American Bar Association votes to DRM the law, put it behind a EULA

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Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "I just got back from the big debate on is free law like free beer that has been brewing for months at the American Bar Association over the question of who gets to read public safety codes and on what terms." Read the rest

Mysterious medical research consortium: we should own volunteers' clinical trial data for 5 years

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The "International Consortium of Investigators for Fairness in Trial Data Sharing" -- a group that appears to have just been formed, backed by 282 researcher in 33 countries -- has objected to a plan to limit exclusivity over clinical trial data derived from medical volunteers, insisting instead that the fair thing to do is to lock up this uncopyrightable, factual data for up to five years. Read the rest

Illegal "Warranty Void If Removed" still ubiquitous: they're on the Xbox One S

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The tamper-evident "Warrant Void If Removed" stickers violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, which allows device owners to take their gadgets for service at independent depots without voiding their warranties. Read the rest

Return of Dieselgate: 3 more hidden programs found in VW Audi/Porsche firmware

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The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag says that US investigators have discovered three more hidden cheat apps in a Volkswagen product line: these ones were discovered in 3-liter Audi diesels. Read the rest

McNichol is the UK's Wasserman Shultz: Corbyn supporters will be able to vote in Labour leadership race

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The parallels between the Bernie Sanders insurgency and the vicious UK Labour Party fight over its left-leaning, incredibly popular leader Jeremy Corbyn keep on coming: now there's a Labour analogue to Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the corrupt, hawkish, disgraced former chair of the DNC, who was forced to resign after the DNC email leak revealed her extensive dirty-tricks campaign against Bernie Sanders. Read the rest

Chicago cops switched off bodycams and high-fived after shooting unarmed black teen

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The Chicago Independent Police Review Authority has released a video showing the aftermath of the July 28 police shooting of an unarmed black man, in which the officers checked to ensure that their body-cameras were switched off and then gave each other high fives. Read the rest

Foreign influence: how a Chinese businessman funneled $1.3M to Jeb Bush's campaign

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Gordon Tang and Huaidan Chen -- Chinese nationals who live in Singapore -- own a global property speculation and development empire whose US branch is called American Pacific International Capital Inc. They followed a recipe set out in a memo by Charlie Spies, a top Republican lawyer, in order to funnel $1.3M to Jeb Bush's PAC, then Tang offered a reporter for the Intercept $200,000 not to mention that he had been investigated for smuggling, tax evasion and bribery by the Chinese government. Read the rest

Texas mom uncovers massive culture of corruption and sex scandals at US Secret Service

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Malia Litman of Dallas TX describes herself as a stay-at-home mom. Unlike most moms (or dads, or anyone for that matter) she has spent $100,000 suing the U.S. government to turn over 3,900 pages of secret records about widespread sexual abuse and misbehavior by the U.S. Secret Service.

From Dallas News:

When the first Secret Service sex scandals broke a few years ago, she grew curious. A former senior partner at Thompson & Knight law firm in Dallas, she knew that federal law allows us to see government documents.

She began filing requests with the U.S. Department Homeland Security to learn of any incidents of agent misbehavior in the Secret Service, any investigations and disciplinary action.

I'll skip ahead to the end of her multi-year legal battle that ensued. She won. In the end, she received 3,914 pages, some of them so hot they almost burn the fingers. A culture of "wheels up; rings off" meant even married agents could party on foreign trips. Secret Service K-9 units brought their dogs into their hotel room, which the dogs trashed. The agents made payoffs so the incident wouldn't be reported. A agent who missed his flight later showed up drunk with two prostitutes. He was not disciplined. Agents "engaged" with prostitutes in Amsterdam's red-light district during an advance team trip. A supervisor choked a female subordinate because she rejected his sexual advances. A supervisor offered a subordinate a larger office in return for sex. A supervisor took a subordinate to a sex show while on duty.

Read the rest

Web companies can track you -- and price-gouge you -- based on your battery life

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In Online tracking: A 1-million-site measurement and analysis, eminent Princeton security researchers Steven Englehardt and Arvind Narayanan document the use of device battery levels -- accessible both through mobile platform APIs and HTML5 calls -- to track and identify users who are blocking cookies and other methods of tracking. Read the rest

Stiglitz quits Panama's official money-laundering panel over internal sabotage

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Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has resigned from the Panamanian committee set up to probe the country's money-laundering industry in the wake of the Panama Papers leak, because the Panamanian government has reneged on its promise to publish the committee's findings and now says it will keep them secret. Read the rest

EFF and partners reveal Kazakh government phished journalists, opposition politicians

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At Defcon, researchers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, First Look Media and Amnesty International, revealed their findings on a major phishing attack through which the government of Kazakhstan was able to hack opposition journalists and arrange for an opposition politician's extradition from exile in Italy to Kazakhstan. Read the rest

Congressional red team discovers that it's (still) trivial to acquire all the materials for a dirty nuke

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In 2014, undercover Congressional investigators set out to test the countermeasures put in place to test the regulatory system that is supposed to detect and interdict terrorists who are assembling a dirty bomb -- countermeasures set in place after a red team found that it would be easy to do just that in 2007. They found that it was still very easy to beat all the detection systems. Read the rest

International Olympic Committee bans GIFs

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They've "expressly prohibited" turning anything from the Olympics into "animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e. GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines." Read the rest

Chinese government decrees that it is always legal to video-record the police

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Chinese state corruption is so weird and manifest that it has its own literary movement, and the use of the internet to uncover corruption has become a political football that has spilled over into the Chinese press, and into street-brawls. Read the rest

Jacksonville police pension fund blows $1.8M worth of tax-dollars fighting open records requests

When Times-Union Editor Frank Denton sued the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund over breaking the law by meeting secretly to negotiate pension benefits, the fund and the city blew nearly half a million dollars fighting the case before finally losing. Read the rest

Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calls Apple's tax strategy a "fraud"

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2001 Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz has a long history of being on the right side of history. For example: pricing the Iraq war at $3T; raising the alarm about sovereign wealth funds acquiring US debt; nailing the double-standard on bailouts for debt crises (and the way that this destabilizes poor countries); sounding the alarm about austerity in times of recesssion; coming out early and strong over wealth concentration; calling for the imprisonment of the top executives at Barclays bank; and damning the TPP as "the worst trade deal ever." Read the rest

Olympics to companies: mentioning "Olympics" in social media is a trademark violation

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The US Olympics Committee has sent a letter to companies that sponsor athletes but don't sponsor the games, warning them that mentioning the Olympics in social media is a trademark violation. Read the rest

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