Boing Boing 

Senate to vote on crucial transparency bill

Gavin writes, "The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on an important bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, America's open records law."

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TRAITORS

Alexander (R-TN), Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman (R-AR), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coats (R-IN), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Collins (R-ME), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), Enzi (R-WY), Fischer (R-NE), Flake (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Hoeven (R-ND), Inhofe (R-OK),

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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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Redskins owner sues Native Americans who testified on racism to Trademark Office

Having lost his trademark over its overt racism, Daniel Snyder has taken the unusual step of suing the five Native American people who testified before the US Patent and Trademark Office hearing, which led to the finding that Snyder's team's name was "disparaging to Native Americans."

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Italian scientists acquitted of culpability in L'Aquila quake


Seven natural disaster specialists had previously been convicted of manslaughter for not being emphatic enough about the 2009 quake, which killed 309 people, but that conviction's been overturned by an appeals court.

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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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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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Harvard's amazing Copyright X online course taking applications


Nathaniel from Harvard's Berkman Center writes, "Copyright X -- AKA 'The MOOC the New Yorker actually liked' and 'the butt-kickingest free copyright class you didn't even know you'd love' -- is gearing up and taking applications for its third run."

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FBI secretly seeking legal power to hack any computer, anywhere


The Bureau is seeking a rule-change from the Administrative Office of the US Courts that would give it the power to distribute malware, hack, and trick any computer, anywhere in the world, in the course of investigations; it's the biggest expansion of FBI spying power in its history and they're hoping to grab it without an act of Congress or any public scrutiny or debate.

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UK Tories propose life sentences for using a computer to "damage the economy"

Under a proposed "computer crime bill," if you use a computer in the commission of an offense that damages "national security, human welfare, the economy or the environment" you could face a life sentence.

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Snappy coroner's answers to stupid cross-examiner's questions


"How can you be sure [the patient wasn't alive] Doctor?" "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."

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Writers condemn UK book censorship order

A large group of writers, including Stephen Fry, Jeffrey Archer, Katharine Norbury, Will Self, and others (include me!) have signed onto an open letter condemning a UK court decision that banned publication of a memoir because it felt that the child might be psychologically harmed by learning about their parent's life.

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One weird legal trick that makes patent trolls cry

The Judicial Conference of the US has approved the elimination of Rule 84, a court procedure designed to help small patent-holders streamline their lawsuits, but which has been weaponized by patent trolls, who use it to indiscriminately file lawsuits on a mass scale in the hopes of bullying quick settlements out of their victims.

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Buzz Lightyear cited in legal brief


From a motion related to the Speedy Trial Act: "The government cannot simply fail or refuse to respond to a motion and toll the Act 'to infinity and beyond.'"

BC Pastafarian fights for right to wear colander in Driver's License photo

Obi Canuel is an ordained Pastafarian minister from British Columbia who's fighting for the right to wear his religious headgear -- a pasta colander -- in his driver's license photo.

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Larry "Wide Stance" Craig busted (again)

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The former conservative GOP senator from Idaho illegally used his campaign funds to defend himself on charges of soliciting sex in a men's toilet in the Minneapolis airport.

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CEO of stalkerware company arrested

Hammad Akbar, a Pakistani national and CEO of Invocode, marketers of Stealthgenie, was arrested in LA on Saturday and charged with a variety of offenses related to making, marketing and selling "interception devices."

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Roca Labs threatens suit against customers who helped website it is also suing


Roca makes a dubious weight-loss product whose fine-print makes you promise not to complain, and the customers were cited by Pissedconsumer.com, whom Roca is suing for providing a place where dissatisfied customers could air their grievances.

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US Forestry Service wages war on photography in national forests


The new, stupid ban on "professional" photography violates the First Amendment, the Service admits that there's no actual need for it, and it will undermine the visibility of the national forests at a time when they are under unprecedented threat from developers, the energy sector, and mining.

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Weight-loss company sues customer for posting negative review to Better Business Bureau

Roca Labs makes the "Non Surgical Gastric Bypass" (which one expert says is mostly industrial food thickeners) with terms-of-sale that prohibit complaining if you get sick, or don't like the product, or feel like you were ripped off.

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Arrestee eats through patrol car seat

An Idaho resident collared on felony charges managed to chew through the seat of a police car while en route to the county jail. Combative during her arrest, Staci Anne Spence allegedly caused $2,127 worth of damage to the vehicle.

Here's Keith Kinnaird of the Bonner County Daily Bee:

While being taken into custody, she allegedly pulled away from the two deputies who were holding her arms and kicked a third deputy before being subdued. She was put in leg restraints and placed on her stomach in the back of a deputy’s sport utility vehicle.

Upon arriving at the Bonner County Jail, deputies discovered that Spence had chewed through the seat’s upholstery and into the foam cushioning, the affidavit said. Replacing the Chevrolet Tahoe’s seat was estimated at more than $2,000.

An allegedly combative Spence was arrested by Sandpoint Police in July for battery at the Panida Theater. A police report said Spence produced a beer after she was put in the back of the patrol vehicle and consumed it en route to the jail.

Bill to ban terms of service that say you're not allowed to complain

Introduced by Eric Swalwell (D-CA), the draft Consumer Review Freedom Act bans the "un-American" practice of making people agree not to complain as a condition of using websites.

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Secret Law is Not Law

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Cindy Cohn is on fire: "Let’s be clear: Under international human rights law, secret “law” doesn’t even qualify as 'law' at all."

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Not one Republican Senator voted for campaign finance reform


The entire GOP Senate caucus voted against Tom Udall's proposed Constitutional amendment that would have allowed states to set rules limiting campaign contributions, overturning the notorious Citizens United Supreme Court decision that found that money was a form of protected speech.

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Dietary supplement company sues website for providing a forum for dissatisfied customers

Roca Labs sells dubious snake-oil like a "Gastric Bypass Alternative," and their terms of service forbid their customers from ever complaining; they say that Pissedconsumer.com committed "tortious interference" by providing a place where disgruntled buyers could air their grievances.

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Being physically unable to commit a crime is no defense against a system that has been fine tuned for prosecution

Techdirt's Tim Cushing highlights some of the more Kafkaesque moments in modern American justice -- handcuffed men who shoot themselves in the back, men who are arraigned for crimes they allegedly committed while in jail, and comes to this conclusion:

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Keurig's K-Cup coffee DRM cracked


When they unveiled the stupid idea of locking out competitors' coffee-pods, I predicted this would happen, and I still wonder if Keurig will be dumb enough to bring a test-case that makes some good law; after all, they are a good candidate for Battle Station Most Likely to Have a Convenient Thermal Exhaust Port.

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Customer fined $250 for complaining, told "You are playing games with the wrong people"

Public Citizen is helping Cindy Cox sue Accessory Outlet for charging her $250 when she complained that an Iphone case hadn't shipped when promised; the company's rep told her that he'd fine her even more for emailing him to protest, adding an ominous "You are playing games with the wrong people and have made a very bad mistake."

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Dashcam nails cops who beat man while shouting "Stop resisting arrest"

Two cops from Bloomfield, NJ's police department have been indicted, and another plead guilty after a suppressed dashcam video showed them beating a man who was facing years in prison for "resisting arrest" (the DA dropped his charges right away).

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Twelve triple three: Secret history of Reagan's exec order that spawned mass surveillance


Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12333 in 1981, reversing the Carter and Ford reforms of government surveillance (sparked by the Church Commission, convened in the wake of Nixon's wiretapping scandal); GWB expanded it twice more, once during each term.

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