Wednesday, December 01, 2021

In praise of Ros Atkins

 Facial recognition firm faces possible £17m privacy fine

 ‘Robodebt 2.0’: NSW government unlawfully took money from financially vulnerable people, report finds

Debt recovery agency used automated technology to issue garnishee orders on bank accounts of thousands of people

Debt recovery agency used automated technology to issue garnishee orders on bank accounts of thousands of people

Cross-border access to electronic evidence: update and impact of the pandemic on data requests

Europol, Eurojust and the European Judicial Network publish today the third annual edition of the SIRIUS European Union Digital Evidence Situation Report. This year, the report goes beyond a comprehensive status update by including an assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the access of EU authorities to electronic evidence held by foreign-based online service providers (OSPs) in 2020. 

Energy efficiency funds fraudsters deactivated in Italy

The criminal network allegedly laundered more than €14 million through bank accounts in several European countries


Digitized Data as a Political Object

“Digitized data is used as a powerful tool: national security actors see it as a surveillance tool, and the Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) sector treats it as an economic commodity with great financial value. Fundamental to the findings in this book, data is now tied to your personal identity, and is therefore worthy of state protection as a fundamental human right. This chapter poses the main question of the bookWhy and How Did Digital Human Rights First Emerge in the European Union? To begin answering this question, I start with a summary of existing literature on internet and data governance, as well as taking a look at data freedom as a public good. Finally, the chapter concludes with a brief overview of the incredible pathway data legislation took to create the new phenomenon of digital human rights (DHR).”


How is Europol keeping online spaces safe?

Feature article

Published on: 24 Nov 2021

Terrorism is a constant threat to societies all over the world and terrorists’ use of the internet and social media has increased enormously in recent years. Jihadist groups, in particular, have demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of how social networks operate and have launched well-organised, concerted social media campaigns to recruit followers. These campaigns promote or glorify acts of terrorism and violent extremism and have led to viral online content in the past.

As a response to this, in 2015 the Justice and Home Affairs Council mandated Europol to create the EU Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU), as part of the wider EU Internet Forum, to reduce the impact of internet content promoting terrorism or violent extremism.

 In praise of Ros Atkins – the best journalist on the BBC

It is commonly said that the BBC has lost its way, journalistically. It is an accusation I sometimes share. But there are exceptions. As always…

My old friend, Professor Prem Sikka, who is now a member of the House of Lords, spoke in a debate on quantitative easing in that place a few days ago. This is what he had to say:

Much of the money released by QE has been used to shore up bank balance sheets. A large part has also escaped into shadow banks, such as private equity and hedge funds—a sector that is now as big as retail banking, if not bigger, and is posing new dangers, especially as it is not regulated. There are no capital adequacy requirements or stress tests on their balance sheets.

Banks have not used the QE money to support businesses or hard-pressed households. Pre-Covid statistics show that lending to businesses has remained stagnant. In the post-Covid world of government loans, a recent survey—barely three weeks ago—showed that more than half of small and medium-sized enterprises say that they are holding back from investing to grow for the future as funds are taken up by debt repayments. Banks are not stepping up to support SMEs at all. In the era of QE, low interest rates, low corporate tax rates and low inflation, we have not seen any great investment in productive assets in the UK, either. The UK invests around 16.9% of its GDP in productive assets, compared to the average of 20.1% in the EU countries. Among major European countries, only Greece and Portugal have invested less.

Read the full article…

My Scottish maid could do better!”

MarketPlace: “It’s been 30 years since the start of the Federal Reserve Economic Data, or FRED, an online database within the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The site contains more than 800,000 data series from over 100 different sources, making it something of a one-stop shop for people trying to understand the economy. “We can take the data from multiple sources and put them all on our website, so users can go and see what the latest unemployment rate looks like or what inflation is doing nowadays,” said Yvetta Fortova, the FRED manager and its “data champion.” Originally existing as a dial-in electronic bulletin board, FRED went online in 1995 — paving the way for the platform as it stands today. Fortova spoke with “Marketplace” host Amy Scott about the database. The following is a transcript of the interview. To listen to their conversation, use the media play above…”

Can we tax multi-millionaires?

The video in this post is the third in a series on how to tax multimillionaires. The first and second are here. In this video
Read the full article…