No More Citizenship Question. It’s Time to Confidently Say Yalla Count Me In to the 2020 Census!

Posted by Suher Adi on July 25, 2019 in Blog

The highly anticipated decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on whether or not a question on citizenship can be added to the 2020 Census has been decided. In a complicated decision, the court ruling can be summarized in three parts. First, the court ruled the question is not in violation of the constitution and, moreover, is not seen as “arbitrary” for the Bureau to instate a question on citizenship on the census. Second, the court ruled the reasoning the Trump Administration gave for adding the citizenship question---that it was to aid implementation of the Voting Rights...

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Technological Roadblocks to Responding to the Census

Posted by Guest on July 15, 2019 in Blog
When it comes to cybersecurity, the Census Bureau must take a strong stance to ensure that not only are all respondents comfortable and safe while responding online, they feel comfortable and safe as well.
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Securing the Census Part 2

Posted by Guest on July 12, 2019 in Blog

In yesterday's blog post, we explained the Census Bureau’s legal reasons for protecting your data, how they’ve protected your data in the past, and why they are moving to a new method of data protection: differential privacy.

But how does differential privacy work? There’s a lot of detailed math behind it, which won’t be covered here. Instead, we’ll address the basic principles.

At its most basic, two databases are considered differentially private if they are identical except that one contains your data and the other does not, so that an outside observer cannot tell which database was...

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AAI Responds to Presidential Concessions Regarding 2020 Census

Posted on July 11, 2019 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202) 429-9210 

July 11, 2019

Following the conclusion of a press conference in which President Trump announced the issuance of a new executive order, AAI Executive Director Maya Berry issued the following statement, 

"President Trump's latest executive order is acknowledgement of his failed extralegal efforts to politicize the decennial census. With that, democracy won. He and his administration have failed and despite their best efforts, we will be counted. Arab Americans are a community that understands the threat posed by the misuse of data in violation of our rights, we will work to...

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The Cens-less Chaos Around the Census

If you’ve been on vacation at any point in the last two weeks, congrats, welcome back, and, wow, you’ve missed a number of census updates. Here’s a quick recap: SCOTUS denied the citizenship question a place on the census; President Trump threw a fit about the decision; the 2020 Census forms went to print without the citizenship question; Trump threw another fit and issued statements disputing whether the status of the question was settled; lower courts held hearings to determine the discrepancy between the president’s statements and that of the DoJ attorneys on the...


Securing the Census Part One

Posted by Guest on July 11, 2019 in Blog
One threat that the Census Bureau faces is that if it publicly released data that was not sufficiently anonymized, attackers may identify individuals based on that data. These attacks may be largely broken into two categories: reconstruction and reidentification.
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Facebook and the Future of the Census Online

Posted by Guest on July 09, 2019 in Blog

Following the 2016 elections, Facebook has been the subject of scrutiny for its role in providing a platform to spread misinformation. In particular, Facebook has faced criticism for showing over 3,000 political ads purchased by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) to American citizens. From 2015 to 2017, IRA posts on Facebook were shared over 30 million times. Over the past year, a team of outside auditors drawn from civil rights organizations has been working with Facebook staff to evaluate Facebook’s policies on a number of civil rights issues, ranging from hate speech to voting rights, and...

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Phishing, Spoofing, and the 2020 Census

Posted by Guest on July 09, 2019 in Blog

Last time in our series on disinformation and interference in the 2020 census, we discussed disinformation and several varieties of inaccurate information that may appear (or reappear) in 2020. However, as we said in our second post in our series, the Census Bureau is anticipating multiple kinds of interference with the census, including phishing, which can be considered a form of disinformation.

Phishing is when an attacker pretends to be a known entity to trick targets into voluntarily giving up sensitive data....

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Misinformation and the Census

Posted by Guest on July 03, 2019 in Blog

In a previous blog post, we discussed several forms of malicious interference that could affect the 2020 census. The 2020 census is a massive undertaking that will directly impact representation in Congress and the distribution of over 800 billion in federal funds per year, affecting Medicaid, school, and children’s health care funding under CHIP (the State Children’s Health Insurance Program). It has a straightforward goal – count every person living in the United States – but completing this is a complex endeavor that is slated to cost approximately $15.6 billion.

The complexity of the task...

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AAI Celebrates Omission of Citizenship Question on Decennial Census

Posted on July 03, 2019 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

(202) 429-9210

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

July 3, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Following news reports that the Department of Commerce has initiated the printing of 2020 Census forms without the citizenship question, which was the subject of a decision by the Supreme Court last week, Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry issued the following statement: 

"This news marks a major victory for all advocates for a fair and accurate Census count and for our democracy. We are grateful for the oversight and accountability mechanisms our nation's systems afford us, which will permit us all to move forward with...

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