Academic Writing

We need our platforms to put people and democratic society ahead of cheap profits

Author(s): 
Brett Frischmann
Publication Date: 
June 16, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Fake news captures attention and is corrosive. Like many similar social problems online, it is a symptom of surveillance capitalism. Surveillance capitalism explains the economic incentives that drive media production and distribution on internet platforms like Facebook. The business model used by internet platforms relies on collecting data and using that data to create profiles of users to predict their interests and behavior.

Making Google the Censor

Author(s): 
Daphne Keller
Publication Date: 
June 12, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Prime Minister Theresa May’s political fortunes may be waning in Britain, but her push to make internet companies police their users’ speech is alive and well. In the aftermath of the recent London attacks, Ms. May called platforms like Google and Facebook breeding grounds for terrorism.

A tiny party of hardliners holds the balance of power in Britain. Here’s what you need to know

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
June 9, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

After last week’s shocking results, Britain’s Conservative Party had to make a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to return to government. It appears likely that the DUP will not go into a coalition with the Conservatives, but will simply support the “minority government” from the outside on key votes, while not being part of the coalition.

Don’t believe what Putin is saying about ‘patriotic’ Russian hackers

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
June 7, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

The last two days have seen two major developments regarding Russian hacking. First, Russian President Vladimir Putin tacitly admitted that Russian hackers might have influenced the U.S. election, but claimed that any hackers were just patriots, acting independently of the Russian government. Then The Intercept published a leaked NSA report stating that Russian military intelligence had tried to penetrate U.S. voting systems.

We now know who cheats on their taxes. (Hint: it’s not the poor or middle class.)

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
June 1, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Social scientists find it hard to study many important questions because they don’t have good data: Tax evasion is one of those questions. For obvious reasons, tax cheats don’t have any desire to announce themselves in public. Nor is it easy to study tax evasion based on the people who get caught; they may not be representative. This means that the recent spate of leaks has been a gold mine for scholars interested in the causes and consequences of tax evasion.

Trump’s No Hypocrite

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
May 30, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

U.S. President Donald Trump can be accused of having many faults, but hypocrisy is not one of them. To be sure, Trump is wildly inconsistent. His critics have found great sport digging up old tweets in which he condemns political rivals for doing something that he himself blithely does today. But hypocrisy requires a minimal degree of self-awareness.

Thanks to Trump, Germany says it can’t rely on the United States. What does that mean?

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
May 28, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a crowd Sunday in southern Germany that Europe can no longer rely on foreign partners.

Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week, saying that Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands.”

Supreme Court Ends Texas’ Grip On Patent Cases

Author(s): 
Daniel Nazer
Publication Date: 
May 22, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Today the Supreme Court issued a decision that will have a massive impact on patent troll litigation. In TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, the court ruled that patent owners can sue corporate defendants only in districts where the defendant is incorporated or has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.

Trump’s values are abhorrent to the Federalist Society of conservative lawyers. That doesn’t stop them from helping him.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
May 17, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin describes the Federalist Society as an enormously influential network of conservative lawyers. Its executive vice president, Leonard Leo, played a key role in the nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and has quietly advised the Trump administration on other judicial nominations. Yet few people outside the legal profession know what the Federalist Society is.

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