Daily Archives: October 16, 2019

OnionShare Lets Anyone Host Anonymous Sites on the Dark Web – BleepingComputer

Posted: October 16, 2019 at 5:44 pm

A new version of the OnionShare programnow allows you to easily create basic anonymous dark web sites on Tor so that they cannot be censored. This is particularlyuseful for those who wish to publish information anonymously, but do not want to deal with the mechanics of setting up their own dark web server.

OnionShare is a program for Windows, Mac, and Linux that was originally designed to let you easily and anonymously share and receivefiles on the dark web. It does this by bundling the Tor client and turning your computer into a web server that is accessible only via Tor.

When sharing or receiving files, OnionShare will create arandom .onion address that can be shared with other users in order to share files or turn your computer into an anonymous dropbox that users can send files.

For example, in the screen below you can what it looks like when OnionShare is configured as an anonymous dropbox and someone else connects to it to send a file.

With the release of OnionShare 2.2, users are now able to create basic web sites using HTML, JavaScript, and images and publish them anonymously on the dark web.

This enables you to publish an anonymous site that cannot be censored and for your visitors to remain anonymous asthey access the site.

"This website is only accessible from the Tor network, so people will need Tor Browser to visit it," states the OnionShare announcement for this new version."People who visit your website will have no idea who you are they wont have access to your IP address, and they wont know your identity or your location. And, so long as your website visitors are able to access the Tor network, the website cant be censored."

To publish a website through OnionShare, simply click on the "Publish Website" tab and drag the HTML, JavaScript, andimages files for your site onto the program's screen. When ready to make your site accessible, click on the Start sharing button to publish the site to the Tor network.

Once published, OnionShare will display a random onion URL you can share with users. You can also configure the programs settings to use a "persistent address" and place it in "public mode" to make the site use a normal onion address as shown below.

Now when a user visits the site in the Tor Browser, they will be shown the website from your computer through OnionShare.

It should be noted, though, that once you use OnionShare to publish a web site, OnionShare and your computer must continue to run for the site to be accessible to others users on the Tor network. Once you shutdown your computer or close OnionShare, the site will be shutdown as well.

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#SecTorCa: Millions of Phones Leaking Information Via Tor – Infosecurity Magazine

Posted: at 5:43 pm

There is a privacy threat lurking on perhaps hundreds of millions of devices, that could enable potential attackers to track and profile users, by using information leaked via the Tor network, even if the users never intentionally installed Tor in the first place.

In a session at the SecTor security conference in Toronto, Canada on October 10, researchers Adam Podgorski and Milind Bhargava from Deloitte Canada outlined and demonstrated previously undisclosed research into how they were able to determine that personally identifiable information (PII) is being leaked by millions of mobile users every day over Tor.

The irony of the issue is that Tor is a technology and a network that is intended to help provide and enable anonymity for users. With Tor, traffic travels through a number of different network hops to an eventual exit point in the hope of masking where the traffic originated from. Podgorski said that there are some users that choose to install a Tor browser on their mobile devices, but thats not the problem. The problem is that Tor is being installed by mobile applications without user knowledge and potentially putting users at risk.

The researchers explained that they set up several Tor exit nodes, just to see what they could find, and the results were surprising. The researchers found that approximately 30% of all Android devices are transmitting data over Tor.

Youre probably scratching your head now, like we were a couple of months ago, because that doesnt make any sense, Podgorski said. There's no way a third of Android users know what Tor is and are actually using it.

What the researchers determined is that Tor is being bundled, embedded and installed in other applications and users are not aware of its existence. It was not entirely clear to the researchers why Tor was being bundled with so many applications. Podgorski said that it could be due to a misunderstanding of the technology and how it can be used. Tor was also found on Apple IOS devices, but the numbers were smaller with only approximately 5% of devices sending data.

Tracking Users

In a series of demonstrations, including live dashboards shown by Bhargava, the researchers showed what data they had collected from mobile users that were inadvertently using Tor. The data included GPS coordinates, web addresses, phone numbers, keystrokes and other PII.

This data can be used to build a robust profile of an individual, Podgorski said.

Bhargava explained that the exit nodes the researchers set up intentionally attempted to force browsers to not use encrypted versions of websites, forcing the devices to regular HTTP when possible. With data coming to the exit node without encryption, it was possible for the researchers to see the user data. Bhargava noted that for sites that force HTTPS encryption and do not offer any fallback option to regular un-encrypted HTTP, they wouldnt be able to see the users data.

Also of note, Bhargava admitted that he found his own phone number in the data, which was a surprise to him, as he had not installed Tor on his device. The only applications on his phone were applications installed by the carrier.

There are several things that need to happen to fix the issue. Podgorski said that the first is awareness that there is a problem, which is what the research is intended to highlight for legislators, government and organizations. For users, Podgorski emphasized that good operational security practices need to be employed, by using encryption everywhere.

In Podgorski's view, there is already a legal compliance risk that the mobile application PII data leaks expose.

Were pretty sure what we found breaches GDPR on multiple levels, he said, but the issue is that governments cant enforce the law if theyre not aware.

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WIRED25: Stories of People Who Are Racing to Save Us – WIRED

Posted: at 5:40 pm

Galperin and her team focus on protecting the activists, dissidents, lawyers, journalists, and civilians who find themselves in an increasingly lopsided conflict with entities that hack, surveil, and sabotage themor better yet, equipping them to protect themselves. I think that empowering people to confront power is good, she says. Thats how change happens.

In part, Galperin aims to create tools that level the playing field for surveillance victims. In its first months, for instance, the Threat Labs tiny team of three full-time staffers has been building a device to detect a common form of police surveillance: fake LTE cell towers that trick phones into connecting to them, enabling police to pinpoint the location and track the identities of protesters and other surveillance targets.

The Threat Lab also does detective work to expose perpetrators of state-sponsored surveillance. For years, even before the teams creation, Galperin and fellow EFF researcher Cooper Quintin investigated a hacking operation that planted spyware on the computers of journalists and opposition figures in Kazakhstan. Working with the mobile security firm Lookout, Galperins team found that some of the same toolsperhaps made by the same for-hire hackerswere being used in a massive campaign to spy on civilian targets in Lebanon. At one point during that investigation, the EFF had a researcher walk the streets of Beirut with a smartphone to find the Wi-Fi network theyd linked with the hackers. The researcher discovered it was emanating from inside the headquarters of the Lebanese General Security Directorate.

The EFF had a researcher walk the streets of Beirut with a smartphone to find the hackers Wi-Fi network. It was emanating from inside the headquarters of the Lebanese General Security Directorate.

Galperins own obsession is the scourge known as spouseware, or stalkerware: hidden apps installed on a smartphone by someone with physical access to the deviceoften a domestic abuserthat let them spy on the phones owner. Since early 2018, Galperin has offered her services as a kind of first responder, security consultant, and therapist for stalkerware victims.

But Galperin wasnt satisfied with the scale of that hands-on approach. So she began shaming and pressuring the antivirus industry, which has long neglected stalkerware, to take it far more seriously. Several companies have since pledged to catalog and eradicate the apps just as thoroughly as they do traditional malware. Stalkerware is considered beneath the interest of most security researchers, Galperin says. Changing norms takes time. But it starts with someone standing up and saying This is not OK, this is not acceptablethis is spying.

Galperin, who has silvery-violet hair and a cyberpunk aesthetic, got her start as a systems administrator, attending security conferences and being treated, she says, like some hackers girlfriend who looks after Solaris boxes. In 2007 she joined the EFF, where her first job was to answer the 50-plus calls and emails that came in every day from people seeking help. The organization had recently filed a lawsuit against AT&T for aiding warrantless NSA spying, and Galperin was flooded with messages from people who had been targeted for surveillance. Her desk became a kind of security crisis hotline.

According to Danny OBrien, Galperins former boss at the EFF, the experience gave her a strong sense of the victims perspectivesomething thats often overlooked by the cybersecurity research community, which tends to focus more on sexy new hacking techniques than on the people who suffer from their use. Eva isnt afraid to plot out the consequences of hackers actions, OBrien says, to stare those consequences down until the problem is solved.

Shes also good at plotting out, and maximizing, the consequences of her own actions. Galperin says she has no illusions that she or her small team alone can tip the balance of security for vulnerable people worldwide. But in line with the EFFs longtime tactic of choosing cases that can set legal precedents, she says she chooses projects that promise to have cascading effects, that will force the industry to change its priorities or inspire other researchers. You figure out the place where you need to push, she says, not just to help the people you help every day, the individuals, but to change the game. To change the system. Andy Greenberg

FOUNDER & CEO / Rigetti Computing

In 2013, Chad Rigetti became aware that the field of quantum computing was entering a kind of adolescence. Sketched out in the 1990s, the technology was supposed to leapfrog conventional computing by tapping into the weird physics of subatomic particles. For years, researchers had been held up by the devilish unreliability of qubits, the devices needed to perform quantum manipulations on data. But now, finally, they were finding new ways to tame them. It was black magic, and then a framework emerged, Rigetti says. You could start to see all the pieces coming together. Thats when he quit his job at IBM and struck out on his own. Six years later, in labs stocked with steampunky equipment and liquid helium, Rigetti Computing is manufacturing small quantum processors.

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Artificial Wombs Could Help Save Millions of Premature Babies Within the Next Decade – News18

Posted: at 5:40 pm

Dutch scientists are on the verge of a breakthrough. They predict that within a decade, they will be able to create a working prototype of an artificial womb, something that could save the lives of millions of babies who die due to the premature births.

Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology in Netherlands have been given a 2.6m grant to work on the development of a prototype for artificial wombs that could be used in clinics. Artificial wombs could help reduce complications and even save a prematurely born baby's life by acting as a replacement womb that could allow the fetus to complete full gestation period.

The external womb does so by simulating conditions naturally present withing a womb using a faux placenta that is connected to the fetus's umbilical chord.

Why is this important?

According to accepted norms, any birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy is considered premature. At present, about a million babies across the world die because of premature of birth, The Guardian reported. Even the ones who survive incur a range of medical difficulties and disabilities.

As per data collected by Tommy's, a UK-based not-for profit organisation that funds prenatal and neonatal research, babies born at 22 weeks of gestation have just a 10 percent chance of surviving. However, in just two weeks of added gestation, chances of survival shoot up to 6- percent.

External, artificial wombs could be extremely useful in such cases as they could provide almost perfect natural, womb-like conditions and allow a fetus to get adequate oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical chord. Unlike current incubation methods that deliver oxygen and nutrients directly to the organs like the lungs which may not have the full capacity to handle the treatment, the newer system would allow fetuses to grow its organs under natural conditions.

Research into the idea has been ongoing. In 2017, a team of researchers from Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in US successfully tested an artificial womb meant to carry premature births on a lamb feotus.

Why is it controversial?

While the implication of artificial wombs in terms of prenatal care could be miraculous, critics have already raised alarm bells over what this could mean for women's rights. Some feminist thinkers, as Professor Julien S. Murphy of the University of Southern Maine wrote in her book 'Feminist Perspectives in Medical Ethics' wrote, have raised concerns about how birthing outside of the human body, or ectogenesis, will affect the perception of women. Some even fear that deleting the need for women's bodies from the reproductive process could lead to women becoming obsolete. It would also impact abortion rights and the global women's movement to reclaim control over their bodies.

Strides in ectogenesis could also open up a minefield of political and ethical complications. While medical science is still a long way from completely growing babies from petri dishes, the possibility raises concerns about reproductive rights and genetic engineering.

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Gene Expression Market to Reach USD 11.37 Billion by 2026 | Reports and Data – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 5:40 pm

Gene Expression Market Size - USD 6.05 Billion in 2018, Market Growth - CAGR of 8.1%. Gene Expression industry Trends - Product launches and application of new techniques like NGS and DNA micro-arrays

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the current analysis of Reports and Data, the Global Gene Expression market is expected to reach USD 11.37 billion by the year 2026, in terms of value at a CAGR of 8.1% from 2019-2026. Gene expression promises to tap into a previously unexplored segment in the vast and burgeoning genetic engineering industry. Gene expression is the process by which the genetic code - the nucleotide sequence - of a gene is used to direct protein synthesis and produce the structures of a cell. It is the process by which instructions in the DNA are converted into a functional product like protein. The commercial applications of gene expression have been studied and researched upon extensively in recent years. Many diverse and wide ranging applications have been found for this novel technique. With the increased availability and lowering costs of DNA technologies, gene expression has become a more readily used tool indispensable in drug discovery and development.

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Increase in investments in the market, which are supporting the technological advancements, and rise in healthcare expenditure are estimated to shape the growth of the gene expression market. Drug discovery & development and increase in demand for personalized medicine in chronic diseases such as cancer will be observed as the most lucrative applications for gene expression analysis in the forecast period. Application of gene expression in clinical diagnostics, on the other hand, will reflect a moderate growth throughout the analysis period. Moreover, the falling costs of sequencing have facilitated the integration of genomic sequencing into medicine. With the increased availability and lowering costs of DNA technologies, gene expression has become a more readily used tool indispensable in drug discovery and development. Many companies and educational institutions are collaborating to make gene expression publicly accessible through databases such as the Connectivity Map (CMap), Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) and the Tox 21 project.

New product development has been the consistent strategy undertaken by majority of the players to expand their product portfolio for serving a larger consumer base. For example, in September 2019, Qiagen N.V., launched the newly enhanced GeneGlobe Design & Analysis Hub, which integrates the company's manually curated knowledge base on over 10,000 biological entities with the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of tools for next-generation sequencing (NGS), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and functional analysis. Other companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific and Illumina Inc. have launched new products in the last few months which are being used in the gene expression market.

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For the purpose of the study, this Reports and Data has segmented the Gene Expression Market on the basis of product type, platform type, prescription mode, end user and the regional outlook

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Live-cell pig skin successfully used to treat human burn wound – New Atlas

Posted: at 5:40 pm

When someone has a severe burn, a protective covering needs to be temporarily grafted onto the wound site and as soon as possible. Although that covering typically consists of skin from a human cadaver, genetically-engineered live-cell pig skin has now been used on a patient for the first time.

Applied to second- and third-degree burns, sheets of human cadaveric skin also known as allografts initially help to protect wounds against infection and fluid loss, along with the potentially-lethal complications that could follow. Once the recipient has stabilized, the allograft is removed and a piece of the patient's own skin is permanently transplanted onto the wound, from another part of their body.

Unfortunately, though, allografts are often in short supply, plus they can be expensive. With that in mind, scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) developed a genetically-modified line of pigs, back in the 1990s. Those animals lack a gene that is ordinarily present in pigs but not in humans, allowing skin grafts from the pigs to appear less "foreign" to a human patient's immune system.

The technology has since been commercialized by spinoff company XenoTherapeutics, in the form of live-cell tissue grafts known as Xeno-Skin. In a recent clinical trial, MGH surgeon Jeremy Goverman used one of those "xenografts" on a human recipient for the first time.

Measuring 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inches), the Xeno-Skin was applied to a burn alongside a larger conventional allograft. Both were secured in place using surgical staples and gauze bandages, and then removed five days later. At that point, the two coverings were found to be "indistinguishable from each other" in appearance, having performed equally well at protecting the underlying wound by temporarily adhering to it as the patient stabilized.

A skin graft from the recipient's own thigh was then permanently applied to the wound, with healing now progressing as anticipated. Importantly, the scientists detected no transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses, the risk of which has previously limited the viability of transplanting live tissue or organs from pigs to humans.

"This small step we took today, represents a massive number of hours spanning decades of research in a multitude of fields including transplantation biology, immunology and genetic engineering," says Goverman. "Additionally, rapid advancements in gene-editing technology open a vast new avenue for genetically modifying pig skin that isnt rejected, representing the next chapter in standards of care for burn and transplant patients alike."

Sources: Massachusetts General Hospital, XenoTherapeutics

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5 Reasons Why Lex Luthor Is Smarter Than The Green Goblin (And 5 Ways Norman Osborn Is Smarter) – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Posted: at 5:40 pm

In both the corporate and supervillain worlds, Lex Luthor and Norman Osborn are at the top of their games in their respective universes. Not content to bedeviling just Superman and Spider-Man, both antagonists have threatened and nearly completed world domination, requiring either the Justice League or the Avengers to put an end to their nefarious schemes.

Their successes are due in no small part to the nature of their characters: ambitious, calculating and ruthless. However, the one trait that sets them apart from other supervillains is their genius-level intelligence, which begs the question: Who is smarter, Lex Luthor or Norman Osborn?

RELATED:10 Marvel/DC Characters With The Exact Same Powers

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A man of guts and vision, Norman Osborn founded Oscorp with Mendel Stromm, having financed the lions share of the investment himself. Aside from that, Osborn ran the business end of the company while also contributing to the research in genetics that would eventually give him his augmented strength, reflexes, and healing factor.

Osborns raw intellect also helped develop his vast array of Goblin-themed weapons, including his infamous glider. However, his actions as the Green Goblin led to the combination of Stromms death, his loss of public image, and insanity. This was enough to lead to Oscorps downfall, but Norman was smart enough toset up a dummy corporation under an assumed name to ensure his grandsons legacy.

RELATED:The Top 10 Fictional Marvel Companies

Lex Luthors business acumen is unparalleled in the DC Universe, as LexCorps net worth and diversification portfolio dwarf any other companys, including Wayne Enterprises. Originally founded as a scientific research firm with a specialty in aeronautics, LexCorp has grown in scope and reach, with subsidiaries in all areas of the world and domains as varied as private security, weapons manufacturing, and computer software.

This success is due in no small part to its CEO, Lex Luthor himself. Aside from his formidable business knowledge and instinct, Luthor is not above breaking the law to ensure his companys growth and a robust bottom line.

Although Norman Osborn holds degrees in mechanical engineering and chemistry, its genetic engineering that he excels at, as that is what gave him the formula for his Green Goblin serum. Although heavily aided in this endeavor by his mentor Dr. Mendel Stromm, Normans scientific contributions and willingness to serve as a test subject were the key factors in granting him his enhanced strength, agility and resilience.

As if this feat were not impressive enough, Norman also designed his own weaponssome deceptively simple as the razor bats, and some requiring intricate knowledge of engineering and physics, like his sparkle-blasts and glider.

In his early appearances, most of Supermans adversaries were mad scientists, and Lex Luthor was chief amongst them. Modern incarnations of the character have often depicted Lex as a wealthy captain of industry, but his aptitude for scientific research, particularly in the technological field, has not diminished.

Aside from funding cutting-edge research, Luthor personally engages in advanced weapons development, reverse engineering of alien tech, and the search for alternative (usually kryptonite-powered) energy sources. In some continuities, Luthor is even responsible for creating some of the Man of Steels most deadly enemies, like the kryptonite-powered Metallo. His most recognizable accomplishment is the creation of his battlesuit, allowing him to go toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel andcementing him as an evil scientific genius extraordinaire.

RELATED:Lex & Violence: Lex Luthor's Most Powerful Anti-Superman Suits, Ranked

Aside from his intellectual prowess in science and business, Norman Osborn is also no slouch in the strategy department. With considerable resources at his disposal and the patience of a slow-burning wick, Osborn is capable of crafting intricate long and short term plans designed to bring an unsuspecting opponent to their knees.

Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the immediate events following his 'death' at the end of the Gwen Stacy affair. Allowing Spider-Man to believe he was gone for good, Osborn went about orchestrating the systematic destruction of his foe by faking Aunt May's death, absconding Peter and MJ's baby, and perhaps most unforgivably (to both Spidey and his readers), perpetrating the Clone Saga.

RELATED: Spider-Man 10 Things You Didn't Know About Aunt May

A formidable intellect like Lex Luthor's also breeds a formidable ego. A master strategist, whether he's planning a corporate takeover or his latest attack on Superman, Luthor walks with a grandiose swagger and self-assuredness that matches his considerable IQ. Ever the opportunist, Luthor is even smart enough to use his reputation for being smart to his advantage; his expertise on something is rarely questioned, and if so, his clout and considerable connections will usually silence his adversary for him. For Luthor, intelligence and intimidation go hand-in-hand, and he's not above using the former to ensure the latter to fulfill his aims.

Norman Osborn's ambition has often gone far beyond making Peter Parker's life miserable. Following the events of Secret Invasion and the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., Osborn used his considerable influence to lobby for the creation of a new American defense program, with himself at its head. Now director of H.A.M.M.E.R., Osborn used his considerable resources and intelligence to further his own political agenda.

No fool, his first act was to try to neutralize his predecessor, Tony Stark. Next, he tried to gain access to all metahuman civilian identities gathered duringCivil War. When that didn't pan out, he resorted to restructuring the Avengers with members of the former-villains-turned hero superteam, the Thunderbolts, all in an ingeniously evil plan to give him almost unlimited power.

RELATED:Spider-Man: 5 of Norman Osborns Smartest Plans (& 5 That Were Destined To Fail)

Of all Lex Luthor's accomplishments, perhaps the greatest was becoming Presidentof the United States. His massive ego bruised by the sheer adulation Metropolis and the world gave Superman, Luthor decided to put his formidable intellect and resources to use and procure himself the presidency. Aside from winning the most powerful seat in world governance, Luthor had the foresight to leave LexCorp in the hands of Talia Al Ghul, a similarly intelligent and devious individual.

Once in office, Luthor coordinated the defense of the Earth during the Our Worlds at War storyline, including the risky but brilliant idea of siccing a mind-controlled Doomsday on Imperiex.

Having achieved a position of extensive power and influence by being appointed the new director of H.A.M.M.E.R., Osborn did not rest on his laurels. Instead, he called together several of the most powerful supervillains in the Marvel Universe together to form the Cabal, a dark mirror of the Illuminati and a secret group of heroes who got together to covertly discuss and enact unofficial policies in the superhero world. In this act, Osborn exhibited intelligent foresight, as now there would be nothing to stop him and his cadre of nefarious contemporaries from doing whatever they wished.

RELATED:The 10 Worst Things That Marvel's Illuminati Have Done

If Lex Luthor is Supermans greatest enemy, then a strong argument can be made for Brainiac being the second. A superior intellect that roams the universe amassing data on countless worlds and miniaturizing whole cities for cataloging and storage, Brainiacs digitized intelligence contains galactic repositories of knowledge, which he has used in schemes against Superman for decades.

In many continuities, Luthor has sought out Brainiac and merged with him, creating a completely new entity. This fusion of an already genius-level intellect with an inter-galactic database created an extremely deadly and ruthless adversary whose intelligence and cunning were second to none.

NEXT:5 Reasons Joker Would Beat Green Goblin In A Fight (& 5 Why Norman Osborn Would Win)

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Opinion: What the gun lobby gets wrong about the 2nd Amendment – Los Angeles Times

Posted: at 5:39 pm

The Supreme Court will hear a gun control case in December that could significantly limit the ability of state and local governments to regulate guns for public safety reasons.

The case involves a New York City regulation on transporting handguns that was repealed in July. Although that original rule is no longer in effect, for now the court has not determined the matter to be moot, so the case will move forward.

In this dispute and others, opposition to gun regulations is often grounded on the premise that once an individual interest is identified as a fundamental right, that interest prevails over all countervailing public concerns.

That premise is profoundly mistaken. And, importantly, it is inconsistent with the way that constitutional doctrine has developed with other fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Second Amendment rights should be treated no more favorably, despite the political rhetoric of gun rights supporters who claim that any firearm regulation is an unconstitutional infringement on their rights.

Of course, a constitutional right does carry with it a strong presumption against government interference with that particular activity, even though the exercise of the right involves a societal cost. We protect freedom of religion, for example, even though we know that some religious practices like pulling children out of school after the eighth grade might be considered problematic or harmful.

But there is a critical difference between assigning a high value to a constitutional right when balancing it against social concerns, and arguing that the right necessarily overrides the publics ability to regulate that activity in ways that may be needed to protect the community.

The doctrine surrounding freedom of speech is instructive. No one doubts that speech rights are taken seriously in America. Yet the right to free speech is not absolute and can be regulated in numerous circumstances. Courts subject government regulations that affect speech to different standards of review that balance the publics interest against the individuals liberty. Among factors considered are the kind of speech involved and the location and manner of the restriction.

For example, a ban on rallies on public streets in residential neighborhoods after 9 p.m. would likely be upheld even though it burdens speech, so long as the law did not discriminate based on the message rally speakers expressed.

So too with protections for personal privacy under the 4th Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. That amendment doesnt bar all searches and seizures, but instead requires that such intrusions be reasonable, a concept that inherently involves some kind of balancing of interests. Hence, we all must endure airport security screening searches because they are a reasonable means to protect air travel safety.

The individual right to bear arms for self-defense, as announced by the Supreme Court in 2008, is likewise not unlimited. Even though the court in that case struck down a flat ban on possession of handguns that might be used for self-defense in peoples homes, it observed that states could for historical and public-policy safety reasons prohibit people with felony convictions or people with mental illness from possessing guns, demonstrating that the very scope of the 2nd Amendments protection takes account of countervailing public objectives. For instance, some states require that gun owners keep their firearms locked up if there are children living in the home, even though gun owners might prefer easier access to firearms for self-defense.

Or consider the contours of self-defense itself. A 2nd Amendment right to keep guns for self-defense does not eliminate the need for society to think about how guns should be responsibly employed, even in self-defense situations. If someone uses a gun purportedly for self-defense purposes and kills another person, the 2nd Amendment does not preclude an evaluation of whether the alleged threat was sufficient to justify the use of deadly force or whether the killing involved excessive force because reasonable non-lethal alternatives were available for the shooter to defend himself.

The national debate now has focused on proposed regulations such as background checks and assault weapons bans. Whether specific measures would be permissible under the Constitution depends on their particulars, but the big point is that particulars matter.

In evaluating gun control regulations, its legitimate to take into account the social harms and risks arising from individuals keeping, bearing and using firearms. Constitutional analysis of the 2nd Amendment, as with other fundamental rights, requires some kind of balancing of interests, which includes considering the states need to promote public safety.

Vikram D. Amar is dean and professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Alan E. Brownstein is professor of law at the UC Davis School of Law.

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Opinion: What the gun lobby gets wrong about the 2nd Amendment - Los Angeles Times

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Marianne Preger-Simon: Why is half of the Second Amendment ignored? – GazetteNET

Posted: at 5:39 pm

Published: 10/11/2019 2:12:49 PM

Modified: 10/11/2019 2:12:37 PM

I am not a constitutional scholar, by any means, but there is something about the way that everyone speaks about the Second Amendment to the Constitution that is very puzzling to me.

The Second Amendment is simply one sentence, containing two ideas. The first idea is almost never mentioned in discussion of the amendment. The only thing ever mentioned is the second idea: the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Why does the first idea never get mentioned? A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,

That part of the sentence gives me the impression that people who keep and bear arms are meant to be part of a well-regulated militia, like, for example, the state National Guard. That would be quite a change. It would mean that people who use guns would need to be registered as part of a militia. That is, they would undergo some sort of group basic training, and regular periodic reviews to maintain their skills.

Why is this half of the Second Amendment never discussed and certainly never implemented?

Marianne Preger-Simon


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Marianne Preger-Simon: Why is half of the Second Amendment ignored? - GazetteNET

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Weiser: Sheriffs Will Enforce Red Flag Orders When Faced With Reality Of Dangerous People – Colorado Public Radio

Posted: at 5:38 pm

Weiser and House Majority Leader Alec Garnett are working together on the details for implementation.

The law, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020, will allow judges to issue Extreme Risk Protection Orders at the request of family members or law enforcement. It would require police to temporarily remove guns from a person they fear could be dangerous or suicidal.

Critics say the law goes too far in infringing on Second Amendment rights and doesnt do enough to protect the due process rights of gun owners. Gun rights groups have held sessions for firearms owners around the state, warning them of ways they believe the law could be abused.

Some sheriffs have said they will not enforce it and a number of county commissions have passed resolutions to prevent local law enforcement from carrying out ERPOs.

Almost all those ordinances say the following, we dont want our sheriff in our county to implement an unconstitutional gun law to which I have always said in those counties, I dont either, Weiser said. And the extreme risk protection law is constitutional and will be upheld.

A Second Amendment rights group has challenged the law in court, arguing state lawmakers violated legislative rules when they passed it. Weiser has asked for that suit to be dismissed.

Weiser said if a sheriff refused to comply with a judges ERPO, he could be held in contempt of court. In that situation, Weisers office would defend the judge if the sheriff appealed the decision.

State Rep. Garnett said he is working with law enforcement to give them maximum flexibility on how to retrieve the guns once an ERPO is handed down from a judge. That includes allowing law enforcement, with a warrant, to go into a house when someone isnt home.

Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son died in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, said Colorados soaring suicide rate is a good reason to get the controversial ERPO law right.

This is something that will save lives. Maybe not in the situation that affected my son Alex, he said while sharing a stage with Weiser. But three-quarters of the people in this state who died by gun violence died by suicide ... We can do something about that.

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Weiser: Sheriffs Will Enforce Red Flag Orders When Faced With Reality Of Dangerous People - Colorado Public Radio

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