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Whatever you do on line — from filling out forms to making innocent requests for information — is subject to data mining. That can lead to unflattering profiles or put you on lists that can be damaging — even though the data is often wrong. We hear calls for transparency and regulation.

Also, the Ukrainian government is accused of using cluster bombs, and do campaign contributions threaten the independence of judges?

Banner Image Credit: Jason Cale

Ukraine Government and Rebels Accused of Using Cluster Bombs 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The Ukrainian Army is being accused of firing cluster munitions into Donetsk, a city of more than a million people now held by pro-Russian separatists. That’s according to Human Rights Watch, which says there’s evidence in the city and near artillery installations in Army-held territory.

Christopher Miller joins us from Kiev. He is a senior correspondent for the online news site Mashable.

Christopher J. Miller, Radio Free Europe (@ChristopherJM)

The Downside of Data Mining 35 MIN, 54 SEC

Your personal data's all over the Internet, and it's up for sale. Data mining is now big business, with some 4000 companies searching everything all of us do on line, looking for patterns and compiling lists for sale to marketers, financial institutions and perspective employers -- and don't forget about the NSA. It might be secretly mining even the data of its own corporate partners. If you've just applied for a warranty or googled somebody else's chronic disease, you could be on a list of bad credit risks or unsuitable employees. If the information is wrong, there's not much you can do to correct it, because it's secret and there's almost no regulation.  

Elizabeth Dwoskin, Washington Post (@lizzadwoskin)
Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland (@FrankPasquale)
Eric Siegel, Predictive Analytics World (@predictanalytic)
Peter Maass, The Intercept (@maassp)

Would Dialing for Dollars Corrupt the Judicial System? 7 MIN, 26 SEC

The US Supreme Court’s controversial decision in the Citizens United case has unleashed untold millions of dollars in campaign spending—including anonymous contributions. What’s the impact on the judicial system in states where judges must stand for election?

In 2009, Judge Lanell Williams-Yulee in Hillsburough County, Florida, signed a letter seeking contributions for her re-election campaign. The State Supreme Court ruled that she violated a code of conduct. Now the US Supreme Court is being asked to rule on whether that code, which bans such solicitations, is a violation of the First Amendment.

Norman Ornstein is a Congressional Scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and a correspondent for the Atlantic. His most recent article is headlined, “Courting Corruption: The Auctioning of the Judicial System".

Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute / Atlantic (@NormOrnstein)

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