Boing Boing 

Youtube and Nintendo conspire to steal from game superfans

Youtube's stilted, one-sided dispute resolution system allows game companies like Nintendo to confiscate the earnings of gamers who produce hugely popular "Let's Play" videos.

Read the rest

San Francisco Sheriff's Deputy ring accused of pit-fighting inmates

San Francisco sheriff's deputy Scott Neu is accused of leading a ring of corrupt jail guards who coerced prisoners into gladiatorial combat with threats of rape and violence.

Read the rest

Here's the TSA's stupid, secret list of behavioral terrorism tells


The ACLU is suing the TSA to get the details of its billion-dollar junk-science "behavioral detection" program, but in the meantime, here's the leaked 92-point checklist the TSA's psychic warriors use to spot bad guys.

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.

Read the rest

Australia outlaws warrant canaries


The exceptionally broad new surveillance bill lets the government do nearly unlimited warrantless mass surveillance, even of lawyer-client privileged communications, and bans warrant canaries, making it an offense to "disclose information about the existence or non-existence" of a warrant to spy on journalists.

Read the rest

Sandwars: the mafias whose illegal sand mines make whole islands vanish


Singapore's insatiable appetite for sand to use to expand its island's territory has led to a worldwide boom in illegal sand-mining, run by criminal gangs who are responsible for the destruction of entire islands in the Pacific rim.

Read the rest

Bankrupt Radio Shack will sell the customer data they promised to keep private


They were the first company to dabble in a laughably crude version of the surveillance business-model, aggressively collecting your address every time you bought batteries so they could get into the direct-mail racket.

Read the rest

Transparency, New Jersey style


Efrem writes, "The Jersey Journal is doing some good work during Sunshine Week, trying to publish the pay information of every public employee in the county. The results have been hilariously depressing. To whit:"

Read the rest

Obama moots mandatory voting


I agree that mandatory voting is a powerful check against moneyed interests hijacking the government, but Australia, which has both mandatory voting and preferential ranked ballots, has still managed to elect some fucking awful politicians.

Read the rest

Clinton's sensitive email was passed through a third-party spam filtering service


It's been years since the spam wars were at the front of the debate, but all the salient points from then remain salient today: when you let unaccountable third parties see your mail and decide which messages you can see, the potential for mischief is unlimited.

Read the rest

Canadian court hands a gimme to copyright trolls


Michael Geist writes, "Canada's Federal Court has issued its ruling on the costs in the Voltage-TekSavvy case, a case involving the demand for the names and address of thousands of TekSavvy subscribers by Voltage on copyright infringement grounds. Last year, the court opened the door to TekSavvy disclosing the names and addresses, but also established new safeguards against copyright trolling in Canada. The decision required Voltage to pay TekSavvy's costs and builds in court oversight over any demand letters sent by Voltage."

The issue of costs required another hearing with very different views of the costs associated with the case. TekSavvy claimed costs of $346,480.68 (mainly legal fees and technical costs associated with complying with the order), while Voltage argued the actual costs should be $884. The court disagreed with both sides, settling on costs of $21,557.50 or roughly $11 per subscriber name and address. The decision unpacks all the cost claims, but the key finding was that costs related to the initial motion over whether there should be disclosure of subscriber information was separate from the costs of abiding by the order the court ultimately issued. The motion judge did not address costs at the time and the court now says it is too late to address them.

With TekSavvy now bearing all of those motion costs (in addition to costs associated with informing customers), the decision sends a warning signal to ISPs that getting involved in these cases can lead to significant costs that won't be recouped. That is a bad message for privacy. So is the likely outcome for future cases (should they arise) with subscribers left with fewer notices and information from their ISP given the costs involved and the court's decision to not compensate for those costs.

Defending Privacy Doesn’t Pay: Federal Court Issues Ruling in Voltage – TekSavvy Costs [Michael Geist]

Following the key Trans-Pacific Partnership senator with a 30' blimp

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The folks who wrote SOPA are trying to get extremist copyright provisions into the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement -- the one that Congress is trying to 'Fast Track' right now."

Read the rest

Jeb Bush sold patronage and favors to his top political donors

The AP analysis of Bush's 275,000 FOIA'ed emails show that "donations" to his campaign were really more like "purchases."

Read the rest

NYPD caught wikiwashing Wikipedia entries on police brutality


Anonymous users from NYPD's IP block have made questionable edits to the Wikipedia entries on high-profile police brutality victims including Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo.

Read the rest

What should the next Aaron Swartz do when the DOJ knocks?

Aaron Swartz found out the hard way that you can't expect justice from the Department of Justice: what should the next Aaron Swartz do when facing decades in prison for information activism?Read the rest

Rightscorp loses big on extortion racket

Rightcorp, the notorious, publicly traded copyright trolls, have warned investors that they're losing money despite a successful claim of mass extortion against alleged copyright infringers.

Read the rest

UK foreign secretary: stop talking about Snowden, let spies get on with it


Philip Hammond told an audience at the Royal United Services Institute that the debate about surveillance "cannot be allowed to run on forever."

Read the rest

IT feudalism: the surveillance state and wealth gaps


My latest Guardian column examines the relationship between technology, surveillance and wealth disparity -- specifically the way that cheap mass surveillance makes it possible to sustain more unequal societies because it makes it cheaper to find and catch the dissidents who foment rebellion over the creation of hereditary elites.

Read the rest

Senator on Internet privacy committee has never sent an email

Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, and he's never sent an email.

Read the rest

Italy's Hacking Team allegedly sold Ethiopia's despots cyberweapons used to attack journalists


Ethopia's despotic regime has become the world's first "turnkey surveillance state," thanks to technology sold to it by western companies, including, it seems, Italy's Hacking Team, whose RCS spyware product is implicated in an attack on exiled, US-based journalists reporting on government corruption.

Read the rest

Imaginary ISIS attack on Louisiana and the twitterbots who loved it


Gilad Lotan has spotted some pretty sophisticated fake-news generation, possibly from Russia, and possibly related to my weird, larval twitterbots, aimed at convincing you that ISIS had blown up a Louisiana chemical factory.

Read the rest

Improving the estimate of US police killings


Patrick Ball and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group applied the same statistical rigor that he uses in estimating the scale of atrocities and genocides for Truth and Reconciliation panels in countries like Syria and Guatemala to the problem of estimating killing by US cops, and came up with horrific conclusions.

Read the rest

Judge who invented Ferguson's debtor's prisons owes $170K in tax


Judge Ronald J Brockmeyer -- who filled Ferguson's coffers by fining its poorest residents and sent them to inhumane, overcrowded prisons when they couldn't pay a few hundred dollars -- stands accused of fixing fines for his cronies, and owes $170K in unpaid taxes.

Read the rest

Albuquerque PD encrypts videos before releasing them in records request

Har-har-fuck-you, said Albequerque's murderous, lawless police department, as they fulfilled a records request from Gail Martin, whose husband was killed by them, by sending her encrypted CDs with the relevant videos, then refusing to give her the passwords.

Read the rest

DMCA abuser ordered to pay $25K to WordPress

Straight Pride UK, a homophobic organization, used a fraudulent copyright complaint to censor an article about them, but WordPress fought back.

Read the rest

Justice Department issues "scorching" report on Ferguson's Police Department


The police department "routinely" blocks citizens from recording their activities under a bizarre rubric of "officer safety," according to the Justice Department's investigation.

Read the rest

Trolls abuse Canadian copyright law with fraudulent mass-scale extortion notices


Michael Geist writes, "The launch of the Canadian copyright notice system earlier this year raised serious concerns as Rightscorp, a U.S.-based anti-piracy company, sent notices that misstated Canadian law and demanded that users pay to settle claims."

Read the rest

First-hand reports of torture from Homan Square, Chicago PD's "black site"


In the wake of last week's revelations about Homan Square, the off-the-books "black site" where Chicago PD disappear prisoners for violent, aggressive interrogation, four of the site's victims have come forward to describe the highly racialized human rights abuses at the secret site.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest