Weird porn author who was dragged into Hugo Awards mess pulls off epic troll


For the second year in a row, a bunch of disgruntled "conservative" sf readers and writers are attempting to destroy science fiction's Hugo Awards by nominating slates of works that are, variously: rabid racist tracts; works by their ideological opponents; tepid military sf; works by bystanders; and weird porn by Chuck Tingle, a master of the form, who has nothing to do with any of this. Read the rest

Campaigners search Londoners' phones to help them understand the Snoopers Charter

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Campaigners from Liberty, a civil liberties group, took to the streets of London (and the lobby of the Home Office!) and grabbed peoples' phones, browsing them while explaining that they just wanted to build a detailed dossier of their lives by looking at their communications, browsing history and location data -- mirroring the way that the Snoopers Charter, pending mass surveillance legislation, will allow UK government agencies to harvest "bulk data" and store and search it, without suspicion or warrant. (via B2FXXX) Read the rest

Hacking Team supplied cyber-weapons to corrupt Latin American governments for human rights abuses


In Hacking Team Malware Para La Vigilancia en América Latina, a new report from Derechos Digitales, we learn how Hacking Team, the hacked-and-disgraced cyber-arms dealer (previously) supplied weapons to corrupt state actors in latinamerica who used them to spy on political opposition, journalists and academics. Read the rest

Judge says Citibank's law-school loan isn't "student debt" and can be discharged in bankruptcy


The most toxic debt in America is student debt: your student loans (originated by universities, backed by the federal government, and handed off to banks, who securitize them) are subject to virtually unlimited (and uncontestable) penalties and fees, and are immune to bankruptcy, and are the only form of debt that can be taken out of your Social Security. Read the rest

CNBC's secure password tutorial sent your password in the clear to 30 advertisers


CNBC's Big Crunch blog put up a well-intentioned, but disastrously designed tutorial on secure password creation, which invited users to paste their passwords into a field to have them graded on how difficult it would be to guess them. Read the rest

GOP's anti-abortion strategy could establish precedent for massive, corrupt regulation


The US Republican Party welds together two separate and sometimes conflicting ideologies: dogwhistles to Christian conservatives on abortion, LGBTQ issues, etc; and a doctrinaire commitment to "free markets" and deregulation, often at the expense of the working class Christian conservatives whose votes are coaxed forth with the campaign dollars funded by the one percenter beneficiaries of the deregulation movement. Read the rest

Uber uses customer service reps to push anti-union message to drivers


Once Seattle became the first city where Uber drivers were allowed to unionize, the drivers started getting "customer service" calls that polled them on their satisfaction with the company, while ham-handedly pushing anti-union messages. Read the rest

Politician given green-light to name developer's new streets with synonyms for greed and deceit


A New York State Supreme Court judge has confirmed that Staten Island Borough President James Oddo can name three streets in a new property development with words that imply greediness and deceitfulness on the part of the developers. Read the rest

Copyright trolls who claimed to own "Happy Birthday" will pay $14M to their "customers"


For decades, Warner/Chappell Music claimed to own the rights to the Happy Birthday song, despite the reams of copyright scholarship and historical research showing they had no legitimate claim. Read the rest

Disney's prized theme-park no-fly zone means it can't use drones in its firework shows


Disney won its war on overflights by planes towing advertising banners in 2003, winning the only no-fly zone over a theme-park in the USA. Read the rest

Go Home Malheur: pledging money to causes that #yallqaeda hate


Janna sez, "For as little as a dollar a day, you can help demoralize the Bundy Militants. Funds raised will support causes the Bundy Bunch hate; per the Oregonian, monies raised will be donated to a gun control campaign, a group that supports the wildlife refuge the occupiers want to privatize, an organization that has labeled Bundy and company as extremists, and the Native American tribe whose members claim the refuge as their ancestral land." Read the rest

Bernie Sanders campaign withdraws bogus copyright threat against Wikipedia


A terse update to the Wikimedia page for DMCA notices confirms that the Sanders campaign has withdrawn the legal threat it sent to the organization yesterday over its hosting of copies of campaign logos and designs. (Thanks, Tomasz!) Read the rest

How an obsessive jailhouse lawyer revealed the existence of Stingray surveillance devices


Daniel Rigmaiden was a prolific and talented fraudster who made more than a million dollars filing tax-returns for dead people, using ninja forgery skills and super-tight operational security to avoid arrest for years. Read the rest

Now that they know the NSA is spying on them, Congress is really worried about domestic surveillance


It's not just Rep Pete Hoekstra [R-MI] who switched sides in the surveillance debate when he discovered that his beloved NSA had been spying on him -- a whole raft of Congressional NSA cheerleaders have followed the path that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the entire UK Parliament blazed when they learned that, as far as spies were concerned, no one was exempt. Read the rest

"Je Suis Charlie," but your free speech is terrorism


It's been a year since the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack and the subsequent outpouring of defense of free speech from all quarters -- the insistence that free societies demand tolerance of viewpoints, even deeply offensive ones. Read the rest

India's telcoms regulator says it will ignore Facebook's astroturf army

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Facebook's misleading, high budget astroturf campaign sent over 14 lakh (1.4m) comments to TRAI, the Indian telcoms regulator, almost none of which responded to the questions raised in the regulator's Net Neutrality consultation paper. Read the rest

NSA's biggest congressional apologist is outraged that the NSA spied on him and Israel


Rep Pete Hoekstra [R-MI] calls spying "a matter of fact," he attacked a bill that would impose oversight on the NSA, and he "laughs at foreign governments who are shocked they’ve been spied on because they, too, gather information" -- except when the targets of the NSA's surveillance are Congress and Israel's leaders. Read the rest

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