Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online (CRS, Cong. Research Service), via INFOdocket

Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online (PDF)

There is no comprehensive federal privacy statute that protects personal information. Instead, a patchwork of federal laws and regulations govern the collection and disclosure of personal information and has been addressed by Congress on a sector-by-sector basis. Federal laws and regulations extend protection to consumer credit reports, electronic communications, federal agency records, education records, bank records, cable subscriber information, video rental records, motor vehicle records, health information, telecommunications subscriber information, children’s online information, and customer financial information. Some contend that this patchwork of laws and regulations is insufficient to meet the demands of today’s technology. Congress, the Obama Administration, businesses, public interest groups, and citizens are all involved in the discussion of privacy solutions. This report examines some of those efforts with respect to the protection of personal information. This report provides a brief overview of selected recent developments in the area of federal privacy law. This report does not cover workplace privacy laws or state privacy laws.

For information on access to electronic communications, see CRS Report R41733, Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, by Charles Doyle.


CRS — Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online « INFOdocket.

Hugo Nominees 201, via Boing Boing



2011 Hugo Awards to be presented at this year’s World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, NV.

Best Novel
Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Best Novella
“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
“The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” by Elizabeth Hand (Stories: All New Tales, William Morrow)
“The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Troika” by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines, Science Fiction Book Club)


Best Novelette
“Eight Miles” by Sean McMullen (Analog, September 2010)
“The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)
“The Jaguar House, in Shadow” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s, July 2010)
“Plus or Minus” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s, December 2010)
“That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (Analog, September 2010)

Best Short Story
“Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed, June 2010)
“For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Ponies” by Kij Johnson (, November 17, 2010)
“The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)


Hugo Nominees 2011 – Boing Boing.

What is “peer review”? (via Boing Boing)



“According to a peer-reviewed journal article published this week …”How often have you read that phrase? How often have I written that phrase? If we tried to count, there would probably be some powers of 10 involved. It’s clear from the context that “peer-reviewed journal articles” are the hard currency of science. But the context is less obliging on the whys and wherefores.”

via Meet Science: What is “peer review”? – Boing Boing.

FYI: Your Phone Is Tracking Your Every Move


Researchers have discovered that the iPhone is keeping track of where you go and storing that information in a file that is stored – unencrypted and unprotected – onto any machine with which you synchronize your phone.

…While it is not unusual for cellphones to track users’ location, that information is typically kept behind a firewall and it requires a court order for others to be able to access it. This isn’t the case with this particular file, raising serious questions about privacy and security.

Your iPhone Is Tracking Your Every Move (ReadWriteWeb)