Medium: Plan for Publishing CRS Reports Falls Short

Medium: Plan for Publishing CRS Reports Falls Short. “In March, new legislation from Congress required the Library of Congress publish all non-confidential Congressional Research Service reports online by September 19th of this year. That deadline is rapidly approaching and while congressional and civil society concerns about the library’s implementation plan remain unaddressed, the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Hayden, declined a direct request from Rep. Lofgren for the Librarian to meet with civil society about improving the website.”

New York Times: Google Employees Protest Secret Work on Censored Search Engine for China

New York Times: Google Employees Protest Secret Work on Censored Search Engine for China. “Hundreds of Google employees, upset at the company’s decision to secretly build a censored version of its search engine for China, have signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences of their work.”

Open Secrets: Foreign interests have spent over $530 million influencing US policy, public opinion since 2017

Open Secrets: Foreign interests have spent over $530 million influencing US policy, public opinion since 2017. “Foreign lobbyists and agents acting on behalf of foreign interests have reported hundreds of millions of dollars in payments since January 2017, an analysis of OpenSecrets’ exclusive new Foreign Lobby Watch data reveals. Today we’re making available, for the first time, a searchable database of foreign interests spending on lobbying and influence in the United States.”

Transparency Win: Federal Circuit Makes Briefs Immediately Available to the Public (EFF)

EFF: Transparency Win: Federal Circuit Makes Briefs Immediately Available to the Public. “In a modest victory for public access, the Federal Circuit has changed its policies to allow the public to immediately access briefs. Previously, the court had marked briefs as ‘tendered’ and withheld them from the public pending review by the Clerk’s Office. That process sometimes took a number of days. EFF wrote a letter [PDF] asking the court to make briefs available as soon as they are filed. The court has now changed its policies to allow immediate access.”

Harvard Business Review: We Need Transparency in Algorithms, But Too Much Can Backfire

Harvard Business Review: We Need Transparency in Algorithms, But Too Much Can Backfire . “Companies and governments increasingly rely upon algorithms to make decisions that affect people’s lives and livelihoods – from loan approvals, to recruiting, legal sentencing, and college admissions. Less vital decisions, too, are being delegated to machines, from internet search results to product recommendations, dating matches, and what content goes up on our social media feeds. In response, many experts have called for rules and regulations that would make the inner workings of these algorithms transparent. But as Nass’s experience makes clear, transparency can backfire if not implemented carefully. Fortunately, there is a smart way forward.”

Phys .org: Private messaging apps increasingly used for public business

Phys .org: Private messaging apps increasingly used for public business. “One app promotes itself as a way to discuss sensitive negotiations and human resources problems without leaving a digital record. Another boasts that disappearing messages “keep your message history tidy.” And a popular email service recently launched a “confidential mode” allowing the content of messages to disappear after a set time. The proliferation of digital tools that make text and email messages vanish may be welcome to Americans seeking to guard their privacy. But open government advocates fear they are being misused by public officials to conduct business in secret and evade transparency laws.”