Boing Boing 

USA Freedom Act: the good, the bad, and what's next


With the sunsetting of Section 215 of the Patriot Act and the passage of the USA Freedom Act, Congress has, for the first time since the 1970s, put limits on the surveillance powers of America's spooks.

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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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Mass surveillance versus medicare

Jon Stewart's on fire here, asking why the same Republican politicians who stuck up for the Patriot Act's invasive state surveillance to save hypothetical American lives were so violently opposed to state-sponsored health-care on the grounds that the state had no business poking its nose into your private health matters.

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PATRIOT Act expires -- now what?

For the first time since its passage in 2001, Congress has declined to renew section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, which provided for mass, warrantless surveillance -- now what happens?

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Pornoscanner lobbyist's new job: overseeing TSA spending


Christopher Romig was the top lobbyist for the aptly named Rapiscan, but now he's got a better gig: staffer for the House Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee, which controls the TSA's spending.

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Swiss cops' dawn raid snags top FIFA officials


Six top executives of international football's (notoriously corrupt) governing body were arrested at the crack of dawn in their Zurich hotel by Swiss police acting on a US criminal corruption warrant.

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America's prison population, by the numbers

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Quinn Norton's "long form data journalism" piece on the American prison system paints a bleak picture of a nation that feasts on its poorest and most vulnerable with a boundless, venomous cruelty.

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To save free trade, kill TPP

The enemies of the Trans Pacific Partnership don't necessarily oppose free trade, but they're foursquare against the kind of corrupt, secretive negotiations that line the pockets of favored industries at the public's expense.

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What Sony and Spotify's secret deal really looks like


The nitty-gritty details of Sony's deal with Spotify paint a picture of a very lopsided negotiation indeed, with Sony commanding an unbelievable "most favored nation" status from the streaming music provider that entitles it to top-up payments to match other labels whose music is more popular on the service.

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Amazon will finally start paying tax in the UK


The company will abandon the pretense that its UK sales are consummated in Luxembourg and that the money floats in a state of taxless grace in the middle of the Irish Sea.

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Hedge funds buy swathes of foreclosed subprimes, force up rents, float rent-bonds


When a giant hedge fund is bidding on all the foreclosed houses in a poor neighborhood, living humans don't stand a chance -- but that's OK, because rapacious investors make great landlords.

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Hacktivist sees too much, FBI lock him up on child-porn charges, produce no evidence


Matthew DeHart, a veteran from a multi-generational military/intelligence family, ran a Tor hidden service server for his Wow guildies, members of his old army unit, and whistleblowers.

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Ron Wyden and Rand Paul kill the Patriot Act (ish)


After an all-night session, Rand Paul [R-KY] and Ron Wyden [D-OR] tag-teamed majority leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY] and beat him to the mat -- he has abandoned the current legislative effort to extend section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes mass surveillance and is set to expire on June 1.

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An Internet of Things that act like red-light cameras


Charlie Stross is preparing for five more years of Tory rule in the UK by thinking up business-models that monopolize mandatory activities and extract rent from them.

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Today's terrifying Web security vulnerability, courtesy of the 1990s crypto wars

The Logjam bug allows attackers to break secure connections by tricking the browser and server to communicate using weak crypto -- but why do browsers and servers support weak crypto in the first place?

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Former IMF chief economist on the problems with TPP

Tim Harford writes, "Simon Johnson is a fascinating character, former chief economist of the IMF and now scourge of bankers and lobbyists everywhere."

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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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