Everything Belongs to the Future: a tale of pharmadystopian, immortal gerontocrats

Laurie Penny's first science fiction book, Everything Belongs to the Future, is available to the public as of today: if you've followed her work, you're probably expecting something scathing, feminist, woke, and smart as hell, and you won't be disappointed -- but you're going to get a lot more, besides.

Paralyzed, partially deaf-blind teen with brain tumor beaten bloody by TSA


Hannah Cohen is a 19 year old who is being treated for a brain tumor at Memphis's St Jude's Hospital, who is "partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused" -- and who was subjected to a violent beating during a secondary TSA screening while flying home to Chatanooga, TN for the holidays.

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Technology's "culture of compliance" must be beaten back in the name of justice


In 1989, Canadian activist, engineer and thinker Ursula Franklin gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the politics of technology design and deployment called "The Real World of Technology." Read the rest

FBI Director: viral videos make cops afraid to do their jobs


FBI Director James Comey told reporters that "viral video effect" (which is his latest term for what used to be called the "Ferguson effect") is responsible for increased violent crime in some US cities, in that police are scared to do their jobs because they might end up on Youtube in an unflattering video. Read the rest

America's prisons are replacing vital in-person visits with expensive, nonfunctional video calling


A new documentary, "(In)Securus Technologies: An Assault on Prisoner Rights", tracks the rise of for-profit video "visitation" programs, which are being rolled out across America's unimaginably huge prison system, replacing the in-person visits that have been shown to be vital for prisoners' successful rehabilitation and reintegration into society. Read the rest

America's teachers are being trained in a harsh interrogation technique that produces false confessions


The Reid Technique is the go-to method for coercing false confessions in America's police interrogation rooms, and now it's being taught to America's schoolteachers, just as schools are using "zero-tolerance" policies and on-site cops to re-characterize school discipline problems as criminal matters, creating a school-to-prison pipeline. Read the rest

White SC cops pull black passenger out of car, take turns publicly cavity-searching him


White cops from Aiken, SC improperly stopped a car driven by a black woman (they claimed the stop was motivated by temporary tags, but driving with current temporary tags is not grounds for a stop), then improperly questioned her passenger, who voluntarily gave them his ID, then induced a drug dog to "alert" on the car, then forced both black people to expose themselves in public, culminating with two officers taking turns sticking their fingers up the passenger's rectum, again, in public. Read the rest

Hungarian ruling party wants to ban all working crypto

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The parliamentary vice-president from Fidesz -- the largest faction in the Hungarian government -- has asked parliament to "ban communication devices that [law enforcement agencies] are not able to surveil despite having the legal authority to do so." Read the rest

Up to half of the Americans killed by police have a disability


Police violence is America is a statistical black hole, where data collection on shootings and killings are kept in haphazard or nonexistent form across local, state and federal levels, leaving scholars to piece together statistical pictures using techniques developed to reconstruct genocides from survivors' accounts. Read the rest

Saudi embassy hired mafiosi to smuggle Turkish PM Erdoğan's son out of Italy ahead of money laundering charges


Italian police spokesman Lt. Colonel Domenico Grimaldi says that Bilal Erdoğan was able to jump bail on money laundering charges because the Saudi embassy paid the mafia to help get him clear, assisting them with fraudulent diplomatic papers and a Saudi prince disguise. Read the rest

Family: police high-fived after tasering our handcuffed relative to death


Chase Alan Sherman experienced a psychiatric episode after taking the drug spice, that prompted his family to call the police and an ambulance. When sheriff's deputies from Coweta County, GA arrived, they subdued him by kneeling on his chest and, according to the family, handcuffed him, and then two deputies repeated tasered him until he went into "medical distress" and died. Read the rest

Donald Trump hires plainclothes security to investigate and interdict protesters


Donald Trump rallies are notoriously violent, as his supporters, security staff and even Secret Service detail beat up protesters and members of the press who get too close to violent incidents (Drumpf himself explicitly encourages his supporters to beat up protesters). Read the rest

French Parliament votes to imprison tech execs for refusal to decrypt


Amendment 90 to France's penal reform bill provides for five year prison sentences and €350,000 fines for companies that refuse to accede to law enforcement demands to decrypt devices. Read the rest

Calculating US police killings using methodologies from war-crimes trials


Statistician Patrick Ball runs an NGO called the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, which uses extremely rigorous, well-documented statistical techniques to provide evidence of war crimes and genocides; HRDAG's work has been used in the official investigations of atrocities in Kosovo, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, Syria and elsewhere. Read the rest

Understanding American authoritarianism


As part of his PhD research for UMass Amherst, Matthew MacWilliams surveyed the psychological characteristics of authoritarians -- not the people who lead authoritarian movements, but the followers, those who defer to them. Read the rest

South Korean lawmakers stage filibuster to protest "anti-terror" bill, read from Little Brother


Since 2001, authoritarians in the South Korean government have been attempting to pass mass surveillance legislation (see also), and they have seized upon the latest North Korean saber-rattling as the perfect excuse for ramming it through the SK Parliament. Read the rest

Man gasps dying words into officer's bodycam: "They're killing me right now... I can't breathe."


In 2013, Ana Biocini called the Oakland police because she'd heard a noise and thought there might be an intruder in the house. When the police arrived, they handcuffed her brother, Hernan Jaramillo, "without any lawful reason or justification," dragged him 20 feet down the sidewalk, threw him facedown into the ground, and three officers knelt on him while he begged for breath. The 51 year old man died at the scene.

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