Facebook, Twitter Say Europe’s Privacy Law Causing User Drop – Bloomberg




Amid a plummeting share price, Facebook Inc. wants panicked investors to believe Europe’s strict General Data Protection Regulation is to blame for fewer people using the social network in the region. EU lawmakers disagree.

The new law came into force on May 25 and forced companies that hold data on EU citizens to obtain “unambiguous” consent to collect personal information. Facebook knows a lot about what people are interested in, and makes that audience easily available to advertisers. That’s fueled rapid revenue growth, billions of dollars in profit, and a surging stock price in recent years.

More than $100 billion of those market gains were wiped out Thursday after Facebook reported sales and user growth numbers that disappointed Wall Street. The company lost about 1 million of European monthly active users in the second quarter, leaving it with 376 million. Daily users fell more. Chief Financial Officer David Wehner blamed the decline on the GDPR roll out.

“We saw the declines that we anticipated from GDPR,” he said. “And I would say there, really, those impacts were purely due to the GDPR impact, not other engagement trends.”


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New Jersey and Pennsylvania seek to block publication of blueprints for 3D-printed guns–ABA Journal



Updated: The attorneys general of New Jersey and Pennsylvania are seeking to block a Texas company from publishing its blueprints online to make guns from 3D printers.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sent a cease-and-desist letter on Thursday while Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro obtained an emergency federal court hearing on Sunday.

Defense Distributed agreed at the hearing to temporarily block internet users in Pennsylvania from using its blueprint website, report PennLive and the Washington Post.

According to Shapiro’s press release, Defense Distributed also agreed not to upload any new gun files to its sites after disclosing in court that it had begun distributing gun files on Friday.

The company had said it wouldn’t make its blueprints available until Aug. 1. But 1,000 people had already downloaded 3D plans for AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles by Sunday, according to Shapiro.


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Mandatory Mediation Program – Mediator Applications–Northern District of New York | United States District Court

The District Court for the Northern District of New York will be accepting applications for new mediators pursuant to the District’s Mandatory Mediation Program – General Order#47. Attorneys interested in becoming a mediator may apply during the months of August, September and October.  The application will be posted on our website beginning August 1st. Court approved hourly rates are $150 per hour for the first two hours of the initial mediation session.  If necessary, the mediator may charge an additional $150/hour for up to two hours of preparation time for cases which require substantial preparation.  Thereafter, the rate is capped at $325 per hour.

For additional information please see General Order #47 on our website at www.nynd.uscourts.gov

An Old Scam With a New Twist – The New York Times

By J. D. Biersdorfer

Q. I just got an email message from someone claiming to be a hacker who broke into my computer and used my webcam to watch me looking at adult websites. 

Yelp for Cops | The Marshall Project


In April, the NYPD informally introduced its public opinion monitor, also known as the “sentiment meter,” during CompStat, the weekly meetings in which top brass interrogate precinct commanders about crime trends. Precincts now receive a monthly “trust score” along with rankings that measure overall satisfaction with police performance and how safe residents feel. The data is culled from questionnaires administered through about 50,000 smartphone apps, including Candy Crush and WeatherBug, as well as traditional landline calls. Facebook and Instagram began to advertise links to the surveys in June.

New video from ABA president calls for lawyers to help separated immigrant families–ABA Journal


ABA President Hilarie Bass has posted a short video asking America’s lawyers to help reunite immigrant families at the border.

In the video, Bass talks about what she saw during her late June trip to south Texas, where she met with immigrant mothers detained at the Port Isabel Detention Center near Harlingen. Some of those women hadn’t seen their children in six weeks, Bass said; some had talked to their children on the phone, but knew the children were far away.

But what really disturbed Bass, she said, was that all of them would give up their asylum claims and return to the violence they’re fleeing if it meant their children would be returned.

“That caused me great consternation, because these people are giving up their legal rights just to have the right to get their children back,” Bass says in the video. “I think as lawyers, we have to do everything possible to assist these victims of this policy.”

Bass then directed lawyers to http://ambar.org/immigrationjustice, a new ABA web page that aggregates opportunities for interested lawyers to volunteer, advocate or donate to help separated and detained families.



Suit claims cap on deduction for state and local taxes violates equal state sovereignty–ABA Journal


Four states filed a lawsuit Tuesday that contends the $10,000 cap on federal tax deductions for state and local taxes is unprecedented and unconstitutional.

The states of New York, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey filed the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, report the Wall Street JournalForbes and Courthouse News Service. A press release is here.


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Just the Facts: Americans with Disabilities Act | United States Courts

While overall civil rights cases have declined, cases brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have increased three-fold in recent years. Filings in three states – California, Florida, and New York – account for a significant number of the civil rights cases filed under the ADA.

Learn more about this in the new installment of Just the Facts.