A2J Author is a platform that lets non-tech specialists in the government, courts, and legal world to build websites & apps to let non-lawyers get more access — more easily — to the bureaucracy of the courts.
One instantiation is the A2J Guided Interview, which walks people who are representing themselves in court through the process. It takes them through a flowchart of decisions and tells them what papers they’ll need to assemble for court documents.
You can try it out if you want to pretend you are filing an “Application to Sue or Defend as an Indigent in Cook County, Illinois”. At the link, an online program to help you create the form to file this for free.
SlaveFree is an app that lets you scan any product in a store, to see if slave labor likely was used in its production.
Slavery Footprint is an app and a website that quizzes users about their consumption patterns, adn then tells them how large their ‘Slavery Footprint’ is. The State Department developed it alongside the non-profit Call + Response.
The app also lets a consumer to take a picture of a product with their smartphone, and then message it to the company inquiring into whether forced labor was used in the product’s production.
Free2Work, produced by the Not for Sale campaign, similarly lets a user search major brands as you shop, to see how they are involved in tackling forced labor. It’s a free app, and it grades companies from A to F based on how they prevent and address forced labor, child labor. Use your smartphone to scan the barcode on a product, and then see the company’s slavery grade.
Out of USC, a September 2011 report “Human Trafficking Online” by Mark Latonero on the role of online social networks in human trafficking. It shows the darker side of these networks — that traffickers use sites like Craigslist and MySpace to traffic women and children. It goes on to call for technology companies to be more vigilant in how their sites may be abused, to catch those who are using them to traffic, and to coordinate their efforts to innovate new ways of data mining, user tracking and interventions to root out human trafficking and gather evidence to be used in criminal prosecutions.
The USC Annenberg Center on Communication is convening actors who are working to use technology to address human trafficking.
Some of the projects: From the Center on Communication and Leadership Policy, with the State Deaprtment:
TIP Information Sharing Platform for the Mekong Region in South Asia, a proposal that includes —
1. A regional cross-border text and voicemail enabled hotline 2. A standardized victim identification and case management system for information sharing.
"The hotline will integrate mobile technologies, taking advantage of the widespread use of cell phones in the region. The user-friendly platform will be able to receive texts (SMS) and voicemails in multiple languages and forward messages to appropriate organizations that can act on incoming information in real time. The system will allow for mapping of locations as an additional aid to those combating TIP in the region.
This platform will also serve as a case management system for organizations to monitor and track victims as they are identified and move through the process of social reintegration. Organizations using the common system could share information to alert partnering service providers about victims’ immediate and future needs.”
The New York State Bar Association has released a mobile app for lawyers, judges, and other legal practitioners — for quicker advice on whether their action is ‘Ethical Under the Law.’
The app mainly provides a Search Function, to let the professional find a legal opinion on the matter at hand, to determine whether it has been judged ethical or not.
The user can search by keyword, or by the name of the opinion if they hand it — and the app will search through NY’s full case output on ethics. The app shows the matches with brief digests of the opinions, and the user can click through for full text.
Jonathan Mayer, at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University, explains how online trackers get sent personally identifiable information from you, as you browse the Internet — how much you smoke, what your username is, what your job is, what you drink, what day is your birthday — the information you give to a site, it then hands it over to advertising and tracking companies, for them to put in their giant databases and sell.
Even if all the data sent about you to these random ad companies is supposed to be ‘anonymous’, a lot of the time your username can still identify you even if its not precisely your name. And especially when the information is combined and triangulated, it can be pretty easy for these companies to figure out exactly who you are.