Ajit Pai just stacked the FCC's advisory panel with dingo babysitters from big telcoms

Only two people on the 30-seat FCC advisory panel come from city governments and have experience overseeing telcoms regulation; the other 28 members are executives, consultants, lobbyists and think-tankies from the telcoms sectors. Read the rest

Appeals Court strikes down Trump's tactic of sloppily delaying regulations

Trump wants to dismantle America's labor, environmental and safety regulations, but to do so, he needs to hold hearings, post notices, collect feedback and go through the whole long, cautious process of changing agency rules for the EPA and others. Read the rest

Trump's latest senior science nominees are a talk-radio ignoramus and a career poisoner

The Department of Agriculture's chief scientist oversees more than 1,000 scientists in 100 research facilities: Trump's pick to run the agency is Sam Clovis, a climate-denying talk-radio host who not only lacks any kind of scientific degrees -- he didn't take a single science course at university. Read the rest

Trump's pick for federal wage watchdog stiffed her house-cleaners

The word on the Hill is that Trump will nominate Cheryl Stanton to head the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, a step up from her current job as head of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, where her tenure has been marked by high-profile resignations over her plans to trump up claims against employees she disliked and wanted to fire, and (you can't make this stuff up) a lawsuit by the agency that cleans her house because she refused to pay them. Read the rest

Billboards go up targeting lawmakers who voted to gut Internet privacy

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The Internet strikes back! Hundreds of people chipped in small amounts to crowdfund these billboards targeting U.S. lawmakers who voted to gut the FCC's Internet privacy rules and allow ISPs like Comcast and Verizon to collect and sell their customers' personal information and web browsing history without our consent. Check out photos of the billboards here. Read the rest

Senator Chris Dodd [D], father of SOPA, is stepping down as MPAA boss

Chris Dodd (previously) was once a Democratic senator who decried politicians who became lobbyists; then he became one of the highest-paid and least competent lobbyists in DC, taking the helm of the Motion Picture Association on America and leading the organization to failure, catastrophe and irrelevance. Read the rest

FCC Chairman Pai wants to kill Net Neutrality, at the expense of small-town America

Susan Crawford, one of the most articulate campaigners for Net Neutrality (previously) explains how FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to kill Net Neutrality will leave small-town America behind in the 21st century's rear-view mirror, receding into the distance with poor-quality, slow, and inefficient network access at a moment when economic survival depends on reliable, high-speed and neutral nets. Read the rest

EPA-hating EPA chairman Scott Pruitt wants to spend millions on 24/7 bodyguards

Before being put in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, climate-denier Scott Pruitt sued the agency more than a dozen times. This has made him rather unpopular. Read the rest

Betsy DeVos ends ban on crooked loan-collectors in the student debt biz

Education secretary (and Ponzi-scheme billionaire heiress, anti-public-education crusader, and sister of notorious war criminal Eric Prince) Betsy DeVos just killed the recent Department of Education/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidelines that banned dirty bill-collectors from going after people with delinquent student bans.

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W3C moves to finalize DRM standardization, reclassifies suing security researchers as a feature, not a bug

The World Wide Web Consortium has announced that its members have until April 19 to weigh in on whether the organization should publish Encrypted Media Extensions, its DRM standard for web video, despite the fact that this would give corporations the new right to sue people who engaged in legal activity, from security researchers who revealed defects in browsers to accessibility workers who adapted video for disabled people to scrappy new companies who come up with legal ways to get more use out of your property. Read the rest

Wisconsin's Senator Ron Johnson blames Net Neutrality for porn and bad health care

As the Republican Congress and Donald Trump's FCC move to dismantle the most basic protections for American internet users, no target is juicier than Net Neutrality, the simple idea that your ISP should send you the bits you ask for, rather than accepting bribes from big companies to slow down your net connection when you try to connect to their competitors. Read the rest

Senate Republicans introduce resolution ensuring ISPs don't need your permission to sell your private data and SSN

Donald Trump's new FCC boss, Ajit Pai, has nuked an Obama-era rule that banned ISPs from selling off your browsing data, location, financial and health information, children's information, Social Security Number and contents of your messages, without your permission. The now-defunct rule also required ISPs to notify you when they got hacked and your sensitive personal information got out into the wild. Read the rest

Donald Trump has filled the swamp with his own gators, hiring 400 lobbyists, conspiracy theorists and trolls

Donald Trump has been slow to fill administrative positions that require Senate confirmation (and thus public scrutiny), but he's quietly hired 400 "beachhead team" members "to serve as his eyes and ears at every major federal agency, from the Pentagon to the Department of Interior" -- a rats' nest of ex-lobbyists running agencies they used to lobby, campaign staffers being given cushy jobs, neo-nutjobs from the Breitbart depths who endorse birtherism and other, more exotic conspiracy theories, and a whole Mos Eisley Cantina's worth of scum and villainy. Read the rest

Wells Fargo: preventing the customers we ripped off from suing us is doing them a favor

Wells Fargo admits that its employees opened more than 2,000,000 fake accounts in order to run up fraudulent charges against its customers (employees who balked at committing fraud were fired and blacklisted for life from the banking industry); it also says that the customers it stole from can't sue the company because fake account paperwork bearing their forged signatures includes a promise to enter into binding arbitration rather than suing. Read the rest

Trump wants to reinstate and expand civil asset forfeiture so cops can steal your stuff

Civil asset forfeiture is a perfectly foreseeable outcome of the overbroad War on Drugs: it allows the cops to seize your belongings and charge them -- not you! -- with being the proceeds of a crime. Then it's up to you to figure out how to prove that your cash, car, house, or other belongings are innocent, otherwise the cops get to keep your stuff and use it to fund their operations. Read the rest

The Department of Labor's Wells Fargo whistleblower site has disappeared

Shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, the Department of Labor's whistleblower site -- for Wells Fargo employees who wanted to report fraud in the ongoing scandal affecting millions of Americans -- disappeared. Read the rest

Trump appointees are violating the law that prevents them from regulating their former bosses

A 2009 rule created by Obama in his first days in office says that former executives and lobbyists can't be hired to work for the government in a capacity that gives them oversight over their former employers; they must wait for two years after leaving such employment before working in a regulatory capacity that relates to it. Read the rest

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