Research

Facebook Pushes Outside Law Firms to Become More Diverse

beSpacific - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:49

The New York Times – “The social media giant, like other corporations, is pressing its outside law firms to have more minorities and women working on its legal matters….Facebook is requiring that women and ethnic minorities account for at least 33 percent of law firm teams working on its matters. Numbers alone, however, are not enough, under a policy that went in effect on Saturday. Law firms must also show that they “actively identify and create clear and measurable leadership opportunities for women and minorities” when they represent the company in litigation and other legal matters…”

Categories: Research

For April Ryan, Clashes With WH Bring a New Kind of Prominence

beSpacific - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:43

The New York Times – “…One of the few black journalists in the White House press corps, Ms. Ryan has covered presidents and clashed with press secretaries for 20 years. But her encounters with the Trump administration are propelling the 49-year-old, Baltimore-bred journalist to a new level of prominence — and into a contentious debate over this White House’s attitudes toward gender and race…”

Categories: Research

Study shows how slow breathing induces tranquility

beSpacific - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:28

A particularly timely and relevant finding – the Calming Effect of Breathing: “Stanford scientists have identified a small group of neurons that communicates goings-on in the brain’s respiratory control center to the structure responsible for generating arousal throughout the brain. Try it. Breathe slowly and smoothly. A pervasive sense of calm descends. Now breathe rapidly and frenetically. Tension mounts. Why? It’s a question that has never been answered by science, until now. In a new study, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their colleagues have identified a handful of nerve cells in the brainstem that connect breathing to states of mind. A paper describing the findings were published March 31 in ScienceMark Krasnow, MD, PhD, professor of biochemistry, is the senior author. The lead author is former Stanford graduate student Kevin Yackle, MD, PhD, now a faculty fellow at the University of California-San Francisco. Medical practitioners sometimes prescribe breathing-control exercises for people with stress disorders. Similarly, the practice of pranayama — controlling breath in order to shift one’s consciousness from an aroused or even frantic state to a more meditative one — is a core component of virtually all varieties of yoga.”

Categories: Research

Paper – Australian Best Practices – A Comparison with the UK and US

beSpacific - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:18

Joy, Peter A. and Evans, Adrian and Cody, Anna and Giddings, Jeff and Noone, Mary Anne and Rice, Simon, Australian Best Practices – A Comparison with the United Kingdom and the United States (February 2017). Chapter 10 in: Australian Clinical Legal Education, ANU Press (February 2017); Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2943605

“This chapter, from the book “Australian Clinical Legal Education” compares efforts in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to establish best practices or standards in clinical legal education and the resulting best practices that were developed. The material in this chapter may aid faculty teaching clinical courses in other countries as they consider whether to develop their own best practices in light of their cultures, legal institutions, and systems of legal education.”

Categories: Research

New Report Aims to Help Criminal Defense Attorneys Challenge Secretive Government Hacking

beSpacific - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:08

Lawyers at EFF, the ACLU, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers released a report today outlining strategies for challenging law enforcement hacking, a technique of secretly and remotely spying on computer users to gather evidence. Federal agents are increasingly using this surveillance technique, and the report will help those targeted by government malware—and importantly their attorneys—fight to keep illegally-obtained evidence out of court. A recent change in little-known federal criminal court procedures, which was quietly pushed by the Justice Department, has enabled federal agents to use a single warrant to remotely search hundreds or thousands of computers without having to specify whose information is being captured or where they are. We expect these changes to result in much greater use of the technique, and the guide will arm attorneys with information necessary to defend their clients and ensure that law enforcement hacking complies with the Constitution and other laws…”

Categories: Research

Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’

beSpacific - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 21:53

Politico, Eric Wolff – “The Office of International Climate and Clean Energy is the only office at DOE with the words ‘climate’ in its name, and it may be endangered as Trump looks to reorganize government agencies. A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO. Employees of DOE’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy learned of the ban at a meeting Tuesday [March 28, 2017], the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order [Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence] at EPA headquarters to reverse most of former President Barack Obama’s climate regulatory initiatives. Officials at the State Department and in other DOE offices said they had not been given a banned words list, but they had started avoiding climate-related terms in their memos and briefings given the new administration’s direction on climate change…”

Categories: Research

GAO – 2016 Lobbying Disclosure

beSpacific - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 21:35

2016 Lobbying Disclosure: Observations on Lobbyists’ Compliance with Disclosure Requirements, GAO-17-385: Published: Mar 31, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2017.

“Lobbyists must register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House when they take on new clients, and file reports disclosing their lobbying activities, income, and certain political contributions. In our most recent review of compliance with these requirements, we found that

  • 90% of lobbyists filed new client reports,
  • 83% could provide documentation for income, and
  • 94% filed political contributions reports.

We also found that some lobbyists were unclear about the need to disclose certain previous jobs—including certain executive agency positions. These findings are generally consistent with our prior reports on the subject.”

Categories: Research

This Year's H-1B Visa Applications Look A Lot Like Last Year's

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 14:34
"This year's round of H-1B visa program applications was scheduled to launch Monday, and it was largely absent of President Donald Trump's proposed policy changes," writes Newsweek. An anonymous reader quotes their report: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services last updated its online page dedicated to the program, which granted visas to skilled foreign workers, Wednesday with the rules mostly similar to those of last year and quotas remaining the same. These requirements were set to launch despite Trump's vow to reform the program on the grounds that companies exploited it to fill jobs once held by U.S. citizens who earned higher wages. An alleged draft of an executive order was leaked last month and widely circulated, raising fears that the administration was preparing to gut the program. These measures were never announced. "There was a window in which the White House could have made serious reforms," Russ Harrison, head of government relations for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA, told The Wall Street Journal. "For whatever reason, they decided not to take it."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

How To Protect Your Privacy Online

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 13:34
Though the U.S. Congress voted to roll back privacy rules, broadband customers can still opt-out of targeted advertising from Comcast, Charter, AT&T, and T-Mobile. But an anonymous reader explains why that's not enough: "It's not clear that opting out will prevent ISPs from putting your data to use," reports The Verge, adding "you're opting out of seeing ads, but not out of providing data." Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, tells NPR that consumers can also "call their providers and opt out of having their information shared." But he also suggests a grass roots effort, calling this "an opportunity to pressure companies to implement good practices and for consumers to say 'I think that you should require opt-in consent and if you're not, why not?'" To try to stop the creation of that data, Brian Krebs has also posted a guide for choosing a VPN provider, and shared a useful link to a chart comparing VPN providers that was recommended by the EFF. This may help avoid some of the problems reported with VPN services, and Krebs also recommends Tor as a free (albeit possibly slower) option, while sharing an informational link describing Tor's own limitations. I'm curious what steps Slashdot's readers are taking (if any) to protect their own privacy online?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

This week at the court

SCOTUS Blog - Sun, 04/02/2017 - 12:02

We expect orders from the March 31 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m. There is also a possibility of opinions on Monday at 10 a.m. The justices will meet next for their April 13 conference. The calendar for the April sitting is available on the court’s website.

The post This week at the court appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

Categories: Research

EFF Issues April Fool's Day Newsletter

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 21:34
An anonymous reader writes: There were some surprises in today's edition of the EFF's "EFFector" newsletter. Noting that it's their sqrt(-1)th issue, they report that the EU will protect the privacy of its data by building a 30-foot wall around the United States. "Only U.S. tech companies that comply with EU privacy restrictions and prohibit U.S. government access to their data will be given fiber optic grappling hooks to transport Europeans' data across the Atlantic, over the wall, and back to their U.S.-based servers." The newsletter also reports that the bipartisan leaders of the U.S. House and Senate Intelligence Committees "apologized during a press conference this morning for failing to provide rigorous supervision of the intelligence community." And the newsletter also reports that Deadpool won an Oscar after PricewaterhouseCoopers mistakenly handed the presenters an envelope with a list of the most-frequently torrent-ed movie of 2016. But perhaps its most unexpected headline is "Comcast to Assimilate with the Borg." The Borg said the deal would increase its market share, nationwide reach, and overall reputation for evil -- while Comcast claimed that the deal would boost competition.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

Connecticut May Become First US State To Allow Deadly Police Drones

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 18:34
According to Reuters, Connecticut lawmakers are considering a new bill that would allow police to equip drones with potentially lethal weapons. The bill, which was approved overwhelmingly by the state legislature's judiciary committee on Wednesday, actually aims to ban weaponized drones, but exempts the ban from law enforcement agencies. From the report: Connecticut would become the first U.S. state to allow law enforcement agencies to use drones equipped with deadly weapons if a bill opposed by civil libertarians becomes law. The legislation was introduced as a complete ban on weaponized drones but just before the committee vote it was amended to exclude police from the restriction. "Data shows police force is disproportionately used on minority communities, and we believe that armed drones would be used in urban centers and on minority communities," said David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut. "That's not the kind of precedent we want to set here," McGuire said of the prospect that Connecticut would become the first state to allow police to use lethally armed drones. If Connecticut's Democratic-controlled House passes the bill it will move to the Senate, which is split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

Trump Extends Obama Executive Order On Cyberattacks

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 17:34
"U.S. President Donald Trump is extending by one year special powers introduced by former President Barack Obama that allow the government to issue sanctions against people and organizations engaged in significant cyberattacks and cybercrime against the U.S.," according to InfoWorld. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Executive Order 13694 was introduced on April 1, 2015, and was due to expire on Saturday, but the president sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday evening informing it of his plans to keep it active. Significant malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," Trump wrote in the letter. "Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694 with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities." The executive order gave the U.S. new powers to retaliate for hacking of critical infrastructure, major denial of service attacks or large scale economic hacking. It was expanded in December 2016 to include election-related systems and used to sanction Russian agents and organizations for their alleged role in a series of attacks during the presidential election.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

Trump Extends Obama Executive Order On Cyberattacks [Flagged]

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Sat, 04/01/2017 - 17:34
"U.S. President Donald Trump is extending by one year special powers introduced by former President Barack Obama that allow the government to issue sanctions against people and organizations engaged in significant cyberattacks and cybercrime against the U.S.," according to InfoWorld. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Executive Order 13694 was introduced on April 1, 2015, and was due to expire on Saturday, but the president sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday evening informing it of his plans to keep it active. Significant malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," Trump wrote in the letter. "Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694 with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities." The executive order gave the U.S. new powers to retaliate for hacking of critical infrastructure, major denial of service attacks or large scale economic hacking. It was expanded in December 2016 to include election-related systems and used to sanction Russian agents and organizations for their alleged role in a series of attacks during the presidential election.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Research

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