Category Archives: public policy

AP phone records, al Qaeda and civil liberties: thinking a couple moves ahead

AP phone records, al Qaeda and civil liberties: thinking a couple moves ahead

Civil libertarians, journalists and others are understandably outraged by the recent news of a DOJ investigation that included obtaining AP writers’ phone records.  It’s skating on thin constitutional ice to have government agents investigating whom members of a free press contact and when, and it merits careful oversight to avoid abuses.  Nevertheless, based on what we know to date, I think the DOJ did the right thing, and here’s why:

This wasn’t a leak about some garden-variety (pun intended) pot-growing or cocaine-smuggling operation getting busted, or even a bribery scandal involving high-ranking public officials.  It didn’t involve “whistle-blowing” on any wrongful government behavior.  This leak reportedly related to the successful infiltration of freakin’ al Qaeda in Yemen that effectively prevented a terrorist attack using an advanced type of bomb that is allegedly undetectable by airline security.   Continue Reading

Crowdfunding Back On Track — As Milk Train, Not TGV

Crowdfunding Back On Track — As Milk Train, Not TGV

The version of the JOBS Act initially approved by a bipartisan majority in the House was a bold experiment in targeted radical deregulation of financial markets that would have come on the heels of one of the worst economic disasters in American history — itself attributable to deregulation with inadequate oversight — while the asthmatic U.S. economic recovery continues to wheeze and stumble through the smoldering wreckage of once-mighty financial institutions. Continue Reading

Plenty of Fish in the Sea, But Please Don’t Fugu Me

Plenty of Fish in the Sea, But Please Don’t Fugu Me

California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently announced an agreement with three of the largest online dating sites:  eHarmony, Match.com and Spark Networks (parent company of JDate and ChristianMingle, among others).  In much the same way Facebook reached an agreement regarding child safety with AG’s nationwide in 2008, it appears the dating sites agreed to some voluntary… Continue Reading

The Great Crowdfunding Train Wreck of 2013

The Great Crowdfunding Train Wreck of 2013

What sort of business operators can we predict will be disproportionately drawn to using a funding mechanism that is designed from the ground up to leverage a large number of middle-class individual investors with minimal bargaining power under circumstances involving minimal disclosure, toothless corporate governance and little-to-no liability to shareholders? Continue Reading

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