Boing Boing 

Hey, kids, let's play militarized police force!


The Pentagon's 1033 program makes sure that every Barney Fife has his own rocket launcher, and Playmobil is right there with him.

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Malaysia’s prime minister accused of swiping $700 million from government investment fund

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In 2009 Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak announced that the government was taking over a private investment fund called 1MDB. When a parliament member asked why, Najib replied in a letter, “By doing this, the country’s wealth can be distributed evenly among the people irrespective of race.”

Apparenty, Najib's idea of wealth distribution is wiring $700 million of the funds into his personal accounts, according to the Wall Street Journal. Also, since Najib took over the fund, it has amassed $11 billion in debt. The Prime Minister says he didn't take the funds, and that he is the victim of “political sabotage.”

XKEYSCORE: under the hood of the NSA's search engine for your Internet activity


Following up on its in-depth look at which communications the secret XKEYSCORE tool lets the NSA search, The Intercept makes some observations about how the technology actually works.

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Major civil forfeiture reforms just took effect in Montana and New Mexico

"Yesterday, two landmark reforms took effect in Montana and New Mexico," says Nick Sibilla. "Both states now require a criminal conviction for civil forfeiture, while New Mexico went even further and banned the practice outright."

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GCHQ spied on Amnesty International, Investigatory Powers Tribunal lied about it

Last week, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal said that the UK spy agency hadn't spied on Amnesty -- this week, they admitted that they had, and claimed they hadn't deliberately misled the organisation about the spying.

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McKinney, TX wants $79K to retreive emails of the cop who tackled bikini-clad teen


McKinney is Texas's worst-ranked city for open records requests, and says that it will have to hire a programmer to write entirely new code to search its old, "unsearchable" email system for the emails of Officer Eric Casebolt, who made headlines by tackling a young black girl in a bikini at a pool party and threatening her with his gun.

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US Customs and Border Protection: America's largest, most corrupt police force


The force is the largest in America, with a starved and ineffectual Internal Affairs department, which has been powerless to check the Border Patrol's slide into collusion with drug-runners, shootings of protesters, and extreme violence in border areas.

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Secret court will let NSA do mass surveillance for another six months


Congress allowed Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset in June, terminating one of the absurd legal justifications for one of the NSA's domestic mass surveillance programs.

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Why I'm leaving London

My family is moving to Los Angeles in two weeks. Many Londoners understand intuitively why we're going.Read the rest

Stephen Harper ready to sign TPP and throw Tory rural base under the bus

The Canadian Prime Minister said he'd only sign the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership if it had safeguards for Canada's farmers, but now that it's clear that he hasn't got a hope in hell of being re-elected, he's ready to sign TPP and damn the farmers.

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How the UK Prime Minister's office gets around Freedom of Information requests


Weeks before the 2005 Freedom of Information Act came into effect, Tony Blair's government instituted a policy of automatically purging all calendar items and emails after three months.

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Not just Germany: the NSA has been spying on France's leaders since at least 1995

A new release of top secret NSA docs by Wikileaks shows the US spy-agency has intercepted the phone conversations of the past three French presidents, the French ambassador to the USA, and others.

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GCHQ psychological operations squad targeted Britons for manipulation


The once-secretive, now-notorious Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group ran its online propaganda and manipulation operations at home as well as abroad.

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GCHQ hacking squad worried about getting sued for copyright violation


The British spy-agency targeted anti-virus software and other common applications in reverse-engineering projects aimed at discovering and weaponizing defects in the code.

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The snitch in your pocket: making sense of Stingrays


If you've been struggling to make sense of the stories about Stingrays (super-secretive cellular surveillance tech used by cops and governments) (previously) this week's Note to Self podcast does the best job I've yet seen (heard) of explaining them.

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Schneier: China and Russia probably did get the Snowden leaks -- by hacking the NSA

Bruce Schneier weighs in on last week's ridiculous UK government talking points memo that Murdoch's Sunday Times dutifully published as front-page news.

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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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