National Archives: Celebrate Constitution Day with the National Archives (virtually)

National Archives: Celebrate Constitution Day with the National Archives (virtually). “The National Archives celebrates the 234th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution with a book talk, ‘The People’s Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union,’ a kids’ program with James Madison, and We Rule! – our new civics initiative! The National Archives is the permanent home of the original Constitution. Constitution Day celebrates the signing of this landmark document in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. These programs are free, but advanced registration is encouraged. See Celebrating Constitution Day for an array of related online resources.”

Techdirt: Florida Presents Its Laughable Appeal For Its Unconstitutional Social Media Content Moderation Law

Techdirt: Florida Presents Its Laughable Appeal For Its Unconstitutional Social Media Content Moderation Law . “Now that Texas has signed its unconstitutional social media content moderation bill into law, the action shifts back to Florida’s similar law that was already declared unconstitutional in an easy decision by the district court. Florida has filed its opening brief in its appeal before the 11th Circuit and… it’s bad. I mean, really, really bad.”

Scottish Government transparency: Ministers criticised for lack of back-up system for WhatsApp and text messages (The Scotsman)

The Scotsman: Scottish Government transparency: Ministers criticised for lack of back-up system for WhatsApp and text messages. “Scottish ministers may be deleting controversial text and WhatsApp messages from their phones permanently due to the failure of the Scottish Government to have an adequate back-up system in place.”

France 24: French ex-health minister Buzyn under formal investigation over handling of pandemic

France 24: French ex-health minister Buzyn under formal investigation over handling of pandemic. “Former French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn has been put under formal investigation on Friday over her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, after investigators at a special court in Paris concluded there were grounds to prosecute her. Buzyn has been charged with “endangering the lives of others”, the prosecutor of the Republic’s Court of Justice said, but not for a second possible offence of ‘failure to stop a disaster’.”

Cal Matters: Use our new tool to learn about your legislators and monitor their voting behavior

Cal Matters: Use our new tool to learn about your legislators and monitor their voting behavior. “Six years ago, we started CalMatters with a bold mission to deliver strong public service journalism that empowers Californians to engage with their state government. I’m excited to share with you that we’re continuing this commitment with the launch of Glass House: California Legislator Tracker.”

The Guardian: Study finds growing government use of sensitive data to ‘nudge’ behaviour

The Guardian: Study finds growing government use of sensitive data to ‘nudge’ behaviour. “A new form of ‘influence government’, which uses sensitive personal data to craft campaigns aimed at altering behaviour has been ‘supercharged’ by the rise of big tech firms, researchers have warned. National and local governments have turned to targeted advertisements on search engines and social media platforms to try to ‘nudge’ the behaviour of the country at large, the academics found.”

The Verge: Most US government agencies are using facial recognition

The Verge: Most US government agencies are using facial recognition. “A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 19 of the 24 US government agencies surveyed are using facial recognition in some way, illustrating how commonplace the controversial technology has become within the federal government. The list of agencies includes agencies like the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that maintain in-house systems, alongside smaller agencies that use the system to control access to high-security locations.”

ProPublica: A Boy With an Autoimmune Disease Was Ready to Learn in Person. Then His State Banned Mask Mandates.

ProPublica: A Boy With an Autoimmune Disease Was Ready to Learn in Person. Then His State Banned Mask Mandates.. “For families whose children are too young to be eligible for vaccinations, the delta surge has once again left many parents weighing the risks of in-person learning, especially in states that are bucking federal recommendations to impose universal masking in schools. Some families have reluctantly shifted back to virtual instruction. Others have pulled their children out of the public school system altogether, opting for home-schooling. But for families like the Gambrels, the stakes are exponentially higher. Children like Jayden, with complex health conditions, often are among those most in need of direct, specialized instruction that can only be delivered in person. Those same health conditions can also put children like Jayden at higher risk of infection and illness.”

Federal News Network: NIH team creating new data tool that tracks federal employee perceptions and demographics

Federal News Network: NIH team creating new data tool that tracks federal employee perceptions and demographics. “Several agencies have said they’re craving more data that will paint a better intersectional picture of the federal workforce — how women of color or Hispanic supervisors and leaders, for example, are feeling about their agencies and jobs. Current federal survey data doesn’t tell those stories, and some agencies can only collect certain demographic data about their employees on a voluntary basis, a point that Office of Personnel Management and Office of Management and Budget leaders have acknowledged is a challenge.”

Opinion: Govs. DeSantis and Abbott, in denial and risking lives, have betrayed the public trust (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Opinion: Govs. DeSantis and Abbott, in denial and risking lives, have betrayed the public trust. “In covid-19′s dismal fourth wave, some things haven’t changed. Vaccination still dramatically reduces the chance of serious disease. Mask-wearing and distancing are still effective tools in fighting an easily aerosolized pathogen. But some of the pandemic’s moral mathematics have become harder to figure. Because of the delta variant, more people who did the right thing and took the vaccines are testing positive for covid (though they are far less likely to become dangerously ill). Whole nations that did the right thing — such as Israel, which has vaccinated as much as 78 percent of its population age 12 and older — are seeing new cases rise. The delta virus falls on the just and the unjust.”

Model D: New website SoapBox Detroit aims to make city government more accessible

Model D: New website SoapBox Detroit aims to make city government more accessible. “Daniel Arking calls it his ‘Furlough Friday’ project. As assistant corporation counsel for the City of Detroit, working in the city’s law department, Arking found his Fridays freed up over the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like much of the staff, Arking was subject to work furloughs as the city wrestled with the onset of the pandemic. Arking took the time off to fully realize an idea that he started to develop in 2017: SoapBox Detroit, a website that gathers city ordinance news and public meeting announcements from the city’s many different departments and divisions and compiles them in one location.”

Politico: Inside America’s Covid-reporting breakdown

Politico: Inside America’s Covid-reporting breakdown. “Oklahoma’s struggle is America’s. The CDC relies on states to identify and monitor viral outbreaks that, if uncontrolled, can kill thousands of people. But the coronavirus exposed a patchwork system in which state officials struggled to control the spread of Covid-19 because their outdated surveillance systems did not allow them to collect and analyze data in real-time, according to a six-month POLITICO investigation that included interviews with four dozen health officials in 25 states and more than a dozen current and former officials at the CDC and other federal health agencies.”

Harvard Gazette: How the government can support a free press and cut disinformation

Harvard Gazette: How the government can support a free press and cut disinformation. “In a new book, ‘Saving the News: Why the Constitution Calls for Government Action to Preserve Freedom of Speech’ (Oxford University Press, 2021), Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard Law School, says the First Amendment not only does not preclude the federal government from protecting a free press in jeopardy, it requires that it do so. Minow spoke with the Gazette about some of the ways to potentially clean up social media and bankroll local news, and why arguing on Twitter isn’t a First Amendment right.”

San Diego Union-Tribune: Calif. task force recommends public archive for digital campaign ads

San Diego Union-Tribune: Calif. task force recommends public archive for digital campaign ads. “A task force convened by the state agency in charge of enforcing the California Political Reform Act is recommending the creation of a digital archive to track online advertisements promoting candidates for state office. In a report released this week by the Fair Political Practices Commission, task force members say a public database of digital ads would help voters, researchers, journalists and others keep better track of campaign spending by state office seekers.”