Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Appeals Court Upholds Public.Resource.Org’s Right to Post Public Laws and Regulations Online; Hackers Are Salivating Over Electric Cars; and How Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa Target You With Ads.
On August 30th each year the world is reminded that hundreds of thousands of people in at least 85 countries don’t know where their loved ones are, or even whether they are alive or dead. For the victims of enforced disappearance and their families, every day is the Day of the Disappeared. The unrelenting uncertainty and anguish of not knowing the truth of what has happened to their family member is a recognized form of torture for both the disappeared and their families. The crime of enforced disappearance cuts off the disappeared from any access to legal representation or judicial remedies – they are placed “outside all protection of the law.” “Rampant” global impunity for enforced disappearance has led the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, and UN bodies to call on all countries to ratify or accede to the Convention for the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearances (Convention or ICPPED). Catherine Morris brings much needed attention to the fact that of the UN’s 193 countries, only 72 have ratified or acceded to the Convention. Canada and the United States (US) are not yet among them. The unrelenting uncertainty and anguish of not knowing the truth of what has happened to their family member is a recognized form of torture for both the disappeared and their families. The crime of enforced disappearance cuts off the disappeared from any access to legal representation or judicial remedies – they are placed “outside all protection of the law.”
Security expert Bruce Schneier and data scientist Nathan Sanders believe that people who come to rely on AIs will have to trust them implicitly to navigate daily life. That means they will need to be sure the AIs aren’t secretly working for someone else. Across the internet, devices and services that seem to work for you already secretly work against you. Smart TVs spy on you. Phone apps collect and sell your data. Many apps and websites manipulate you through dark patterns, design elements that deliberately mislead, coerce or deceive website visitors. This is surveillance capitalism, and AI is shaping up to be part of it.
As a technology ethics educator and researcher, Carey Fiesler has thought about AI systems amplifying harmful biases and stereotypes, students using AI deceptively, privacy concerns, people being fooled by misinformation, and labor exploitation. Fiesler characterizes this not at technical debt but as accruing ethical debt. Just as technical debt can result from limited testing during the development process, ethical debt results from not considering possible negative consequences or societal harms. And with ethical debt in particular, the people who incur it are rarely the people who pay for it in the end.
Catherine Morris and Rebekah Smith of Peacemakers Trust Canada conducted extensive research on disproportionate violence against Indigenous persons in Canada that includes uncounted disappearances of Indigenous children, women, and men. Canada’s decades of failure to prevent and halt disappearances forms part of a long litany of grave international human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples. Continued reports of officially hushed-up violence lead to increasingly clarion allegations of genocide. The authors’ work on documenting enforced disappearance, failure to investigate and prosecute crimes against indigenous people has parallel application to the habitual failure of U.S. authorities to address crimes perpetrated against Native Americans.
The thesis of Albert Chang’s paper is the metaverse presents a unique opportunity for effective police reforms. Developers, data scientists, and legal sector experts working within the metaverse may be able to implement changes more efficiently than Congress as they are not subject to constitutional constraints. Chang advocates a position that the federal government should strongly consider the adoption of immersive technology to demonstrate that a more effective method of policing is possible. This paper is especially significant in light of the fact that last week Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act which will bolster research with $290 billion in new funding.
Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Why more regulation of connected car technology is probably just up the road; Police sweep Google searches to find suspects. The tactic is facing its first legal challenge; Attackers are using deepfakes to snag remote IT jobs; and Free smartphone stalkerware detection tool gets dedicated hub.
The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – handed down on June 24, 2022 – has far-reaching consequences. Nicole Huberfeld and Linda C. McClain, health law and constitutional law experts at Boston University, explain what just happened, and what happens next.
Kathy Biehl is a lawyer licensed in two states, as well as a prolific multidisciplinary author and writer. Roe v. Wade has been settled law during her entire career. In this article Biehl succinctly and expertly identifies how the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a draft of which was “leaked” on May 2, 2022, will impact many facets of our society as well as our democracy.
Jeffrey Veidlinger, a Holocaust historian at the University of Michigan, explains why Ukrainian history needs to be understood in terms of both past violence against Jews as well as the state’s pluralistic vision.