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Jul 10, 2020

Supreme Court of Canada upholds genetic non-discrimination law

Posted by in categories: genetics, health, law

Canada’s highest court has issued a ruling today upholding a federal law preventing third parties, such as employers and insurance companies, from demanding genetic information from individuals.

In a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has decided the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act is a constitutional exercise of federal powers.

Jul 10, 2020

The tech industry comes to grips with Hong Kong’s national security law

Posted by in categories: finance, law, security

Image Credits: Getty Images.

Scott Salandy-Defour used to make frequent stops at a battery manufacturer in southern China for his energy startup based in Hong Kong. The appeal of Hong Kong, he said, is its adjacency to the plentiful electronics suppliers in the Pearl River Delta, as well as the city’s amenities for foreign entrepreneurs, be it its well-established financial and legal system or a culture blending the East and West.

“It’s got the best of both worlds,” Salandy-Defour told TechCrunch. “But it’s not going to be the same.”

Continue reading “The tech industry comes to grips with Hong Kong’s national security law” »

Jul 7, 2020

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Canceled Following Years of Legal Challenges

Posted by in categories: climatology, health, law

Pipeline owners Dominion and Duke Energy announced Sunday they were cancelling the fossil fuel project due to mounting delays and uncertainty. They said the many legal challenges to the project had driven up the projected costs by almost half, from $4.5 to $5 billion when it was first announced in 2014 to $8 billion according to the most recent estimate.

Environmental and community groups, who have long opposed the project on climate, conservation and racial justice grounds, welcomed the news.

Continue reading “Atlantic Coast Pipeline Canceled Following Years of Legal Challenges” »

Jul 1, 2020

Researchers uncover effects of negative stereotype exposure on the brain

Posted by in categories: biological, education, law, neuroscience

The recent killings of unarmed individuals such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade have sparked a national conversation about the treatment of Black people—and other minorities—in the United States.

“What we’re seeing today is a close examination of the hardships and indignities that people have faced for a very long time because of their race and ethnicity,” said Kyle Ratner, an assistant professor of psychological and at UC Santa Barbara. As a , he is interested in how social and give rise to intergroup bias and feelings of stigmatization.

According to Ratner, “It is clear that people who belong to historically marginalized groups in the United States contend with burdensome stressors on top of the everyday stressors that members of non-disadvantaged groups experience. For instance, there is the trauma of overt racism, stigmatizing portrayals in the media and popular culture, and systemic discrimination that leads to disadvantages in many domains of life, from employment and education to healthcare and housing to the legal system.”

Jun 26, 2020

Michigan House passes bill to make employee microchips voluntary

Posted by in categories: computing, law

The microchips can be used as a key fob, a time card, a credit account for the cafeteria or vending machines, or even as a way for employers to track employee productivity.


“With the way technology has increased over the years and as it continues to grow, it’s important Michigan job providers balance the interests of the company with their employees’ expectations of privacy,” said the bill’s sponsor Michigan State Rep. Bronna Kahle. “While these miniature devices are on the rise, so are the calls of workers to have their privacy protected.”

The bill will be introduced to the State Senate where, if it passes, Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be able to sign the legislation into Michigan law.

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Jun 24, 2020

Stanford Grad Who Created The World’s First ‘Robot Lawyer’ Raises $12 Million In Series A

Posted by in categories: education, law, robotics/AI

Not even the lawyers will be spared.


In the summer of 2015, Stanford-bound high school grad Josh Browder spent his nights coding and developing an automated program that would help people contest parking tickets. The native Londoner had recently gotten his driver’s license, and had himself assembled a respectable collection of fines, some of which he felt were unjustly rewarded.

About three weeks later, Browder already had a product called DoNotPay which he shared with his friends. A blogger from Reddit picked up on it, and almost overnight, DoNotPay went from 10 people using it to 50,000 users.

Continue reading “Stanford Grad Who Created The World’s First ‘Robot Lawyer’ Raises $12 Million In Series A” »

Jun 20, 2020

Japan detects apparent Chinese submarine traveling near Amami-Oshima Island

Posted by in category: law

The vessel passed through a narrow strip of waters between the prefecture’s Tokara island chain and Amami Oshima without surfacing, according to the ministry.

It was believed to be a Chinese Navy submarine, but the Defense Ministry refused to formally disclose this or its type because that could provide clues about the MSDF’s detection abilities.

Under international law, submarines must surface and raise their national flags inside foreign territorial waters. But underwater cruises are not banned in contiguous zones, which surround territorial waters.

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Jun 9, 2020

Imagining safety zones: Implications and open questions

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, law, policy, space travel, treaties

In May, NASA announced its intent to “establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space” referred to as the Artemis Accords.[1,2] The Accords were released initially as draft principles, to be developed and implemented through a series of bilateral agreements with international partners.

The Accords offer the possibility to advance practical implementations of long-held principles in the Outer Space Treaty (OST). They raise a rich set of policy questions as we begin to take the law into new levels of resolution. This bold pursuit of uncharted territories is to be applauded, and yet, there is also the risk of diverging from 53 years of international law.

One the ten principles is focused on Deconfliction of Activities, with “safety zones” named as a specific mechanism of implementation:

Jun 8, 2020

The Impact Of Artificial Intelligence On Professional Services

Posted by in categories: business, law, robotics/AI

Accountants and lawyers to use AI to cannibalise their business – before someone else does.

Jun 8, 2020

Google Sued for Secretly Amassing Vast Trove of User Data

Posted by in categories: internet, law

Google surreptitiously amasses billions of bits of information —every day — about internet users even if they opt out of sharing their information, three consumers alleged in a proposed class action lawsuit.

“Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy,” according to the complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California.

The lawsuit argues that while Google lets users turn off data collection when using its Chrome web browser, other Google tools used by websites themselves scoop up their data anyways. The suit includes claims for invasion of privacy and violations of federal wiretapping law.

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