A Current Awareness Service of
Cornell Law Library

ISSN 1521-9046


Vol. 13, no. 20
June 2, 2008

InSITE highlights selected law-related World Wide Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and as a keyword-searchable database.

The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them. These information can be accessed as following:

    1. Current Issue
    2. Archived Issues
    3. Searchable Database
    4. RSS Feeds RSS FEED of the Current Issue Editions [What is RSS?]
    5. E-mail subscription: send the following request to
      join INSITE-L 'your name'
      where your name(include the quotation marks) is the name you want to be available to the list's administrator. You must send this message from the e-mail address where you want to receive the e-list's messages
    6. In print format for the Cornell Law School community

Alger Hiss Story
    Edited by historian Jeff Kisseloff, this site is supported by the Nation Institute's Alger Hiss Research and Publication Project, and seeks to recreate "one of the most important legal cases in this country's history, often cited as a turning point in 20th century American thinking." The site offers regular updates of new primary and secondary material on the infamous Cold War-era case. The site specifically seeks to make materials on the case ubiquitously available, removing the necessity of traveling to view the physical archives in Washington, D.C., the Harvard Law Library, or to archives in the former Soviet Union. The site has a noticeable editorial bias in favor of Hiss. However, it also makes available those documents most commonly cited by Hiss' accusers and detractors as evidence of his guilt. The Alger Hiss Story has a site map but suffers from the lack of a search engine or separate, centralized list of documents on offer (although there is a specific section for photographs and another of audio and video segments). Additionally, the site does not make an organizational distinction between primary materials related to the case and secondary materials such as news articles, speeches, and books which comment upon it. Overall, the Alger Hiss Story seems intended to be a cohesive introduction to the case and its historical background for younger researchers who may be unfamiliar with it but also furnishes new insights for more knowledgeable individuals, particularly as more materials are made public.
    [Author: J. P. Cusker]
Center for Health, Environment & Justice
    The Center for Health, Education and Social Justice (CHEJ) is an outgrowth of the activism of Lois Gibbs and the families affected by the pollution in Love Canal. Today, the CHEJ "[w]orks to build healthy communities, with social justice, economic well-being, and democratic governance." The CHEJ uses "training, coalition-building and one-on-one technical and organizing level the playing field so that people can have a say in the environmental policies and decisions that affect their health..." Among the achievements of the CHEJ are the creation of the Superfund program, the Community Right-to-Know law regarding toxic exposure, and McDonald's 1990 decision to stop using styrofoam packaging. The CHEJ has numerous ongoing campaigns, some focused on specific environmental and health issues, others on particular states. It is primarily in the sites for these separate campaigns that most of the information content of CHEJ lies. The "Media Center" aggregates press releases from all campaigns and sub-groups. Certain campaign sub-pages offer reports in PDF format, including several regarding past campaigns and successes that could be of value in researching environmental history. There is no search engine available, however.
    [Author: J. P. Cusker]
Podcasting Legal Guide
    The Podcasting Legal Guide is hosted by Creative Commons, the nonprofit geared toward helping creators balance innovation with protection of their works. The guide was written by Colette Vogele and Mia Garlick in cooperation with the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and the Berkman Center at Harvard University. The Guide offers users “a general roadmap of some of the legal issues specific to podcasting.” The Guide is organized into six major components, including an introduction and components that address the legal issues involved with creating and distributing podcasts. The issues associated with podcast creation focus on copyright, publicity rights, and trademark. The Guide specifically notes special rules for teachers and librarians. As to distribution, podcasters must be concerned with implied licenses, express licenses, and the use of a distribution service. The Guide also explains podcasting and its history, and provides a listing of many helpful resources.
    [Author: M. Morrison]
Stop Violence Against Women
    Stop Violence Against Women (SVAW) is an Amnesty International USA campaign, a part of the organization’s work for women's human rights. The action center (“Actions”) urges readers to engage in political activity, and informs visitors about Amnesty International’s current activities. The information pages (“News” and "Reports") provides a news feed, promotes upcoming events, and lists the many topics and issues in which Amnesty International is involved. This section also covers topics such as “Rape as a Tool of War,” “Sexual Violence,” and “HIV/AIDS, Women and Human Rights.” Visitors are encouraged to download the site’s fact sheets and access the organization’s many country-specific reports on violence against women.
    [Author: B. Kreisler/J. Cusker]
Tax Foundation
    Since 1937, the Tax Foundation has been on a mission to educate taxpayers about tax policy and the total tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government. The Tax Foundation serves as a national clearinghouse, providing Americans with a better understanding of their tax system and the effects of tax policy. The Tax Foundation’s website offers "Data" and "Publications" sections with information on a wide variety of taxes, such as "Cigarette Taxes," "Gasoline Taxes," and "Property Taxes." The sections vary in the frequency of their updates. The data and commentary are generally objective, but a moderate anti-tax viewpoint pervades throughout. The “Commentary” section publishes recent op-eds, articles and other short pieces. The “State Finance” section provides “Tax Facts” sheets on all 50 states, covering the state’s business tax climate, its individual income tax and property tax systems, and its sales taxes. “Fiscal Facts” are brief Tax Foundation analyses of current tax issues. The design of the site is problematic in some parts; certain links lead to what appear to be blank pages but which have attached documents if one scrolls down far enough to see them. The Tax Foundation website is searchable.
    [Author: B. Kreisler/J. Cusker]

InSITE contributors: J.P. Cusker, J. Jones, B. Kreisler, M. Morrison, J. Pajerek (editor)
© 2008 Cornell Law Library

The contents of this publication and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University.