government

23 posts
U.S. military buys location data from apps

Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard: Some app developers Motherboard spoke to were not aware who their users’ location data ends up with, and even if a user examines an app’s privacy policy, they may not ultimately realize how many different industries, companies, or government agencies are buying some of their most sensitive data. U.S. law enforcement purchase of such information has raised questions about authorities buying their way to location...

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How long before there is gender equality in the U.S. House and Senate

For The Washington Post, Sergio Peçanha asks, “What will it take to achieve gender equality in American politics?“ It will take some more time and a lot more effort to reach equal representation. I asked my colleague David Byler, a statistics expert, to estimate how long it would take for women to reach equal numbers in Congress at the current pace. His estimate: about 60 years. Tags: gender equality, government,...

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Government shutdown, other industries provided for scale

As the shutdown continues, 800,000 government workers wait for something to happen. The New York Times uses others industries for scale. Ugh. Tags: government, New York Times, scale, shutdown

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High school statistics class builds election prediction model

High school seniors, in the Political Statistics class at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, built a prediction model for the upcoming elections: Under the guidance of Mr. David Stein, this model (which we named the Overall Results of an Analytical Consideration of the Looming Elections a.k.a. ORACLE of Blair) was developed by a group of around 70 high school seniors, working diligently since the start of September....

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$16.1m in political and taxpayer spending at Trump properties

ProPublica compiled spending data from a wide range of sources to calculate the total, which is still an undercount: The vast majority of the money — at least $13.5 million, or more than 84 percent of what we tracked — was spent by Trump’s presidential campaign (including on Tag Air, the entity that operates Trump’s personal airplane). Republican Senate and House political committees and campaigns have shelled out at least...

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Amazon Rekognition for government surveillance

Amazon’s Rekognition is a video analysis system that promises to identify individuals in real-time. Amazon wants to sell the systems to governments for surveillance. From the ACLU: Amazon is marketing Rekognition for government surveillance. According to its marketing materials, it views deployment by law enforcement agencies as a “common use case” for this technology. Among other features, the company’s materials describe “person tracking” as an “easy and accurate” way to...

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Amazon Rekognition for government surveillance

Amazon’s Rekognition is a video analysis system that promises to identify individuals in real-time. Amazon wants to sell the systems to governments for surveillance. From the ACLU: Amazon is marketing Rekognition for government surveillance. According to its marketing materials, it views deployment by law enforcement agencies as a “common use case” for this technology. Among other features, the company’s materials describe “person tracking” as an “easy and accurate” way to...

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Where constituent input ends up

When you have input to send Congress, you have a number of communication options available to you: phone, email, social media, etc. Many of the bigger issues have dedicated sites that help automate some of the process, which of course leads to a large volume of input that lands in a congressperson’s voicemail, inbox, and notifications tab. Where does it all go? The OpenGov Foundation looked into it and produced...

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Redistricting the congressional map with different goals

FiveThirtyEight asks, “There’s a lot of complaining about gerrymandering, but what should districts look like?” Looking for an answer, they imagined redistricting with different goals in mind, such as gerrymandering favoring Republicans or Democrats, promoting competitive elections, and maximizing majority-minority. Check out the possibilities for the nation or zoom in to a specific state. The latter provides a further breakdown by district and then race. So yeah, if you’re into...

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Troubling pick for Census Bureau deputy director

The administration’s current pick for deputy director of the United States Census Bureau is Thomas Brunell. He is a political science professor outside of the Bureau and argues against “competitive elections.” Danny Vinik and Andrew Restuccia, reporting for Politico: Since 2005, he has worked at the University of Texas at Dallas, where his research and writing has focused on redistricting and voting rights cases. He has frequently advised states on...

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