Rutgers University: Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics Launches First Public Database of Scientists in State Politics

Rutgers University: Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics Launches First Public Database of Scientists in State Politics. “The Science and Politics Initiative at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics has launched the first publicly accessible national database of elected state legislators with scientific, engineering and health care training.”

Politico: National Archives can’t resurrect Trump’s tweets, Twitter says

Politico: National Archives can’t resurrect Trump’s tweets, Twitter says. “Twitter will not allow the National Archives to make former President Donald Trump’s past tweets from his @realDonaldTrump account available on the social media platform, the company told POLITICO on Wednesday, in the latest display of Silicon Valley’s power over communications channels used by the U.S. government.”

Washington Post: Facebook is quietly helping to set up a new pro-tech advocacy group to battle Washington

Washington Post: Facebook is quietly helping to set up a new pro-tech advocacy group to battle Washington. “Facebook is working behind the scenes to help launch a new political advocacy group that would combat U.S. lawmakers and regulators trying to rein in the tech industry, escalating Silicon Valley’s war with Washington at a moment when government officials are threatening to break up large companies. The organization is called American Edge, and it aims through a barrage of advertising and other political spending to convince policymakers that Silicon Valley is essential to the U.S. economy and the future of free speech, according to three people familiar with the matter as well as documents reviewed by The Washington Post.”

The Diplomat: How Will China’s Sovereign Digital Currency Affect Fintech?

The Diplomat: How Will China’s Sovereign Digital Currency Affect Fintech?. “China’s sovereign digital currency is still in the testing phase, but has caused speculation about what effect it will have on fintech. Some experts have asserted that the digital currency will crowd out payment methods WeChat Pay and Alipay. Others have stated that China’s sovereign digital currency will boost the fintech industry overall since it is electronic. So, how can we reasonably predict will the effect of the digital currency will be on China’s fintech industry?”

Houston Chronicle: Texas AG Ken Paxton refuses to release texts, emails sent during pro-Trump rally and Capitol riot

Houston Chronicle: Texas AG Ken Paxton refuses to release texts, emails sent during pro-Trump rally and Capitol riot. “The Texas attorney general’s office is attempting to withhold all messages Ken Paxton sent or received while in Washington for the pro-Donald Trump rally that devolved into a riot at the U.S. Capitol. Several news organizations in Texas have requested copies of the attorney general’s work-related communications. The Texas Public Information Act guarantees the public’s right to government records — even if those records are stored on personal devices or online accounts of public officials.”

PR Newswire: Gale Debuts New Digital Archive Series on British Intelligence (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: Gale Debuts New Digital Archive Series on British Intelligence (PRESS RELEASE). “Twentieth-Century British Intelligence, An Intelligence Empire brings together previously classified documents from The U.K. National Archives that offer new viewpoints on the machinery of British intelligence, decolonization and global policy and strategy, including important insight into international politics and diplomacy in the 20th century. Available on the Gale Primary Sources platform, this never-before-digitized collection gives scholars and researchers access to thousands of top secret files that provide historical context on the history of British intelligence.” Gale, so not free, obviously…

Cornell Daily Sun: Global Student Policy Alliance Creates Climate Policy Database

Cornell Daily Sun: Global Student Policy Alliance Creates Climate Policy Database. “Students from four universities — including Cornell — and two countries have worked to compile a comprehensive database of climate policy initiatives from the 193 member states of the United Nations. These students comprise the Global Student Policy Alliance, a transatlantic association of think tanks based at Cornell, the University of Chicago, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge. The group of about 30 students met over a planning period this summer to divide up the research as they explored different countries’ policies.”

CBS News: Countries around the world have some unusual rules to combat coronavirus

CBS News: Countries around the world have some unusual rules to combat coronavirus. “As COVID-19 vaccination efforts pick up speed, many states across the U.S. are easing or dropping restrictions. But that’s not the case in many other countries around the world. In fact, some have rules that are far more stringent than anything ever imposed in the U.S. From 6 p.m. curfews, to ‘no talking’ rules, to men and women being allowed outside only on alternating days, coronavirus restrictions around the world are constantly evolving — some in unusual ways.”

Route Fifty: New Project Aims to Identify Local Government Assets at Risk of Cyberattack

Route Fifty: New Project Aims to Identify Local Government Assets at Risk of Cyberattack. “State and local governments are poised to get some extra help identifying critical technology systems that could be at risk of cyberattacks, as part of a new federal pilot program. The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency will provide $1.2 million to fund the pilot, which will be overseen by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio.”

StateTech Magazine: New Forms of Ransomware and 5G Smart City Attacks Could Cause Real Harm, Expert Warns

StateTech Magazine: New Forms of Ransomware and 5G Smart City Attacks Could Cause Real Harm, Expert Warns. “The threat of ransomware attacks for state and local governments has been an ever-present peril over the past several years, one that has gotten worse, experts say. What’s more, the threat is likely going to evolve to attack cloud service providers that host government services. That’s according to cybersecurity expert Theresa Payton, who detailed her IT security predictions for 2021 and 2022 during a recent webinar sponsored by CDW and Intel.”

Michigan Radio: Introducing Minutes, a new tool to keep track of local government in Michigan

Michigan Radio: Introducing Minutes, a new tool to keep track of local government in Michigan. “We’ve been working on this project for more than a year, with funding from the Google News Initiative. And what we’ve built is a program that can search for and download content from the videos of public meetings from dozens of cities and counties from every corner of Michigan…. One way we’re making these meetings more public is by setting up new podcasts feeds, so you can subscribe and listen to the meetings for your city.”

National Academies: New Rapid Expert Consultation Offers Strategies for Navigating Disaster Response, Evacuation, and Sheltering Complicated by COVID-19

National Academies: New Rapid Expert Consultation Offers Strategies for Navigating Disaster Response, Evacuation, and Sheltering Complicated by COVID-19. “A new rapid expert consultation from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies strategies for emergency planners and decision-makers to consider as they update their disaster plans for evacuation, sheltering, and mass care amid COVID-19.”

Politico: Groups press Biden to commit to transparency

Politico: Groups press Biden to commit to transparency. “When President Joe Biden was sworn in last month, he signed 17 executive orders and other directives. None was focused on transparency. Now, a coalition of advocates for more access to government information and deliberations are urging Biden to make such openness a higher priority and to reverse what they contend was a deterioration in public access to the inner workings of government under former President Donald Trump.”

Myanmar coup: How Facebook became the ‘digital tea shop’ (BBC)

BBC: Myanmar coup: How Facebook became the ‘digital tea shop’. “As Myanmar’s military seized control in a coup on 1 February, many Burmese watched events unfold on Facebook in real-time. It’s the primary source of information and news, where businesses operate and how authorities disseminate vital information. Its ubiquity has meant it plays an outsized role in what information is amplified and its real-world impact.”

MIT Technology Review: The Biden administration’s AI plans: what we might expect

MIT Technology Review: The Biden administration’s AI plans: what we might expect. “At the moment, the most pressing issues on his table are fighting the coronavirus pandemic, providing financial relief for Americans, and reversing a series of Trump-era policies on climate change, international relations, and immigration. Artificial intelligence, as expected, hasn’t yet made it to the top of list. But he has given several signals already about how his administration might think about and treat the technology.”