New Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report on CyberCrime

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) earlier this month posted a new report:

Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws
by Charles Doyle
(97-1025)
From the report’s Summary:

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It is a cyber security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills cracks and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of CFAA and some of its federal statutory companions, including the amendments found in the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act, P.L. 110-326, 122 Stat. 3560 (2008).

World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF’s) “Living Planet Report 2014″

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has recently released its Living Planet Report 2014 — for the full report, please see here.

Unfortunately, biodiversity on earth seems to be in worse shape than ever and is declining in both temperate and tropical regions of the earth, although the decline is reportedly greater in the tropics.

Per U.S. Library of Congress, Congress.gov Is No Longer in Beta Phase

Per the U.S. Library of Congress, Congress.gov — the successor to THOMAS — is no longer in its beta phase — please see the following news release:

Congress.gov Officially Out of Beta

From the news release, here are some new features/enhancements:

  1. New Feature: Congress.gov Resources
    – A new resources section providing an A to Z list of hundreds of links related to Congress
    – An expanded list of “most viewed” bills each day, archived to July 20, 2014
  2. New Feature: House Committee Hearing Videos
    – Live streams of House Committee hearings and meetings, and an accompanying archive to January, 2012
  3. Improvement: Advanced Search
    – Support for 30 new fields, including nominations, Congressional Record and name of member
  4. Improvement: Browse
    – Days in session calendar view
    – Roll Call votes
    – Bill by sponsor/co-sponsor

U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Digitizes Millions of Files — including Fingerprint Cards and Criminal History Folders

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recently digitized millions of its files — including fingerprint cards and criminal history folders.

Please see:

CJIS [Criminal Justice Information Services] Digitizes Millions of Files in Modernization Push

U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) “Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)”

The U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) issued its “Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Section 702″ [50 U.S. Code § 1881a – Procedures for targeting certain persons outside the United States other than United States persons] of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on July 2, 2014.

The accompanying PCLOB press release is here.

For some explanation of and materials about FISA please see here and here and here.

CRS Report on Tax Issues Regarding Corporate Expatriation, Inversions and Mergers

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently published a new report:

Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues (R43568 – May 27, 2014)
Donald J. Marples, Specialist in Public Finance
&
Jane G. Gravelle, Senior Specialist in Economic Policy

Here is the table of contents:

Contents
Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
U.S. International Tax System…………………………………………………………………………………… 2
Anatomy of an Inversion………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
Substantial Business Presence ……………………………………………………………………………….. 2
U.S. Corporation Acquired by a Larger Foreign Corporation ………………………………………. 3
A Smaller Foreign Corporation Acquired by a U.S. Corporation ………………………………….. 3
Response to Initial Inversions: The American Jobs Creation Act ………………………………….. 4
Post-2004 Inversions and Treasury Regulations ………………………………………………………… 5
Policy Options ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
U.S. Corporate Tax Reform …………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Lower the Corporate Tax Rate  ……………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Adopt a Territorial Tax System   ………………………………………………………………………………. 9
Tax Reform Proposals  …………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
Targeted Approaches ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
Concluding Thoughts …………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Amnesty International (AI): “Torture is Flourishing”

Amnesty International (AI) earlier this month posted the sad report

Torture in 2014: 30 Years of Broken Promises

For the accompanying AI press release, please see here.

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

The European Parliamentary Resource Service has this month posted a valuable briefing on open educational resources (OERs) — something related, of course, to Open Access (OA), which has been frequently referenced earlier on this blog in various places, including but not limited to here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here; please see (for a PDF):

New technologies and open education resources: Transforming education requires pedagogical, organisational and technological innovation. Increasing use of the Internet brought in a new era in course design and delivery to the mainstream model of traditional education. That is particularly so for open educational resources

 

First Birthday of Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) — referenced earlier on this blog here — has just this month celebrated its first birthday; please see the following announcement:

Digital Public Library of America Celebrates Its First Birthday with the Arrival of Six New Partners, Over 7 Million Items, and a Growing Community (April 17, 2014)

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) “Assessing and Managing the Risks of Climate Change”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) “Assessing and Managing the Risks of Climate Change” (see the “Summary for Policymakers” here and the unedited, accepted final draft report here) — its 5th Assessment Report (AR5) — has been released (as of March 31, 2014).

The AR5 is intended to “provide a clear view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change.”

As prominently stated in the “Summary for Policymakers” (page 3):

Human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems. [footnote and figure omitted]

For some background information on the IPCC, a scientific intergovernmental organization under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) which was created per the request of member state governments, please see here.

Hat tip to DocuTicker.com.