Boing Boing 

State Department willing to overlook Malaysia's mass graves for the sake of TPP


The fast-track bill rammed through Congress last month lets the president walk right into any trade deal he wants, so long as it's with countries that have decent human rights records.

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Privacy activists mass-quit U.S. government committee on facial recognition privacy

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is trying to work out the rules for facial recognition -- whether and when cameras can be put in public places that programatically identify you as you walk past and then save a record of where you've been and who you were with.

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TPP fast track is dead! (for now)

On Friday, the US House of Reps overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have ensured the acceptance of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership treaty without any chance to debate or amend its clauses.

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Emails: corporate lobbyist thanks US Trade Rep for pasting his wish-list right into TPP


A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit has extracted emails between corporate lobbyists and US Trade Rep officials working on the secretive, corrupt Trans Pacific Partnership treaty.

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Every 3 years you get to beg the government for the right to treat your property as if you owned it


Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act bans jailbreaking devices, even for lawful purposes -- meaning that you can't jailbreak your tractor in order to take it to the service-center of your choosing or fix it yourself.

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GM says you don't own your car, you just license it


GM has joined with John Deere in asking the government to confirm that you literally cannot own your car because of the software in its engine.

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URGENT: Senate backtracks on TPP fasttrack -- call Congress to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership

Just days after the Senate rejected the Obama administration's bid to fast-track the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, they've backtracked, and now they're getting ready to rush fast-track through.

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In the 21st century, only corporations get to own property and we're their tenants


In the wake of John Deere's claims that the software in its engines means that its farm equipment is "licensed," not "sold," I talked to the Globe and Mail about what digital locks mean for the idea of property in the 21st century.

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Sony sends pre-emptive threat letter to journalists


A lawyer retained by Sony has sent threat-letters to media outlets hinting at repercussions if they report on material in the huge dump of internal Sony docs from the North Korea hack that Wikileaks put online.

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Exploding the Phone: the untold, epic story of the phone phreaks

Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone does for the phone phreaks what Steven Levy's Hackers did for computer pioneers, capturing the anarchic move-fast-break-stuff pioneers who went to war against Ma Bell. Read the rest

TPP leak: states give companies the right to repeal nations' laws

A new Wikileaks-published leak from the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty reveals a January 2015 draft "Investment Chapter" of the agreement, where the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are set out. They allow companies to repeal nations' environmental, health and labor laws.

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McDonald's sues to block Seattle's minimum wage


They're basing their case on the 14th Amendment, which addressed slavery by guaranteeing all persons equal protection under the law, and since corporations are people, well...

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America's growing gangs of armed, arrest-making, untrained rent-a-cops


With just a (very) little training and some paperwork, you can become a "special conservator of the peace," empowered to carry a gun, wear a badge and arrest your fellow citizens, all while wearing a POLICE vest, even though you're not a cop.

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ACT NOW! Congress wants to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Congress is about to introduce a bill that will let the US Trade Representative lock America into the provisions of the secretly negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership, without substantial debate or scrutiny -- including criminal sanctions -- jail! -- for downloading TV shows.

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Big Content publishes a love-letter to TPP

The secretive, corrupt, illegitimate Trans-Pacific Partnership would bind its members -- including the USA and Canada -- to criminalize file-sharing, putting people in jail for watching TV the wrong way, and that's just fine with the copyright lobbyist group Global Intellectual Property Center.

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EMI claims it owns copyright to videos of cats purring

Hugh writes, "YouTube's automated takedown tool is known for its flaws, but this week it crossed a line by attacking a purring cat. According to YouTube's Content-ID system both EMI Publishing and PRS own the rights to a 12 second purring loop. The cat in question, Phantom, has filed a dispute and hopes to reclaim his rights." (Thanks, Hugh!)

Happy Public Domain Day: here are the works that copyright extension stole from you in 2015


Jennifer Jenkins writes, "What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2015? Under the law that existed until 1978 -- Works from 1958. The films 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman,' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' and 'Gigi,' the books 'Our Man in Havana,' 'The Once and Future King,' and 'Things Fall Apart,' the songs 'All I Have to Do Is Dream' and 'Yakety Yak,' and more -- What is entering the public domain this January 1? Not a single published work."

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