Boing Boing 

VA boss caught lying about serving in the Special Forces

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald has apologized for lying to a veteran about serving in the Special Forces. (via Super Punch)

UK Tory MP says astrology would improve NHS health outcomes

David Tredinnick, the Tory MP for Bosworth, Leicestershire, claims that astrology could improve health outcomes for the NHS, is bitter that he had to pay parliament back £755 for his expensed astrology software, says he helps other MPs with astrological advice, and says astrology skeptics are "racially prejudiced." (via /.)

Yahoo's security boss faces down NSA director over crypto ban


During Monday's Cybersecurity for a New America conference in DC, Yahoo's Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos stood up and had an intense verbal showdown with NSA director Mike Rogers about the NSA's plan to ban working crypto, in which the nation's top spook fumfuhed and fumbled to explain how this idea isn't totally insane.

Read the rest

HSBC boss used tax havens to keep underlings from discovering his outrageous pay


HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver admitted that he used two secretive banks -- one in Switzerland, the other in Panama -- not just to avoid taxes, but to hide his amazing compensation package from other HSBC bankers, lest they wax jealous.

Read the rest

Revenge porn shitweasel pleads guilty, admits he hacked victims' accounts


Michael from Muckrock writes, "After months of legal wrangling, Hunter Moore, who ran 'revenge porn' website Isanyoneup, has agreed to a plea deal that will see him serve a minimum of two years and up to seven years in jail, as well as up to $500,000 in fines."

Read the rest

Canada's new surveillance bill eliminates any pretense of privacy


Michael Geist writes, "Canada's proposed anti-terrorism legislation is currently being debated in the House of Commons, with the government already serving notice that it plans to limit debate. That decision has enormous privacy consequences, since the bill effectively creates a 'total information awareness' approach that represents a radical shift away from our traditional understanding of public sector privacy protection."

Read the rest

SF Muni spends anti-terror money on fare evaders because it's a gateway to terrorism


Cmdr. Mikail Ali, the former top transit police officer in San Francisco, justified spending anti-terror funding on fare evaders because "Fare evasion is the nexus by which we make those initial contacts [with criminals]" and cracking down on it lets them find terrorists.

Read the rest

GOP senator: abolish hand-washing regulations in restaurants

Instead of mandating that restaurant employees wash their hands between wiping their asses and making your food, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) says the state should only require them to advise the public of any handwashing policies in place.

Read the rest

Philly TSA supervisor Charles Kieser sent a traveller to jail for asking to file a complaint

After sending Roger Vanderklok for jail for the audacity of asking to file a complaint, Philadelphia International Airport TSA supervisor Charles Kieser then lied about what happened on the stand in court. He fabricated an aggressive confrontation and a bomb threat, neither of which are in evidence on the CCTV footage or in the police report. His victim was help incommunicado in jail, panicking his wife who had no idea where he'd gone. Kieser gets to keep his job.

Read the rest

Canada's spying bill is PATROIT Act fanfic

Madeline Ashby writes, "I wrote this column about Canada's Bill C-51, which would allow Canada's spy agency CSIS to detain people for simply 'promoting' terrorism, promises it can wipe terrorist content from the Internet, expands no-fly lists, and is basically a piece of Patriot Act fanfic. I thought you guys might like to know that years after Bush left office, his fans are trying to keep the tradition alive."

Read the rest

Rand Paul: solve vaccination issues by making children into property

"The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health."

Read the rest

Shameless: rogue Lords sneak Snooper's Charter back in AGAIN

Last Friday, four rogue Lords copy/pasted the repeatedly defeated "Snooper's Charter" spying bill into a pending bill as an amendment, only to withdraw it on Monday after the Lords were bombarded by an aghast public -- and now, incredibly, these Lords have reintroduced the same language as a new amendment.

Read the rest

Great Firewall of Cameron blocks sex-abuse charities


UK Prime Minister David Cameron demanded that ISPs opt their customers into "adult content" filters (and now Sky is opting in everyone whose account predates this announcement), ignoring all the people who correctly predicted that these filters would block important sites.

Read the rest

GOP senator who boasted about her family's self-reliance received $460K in federal subsidies


Iowa Republican senator Joni Ernst gave her party's official response to the State of the Union address by boasting self-righteously about her humble origins and how her self-reliant, heartland-state family pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, but conveniently failed to mention that her family's farm was the beneficiary of nearly half a million dollars in federal subsidies.

Read the rest

What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry

David Cameron says there should be no “means of communication” which “we cannot read” — and no doubt many in his party will agree with him, politically. But if they understood the technology, they would be shocked to their boots.

Read the rest

The best deleted political tweets from 2014


Nicko sez, With 2014 coming to close, it's that time of year to curl up by the fire and enjoy the biggest Twitter regrets from US politicians. They're all saved in Politwoops and the midterm elections meant it was extra busy." -

Pfizer threatens pharmacists, doctors if they take its name in vain


Pfizer's patent on pregabalin -- an anti-epilepsy med -- expires this year, but there's another patent on using the public domain drug to treat neuropathic pain; in a shocking letter to UK doctors, the pharma giant warns of dire consequences should medical professionals dare to prescribe the generic for the patented use.

Read the rest

Homophobic pastor arrested for squeezing man's genitals in park


The Praise Cathedral Church of God's Gaylard Williams, of Seymour, Indiana, was arrested this week when he allegedly massaged a stranger's genitals in a park and asked him for oral sex; police found pornography in his car (which he claimed was being delivered to someone else) -- Williams is a noted homophobic preacher whose sermons condemn homosexuals.

Read the rest

Delware school district wants kids to get signed permission before checking out YA library books


The Appoquinimink, DE school board is contemplating requiring parental permission slips for students who want to check YA novels out of their school library; district secondary education curriculum director Ray Gravuer came up with this silly idea in response to a parental complaint.

Read the rest

NY DA gives unlicensed driver who killed senior in crosswalk a $400 fine

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance brokered the $400 penalty for Kristin Rodriguez, an unlicensed driver who struck and killed 66 year old Keiko Ohnishi as she was crossing the street.

Read the rest

Judge convicted of planting meth on woman who reported him for harassment

Bryant Cochran was chief judge of Murray County Magistrate Court when a woman reported him for hitting on her while she entered his chambers to take out assault warrants following an attack on her.

Read the rest

We know you love privacy, Judge Posner. We just wish you'd share.


As I wrote yesterday, 7th circuit judge Richard Posner's views on privacy (basically: "nothing to fear, nothing to hide" and "it should be illegal to made a phone the government can't search") are dismal and unsophisticated -- but they're also deeply hypocritical.

Read the rest

Judge Posner: it should be illegal to make phones the government can't search

Cory Doctorow on why privacy is about more than concealing crime—and why backdoors are inevitably available to everyone, not just people you trust.

Read the rest

Senator Jay Rockefeller singlehandedly kills Freedom of Information Act reform


The House unanimously passed a bill that would bring much-needed improvements to the Freedom of Information Act; the Senate had bi-partisan support for it, too -- but outgoing Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) singlehandedly killed the bill in a closed-door committee meeting.

Read the rest

Why no one wants to hear from James Watson

The co-recipient of the Nobel for revealing the double-helix structure of DNA is selling his medal because "no one really wants to admit" he exists -- but why is that?

Read the rest

Bumfights creator accused of stealing remains of dead children from Thai hospital museum


Johann writes, "One of the creators of notorious millennial website Bumfights has is accused of stealing preserved child body parts and flayed tattoos from the notorious Bangkok Black museum at the medical faculty of Siriraj Hospital. Then he attempted to DHL his swag back to the States, he has now fled to Cambodia."

Read the rest

1,000-room palace for Turkey's President Erdogan will cost twice initial $615M pricetag


The White Palace in Ankara has 1.6m square feet of floorspace, and features thousands of trees imported from Italy at a cost of up to $10,000 each; the taxpayer-footed electricity bill from the palace will run $313K/month.

Read the rest

Spain's top piracy-fighter goes to jail for embezzling $50K to spend in brothels


Pedro Farré was head of corporate relations for the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, and he falsified €40K worth of receipts for all night binges where he consumed Champagne and sexual services at brothels, claiming the funds were spent entertaining and meeting with senior cops, journalists, and academics.

Read the rest

Redskins owner sues Native Americans who testified on racism to Trademark Office

Having lost his trademark over its overt racism, Daniel Snyder has taken the unusual step of suing the five Native American people who testified before the US Patent and Trademark Office hearing, which led to the finding that Snyder's team's name was "disparaging to Native Americans."

Read the rest

Roca Labs sues unhappy customer who agreed to testify against it


This is the "non-surgical gastric bypass" company whose terms of service forbid complaining, and require you to let them use any kind of success you experience to publicly endorse the company, who are suing pissedconsumer.com for having a message board where its customers are complaining about its product.

Read the rest