Academic Writing

“Golden Shield” Oral Arguments Today: Doe v. Cisco

Author(s): 
Beth Van Schaack
Publication Date: 
April 1, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

A panel of the Ninth Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco (composed of Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Wallace Tashima, and Marsha Berzon) will hear oral arguments today in the Alien Tort Statute/Torture Victim Protection Act case of Doe et al. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., John Chambers & Fredy Cheung.

Hackers have just dumped a treasure trove of NSA data. Here’s what it means.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
April 15, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

A group of hackers called the Shadow Brokers has just released a new dump of data from the National Security Agency. This is plausibly the most extensive and important release of NSA hacking tools to date. It’s likely to prove awkward for the U.S. government, not only revealing top-secret information but also damaging the government’s relationships with U.S. allies and with big information technology firms. That is probably the motivation behind the leak: The Shadow Brokers are widely assumed to be connected with the Russian government.

The future of ad blocking

Author(s): 
Arvind Narayanan
Publication Date: 
April 14, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

There’s an ongoing arms race between ad blockers and websites — more and more sites either try to sneak their ads through or force users to disable ad blockers. Most previous discussions have assumed that this is a cat-and-mouse game that will escalate indefinitely. But in a new paper, accompanied by proof-of-concept code, we challenge this claim.

Good cop cameras, bad rules: The NYPD's body-cam guidelines need fixing

Author(s): 
Harlan Yu
Publication Date: 
April 13, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Last summer, the NYPD asked New Yorkers what rules should apply to the body-worn cameras that police will soon begin wearing. The response was overwhelming: More than 25,000 people responded to the department’s survey. The community asked for policies that would make the camera program more transparent, so that the footage can make cops more accountable to the people.

Last week, the NYPD announced its new body-worn camera policy. Turns out, the NYPD isn’t actually that interested in what the public thinks.

Hungary’s government wants to shut down its most prominent university. That may be backfiring.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
April 10, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

When Hungary’s government passed a law last week which was effectively intended to shut down Budapest’s Central European University, it surely anticipated that there would be a backlash. It probably did not anticipate mass demonstrations, or senior European politicians threatening to suspend Hungary’s membership of the European Union. Here is how Hungary’s government has gotten into this mess.

Hungary’s leader doesn’t like liberal democracy

Important New Bipartisan Bill To Advance Accountability for International Crimes in Syria

Author(s): 
Beth Van Schaack
Publication Date: 
April 10, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Following on the heels of last week’s chemical weapon attack in Syria, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bob Corker (R-TN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Todd Young (R-IN) have introduced the Syria War Crimes Accountability Act of 2017, which authorizes the United States to provide technical and other forms of assistance to investigations and other credible transitional justice efforts, including a potential hybrid tribunal.

Here's How Tesla Solves A Self-Driving Crash Dilemma

Author(s): 
Patrick Lin
Publication Date: 
April 5, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

With very rare exceptions, automakers are famously coy about crash dilemmas.  They don’t want to answer questions about how their self-driving cars would respond to weird, no-win emergencies.  This is understandable, since any answer can be criticized—there’s no obvious solution to a true dilemma, so why play that losing game?

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