May 17, 2008
Drew Indicted for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Violation
Lori Drew was indicted on Thursday for her alleged role in a hoax on MySpace directed at Megan Meier, a 13-year-old neighbor of Drew's who committed suicide in October 2006 after a "boy" she met on MySpace abruptly turned on her and ended their relationship. Drew was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to get information used to inflict emotional distress on the girl. Each of the four counts carries a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison. Text of Indictment (pdf). On the merits, see posts by Daniel Solove and Orin Kerr.
Hat tip to the Citizen Media Law Project. [JH]
Why the Gitmo Cases Are in Disarray
A recent Time Magazine story reviews U.S. prosecution of Guantanamo inmates. [JH]
Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?
Interesting NBER paper by Gordon Dahl and Stefano DellaVigna. Here's the abstract for Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?
Laboratory experiments in psychology find that media violence increases aggression in the short run. We analyze whether media violence affects violent crime in the field. We exploit variation in the violence of blockbuster movies from 1995 to 2004, and study the effect on same-day assaults. We find that violent crime decreases on days with larger theater audiences for violent movies. The effect is partly due to voluntary incapacitation: between 6PM and 12AM, a one million increase in the audience for violent movies reduces violent crime by 1.1 to 1.3 percent. After exposure to the movie, between 12AM and 6AM, violent crime is reduced by an even larger percent. This finding is explained by the self-selection of violent individuals into violent movie attendance, leading to a substitution away from more volatile activities. In particular, movie attendance appears to reduce alcohol consumption. Like the laboratory experiments, we find indirect evidence that movie violence increases violent crime; however, this effect is dominated by the reduction in crime induced by a substitution away from more dangerous activities. Overall, our estimates suggest that in the short-run violent movies deter almost 1,000 assaults on an average weekend. While our design does not allow us to estimate long-run effects, we find no evidence of medium-run effects up to three weeks after initial exposure.
May 16, 2008
Friday Fun: All the Law Things
Good-bye 3Ls, say "hello" to the real world. Today's Friday Fun feature was produced by the First Year associates of Drew & Napier LLC. "Say it ain't so ... nothing to fear ... change of career." Good luck to all Class of 2008 law school graduates! [JH]
Public Markup of The Transparency in Government Act of 2008
Markup, we know what the word means. It's the process by which congressional committees and other groups debate, amend and rewrite draft legislation. It's collaborative writing. Now the Sunlight Foundation has launched a special project called Public Markup for public contributions that could refine the Foundation's draft Transparency in Government Act of 2008 (pdf) before looking for legislators who might sponsor the bill. Check out the project [web version of the bill]
About the Foundations's Transparency in Government Act of 2008: The draft is a broad legislative effort intended to make the work of Congress and the executive branch more transparent by creating laws and regulations that would bring more information online and available to the public in a timely manner. The draft legislation is an amalgamation of bills that have already been introduced, along with new provisions. If enacted, it would create historic changes in the way the executive and legislative branches provide information to the public, and Sunlight believes it would foster a better and more complete understanding by the public of how the government works.
Law School Graduation Season Draws a Variety of Commencement Speakers
From the National Law Journal: "This year's season of law school graduations will feature a variety of commencement speakers including ABC News co-anchor Cynthia McFadden, Newark, N.J., mayor Cory Booker, and American Bar Association president William Neukom. Two Supreme Court justices, long considered the gold standard of commencement speakers, are scheduled as honored speakers. And one law school's graduates will be addressed by tabloid talk show host and former Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer." [RJ]
Social Security Reform: Possible Effects on the Elderly Poor and Mitigation Options
"Social Security has significantly reduced elderly poverty. The elderly poverty rate has fallen from 35% in 1959 to an all-time low of 9% in 2006, in large part because of Social Security. If Social Security benefits did not exist, an estimated 44% the elderly would be poor today assuming no changes in behavior. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, also provides benefits to the poorest elderly, many of whom do not qualify for Social Security benefits. However, despite these programs, about 3.4 million elderly individuals remained in poverty in 2006. The Social Security system faces a long-term financing problem. The Social Security Trustees project cash-flow deficits beginning in 2017 and trust fund insolvency in 2041. Many recent proposals to improve system solvency would reduce Social Security benefits in the future. Benefit reductions could affect the lowincome elderly, many of whom rely on Social Security benefits for almost all of their income. Such potential benefit reductions could lead to higher rates of poverty among the elderly compared to those projected under the current benefit formula. Because the low-income elderly are especially vulnerable to benefit reductions, many recent Social Security reform proposals have included minimum benefits or other provisions that would mitigate the effect of benefit cuts on the elderly poor. This report analyzes the projected effects of four possible approaches to mitigating the effects of Social Security benefit reductions on elderly poverty in 2042, the first full year of projected trust fund insolvency." [RJ]
Those All Powerful Law Review Student Editors (Again)
A group of anonymous law review article editors are publishing the Anonymous Articles Editor Blog. Hat tip to Adjunct Law Prof Blog. This new blog is offering "tips for law professors on how to increase their chances of getting published (or at least a favorable reading by an articles editor)." Apparently some law reviews are not so desperate that would publish Nova Southeastern law prof Robert Jarvis' grocery list if submitted.
Leah M. Christensen and Julie A. Oseid have successfully navigated the law review selection process. See their recent article: Navigating the Law Review Article Selection Process: An Empirical Study of Those with All the Power -- Student Editors, 59 S.C. L. Rev. 175-224 (2007) [Westlaw].
From the introduction:
A simple but worthwhile question in this debate is whether this selection process is fair. The fairness and impartiality of article selection is important to new law professors. For them, success in the legal academy may depend on what, where, and how often they publish in the appropriate law journal. New law professors not only face the quantitative expectations of how many published articles are required for promotion and tenure but also the qualitative expectations about what types of articles “count” for promotion and tenure. The problem is that these qualitative requirements may be left unwritten or unstated. The increased competition for publication space, coupled with the potential bias of the current system towards author credentials, is a disturbing trend for a majority of new professors in the legal academy. If student editors rely upon author credentials as a “proxy” for quality, then legal academics need to explore this reality more openly.
This study seeks to explore these questions and add to the growing body of empirical research on law review article selection. The study examines how law review editors at all levels of the law school “tier” system--Top 15, Top 25, Top 50, Top 100, Third Tier, Fourth Tier and Specialty Journals) -- weigh the importance of author credentials, topic, format, and timing of an article submission in making their selection decisions. Although the study found that most editors consider each of these factors to some degree, the data also suggest that the higher ranked journals rely more heavily on author credentials than lower ranked journals. Specifically, editors at higher tiered law schools were highly influenced by where an author has previously published. Further, while not a single editor at a Top 15 school considered an author's practice experience in making a publication decision, a majority of the editors at lower tiered journals rated practice experience as an important factor in article selection. While the study participants almost unanimously agreed that they were influenced by the topic of an article, there were important differences among the law schools concerning the actual topics about which they would be most or least likely to publish. In addition to describing the *181 survey results in more detail, this Article will offer specific commentary from the student editors about their means of selecting law review articles.
May 15, 2008
Knight Foundation Awards Timothy Berners-Lee $350,000 for Transparency in Journalism Project
The Wall Street Journal and Mashable are reporting that the Knight Foundation Award will be given to the Media Standards Trust and the Web Science Research Initiative for the development of tools and standards to enable journalists, and those producing journalism, to distinguish their work from other content on the web (e.g. commercial, government, personal etc.), by tagging so that the public can search for news more intelligently, and assess it better when they find it.
About the project (quoting from Mashable):
With the copious amounts of information – and misinformation – on the Internet, the public needs more help finding fair, accurate and contextual news. This project will create a system to do just that. The plan: to design a way for content creators to add information on their sources to their reports, as a form of “source tagging.” For instance, a reporter could note that an article was based on personal observations, interviews with eyewitnesses or specific, original documents. Filters would then use this data - the “story behind the story” - to help find high-quality articles. A reader searching the phrase “Pakistan riots” for example, might find 9,000 articles. But filtering by “eyewitness accounts” would yield a more selective list. Berners-Lee, Moore and the Web Science Research Initiative are working with the BBC and Reuters on how to best integrate the tagging into journalists’ normal workflow.
Read more about it at Mashable. [JH]
Emerging Issues in Academic Library Cataloging & Technical Services
Produced by Primary Research Group, Emerging Issues in Academic Library Cataloging & Technical Services presents nine detailed case studies of leading university cataloging and technical service departments. It provide insights into how they are handling ten major changes facing them, including: the encouragement of cataloging productivity; impact of new technologies and enhancement of online catalogs; transition to metadata standards; cataloging of websites and digital and other special collections; library catalog and metadata training; database maintenance, holdings, and physical processing; relationship with Acquisitions; staff education; and other important issues. Survey participants represent academic libraries of varying sizes and classifications, with many different viewpoints. Universities surveyed are: Brigham Young; Curry College; Haverford College; Illinois, Louisiana and Pennsylvania State Universities; University of North Dakota; University of Washington; and Yale. [JH]
Lawyer2Lawyer Podcast on Case Law in the Public Domain
J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi discussed case law in the public domain with Professor Thomas F. Bruce, Director of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, Carl Malamud, founder of Public.Resource.org and Andy Martens, Senior Vice President of New Product Development, from Thomson West in a recent podcast episode of Lawyer2Lawyer: download the mp3 file. [JH]
Serial Entrepreneurs and the Rise of Web 2.0
Just release, Lacy's book is on my summertime reading list. [JH]
List Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Gotham (May 15, 2008)
Book Description: Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good is the story of the entrepreneurs who learned their lesson from the bust and in recent years have created groundbreaking new Web companies. The second iteration of the dotcoms—dubbed Web 2.0—is all about bringing people together. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace unite friends online; YouTube lets anyone posts videos for the world to see; Digg.com allows Internet users to vote on the most relevant news of the day; Six Apart sells software that enables bloggers to post their viewpoints online; and Slide helps people customize their virtual selves.
Business reporter Sarah Lacy brings to light the entire Web 2.0 scene: the wide-eyed but wary entrepreneurs, the hated venture capitalists, the bloggers fueling the hype, the programmers coding through the night, the twenty-something millionaires, and the Internet “fan boys” eager for all the promises to come true.
About the Author: Sarah Lacy has reported on startups and venture capital in Silicon Valley for nearly a decade. Most recently she was a reporter for BusinessWeek, where her August 2006 cover story on Web 2.0 was among the most popular summer issues in the magazine’s history.
Applying "Customer Strategy" for Second Generation eGovernment Services
According to a recent Deloitte Research Study, E-government has automated business, but it has not fundamentally changed the way business is done. The result is a growing gap between what citizens expect from government and what they believe they are actually getting.
"In the rush to move customers from in line to online, public managers did not stop to answer the basic questions that need to be answered to service customers effectively and efficiently: Who are my customers? And what do they want?"
Check out the study: One Size Fits Few: Using Customer Insight to Transform Government (pdf) [JH]
Professional Reading: Michelman on Socioeconomic Rights in Constitutional Law
Check out Frank I. Michelman's (Harvard Law School) draft paper, Socioeconomic Rights in Constitutional Law: Explaining America Away. Here's the abstract:
The apparent omission of a socioeconomic commitment from United States constitutional law gives rise to continuing debate. The case is unclear that this omission has any likely bearing on the actual performance of American governments in the social welfare field. Might there be other reasons for treating the omission as problematic? If so, might the omission nevertheless be explained in terms consistent with belief that some kind of socioeconomic commitment ideally belongs in the constitutional law of a country like the U.S.? After briefly reviewing the uneasy instrumental case for a constitutionalized socioeconomic commitment, this article suggests a different possible ground for favoring inclusion as a matter of political-moral principle. It then canvasses possible responses to the American case. These include both a possible denial that socioeconomic guarantees are in fact lacking from U.S. constitutional law, and a possible claim that omitting them is the correct choice for the U.S. as a matter of “non-ideal” political morality.
Hat tip to Proverty Law Prof Blog. [JH]
May 14, 2008
Britain's National Archives Release UFO Files
While not directly related to law librarianship, is does speak to the power of FOIA requests and what national archives can make easily available to citizens if enough pressure is applied. Not Friday Fun, but perhaps Wednesday Whimsy.
The official site includes PDFs of incident reports, a podcast explaining the significance of this release, a vodcast from an expert on the "unexplainable" discusses the files, and a research guide gives nice background.
Wired has an article on the release of the documents:
The men were air traffic controllers. Experienced, calm professionals. Nobody was drinking. But they were so worried about losing their jobs that they demanded their names be kept off the official report.
No one, they knew, would believe their claim an unidentified flying object landed at the airport they were overseeing in the east of England, touched down briefly, then took off again at tremendous speed. Yet that's what they reported happened at 4 p.m. on April 19, 1984.
The incident is one of hundreds of reported sightings contained in more than 1,000 pages of formerly secret UFO documents being released Wednesday by Britain's National Archives. It is one of the few that was never explained...
Serendipidously, the Vatican has announced that it's ok for catholics to believe in extraterrestial life.
HLS's Terry Martin Appointed Interim Director at Tarlton
Terry Martin who was planning to spend a year traveling after his retirement as Henry N. Ess III Librarian and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School became effective in June will indeed be traveling soon. He will be moving to Austin, Texas to serve as Interim Library Director at the University of Texas-Austin School of Law for one year. Martin will be returning to Texas where he began his career after serving 27 years as director of the Harvard Law School Library. [JH]
Israel at 60, a Brief Documentary History
The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14 1948, making today its 60th anniversary. Depending on your choice of timelines, it was the successful completion of the Zionist objective expressed in the Basel Program adopted on August 30, 1897 by the First Zionist Congress or the culmination of nearly 2,000 years of hopes by Jewish people to return one day to Eretz Yisrael after being exiled to the Diaspora by the Romans following the Bar Kochba revolt in 135. See Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Timeline.
Political zionists base the territorial legitimacy of Israel under international law as a Jewish state on the British government's Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 which was re-affirmed in the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine in 1922. The Mandate for Palestine gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz Yisrael, and to the right of the Jewish people to recreate a "homeland" in one fourth of the Transjordan territory controlled by Britain. The historic connection to the Land of Israel in general and to Jerusalem in particular can be traced back in Jewish national and religious consciousness to the 10th century BCE, culminating in King David forging a unified nation from Jerusalem by uniting the twelve tribes.
On November 29 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem under an international regime (UN Resolution 181) despite oppositon from the Arab community which have called the declaration of the State of Israel "al-Nakba", the catastrophe. What follows is a selection from the documentary history leading up to the the proclamation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948.
The Basel Program. The First Zionist Congress at Basel, Switzerland, adopted the "Basel Program" resolutions August 30, 1897, which proclaimed Zionism's aim "to establish a home for the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael to be guaranteed by public (ie international) law":
Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael secured under public law. The Congress contemplates the following means to the attainment of this end:
- The promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Eretz-Israel of Jewish farmers, artisans, and manufacturers.
- The organization and uniting of the whole of Jewry by means of appropriate institutions, both local and international, in accordance with the laws of each country.
- The strengthening and fostering of Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness.
- Preparatory steps toward obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary, in order to reach the goals of Zionism.
Some would call the Basel Program, the first expression of Political Zionism because of its reliance on diplomatic activity as the main method for getting the Jewish homeland. The Conference itself is clearly significant because it was the first international gathering of Jews on a national and secular basis; the delegates were largely assimilated Jews seeking to craft a secular manifesto based on the rule of law. The Basel Program was clearly influenced by Vienna journalist Theodore Herzl's political pamphlet Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, English translation available at Project Gutenberg) which had been published in 1896, the year before the the First Zionist Congress. Herzl, who chaired the Congress, opposed unlawful efforts already made by other Zionist groups to settle Jews in Ottoman-controlled Palestine, arguing that "important experiments in colonization have been made, though on the mistaken principle of a gradual infiltration of Jews. An infiltration is bound to end badly. It continues till the inevitable moment when the native population feels itself threatened, and forces the government to stop a further influx of Jews. Immigration is consequently futile unless we have the sovereign right to continue such immigration.” Quoted from The Jewish State.
The Balfour Declaration. Issued by the British Government in 1917 as the so- to-be victors of WW I contemplated how Western powers would administer territories of the vanquished, in this instance the territories of the Ottoman Empire, the Balfour Declaration promised that a "national home for the Jewish people" would be founded in Palestine, while preserving the "civil and religious" rights of non-Jewish communities there. From the Balfour Declaration:
His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The British could not reconcile the conflicting principles, perhaps because while the phrase "national home" was intentionally used instead of "state" it was undeniable that the creation of a Jewish state would be the eventual outcome under the Balfour Declaration and that Arab cooperation was uncertain at best. See, for example, Theodore Herzl's utopian novel, Altneuland (The Old New Land, 1902) for an illustration of how Arabs and Jews were to live together in harmony but note the arrogance of the supremacy of Western European culture and industry expressed therein).
Faisal-Weizmann Agreement. One attempt at Arab-Jewish cooperation was the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement, a short-lived secret agreement signed on January 3, 1919, by Amir Faisal I ibn Hussein (acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz) and Chaim Weizmann (acting on behalf of the "Zionist Organization"). The Agreement, brokered by T. E. Lawrence, sought to harmonize the positions of all three parties -- Jews, Arabs and Britain -- before the Paris Peace Conference. The Agreement stipulated Arab-Jewish cooperation on the development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and an Arab nation in a large part of the Middle East. However, the Paris Peace Conference refused to recognize an independent Arab state in the region. Ultimately, the principles expressed in the the Balfour Declaration were recognized under international law by the League of Nations in the Mandate for Palestine (July 24, 1922) which carved out one-quarter of the territory of Palestine for a Jewish home and provided for immigration to that homeland.
British White Paper of 1939. In the spring of 1920, spring of 1921 and summer of 1929, civil unrest broke out between Zionist settlers and Arab nationalists who opposed the Jewish homeland and immigration policies expressed in the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate. This unrest culminated in 1936 with widespread rioting, now known as the Arab Revolt or Great Uprising. During this period, the British government pursued a number of policies to restrict Jewish immigration that culminated in the British White Paper of 1939 which effectively closed Jewish immigration to Palestine and restrict land purchases. Specifically, the 1939 White Paper decreed that 15,000 Jews would be allowed to enter Palestine each year for five years. Thereafter, immigration would be subject to Arab approval. Effectively, it had rescinded the Balfour Declaration and reneged on the British commitment to a Jewish national home in Palestine. The League Mandates Commission declared the White Paper to be unlawful, stating "The policy set out in the White Paper is not in accordance with the interpretation which, in agreement with the Mandatory Power and the Council, the Commission has placed upon the Palestine Mandate."
Readers are well aware of the historical context. While many people may not have known about the Nazi atrocities, the increasingly frequent and vivid reports of the Holocaust were common knowledge in government circles in Britain and the US. Despite the desperate need to find a haven for refugees, the doors of Palestine remained shut to Jewish immigration as the British tried to maintain internal peace in Palestine.
The Biltmore Program. In Nazi-occupied Europe, there were still millions of Jews trapped in the Nazi occupation, and the Zionist were looking desperately for a way to get them out. Though the World Zionist Congress had been cancelled owing to the war, a small group of leaders met in the Biltmore Hotel in New York on May 6-11 of 1942. Towards that end, the Conference removed any doubt over the diplomatic fiction of a "homeland" by calling for the creation of sovereign Jewish state. The Conference adopted the following resolutions, now known as the Biltmore Program::
- the fulfillment of the original purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate
- to found there a Jewish Commonwealth"
- unalterable rejection of the White Paper of May 1939
- that Palestine be established as a Jewish Commonwealth integrated in the structure of the new democratic world.
In reality what followed the British White Paper of 1939 until the British Mandate expired on May 14, 1948, was the a gradual infiltration of Jews into Palestine.
UN Resolution 181. On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted on the Partition Plan for Palestine, UN Resolution 181. Passing by a vole of 33 in favor, 13 against, with 10 countries abstaining, UN Resolution 181 specified that the Mandate for Palestine would expire no later than August 1, 1948 and did expire on May 14, 1948. Pursuant to the Resolution, the territory covered by the Mandate would be divided into two sovereign states, one Jewish and one Arab. Under Sec. III of the Resolution, the City of Jerusalem would be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime administered by the United Nations for no less than 10 years.
On May 14, 1948, The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, oftentimes referred to as the "Israeli Declaration of Independence," was released as the official announcement that the new Jewish state, named the State of Israel, had been formally established. We all know the rest. The inter-communal fighting between Palestinian Arabs and Jews that had preceded the Declaration while Palestine was controlled by the British after WWII escalated into all out war as armies from five Arab states invaded the territory of the new State of Israel. By the time of the 1949 armistice, the Israelis had extended their territory, leaving Jordan with the West Bank, Egypt with Gaza and Jerusalem divided. [BBC's Changing Map of Israel] Thousands of Palestinian Arabs fled or were driven out of Israeli-controlled territory. See Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2007). The refugee count now numbers some 4 million. [BBC's Facts and Figures] For a chronology of war and peace in Palestine since the Declaration, see the BBC's Timeline. See generally BBC's Special Report: Israel at 60]. [JH]
Electronic Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide for First Responders, Second Edition
"This guide is intended to assist State and local law enforce¬ ment and other first responders who may be responsible for preserving an electronic crime scene and for recognizing, col¬ lecting, and safeguarding digital evidence. It is not all inclusive but addresses situations encountered with electronic crime scenes and digital evidence. All crime scenes are unique and the judgment of the first responder, agency protocols, and prevailing technology should all be considered when imple¬ menting the information in this guide. First responders to electronic crime scenes should adjust their practices as cir-cumstances—including level of experience, conditions, and available equipment—warrant. The circumstances of individual crime scenes and Federal, State, and local laws may dictate actions or a particular order of actions other than those described in this guide. First responders should be familiar with all the information in this guide and perform their duties and respons! ibilities as circumstances dictate." [RJ]
Professional Reading: Garfield Video on 50 Years of Citation Indexing and Analysis
Eugene Garfield reflects on the 50th anniversary of his citation indexing and searching work in this 11 minute interview. Topics include:
- how he got the original idea for citation indexing and searching
- what he was trying to change about the research process when he created the first science citation index
- the importance of high quality content and complete backfiles
- the new opportunities and challenges he envisions for the future of research.
See also Rodney Yancey's Fifty Years of Citation Indexing and Analysis. [JH]
GAO's VAT Study Warns of Compliance Risks
GAO has released Value-Added Taxes: Lessons Learned from Other Countries on Compliance Risks, Administrative Costs, Compliance Burden, and Transition (pdf). From the summary:
The experiences of our five study countries show that all VAT designs have compliance risks that generate considerable administrative costs and compliance burden and that, similar to the U.S. tax system, adding complexity to the tax’s design increases these risks, costs, and burdens. While our study countries had VATs of varied designs and complexity, they all devoted significant enforcement resources to addressing compliance that would be found in even a simple VAT—one with a broad base that exempts few goods or services. These risks include refund fraud and missing trader fraud. VATs are vulnerable to refund fraud because businesses with taxable sales less than taxable purchases are entitled to refunds. All of our study countries were concerned about illegitimate businesses or fraudsters submitting fraudulent refund claims based on false paperwork that result in the theft of funds from the government. Missing traders set up businesses for the sole purpose of collecting VAT on sales and then disappear with the proceeds. Because of such compliance risks, even simple VATs require enforcement activities, such as audits, and record-keeping by businesses that create administrative costs for the government and compliance burden for businesses. Of course, compliance risks and the associated administrative costs and compliance burdens are not peculiar to VATs. While the specifics may vary, other types of taxes also carry compliance risks.