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Federal Laws Versus States Rights Re-Visited

Federal Laws Versus States Rights Re-Visited

USRENEW NEWS EDITORIAL
By USRENEW NEWS Reporters (Scout Burchill, Ron Israel, Tim Loftus, Rod Maggay and Lynn Waldsmith)

The United States has a democratic federal form of governance with law-making responsibilities divided between the federal government and our 50 states. The U.S. Constitution, written in 1789, seeks to provide a framework for areas of governance that belong to the states and those that belong to the federal government.

The Facebook Files Follow-Up: Facebook’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

The Facebook Files Follow-Up: Facebook’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Brief #64 – Technology
By Scout Burchill

Frances Haugen, the whistleblower behind the Wall Street Journal’s hugely-consequential Facebook Files (see Brief #64 for more details) took center stage earlier this month, revealing her identity in a primetime interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes before testifying in front of Congress in a series of high-profile hearings. Haugen’s revelations, coupled with an hours-long complete blackout of all Facebook-owned platforms, added up to one of Facebook’s worst weeks ever.

The Facebook Files: A Clarion Call for Real Accountability and Transparency

The Facebook Files: A Clarion Call for Real Accountability and Transparency

Brief #63 – Technology
By Scout Burchill

A remarkable investigative series published last month by the Wall Street Journal reveals the profound, and deeply disturbing, ways Facebook is warping our society. The Facebook Files, as they are called, expose bombshell revelations about the harms the biggest social media company in the world knowingly perpetrates. While much ink has been spilled on this topic before, the Facebook Files are already shaping up to be the most damning scandal to rock the company since Cambridge Analytica.

Apple’s New Child Sexual Abuse Material Detection System: Responsible Prevention or Dangerous Precedent?

Apple’s New Child Sexual Abuse Material Detection System: Responsible Prevention or Dangerous Precedent?

Brief #62 – Technology
By Scout Burchill

Earlier this month, Apple announced three new features to protect children and crack down on child sexual abuse material (CSAM). While these new features, which will be rolled out on all iPhone and iPad devices in the coming months, may be well-intentioned, a number of security researchers and civil rights groups are raising the alarm about their potential to open the floodgates to increasing government and corporate surveillance.

No One is Safe From the Data Brokerage Industry

No One is Safe From the Data Brokerage Industry

Brief #22 – Technology
By Scout Burchill

While you may not be familiar with the shadowy world of the data brokerage industry, there’s a good chance that it knows a lot about you. Data brokers are the unsavory middlemen in our rampant, unregulated surveillance economy. In short, they collect, purchase and aggregate our personal data from the smartphone applications we use and then refine, re-package and sell it for profit. A recent scandal involving the outing of a closeted Catholic priest validates critics’ worst fears about this predatory industry: no one is safe.

Spyware Technology: A Global Threat top Democracy and Human Rights

Spyware Technology: A Global Threat top Democracy and Human Rights

Brief #58 – Technology Policy
By Scout Burchill

A flurry of articles have recently been published on the Israeli based cyber-surveillance company NSO Group thanks to a recent leak exposed by Forbidden Stories, a collaborative non-profit journalist organization, which revealed a list of about 50,000 phone numbers alleged to have been targeted by the company’s Pegasus surveillance software.

Global Perspectives: Nigeria: A Case Study In The Slow Creep of Digital Authoritarianism

Global Perspectives: Nigeria: A Case Study In The Slow Creep of Digital Authoritarianism

Brief #57 – Technology
By Scout Burchill

On June 4th, the Nigerian government announced an “indefinite suspension” of Twitter after the social media company deleted a controversial tweet by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. The Nigerian government’s Twitter ban and its recent history of attempts to more stringently regulate online speech present a cautionary tale about the rise of digital authoritarianism.

Big Tech Antitrust Efforts Take a Step Forward

Big Tech Antitrust Efforts Take a Step Forward

Brief #56 – Technology
By Scout Burchill

The world of antitrust and Big Tech regulation has been brimming with developments lately, and all signs point to a transformational shift underway in Washington. Last month, in a rare show of bipartisanship, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve Lina Khan’s nomination to the Federal Trade Commission.

It’s Time to Start Taking UFOs Seriously

It’s Time to Start Taking UFOs Seriously

Brief # 50 – Technology
By Scout Burchill

By the end of this month a long-anticipated report will be released by the U.S. Intelligence community on UFOs. A once fringe, conspiracy-laden topic, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAPs as they are called by the Pentagon, have infiltrated the Washington establishment as of late and captured the fascination of the wider public.

Global Perspectives: India’s Draconian New Digital Media Laws and the Responsibilities of U.S. Tech Companies

Global Perspectives: India’s Draconian New Digital Media Laws and the Responsibilities of U.S. Tech Companies

Brief # 49 – Technology
By Scout Burchill

In late May, the Indian government enacted sweeping new laws to regulate social media companies and digital platforms. The laws will require digital content providers, from Twitter and Facebook to Netflix and independent news organizations, to remove content that government authorities find objectionable within 36 hours of being flagged.

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