Republican election officials block restrictions on foreign spending in US elections

15319773382_81325de944_b

Once I got my green card this year, I was allowed to make the same campaign contributions as any US citizen: $2700 per candidate. But thanks to the three Republican members of the Federal Election Commission, who refused to even allow an agenda item to begin discussions to commence planning for limits on wholly-foreign-owned corporations making unlimited donations to super PACs, offshore oligarchs living abroad can go on spending tens of millions to influence the outcome of US elections. Read the rest

UNH will spend $1M of librarian's bequest on a football scoreboard

9-14 Morin

Robert Morin worked for 50 years as a cataloger at the University of New Hampshire library (he was also a UNH alum); he was thrifty, ate microwave dinners and drove a 1992 Plymouth, and saved $4M, which he gave to the university as an unrestricted gift, and so the university is giving $100K to the library he worked in and $1M to the football team to pay for a new scoreboard. Read the rest

In a leaked "weaponized information" catalog, Indian cyberarms dealer offers blackest-ever SEO

1472825788119723

In 2014, an Indian company called Aglaya brought a 20-page brochure to ISS World (AKA the Wiretappers' Ball -- the annual trade fair where governments shop for surveillance technology): the brochure laid out the company's offerings, which ranged from mobile malware for Ios and Android to a unique "Weaponized Information" selection that combined denial-of-service with disinformation to "discredit a target" online. Read the rest

The EU tried to craft a sane 21st century copyright and failed miserably

050 056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1183

The European Commission's "Copyright Modernisation" effort has wrapped up, and it's terrible. Read the rest

Leaked: damning Scott Walker dark money docs that judge ordered destroyed

Kasten_check

Again and again, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker flouted election laws to raise millions from some of the richest executives and biggest corporations in America, illegally laundering the money through the nominally independent, nonprofit Wisconsin Club for Growth -- and now we have all the details, thanks to an enormous leak of documents that a Wisconsin judge ordered destroyed. Read the rest

The DoJ is using a boring procedure to secure the right to unleash malware on the internet

Screen-Shot-2016-06-21-at-4.48.28-PM

The upcoming Rule 41 modifications to US Criminal Justice procedure underway at the Department of Justice will let the FBI hack computers in secret, with impunity, using dangerous tools that are off-limits to independent scrutiny -- all without Congressional approval and all at a moment at which America needs its law-enforcement community to be strengthening the nation's computers, not hoarding and weaponizing defects that put us all at risk. Read the rest

Five government contractors account for 80% of America's surveillance workforce

Leidos_Day_One_Party_-_John_P._Jumper_&_Stu_Shea

When Edward Snowden came in from the cold, it catapulted his employer, Booz Allen Hamilton -- a giant military/intelligence contractor -- into the public eye, but Booz is small potatoes, one of the Big Five in the intelligence contractor industry, but it's dwarfed by Leidos Holdings, which recently merged with Lockheed's  Information Systems & Global Solutions to become the largest business in the $50B industry. Read the rest

Wells Fargo won't claw back $125m retirement bonus from exec who oversaw 2m frauds

050 056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1178

Carrie Tolstedt is the Wells Fargo executive who presided over a titanic, multi-year fraud through which at least 5,300 of the employees who reported to her opened up fake accounts in Wells' customers' names, racking up fees and fines, trashing the customers' credit ratings, and, incidentally, pulling in record revenues for Tolstedt's department, which Wells' management recognized by giving her a $125M parting gift when she left the company at the end of July, just weeks before the scandal broke. Read the rest

The DEA just added a promising anti-opioid addiction herb to Schedule 1, because reasons

Mitragyna_speciosa111

Kratom is a herb that has been in widespread use in Southeast Asia for centuries; it is chewed for to increase stamina, induce gentle euphoria and relaxation, and it has also been used with unheard-of success to help people kick their addictions to opioid painkillers. Read the rest

California's "gang" database is a sick joke; today, you can do something about it

brown-3b

Dave Maass from Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "A coalition of social justice and digital rights groups are tweeting at Gov. Jerry Brown today to demand he sign A.B. 2298, a bill that would bring new accountability measures to CalGang, the state's troubled gang database. Read the rest

It's really easy for fired, dirty cops to walk into a new police job in a new town

11POLICE1-superJumbo-v2

Sean Sullivan was fired from his police job in Oregon in 2004 for sexual contact with a 10 year old girl; in 2005, Cedar Vale, KS hired him to be their police chief, where he was accused of having sexual contact with another young girl, and eventually convicted of burglary and criminal conspiracy -- he's currently doing time in a Washington state prison for meth possession and identity theft. Read the rest

Autocratic regimes systematically deny internet access to opposition ethnic groups

050 056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1173

In Digital discrimination: Political bias in Internet service provision across ethnic groups (Sci-hub mirror), a new paper in Science, political scientists from the University of Konstanz and elsewhere document the practice of "ethnic favoritism" in internet provision, through which autocratic regimes use telcoms policies to discriminate against opposition groups. Read the rest

Top Russian anti-corruption official had $120M in cash in his apartment

5d7e7d7b118b7301554c3d0ac528703e__1440x

Dmitry Zakharchenko, the deputy head of the Energy Industry Department of the General Administration of Economic Security and Combating the Corruption, also had €2m in cash. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning on hunger strike, demanding treatment for gender dysphoria

Chelsea_Manning_with_wig

Today, days before she is to face an administrative board who will punish her for her recent suicide attempt, whistleblower Chelsea Manning has announced that she will go on hunger strike until she receives treatment for her gender dysphoria. Read the rest

It seems like Trump bribed the Florida attorney general

bondi

Stephen Colbert looks into Florida attorney general Pam Bondi's decision not to join other states in prosecuting Trump University.

Read the rest

The US Copyright Office is the poster child for regulatory capture

050 056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1181

Public Knowledge's new report, Captured: Systemic Bias at the US Copyright Office makes a beautifully argued, perfectly enraging case that the US Copyright Office does not serve the public interest, but rather, hands out regulatory favors to the entertainment industry. Read the rest

Watch: leaked demo of malware offered to spying governments

1473189548637815

Someone captured and leaked a live presentation by an RCS sales tech, demonstrating his company's cyber-weapon for spying on dissidents, criminals, and whomever else the customer wanted to infect. Read the rest

More posts