Germany's spy agency gave the NSA the private data of German citizens in exchange for Xkeyscore access

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV -- Germany's domestic spy agency) coveted access to Xkeyscore, the NSA's flagship tool for searching and analyzing mass-surveillance data, so they secretly, illegally traded access to Germans' data with the NSA for it. Read the rest

North Dakota cops can now use lobbyist-approved taser/pepper-spray drones

Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer's Association introduced an amendment to ND HB 1328 that allows cops to shoot at citizens with drone-borne rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, tasers and sound cannon. Read the rest

New Zealand gov't promises secret courts for accused terrorists

Juha sez, "The Law Society of NZ is alarmed at government proposals to introduce secret courts where defendants have no right to attend hearings and see all the evidence against them." Read the rest

Six years after unprovoked beating, Denver cop finally fired

Denver Police Officers Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine maced four women without provocation and shoved them to the ground in 2009, then lied about it for years. Read the rest

The FBI kept files on author Ray Bradbury: "Definitely slanted against the United States"

Michael from Muckrock writes, "The FBI followed Ray Bradbury's career very closely, in part because an informant warned them that his writing was not enjoyable fantasy, but rather tantamount to psychological warfare." Read the rest

Car information security is a complete wreck -- here's why

Sean Gallagher's long, comprehensive article on the state of automotive infosec is a must-read for people struggling to make sense of the summer's season of showstopper exploits for car automation, culminating in a share-price-shredding 1.4M unit recall from Chrysler, whose cars could be steered and braked by attackers over the Internet. Read the rest

Boston's WGBH initiates careless, groundless legal action against Fedflix project

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "I got mugged by a bunch of Boston hooligans. Readers of Boing Boing may be familiar with my FedFlix project which has resulted in 6,000 government videos getting posted to YouTube and the Internet Archive." Read the rest

Greece's creditors demand casino rights, archaeological sites, selloff of EUR50B of national assets

Already sold: most of Greece's airports -- for sale: gas transmission, oil refineries, power company, post office, national highways, water company. Read the rest

Judge: City of Inglewood can't use copyright to censor videos of council meetings

Joseph Teixeira doesn't like Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, so he makes Youtube videos featuring City Council meeting footage. Read the rest

America does a better job of tracking bee deaths than deaths in police custody

Michael from Muckrock writes, "The federal government has a pretty good picture of where bees are dying across America, with two federal agencies collaborating on a systematic, scientifically-rigorous, long-term look at the problem, particularly important given the danger that colony collapse disorder presented." Read the rest

Google covertly lobbied against net neutrality in India

The company emailed members of the Government Relations committee of the Indian ISP association, asking them to support Facebook's program, which delivers "a poor Internet for poor people." Read the rest

Ashley Madison commits copyfraud in desperate bid to suppress news of its titanic leak

The company is shotgunning DMCA notices against journalists and others who reproduce even the tiniest fraction of the dump of users who signed up to find partners with whom to cheat on their spouses -- included in the dump are thousands of people who paid $15 to have their data permanently deleted from the service. Read the rest

Universities' tax-exempt giga-endowments spend more on hedge fund managers than on education

Growing wealth disparity has produced a new financial hyper-elite who make eight-figure donations to major universities, who hand that money back over to more finance titans in the form of special commissions that are taxed at a ridiculously low rate (making more zillionaire donors). Read the rest

Science is really f*cking hard

The rash of high-profile journal retractions, revelations of systematic frauds in peer-review, and journals publishing deliberately bogus papers (e.g. "Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List") -- are we experiencing a crisis in science? Read the rest

MPAA loves fair use so much they don't want to share it with the rest of the world

The Hollywood studios always claim to be "pro-fair-use" but when the US Trade Representative made a move to put fair use into the Trans Pacific Partnership, the MPAA sent a scathing, furious letter to the Obama administration condemning "the inclusion of fair use' in free trade agreements" as "extremely controversial and divisive." Read the rest

Giant dump of data purports to be from

The dating site for people wanting to cheat on their spouses was breached last month. Read the rest

Jailer-owned "Christian business" forced inmates to make cornhole games


Stand Firm Designs' website was taken down for unknown reasons ( snapshot), but when the website was operational you would have learned that the self-described “Christian Construction Business” employed “retired contractors” to make its bean bag “cornhole” boards. What the website didn't say was that the company is owned by two Tennessee jail officials and that they are accused of using prison slave labor to build the boards. They were caught after inmates hatched a plan to expose them:

To prove the items being sold by Stand Firm Designs were made by inmates, Stephney and Brew concealed their names under pieces of wood nailed to the backs of items. They also wrote the number 412148, which refers to a section of Tennessee code that makes it illegal for jail officials to require an inmate to perform labor that results in the official's personal gain. The AP was shown some of the items with the concealed names and numbers.

Stand Firm Designs is operated by Rob Hill, a building trades instructor at the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility; Steven Binkley, a computer instructor who works out of a room adjoining the woodworking shop; and Roy Napper, who formerly worked at the jail run by Corrections Corporation of America.

Stand Firm Designs co-owner Roy Napper is standing firm: “All I can tell you is it’s really just a bogus thing. There’s not really any slave labor going on over there,” Napper told the AP. “Since it’s under investigation, I can’t really tell you anything else.” Read the rest

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