Hillary Clinton in The Wall Street Journal on trade with Russia With Russia set to join the World Trade Organization, Clinton argues for the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, originally instituted to restrict trade with the Soviet Union because of its policies toward emigrating Jews. "Four decades after the adoption of this amendment, a vote to extend permanent normal trading relations to Russia will be a vote to create jobs in America. Until then, Russia's markets will open and our competitors will benefit, but U.S. companies will be disadvantaged," Clinton writes. She notes that some hope the Jackson-Vanik argument will continue to put pressure on Russia for its human rights abuses. "We disagree—and so do leaders of Russia's political opposition. They have called on the U.S. to terminate Jackson-Vanik, despite their concerns about human rights and the Magnitsky case."
Tim Wu in The New York Times on computers and free speech Wu highlights an interesting legal debate over the "free speech" of computer programs like Google's search algorithms or Facebook's friend finders. "Is there a compelling argument that computerized decisions should be considered speech? As a matter of legal logic, there is some similarity among Google, Ann Landers, Socrates and other providers of answers," he writes, but, "The First Amendment has wandered far from its purposes when it is recruited to protect commercial automatons from regulatory scrutiny." He traces the legal argument's origins in a 2003 Google civil suit and worries that protecting computer speech could become a powerful anti-regulatory tool that would hurt consumers.