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CRS — Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation (September 5, 2014)

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

A trade secret is confidential, commercially valuable information that provides a company with a competitive advantage, such as customer lists, methods of production, marketing strategies, pricing information, and chemical formulae. (Well-known examples of trade secrets include the formula for Coca-Cola, the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the algorithm used by Google’s search engine.) To succeed in the global marketplace, U.S. firms depend upon their trade secrets, which increasingly are becoming their most valuable intangible assets.

However, U.S. companies annually suffer billions of dollars in losses due to the theft of their trade secrets by employees, corporate competitors, and even foreign governments. Stealing trade secrets has increasingly involved the use of cyberspace, advanced computer technologies, and mobile communication devices, thus making the theft relatively anonymous and difficult to detect. The Chinese and Russian governments have been particularly active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage with respect to U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information.

In contrast to other types of intellectual property (trademarks, patents, and copyrights) that are governed primarily by federal law, trade secret protection is primarily a matter of state law. Thus, trade secret owners have more limited legal recourse when their rights are violated.

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Habitual Facebook Use and its Impact on Getting Deceived on Social Media

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Habitual Facebook Use and its Impact on Getting Deceived on Social Media
Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

There are a billion Facebook users worldwide with some individuals spending 8 hours each day on the platform. Limited research has, however, explored the consequences of such overuse. Even less research has examined the misuse of social media by criminals who are increasingly using social media to defraud individuals through phishing-type attacks. The current study focuses on Facebook habits and its determinants and the extent to which they ultimately influence individual susceptibility to social media phishing attacks. The results suggest that habitual Facebook use, founded on the individual frequently using Facebook, maintaining a large social network, and being deficient in their ability to regulate such behaviors, is the single biggest predictor of individual victimization in social media attacks.

CRS — The Federal Trade Commission’s Regulation of Data Security Under Its Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP) Authority (September 11, 2014)

September 18, 2014 Comments off

The Federal Trade Commission’s Regulation of Data Security Under Its Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP) Authority (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Federal Trade Commission Act established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) in 1914. The protection of consumers from anticompetitive, deceptive, or unfair business practices is at the core of the FTC’s mission. As part of that mission, the FTC has been at the forefront of the federal government’s efforts to protect sensitive consumer information from data breaches and regulate cybersecurity. As the number of data breaches has soared, so too have FTC investigations into lax data security practices. The FTC has not been delegated specific authority to regulate data security. Rather, the FTC has broad authority under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) to prohibit unfair and deceptive acts or practices.

Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2014

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2014
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

This issue of Gender Indicators, Australia, includes new data on a range of indicators of social interest to men and women. The Economic security, Education, Health, Safety and justice, and Democracy, governance and citizenship domains have been updated with data that has become available since the product was last released in February 2014.

  • Unpublished 2013-14 data from the ABS Labour Force Survey and 2013 data from the Forms of Employment Survey (FoES) have been used to update 14 tables in the Economic security domain, including labour force participation rate, average hours worked per week and the proportion of employees without paid leave entitlements.
  • Six tables in the Education domain have been updated with data from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS), 2012-13; ABS Schools, Australia, 2013; and Graduate Careers Australia, ‘Graduate Salaries’, Melbourne 2014 (GradStats). Tables updated include attainment of Year 12 or a formal qualification at Certificate II or above, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and median starting salary of Bachelor Degree graduates.
  • The Health domain has been updated to include data from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS), 2012-13, and Causes of Death, Australia, 2012. Tables updated include long-term health conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and leading causes of death.
  • Unpublished data from the ABS Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2012-13; Recorded Crime – Victims, Australia, 2013; and Recorded Crime – Offenders, Australia, 2012-13, has been used to update five tables in the Safety and Justice domain including victims and victimisation rates for robbery by age, recorded victims and victimisation rates by selected offences, and offender rates by age and by principal offence.
  • The Democracy, governance and citizenship domain has been updated with unpublished data from the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat. Tables updated include Judges and magistrates (High Court, Federal Court, Family Court, Federal Magistrates Service) and State Supreme Court judges, and Recipients and nominations considered for the Order of Australia, General Division, by category.

The ‘Living with a Disability’ commentary has also been updated with data from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0).

Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017 (PDF)
Source: Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

This report was developed by the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, in partnership with the member agencies of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and other federal agencies. The plan discusses goals and objectives and the actions that federal agencies will take to ensure that all victims of human trafficking in the U.S. are identified and have access to the services they need to recover.

Measuring the Costs of Crime

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Measuring the Costs of Crime (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service
From NCJRS abstract:

The discussion first notes the importance of approximating the cost of crime in order to determine the cost-effectiveness of efforts to reduce crime. In this calculation, the authors reject an assumption often made about crime-reduction expenditures in relation to reduction in crime costs; for example, if the costs of social condition X were $100 billion and an intervention would cut the condition’s prevalence by 10 percent, the value of that intervention is estimated to be about $20 billion. The authors argue against this assumption, noting that a 10-percent reduction in the risk for criminal victimization will not generally lead to a 10-percent reduction in completed crime. This is because it will tend to reduce precaution, increasing the “supply” of criminal opportunity as “demand” falls. A 10-percent reduction in completed crime might occasion a reduction in total crime costs either greater or less than 10 percent, because of the gains from reduced precaution. Similarly, reduced criminality might lead to reduced criminal justice expenditure. The point being made in this paper is that expenditures on crime control and crime rates are not tightly bound, and a reduction in crime will not directly mitigate all the factors that result from crime. Thus, in making effective criminal justice policy, analysis of victimization costs must be supplemented by an analysis of primary and secondary avoidance costs and residual fear that affect people’s well-being. 22 references

Can Body Worn Cameras Serve as a Deterrent to Police Misconduct?, CRS Insights (August 28, 2014)

September 15, 2014 Comments off

Can Body Worn Cameras Serve as a Deterrent to Police Misconduct?, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Conflicting accounts about what transpired before Michael Brown was shot by Ferguson (MO) Police Officer Darren Wilson on August 9 have raised questions about police accountability and transparency. Requiring law enforcement officers to use body worn cameras (BWCs) has emerged as one idea to deter officer misconduct and reduce the inappropriate use of force, among other things. BWCs are mobile cameras that allow law enforcement officers to record what they see and hear. They can be attached to a helmet, a pair of glasses, or an officer’s shirt or badge.

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