The World Wide Tax Web: FATCA Data Sharing Goes Online

The IRS has unveiled a secure web application, the International Data Exchange Service (IDES), for cross-border data sharing. IDES will allow Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) and tax authorities from other countries to transmit financial data on U.S. taxpayers’ accounts, via an encrypted pathway, to the IRS. The tool is part of the IRS’s effort to…

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Even Governors Go To Jail

Photo Credit:  Steve Helber, AP This afternoon, the long-running saga of Robert McDonnell came to what may be the end (not counting appeals) when the former Virginia Governor was sentenced to serve two years in prison after a jury convicted him of bribery while in office.  As with many cases, this one has lessons to…

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Remote Search Warrants and the Continued Threat to Privacy Rights

What were you doing Wednesday, November 5, 2014? If you are a staunch Republican, you might have been toasting the election results from the day before, dreamy-eyed and dancing. If you are a staunch Democrat, you might have been scratching your head profusely, thunderstruck and quiet. People across the country were talking politics and policy…

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The Crisis of New Jersey Courts and the Challenge to Judicial Recall

At the very core of judicial independence is the notion that courts and judges decide matters in accordance with the evidence and legal precedent, independent from political power or outside controls. The question of whether a bipartisan and independent judiciary is still alive and well in New Jersey has been called into question recently, as…

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Where to Draw the Line With Undercover FBI Operations

Several news publications have been making much ado about a tactic the FBI used in 2007 to locate an individual suspected in a series of bomb-threats to Washington state high schools. The FBI created a fake news article, falsely representing it as an Associated Press publication, and sent a link to the suspect’s MySpace account.…

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The Road to True Threats is Paved with Intimidating Intentions

Recently, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the dividing line between free speech guarantees and the state’s authority to criminalize threat speech. In United States v. Heineman, the court held that the government must prove specific intent in true-threat cases: to obtain a conviction, prosecutors must prove not just that the defendant intended to…

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A New Remedy for Online Defamation

In the United States it is enormously difficult to remove allegedly defamatory information from the internet.  A victim can take the expensive and time-consuming step of suing the author for defamation in court.  However, even if a court rules that the statement is defamatory—that is, that the published statement is false and harmful to the…

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