Scraping public data ruled legal

For TechCrunch, Zack Whittaker reporting:

In its second ruling on Monday, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its original decision and found that scraping data that is publicly accessible on the internet is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, which governs what constitutes computer hacking under U.S. law.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision is a major win for archivists, academics, researchers and journalists who use tools to mass collect, or scrape, information that is publicly accessible on the internet. Without a ruling in place, long-running projects to archive websites no longer online and using publicly accessible data for academic and research studies have been left in legal limbo.

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Police Perception vs. Public Perception

The numbers are from a survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in 2016. I suspect the percentages are higher right now, but the gaps between police and public perception seem to say a lot. It’s easy to see where “one bad apple” comes from.

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Cards Against Humanity’s public poll results

For the past few months, Cards Against Humanity polled the American public to ask important questions such as whether or not it is okay to pee in the shower.

To conduct our polls in a scientifically rigorous manner, we’ve partnered with Survey Sampling International — a professional research firm — to contact a nationally representative sample of the American public. For the first three polls, we interrupted people’s dinners on both their cell phones and landlines, and a total of about 3,000 adults didn’t hang up immediately. We examined the data for statistically significant correlations, and boy did we find some stuff.

The poll is in the context of political leanings, which leads to some interesting cross-sections.

Maybe the best part though is that CAH will continue to poll for a full year, and you can download the data, which I am sure makes for a fun class project. They are also asking social scientists for question suggestions that would otherwise go unasked by more traditionally funded public polling.

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