AP: The big Pentagon internet mystery now partially solved. “A very strange thing happened on the internet the day President Joe Biden was sworn in. A shadowy company residing at a shared workspace above a Florida bank announced to the world’s computer networks that it was now managing a colossal, previously idle chunk of the internet owned by the U.S. Department of Defense. That real estate has since more than quadrupled to 175 million addresses — about 1/25th the size of the current internet.”
The Regulatory Review: The Regulation of Stolen Cultural Artifacts. “After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, looters stole thousands of Iraqi artifacts, which may now be purchased online for relatively low prices. Although the United States has returned many of these artifacts, thousands have slipped through the cracks…. A patchwork of laws and international agreements currently governs the transport and sale of illegally obtained cultural artifacts in the United States. The National Stolen Property Act (NSPA) makes it illegal to transport stolen artifacts across state lines but only covers items worth more than $5,000.”
SCOTUS Blog: Justices return to standing after Spokeo. “Nearly five years ago, the Supreme Court decided Spokeo v. Robins, the case of a Virginia man who alleged that an internet database company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act when it published inaccurate information about him. The justices ruled that to have standing – that is, a legal right to sue – it is not enough to simply allege that a statute has been violated. Instead, a plaintiff must show an injury that is both concrete and particularized, even if it is not necessarily a tangible one. On Tuesday in TransUnion v. Ramirez, the justices will consider how these requirements apply to class actions.”
UNESCO: UNESCO & Columbia University collaborate on case law on freedom of expression in the context of COVID-19
UNESCO: UNESCO & Columbia University collaborate on case law on freedom of expression in the context of COVID-19. “In partnership with UNESCO, Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression initiative published an online collection of case law related to COVID-19 from across the world, in English, French and Spanish. These decisions highlight the essential role of judicial actors in upholding the rule of law and human rights, especially in exceptional states of emergency.”
Governing: Judges Are Banning Capitol Rioters from the Internet. “Judges have long been reluctant to ban anyone from the internet, a restriction that essentially cuts a person off from much of modern society and has been reserved mostly for accused and convicted pedophiles. But as toxic disinformation becomes an increasingly dangerous threat, driving domestic terrorism and violence, the courts are facing vexing new questions around how often and under what circumstances those accused of taking part should be taken offline altogether.”
Afternoon Briefs: Lawyer gives frank reply to Justice Barrett; new site has law school scholarship information (ABA Journal)
ABA Journal: Afternoon Briefs: Lawyer gives frank reply to Justice Barrett; new site has law school scholarship information. “A database of law school scholarships, with search filters for things like award amounts, essay requirements and locations, was announced today by AccessLex, a nonprofit that focuses on increasing access to legal education. The Law School Scholarship Databank lists almost 800 offerings, according to its website.”
JD Supra: Pro Bono in a Pandemic: The Emergence of a Virtual Community. “Finding ways to continue pro bono participation in a virtual environment has given legal advocates opportunities to be creative and even cast their nets a little further when it comes to seeking attorney participation. Now, with various virtual pro bono platforms at an attorney’s disposal, there are three key opportunities we can take advantage of in order to provide the most effective assistance in the virtual world of pro bono service: (1) participate in virtual legal clinics, (2) attend virtual trainings, and (3) conduct virtual training for lawyers within your practice area, so they too can assist on pro bono matters.”
Citizens for Ethics: Judge stops ICE from destroying records of abuse. “ICE cannot destroy records of sexual abuse and assault, death reviews, detainee segregation files and other records it planned to dispose of, a federal judge ordered today in a case brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, American Historical Association and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.”
Chicago Booth Review: Law and order and data. “Algorithms are already being used in criminal-justice applications in many places, helping decide where police departments should send officers for patrol, as well as which defendants should be released on bail and how judges should hand out sentences. Research is exploring the potential benefits and dangers of these tools, highlighting where they can go wrong and how they can be prevented from becoming a new source of inequality. The findings of these studies prompt some important questions such as: Should artificial intelligence play some role in policing and the courts? If so, what role should it play? The answers, it appears, depend in large part on small details.”
BBC: Facebook rainforest ads: Inquiry ordered into Amazon land sales. “Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court has ordered an inquiry into the sale of protected areas of the Amazon rainforest via Facebook. It follows a BBC investigation, which revealed plots as large as 1,000 football pitches listed among the platform’s Marketplace classified ads.”
Poynter: What you need to know about Section 230, the ‘most important law protecting internet speech’
Poynter: What you need to know about Section 230, the ‘most important law protecting internet speech’ . “How did Section 230 come to be, and how could potential reforms affect the internet? We consulted the law and its experts to find out. ” A good explainer with lots of background.
Scottish Legal News: Database of miscarriages of justice in UK launched. “The Laboratory for Evidence-Based Justice, based at Exeter Law School, is a new research group working at the intersection of cognitive psychology, data science, and law. The new database, created by the lab, includes the most comprehensive set of information to date about convictions overturned as a result of factual error in the UK, and covers cases in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, from 1970 to the present.” Currently information is available on 346 cases.
TechCrunch: ‘Orwellian’ AI lie detector project challenged in EU court. “A legal challenge was heard [February 5] in Europe’s Court of Justice in relation to a controversial EU-funded research project using artificial intelligence for facial ‘lie detection’ with the aim of speeding up immigration checks.”