Italy's Berlusconi government spammed the cellphones of millions of citizens with text-messages about voting procedures for tomorrow's EU and local elections. Some call it an unprecedented invasion of mobile privacy for political control. Others argue it's a smart way for the administration to combat absenteeism and ensure that more of Italy's voting public shows up at the polls. Either way, unsolicited text messages don't grow on trees -- the stunt cost around $7M US, and critics want to know who paid for it.
The message, received on cell phones on Thursday and Friday, carried the sender line of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Premier Silvio Berlusconi's office. The message detailed when the polls will be open and what documents citizens need to vote.
"Finally we have recourse to a tool like the text message that is now in everyday use to bring the state closer still to its citizens," said Technology Minister Lucio Stanca. But the political opposition branded the strategy as a political tactic. The government "is trying every subterfuge to recover votes. It's alarming that privacy is violated in such a sensational way," said opposition lawmaker Francesco Martone.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]