Boing Boing 

Vodafone made millions helping GCHQ spy on the world


A newly released Snowden doc, published in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, shows how Cable and Wireless (now a Vodafone subsidiary) made millions of pounds illegally installing fiber-taps to help GCHQ conduct its programme of mass surveillance.

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Song for Shaker: free the last UK Gitmo prisoner!

Andy writes, "This is the promotional video for a new campaign, We Stand with Shaker, aimed at securing the release from Guantanamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, who is still held despite being approved for release in 2007 and 2009."

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Essential reading: the irreconcilable tension between cybersecurity and national security


Citizenlab's Ron Diebert lays out the terrible contradiction of putting spy agencies -- who rely on vulnerabilities in the networks used by their adversaries -- in change of cybersecurity, which is securing those same networks for their own citizens.

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Wrongly convicted man released from US prison after 39 years

Jose writes, "A 12 year old child was forced by the police to give false testimony against three black teens in 1975; the last two men have just been released from prison. I was moved to tears by both the terrible injustice and the way one of these men, Ricky Jackson, spoke out without any sign of hatred."

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Leaked docs detail Big Oil and Big PR's plans for a opinion-manipulation platform


The leaked slides were prepared by Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, at the behest of Transcanada, and they constitute a blueprint for tracking and influencing platform that spies on its participants in order to psychologically profile them and nudge them into becoming advocates for the oil industry.

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Blackpool's Broadway Hotel fines guests £100 for negative review


The hotel had no running water, miswired electrical outlets, and a contract with fine-print that said that they'd charge your credit card £100 if you posted a negative review on the Web.

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Smart Pipe: a design fiction from the Internet of Things dystopia

11 minutes seems like a long ask for a gag video about an Internet-of-Things toilet-analyzer, but man, is it worth it.

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London council threatens freedom of information site for "leaking" info they say doesn't exist

A reader writes sez, "Can you leak a decision that has not yet been made? The local council at the London Borough of Enfield seem to think so, and sent a takedown notice to British Freedom of Information website WhatDoTheyKnow.com run by the non-profit mySociety."

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GOP set up Twitter "numbers stations" to get around Super PAC rules

Super PACs are allowed to raise unlimited funds to support election campaigns, but can't coordinate with those campaigns; this especially means that campaigns can't share expensive private poll data with PACs to help fine tune their campaigns -- which is exactly what Republicans did with their cryptic, unlabelled Twitter accounts that acted as dead-drops with messages like "CA-40/43-44/49-44/44-50/36-44/49-10/16/14-52-->49/476-10s" to let affiliated PACs know what the polls had shown.

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1,000-room palace for Turkey's President Erdogan will cost twice initial $615M pricetag


The White Palace in Ankara has 1.6m square feet of floorspace, and features thousands of trees imported from Italy at a cost of up to $10,000 each; the taxpayer-footed electricity bill from the palace will run $313K/month.

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Rightscorp is running out of money


Rightscorp is a business based on the extortion business-model, founded on the idea that your ISP would lock you out of the Web unless you paid Rightscorp the arbitrary sums they decided you owed to them (but who was too scared to defend their business in court) -- but it looks like sleaze isn't as lucrative as they hoped.

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Spain's top piracy-fighter goes to jail for embezzling $50K to spend in brothels


Pedro Farré was head of corporate relations for the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, and he falsified €40K worth of receipts for all night binges where he consumed Champagne and sexual services at brothels, claiming the funds were spent entertaining and meeting with senior cops, journalists, and academics.

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UK Tories demand a "ban this terrorist filth" button for the Web, ISPs comply

David Cameron says that the reason Britons are fighting with IS is that they were hypnotised by unstoppable sorcerous "extremist" words on the net and that the best way to fight this is to get the big UK ISPs to agree to block any "extremist" content that's reported by the eagle-eyed public and added to (yet another) secret, unaccountable, extrajudicial list of websites that can't be reached from behind the Great Firewall of Cameron -- and the big ISPs agree with him!

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EFF makes DoJ admit it lied in court about FBI secret warrants

Department of Justice lawyers told a judge that when the FBI gives one of its secret National Security Letters to a company, the company is allowed to reveal the NSL's existence and discuss its quality -- it lied.

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University of Michigan makes up a bunch of non-reasons why it doesn't have to do record retention

The University of Michigan campus newspaper, Michigan Daily, is investigating a campus scandal that resulted in the athletic director resigning and a football player being expelled for sexual misconduct, but the university has engaged in blatantly illegal destruction of records to stymie the investigation.

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Cheap dates: the pitiful sums that Big Cable used to buy off the politicians who oversee it


Even when you factor in dark money, Super PACs and the rest of it, politicians are willing to sell out the nervous system of the 21st century to the worst companies in America for less than $100K.

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Police in Brazil kill six people a day


So says a report from The Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, an NGO that singles out the Rio police for "abusive use of lethal force."

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Ambulance takes comatose, insured woman to "wrong" hospital, drives her to bankruptcy, too


If 29 year old Megan Rothbauer had been taken three more blocks to Madison, WI's, Meriter Hospital when she had a freak heart attack, she'd have owed $1500, but since the comatose woman was brought to St Mary's Hospital, which Blue Cross Blue Shield won't deal with, she owes $50K and is facing bankruptcy.

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ISPs caught sabotaging their customers' email encryption


Ever since 2013, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation started shaming email providers that did not encrypt their customers' email, more and more mail providers have turned on STARTTLS, which protects email in transit from snooping, without requiring users to take any additional steps.

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Cyberwar's hidden victims: NGOs


A new report from the storied Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto documents the advanced, persistent threats levied against civil society groups and NGOs -- threats that rival those facing any government or Fortune 100 company, but whose targets are much less well-equipped to defend themselves.

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The Oatmeal to Ted Cruz: Net Neutrality is not Obamacare


It's very well said, but the amazing thing is that it needed to be said at all.

DOJ helps local cops get around state limits on civil forfeiture


Many states have passed laws limiting how much of your stuff the police can steal when they accuse you of a crime, but the Department of Justice has the solution for local cops: they will "adopt" a local seizure, making it federal and exempting it from state-level corruption controls.

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Senate races were won by dump-trucks full of "dark money"


Ever since the Supreme Court told us that money was speech and corporations are people, it's been permissible for big corporations and plutocrats to make anonymous unlimited donations to political races -- but you can bet that the Senators who owe their seats to the dark cash know exactly who they're beholden to.

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City Attorneys train local cops to use "wish lists" for civil forfeiture


In "continuing education" seminars, cops are instructed to be on the lookout for people with nice stuff that can be easily resold, figure out a crime that those people might be guilty of, and tell the City Attorney so that that stuff can be grabbed through "civil forfeiture."

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UK spies secretly granted power to spy on journalists and lawyers

The UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal secretly granted permission to MI5 and MI6 to spy on journalists and lawyers, in ways that violate attorney-client privilege.

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Roca Labs sues unhappy customer who agreed to testify against it


This is the "non-surgical gastric bypass" company whose terms of service forbid complaining, and require you to let them use any kind of success you experience to publicly endorse the company, who are suing pissedconsumer.com for having a message board where its customers are complaining about its product.

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New Net Neutrality tool connects you directly to the phone of senior White House staffers

Did Obama Break the Net? -- from the good people at Demand Progress and Fight for the Future.

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WATCH It's Our Future: why the TPP should matter to you

Meghan from Openmedia.ca sez, "The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive international trade agreement that includes 12 countries and covers almost 40% of global GDP. It's big. If you live in the U.S, Canada, Australia, Chile, or New Zealand -- it affects you. But it also affects you if you don't live in one of the 12 countries negotiating the TPP - especially on the issue of Digital Rights."

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EFF asks US Copyright Office for your right to fix your car


It's that time again: every three years, the Copyright Office allows the public to ask for exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's ban on "circumvention," which prevents you from unlocking devices you own.

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Plutocrats' visual guide to rigging elections


From the Mayday.US super PAC (which backs candidates who promise to abolish super PACs).