Omaha police officer Bradley D Canterbury was fired after he beat up a suspect and then participated in a brutal, illegal retaliatory raid on the home of a citizen who'd video-recorded the incident. Canterbury was one of over 30 Omaha police officers who broke into a family home without a warrant intending to destroy mobile phone video evidence of his violent actions, and was one of six officers from that cohort who were fired for the beating.
Now he's got his job back.
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Here's a new turn in the saga of Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford, the mayor of Toronto: a lawsuit alleges
that he had a couple of his former football team proteges beat six kind of hell out of his estranged brother-in-law in jail. The brother-in-law is suing Ford, saying that when he was in jail, a couple of Ford's former players broke his leg and shattered his teeth as a warning to stay silent about the mayor's drug problem.
As Julian Sanchez points out, the NSA's program of phone record collection is clearly, unequivocally, and totally illegal (and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board agrees). The Patriot Act's section 215 allows the FBI to collect relevant records for a specific investigation.
The NSA isn't collecting records, it isn't the FBI, the data it collects isn't relevant, and there is no specific investigation. It's pretty amazing that there are still people (including Obama) insisting that the program is legal.
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Naoki Hiroshima was lucky enough to snag a one-character Twitter username: @N. Over the years, he'd been offered large sums -- as much as $50,000 -- for the name, but he kept it. Then, according to a horrifying first-person account, a hacker socially engineered the last four digits of his credit-card out of Paypal, used that information to seize control of his Godaddy account, and threated to trash all of Hiroshima's websites unless Hiroshima transferred @N to the hacker. The hacker also seized control of Hiroshima's Facebook account. The attack took place over the Martin Luther King, Jr day holiday, and Hiroshima couldn't get his case escalated to anyone at Twitter, Godaddy or Paypal while it was taking place, and so he lost his domain. All three companies now say that they're looking into his story. Hiroshima offers some helpful advice on avoiding his fate (use two-factor authentication, mostly).
I'd add that it's generally good practice to avoid Godaddy, because they're SOPA-supporting sellout scum, and they suck.
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The Application Developers Alliance is trying to nail Lodsys, the notorious troll that uses a bogus patent from Intellectual Ventures to extort money from app developers. Lodsys is shrouded in mystery, uses global banks to avoid tax, and uses its patent claims to try to bankrupt companies that publicly call it out for trolling. The ADA is asking for developers who've been threatened by Lodsys to fill in a survey
that will establish the evidentiary basis for fighting back against the Lodsys racket and maybe put an end to it. (via Techdirt
Russian opposition member Alexei Navalny created a website to document the rampant corruption at the Sochi Olympics. The site is a map with clickable regions showing how illegal dumping, graft, inside dealing, and general sleaze caused billions of dollars to disappear into the pockets of Russian political elites and their mafiyeh buddies. The site was translated to English by the Interpreter, which notes:
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In the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service is pressing criminal charges
against three men who dumpster-dived discarded food from the skip behind an Iceland grocery store in London. They've charged under "an obscure section of the 1824 Vagrancy Act." The CPS is going ahead with the charges because "we feel there is significant public interest in prosecuting these three individuals". Pirate Cinema
is not an instruction manual, gang.
Remember when HSBC got caught laundering billions for Mexican narco-terror cartels? Remember how they offered to pay five weeks' profits in fines and to defer their executive bonuses to escape criminal charges?
The crime-fighting legal eagles at the Department of Justice approved the settlement last week. Remember, though, if you are suspected of laundering money or selling drugs, the DoJ will take your house away and put you in jail for the rest of your life. Nice to be "too big to jail." Still, deferring multimillion-dollar bonuses has gotta hurt, huh?
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Texas Governor Rick Perry has endorsed the idea of decriminalizing marijuana
. Note that this is not Colorado/Washington-style legalization (which would give Texas access to a flood of tax-dollars from a legal industry), rather, it's decriminalization, which means that you will get a ticket if you get caught with small amounts of pot. That deprives the state of tax revenue, but saves the state some money on the prison system, and allows police the all-important discretion to disproportionately hassle brown people and anyone they find suspicious. (via Reddit
Mike from Mother Jones writes, "Mother Jones' James West looks into the dark side of the network's turn toward wildlife reality TV, and uncovers some disturbing revelations about a hit show. It boils down to this, West writes: 'The raccoon incident is just one of numerous instances on 'Call of the Wildman' sets of alleged animal mistreatment and possible infringements of state and federal law, the result of what sources describe as cavalier and neglectful production practices. A seven-month Mother Jones investigation -- which drew on internal documents, interviews with eight people involved with the show's production, and government records -- reveals evidence of a culture that tolerated legally and ethically dubious activities, including: using an animal that had been drugged with sedatives in violation of federal rules; directing trappers to procure wild animals, which were then 'caught' again as part of a script; and wrongly filling out legal documents detailing the crew's wildlife activities for Kentucky officials.'"
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After an absence of more than two years, New York Times-bestselling author Max Allan Collins brings of his most popular characters, the ruthless professional killer known only as “Quarry,” in The Wrong Quarry. Since his debut in 1976, Quarry has appeared in 10 novels and inspired a feature film, The Last Lullaby, starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander. The new novel sees Quarry going up against an amateur killer operating on his turf. But does the hitman’s hitman have the wrong quarry in his sights?
Quarry doesn’t kill just anybody these days. He restricts himself to targeting other hitmen, availing his marked-for-death clients of two services: eliminating the killers sent after them, and finding out who hired them…and then removing that problem as well.
So far he’s rid of the world of nobody who would be missed. But this time he finds himself zeroing in on the grieving family of a missing cheerleader. Does the hitman’s hitman have the wrong quarry in his sights?
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The news that Target stores lost 110 million customers' credit card details in a hacker intrusion has illustrated just how grave a risk malicious software presents to the average person and the businesses they patronize. Brian Krebs has good, early details on the software that the hackers used on infected point-of-sale terminals at Target, and some good investigative guesses about who planted it there and how they operated it.
Krebs suggests that a Russian hacker called "Antikiller" may be implicated in the Target hack, and that Antikiller is, in any event, the author of the malware used against the point-of-sale systems.
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Richard and Allen are kidnappers from a multigenerational kidnapping family. They're thingstarting a sustainable, green kidnapping practice that supports local farmers, green energy, and a community focus with biodegradable filthy rags and organic chloroform. They've got some great rewards for supporters, too -- I want a copy of their book Sustainable Kidnapping, with a forward by Michael Pollan!
Sustainable Kidnapping (Thingstarter Ep. 4 of 6)
Rhian Jeremiah, 26 of Cardigan, Wales caused $360 worth of damage to a Fiat 500 when she bit into the roof during an argument with the driver. Jeremiah had allegedly gotten drunk at a memorial for her boyfriend before the incident occurred. "There was a bit of an argument and she sunk her teeth into the part of the car above the window," the car's owner Selina Day said in court. "I could hear metal crunching." According to the BBC News
though, Jeremiah's defense attorney argued that the situation was "'not quite like' the scene involving the character Jaws in a James Bond film." — David
A leaked Scotland Yard report disclosed in The Indepedent documents the near-total corruption of the British government and justice system by organised criminals. The report documents "Operation Tiberius," which dates to 2003, and contains a series of explosive allegations about corruption, including the sale of £50,000 "get out of jail free cards," the buying off of juries, and the "at will" infiltration of Scotland Yard by gangs.
The report quotes a Senior Investigating Officer who said, "I feel that at the current time I cannot carry out an ethical murder investigation without the fear of it being compromised." It claims that a Metropolitan Police detective's son was employed as a torturer for one gang, and that the detective impeded any investigations into the gang his son worked for and the crimes he committed.
There's no reason to suspect that the crimes documented in Tiberius stopped there, nor that they couldn't take place today. And yet today, the political establishment sees nothing wrong with total surveillance of every person in the country, from ubiquitous CCTVs to illegal harvesting of Internet data and mobile phone logs.
The thing that corruption stories -- even astounding ones like this -- teach us is that our systems need to account for the possibility that the authorities are corrupt, or sloppy, or duped. Creating laws that give police and magistrates the power to declare anything anyone does illegal, storing massive DNA databases, allowing for secret courts and warrantless surveillance, creating unaccountable systems of censorship, and letting spies run wild are all examples of systems designed on the presumption that the establishment is both uncorrupted and perpetually uncorrectable.
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