading French Magazine L'Express about a social media tax, proposed by a French MP, to fight against hate speech online.
Like in Uganda, the measure wouldn't be efficient, and would reinforce censorship : “in the face of such a restrictive measure, the use of VPNs would increase considerably.”
Winters are warming faster than summers in many places, and colder parts of the U.S. are warming faster than hotter ones. The warming winter climate has year-round consequences across the country.
(Image credit: Illustrations by Cornelia Li for NPR)
President Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank is still under investigation, so David Enrich's story is necessarily incomplete. But he shows the bank's tale is complex — more than one gone rogue.
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Liu Zhiming is one of more than 1,700 medical workers in China who have been confirmed to have been infected with the virus, state news outlets report.
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"It is important to know that these people being released from quarantine pose no health risk to the surrounding community," a CDC press officer said in a statement to NPR.
(Image credit: Philip and Gay Courter/via Reuters)