UK government wants to send tech execs to jail for disclosing surveillance

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Ministers are lobbying to make it a criminal offense for a tech company to inform a user that the UK government is spying on them. Read the rest

There's a secret, separate US tax system that rich people use to save billions

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The richest people in America funnel billions into the creation and maintenance of a secret and shadowy tax-system that uses a combination of lobbying by front groups, high-priced tax lawyers, and offshore money laundries to reduce the rate at which they're taxed, often below the rates imposed on middle-income earners. Read the rest

Microsoft's patent on a UI slider is EFF's Stupid Patent of the Month

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EFF has awarded its coveted Stupid Patent of the Month prize to Microsoft for D554,140, a design patent on a slider widget for a UI. Read the rest

Facebook's FUDdy, full-page anti-Net-Neutrality Indian newspaper ads

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Facebook is desperate to ensure that the Internet never takes hold in developing nations -- they want a walled garden that they get to own and operate. Read the rest

TPP is a giftwrapped wealth-transfer to China

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Writing in the Globe and Mail, University of Toronto Munk Chair of Innovation Studies Dan Breznitz explains how the TPP -- negotiated in secret without any oversight or accountability -- will enrich a few multinationals at the expense of US and Canadian growth, making the whole trade zone less competitive and more ripe to be overtaken by Chinese firms. Read the rest

DoJ forced Google to turn over Jacob Appelbaum's email, then gagged Google

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Google's lawyers fought strenuously against the DoJ's demands for access to the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum, a journalist, activist and volunteer with the Wikileaks project; they fought even harder against the accompanying gag order, arguing that Appelbaum had the right to know what was going on and have a lawyer argue his case. Read the rest

Airport full-body scanners no longer optional, if the TSA screener doesn't like you

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At their sole discretion, and without any public guidelines, TSA agents can now opt you back into the full-body scanner, even if you opt out. Read the rest

Martin Shkreli is right: fraud charges only arose because of pharma scumbaggery

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli is led to a waiting police car by federal agents following his arrest in the Manhattan borough of New York December 17, 2015.     REUTERS/Nate Raymond

Martin Shkreli, the notorious, most-hated-man-on-the-Internet pharma douchebro who was arrested last week for securities fraud, told the FBI that the only reason they bothered busting him for financial corruption is that he had made a spectacle out of himself with his pharma shenanigans. Read the rest

Colorado Congressman Jared Polis on why he voted against the terrible, corrupt omnibus bill

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The Omnibus Budget bill that Paul Ryan crammed through Congress last week didn't just harbor a domestic mass surveillance law and a bunch of nonsensical dog-whistles about ACORN and pornography, it was also full of grotesque pork for rich people and pointless government boondoggles. Read the rest

Copyright infringement "gang" raided by UK cops: 3 harmless middle-aged karaoke fans

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The City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit's breathless press-release about their raid on a "gang suspected of uploading and distributing tens of thousands of karaoke tracks online" obscures the truth: they busted three middle-aged dudes who loved singing, so they hunted down otherwise unavailable tracks and shared them with other karaoke fans, not making a penny in the process. Read the rest

Omnibus budget/spying bill is a corrupt, stupid mess

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The Omnibus Budget Bill passed this week, and Paul Ryan managed to cram the domestic mass surveillance law CISA into it, but that's just the appetizer in a banquet of corrupt DC horsetrading embodied in 2,000+ pages that indicts the entire US legislative system. Read the rest

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson secretly bought newspaper, ordered all hands to investigate judges he hated

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No one knew who the mystery buyer of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was, just that $140m had changed hands under mysterious circumstances. But every reporter on the paper was ordered to drop everything and try to dig up dirt on three Clark County judges. Read the rest

Cops have way more rights than you do

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When you get arrested, what happens next depends on the law and the Constitution, but when a cop arrests their co-worker, what happens next is determined by a cushy contract between the police union and the city that gives suspected crooked law enforcement officers every benefit of the doubt, and lots of ways to walk away free, regardless of the facts. Read the rest

India's deadly exam-rigging scandal: murder, corruption, suicide and scapegoats

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Since 2013, I've been reading in the Times of India's RSS feed about the Vyapam scandal that has shaken the state of Madhya Pradesh to the very highest levels, but I never understood exactly how insane and massive the scandal was until I read Aman Sethi's cogent, comprehensive A-to-Z in today's Guardian. Read the rest

Lifelock admits it lied in its ads (again), agrees to $100M fine

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Lifelock, the tragicomically awful identity-theft protection service, has settled the FTC's suit against it, agreeing to pay a $100M fine for violating its 2010 promise to end its deceptive advertising practices. Read the rest

New ten-part series on surveillance & corruption from creator of Aaron Swartz doc

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Brian Knappenberger, the documentarian who created The Internet's Own Boy, a beautiful documentary about Aaron Swartz, has announced a new ten-part documentary series called "Truth and Power," which will show on Pivot. Read the rest

How did Reuters get that shot of Martin Shkreli's perp-walk?

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli is led to a waiting police car by federal agents following his arrest in the Manhattan borough of New York December 17, 2015.     REUTERS/Nate Raymond

Early this morning, FBI agents arrested pharma-hedge-douche Martin Shkreli for securities fraud at his apartment in NYC; Reuters photographers were on-hand at the arrest to photograph his "perp-walk" in handcuffs. Read the rest

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