Gizmodo: ACLU is Suing the Federal Government for Information About Social Media Surveillance Practices

Gizmodo: ACLU Is Suing the Federal Government for Information About Social Media Surveillance Practices. “The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California against the federal government on Thursday over its social media surveillance practices, specifically relating to the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policy known as ‘extreme vetting.'”

TechCrunch: Transparency-seeking OPEN Government Data Act signed into law

TechCrunch: Transparency-seeking OPEN Government Data Act signed into law . “The federal government produces one hell of a lot of data, but despite desultory lurches toward usability, there’s little guarantee that it’s available in a way that makes it useful to anyone. That may change for the better with the OPEN Government Data Act, which the president signed into law last night. The act essentially requires federal agencies to default when possible to making data (and metadata) public, to publish that public data in a machine-readable format and catalog it online. It also mandates that chief data officers be appointed at those agencies to handle the process.”

New York Times Magazine: All the President’s Memes

New York Times Magazine: All the President’s Memes. “It’s impossible to overstate how peculiar it is that the most powerful man in the world, who will turn 73 in June, posts memes. It’s a behavior more often associated with youth, irreverence and a surfeit of free time — though certainly plenty of old, aggrieved people have picked up the habit in recent years. In 2016, the Trump campaign united message-board trolls and Facebook boomers, and together they disseminated so many memes that some of them began to believe — both jokingly and not — that their ‘meme magic’ had helped Trump win the election.”

Nature: Scientists despair as US government shutdown drags on

Nature: Scientists despair as US government shutdown drags on. “As the shutdown hits the two-week mark with no end in sight, its effects on science have begun to compound, leaving many government researchers weary, worried and demoralized. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has suspended reviews of grant proposals indefinitely, and is likely to delay panels scheduled to judge applications for postdoctoral fellowships in early January. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has taken widely used weather and climate databases offline. And at NASA, the shutdown threatens to disrupt preparations for upcoming spacecraft launches.”

A casualty of the US government shutdown: American embassy Twitter, other social media accounts (American Bazaar)

The American Bazaar: A casualty of the US government shutdown: American embassy Twitter, other social media accounts. “If you follow the Twitter handles of the US Embassy and the country’s four consulates in India and have missed seeing any new tweets from them on your timeline, do not think that the missions are still on an extended holiday mode.”

Washington Post: New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep

Washington Post: New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep. “A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the operation used every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office.”

Access denied: 2 climate change pages removed from DOT’s website (CNN)

CNN: Access denied: 2 climate change pages removed from DOT’s website. “The US Department of Transportation appears to have wiped pages with information about climate change from its website. CNN found at least two pages previously dedicated to detailing the possible impacts of climate change on the transportation sector — a key source of greenhouse gas emissions — that apparently have been cleared from the federal agency’s website. At least one of the pages was designed to serve as a ‘one-stop source of information on transportation and climate issues,’ making it easy for people to find and access the information.”