Independent voters are few in number, influential in close elections – and hard for campaigns to reach

As the 2024 campaign cycle unfolds, campaign strategists, pollsters and political scientists have been closely watching independent voters. Professor of Political Science Julio Borquez addresses why it appears that independents are important – including to political science scholars like himself.

Subjects: Communications, Economy, Education, Leadership

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 22, 2024

Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Five highlights from this week: Top news app caught sharing “entirely false” AI-generated news; The Best Free and Paid AI Document Summarizer Tools In 2024; Microsoft: New Outlook security changes coming to personal accounts; Sick of scams? Stop answering your phone; and Feds Sue Adobe for ‘Trapping’ Customers in Long, Expensive Subscriptions.

Subjects: AI, Communications, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Healthcare, Legal Research, Social Media

Mortgage Brokers Sent People’s Estimated Credit, Address, and Veteran Status to Facebook

When someone applies for a mortgage, they trust a home loan lender or mortgage broker with some of the most sensitive information they have: information about their credit, their home, and the personal details of their lives. Unbeknownst to those prospective homeowners, they may also be sharing that information with Facebook. The Markup tested more than 700 websites that offer loans for people looking to purchase or refinance a home, from major online brokers to lesser-known regional lenders, and found that more than 200 of them share some amount of user data with Facebook. On their sites, these companies embedded the Meta Pixel, a small piece of tracking software that shares visitors’ information with Facebook. As users filled out mortgage applications or requested quotes for mortgage rates, the pixel tracked information about their credit, veteran status, occupation, the specific homes they wanted, and more. Experts told Colin Lecher and Ross Teixeira of The Markup that it might be against the law for mortgage lenders to feed this kind of information to Facebook.

Subjects: Business Research, Financial System, Legal Research, Privacy, Social Media

AI in Banking and Finance, June 15, 2024

This semi-monthly column by Sabrina I. Pacifici highlights news, government reports, NGO/IGO papers, industry white papers, academic papers and speeches on the subject of AI’s fast paced impact on the banking and finance sectors. The chronological links provided are to the primary sources, and as available, indicate links to alternate free versions. Five highlights from this post: Financial regulators have ‘insufficiently’ addressed hedge funds’ use of AI, report says; 2024 Conference on Artificial Intelligence & Financial Stability; Two AI Truths and a Lie; The Simple Macroeconomics of AI; and The rise of AI at JPMorgan Chase.

Subjects: AI in Banking and Finance, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Economy, Education

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 15, 2024

Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Five highlights from this week: Want free and anonymous access to AI chatbots? DuckDuckGo’s new tool is for you; Windows Recall is changing in 3 key aspects after user backslash; Harvard, MIT and Wharton research reveals pitfalls of relying on junior staff for AI training; AI in law enforcement is risky, but holds promise; and The NSA’s guide to keeping your phone and yourself safe.

Subjects: AI, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Education, Legal Research, Privacy, Technology Trends

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 8, 2024

Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: The Ticketmaster Data Breach May Be Just the Beginning; The Snowflake Attack May Be Turning Into One of the Largest Data Breaches Ever; You Should Browse With Incognito More Often: Here’s Why; and How algorithms, influencers, and users work together to spread misinformation.

Subjects: AI, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Economy, Financial System, Legal Research, Privacy, Search Engines

LLRX May 2024 Issue

Articles and Columns for May 2024 Ransomware in the Digital Age: Multidisciplinary Legal Strategies for Minimizing Cryptocurrency Ransom Payments – 2023 witnessed an unprecedented escalation in ransomware attacks, affecting users from homeowners to critical infrastructure like healthcare, education, and government. With over 5,200 reported incidents—a 74% increase from the previous year—ransomware has not only intensified …

Subjects: KM

Ransomware in the Digital Age: Multidisciplinary Legal Strategies for Minimizing Cryptocurrency Ransom Payments

The year 2023 witnessed an unprecedented escalation in ransomware attacks, affecting users from homeowners to critical infrastructure like healthcare, education, and government. With over 5,200 reported incidents—a 74% increase from the previous year—ransomware has not only intensified in frequency but also sophistication and financial demands, with total payments exceeding $1 billion. This surge highlights the value of data and the increasing likelihood that victims will pay ransoms, often facilitated by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies have played a pervasive role in the rise in ransomware attacks due to their anonymity and ability to facilitate cross-border payments. Jawad Ramal explains how using cryptocurrencies to facilitate ransom payments offers complex challenges due to their high transaction costs and regulatory ambiguities that complicate compliance efforts. The pervasive role of cryptocurrencies in ransomware attacks underscores the necessity for multi-disciplinary legal professions that are capable of utilizing blockchain analytic tools, financial hedging techniques, and general knowledge of the evolving cryptocurrency space. Instituting safe harbor provisions would also ensure that victims do not face the threat of prosecution after making ransom payments.

Subjects: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Economy, Education, Legal Research

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 31, 2024

Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: The NSA advises you to turn your phone off and back on once a week – here’s why; HHS targets single points of failure in healthcare cybersecurity; Google Researchers Say AI Now Leading Disinformation Vector; and New Tech Locates Cell Phones of Lost Hikers.

Subjects: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Financial System, Healthcare, Privacy, Social Media

Dissecting The Processes of Law Firm Strategic Planning

We have been informed that 49% of law firm leaders indicate “strategic planning is more important than ever.” Another 20% say it is tremendously important. Law firms have more money at risk than ever before. They have more attorneys in their firms to communicate with. And – they are looking at bigger markets along with a multitude of new ones. Meanwhile, the world is awash in geopolitical risk. Strategic planning brings all this together by evaluating risk and opportunity – the plan itself defines what a law firm will and won’t do. The strategic path brings about the most informed and thoughtful decisions – and with the amount of money at stake – no firm deserves less. Such is the world of law firms and their strategic planning efforts as identified in a survey we just distributed to over 200 large North American law firms. This survey defines where these law firms are in their strategic planning process and where they are headed. Patrick J. McKenna and Michael B. Rynowecer canvassed and received detailed feedback from firm leaders, all from firms of over 100 lawyers in size, on their specific approach to strategic planning and their responses to 16 sequential questions covering everything from who was involved in developing their current strategic plan and how long it took, to how satisfied they were and the one thing they would change with respect to their efforts going into the future.

Subjects: Leadership, Legal Marketing