Why Officials Don’t Tell the Media Everything

An op-ed by Cass R. Sunstein. The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, which I attended last Saturday night, is an astonishing spectacle — a unique combination of journalists, government officials and celebrities. Amid the laughter and the conviviality, however, there is an uneasy undercurrent: Many journalists are disturbed that outside of an annual dinner, they cannot get a lot of access to those same officials.

The Meat We Eat: HLS hosts a forum on industrial animal farming (video)

How does the U.S. currently regulate animal farming, what are the barriers to reform, and what can be done to strengthen protections for consumers, animals, and nearby communities? How can we create a more transparent food system so that consumers can choose healthy, sustainably- and humanely-raised food? Those were some of the questions addressed when the Harvard Food Law Society hosted The Meat We Eat: 2014 Forum on Industrial Animal Farming, on Friday, April 4. The forum, co-hosted with the HLS Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, explored the legal and policy aspects of industrial animal farming and related effects on public health, the environment and animal welfare.

White House offers to show senators drone memo

Hoping to head off another confirmation battle, the White House said Tuesday that it will allow senators to review a secret paper justifying the drone strike on an American citizen written by one of President Barack Obama’s appellate court nominees.The White House is hoping the memo’s disclosure will lead to confirmation of David Barron for the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Barron is a Harvard Law professor who had worked as acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department on the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born al-Qaida leader killed by a U.S. drone in 2011.

Russia Quietly Tightens Reins on Web With ‘Bloggers Law’

Russia has taken another major step toward restricting its once freewheeling Internet, as President Vladimir V. Putin quietly signed a new law requiring popular online voices to register with the government, a measure that lawyers, Internet pioneers and political activists said Tuesday would give the government a much wider ability to track who said what online…The level of challenge is rising, but “we also see the amount of resources going into censorship increasing greatly,” Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School who specializes in Internet law, said in a telephone interview.

‘Trauma Sensitive’ Schools

The most artfully devised curriculum means little to a student whose mind is fixed on last night’s shooting outside or the scary, violent fight between parents that broke out in the kitchen. Brilliant teaching often can’t compete with the sudden loss of a parent or friend. Yet incidents like these reverberate in schools and pose deep challenges to educators… “You might say in class, ‘Don’t forget we have a spelling test on Friday,’” says Joel Ristuccia, a child psychologist and member of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., who leads a certificate program at nearby Lesley University to help educators create trauma-sensitive schools. A traumatized student, he says, “might respond as if a saber-toothed tiger just walked in the room.”

Google Autocomplete Still Blocking ‘Bisexual’: LGBT Advocates Fight For Fair Treatment Of Search Terms

Type a search term into Google’s ubiquitous blue box, and there’s a good chance you’ll reflexively scroll down to the autocomplete suggestions. While you may not think much about those suggestions, you probably think even less about the ones you never see. Here’s why you should start: For about half a decade, bisexual advocates have been fighting to get Google Inc. to untangle the word “bisexual” from its complex predictive algorithm…. Jeff Hermes, director of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University, who has followed those lawsuits, said he believes similar autocomplete court battles would be “doomed to failure” in the United States, where Google has strong First Amendment protections on its side. “Fundamentally, it’s Google’s search engine and they can do what they want with it,” he told IBTimes. “They can impose whatever filter they want on particular results, so a legal claim there is unlikely to be successful.”

Committee Formed To Bring FAS Sexual Assault Policy into Line with Revised Univ. Standard

After months of scrutiny directed at the University’s policies concerning sexual assault, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith announced Tuesday the creation of an FAS committee charged with bringing Harvard’s largest branch into compliance with a University-wide sexual assault policy still being reviewed by the Federal Office for Civil Rights…The faculty members of the committee include…Law School professor Ronald Sullivan Jr., the master of Winthrop House.

School network consortium partners with Cyberlaw Clinic to create privacy toolkit for school systems

With the help of the Cyberlaw Clinic, the Consortium of School Networks (“CoSN”) has released the Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit. The toolkit, issued in March as part of CoSN’s new Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, provides an in-depth, step-by-step privacy guide is to help school system leaders navigate complex federal laws and related issues.

Judicial Nominee’s Memos on Drones Stirring Bipartisan Concern in the Senate

President Obama’s choice for a powerful appeals court appointment is in peril from both the left and the right, highlighting how the fraught politics of an election year are threatening the president’s agenda even among his allies on Capitol Hill. The nomination of David Barron, who was a Justice Department lawyer at the start of the administration and is now a Harvard Law School professor, is mired in a maw of contentious issues. Republicans object to what they say are his radically liberal views on the Constitution. Democrats in conservative-leaning states, especially those who are up for re-election, are wary that a vote for him might backfire with voters at home. And members of both parties say they are disturbed by Mr. Barron’s authorship of legal memos that justified the United States’ killing of an American citizen overseas with a drone.