300 prominent economists call on world governments to end tax haven secrecy

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Oxfam has published an open letter signed by hundreds of respected economists, including Thomas Piketty, which describes tax havens as "serving no useful economic purpose." Read the rest

Petition: David Attenborough to change his name to "Boaty McBoatface"

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After the public overwhelmingly voted to name a new British Natural Environment Research Council vessel "Boaty McBoatface," the UK government pulled a switcheroo, declaring the will of the people to be secondary to the judgment of humourless bureaucrats, and summarily named the ship the R.R.S. David Attenborough. Read the rest

Petition to reassign head of Canada Post to deliver letters at $500k/year

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Derryl Murphy writes, "Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra (I know) a new contract a month before the election when he still had time on his contract, and Chopra's working hard to pillage the postal system in Canada. So I did this up for a little fun, but the word needs to get out there." Read the rest

Cassetteboy's latest video is an amazing, danceable anti-Snoopers Charter mashup

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Cassetteboy, last seen with this amazing video about David Cameron's relationship with dead pigs, is back with a new video that mashes up the UK Prime Minister and Home Secretary/Sith Lord Theresa May describing the real powers in the notorious Snoopers Charter (a far-reaching spying bill), set to the Police's "I'll Be Watching You" (what else?). Read the rest

Tell your lawmaker: approve the amazing, copyfighting, surveillance-hating new Librarian of Congress!

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Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The Librarian of Congress is a pretty obscure position in our government, but they have a huge impact on our Internet freedom. They have a major say in things like fair use, DMCA implementation, phone unlocking, and online access -- things that affect all of us." Read the rest

Petition to make the Ackermansion an historic site

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Forrest J Ackerman -- editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, collector, agent, writer, and superfan -- died in 2008. Read the rest

Michael Moore: Flint needs a revolution, not bottled water

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Michael Moore, perhaps Flint, MI's most famous son, has written an open letter to people who are heartsick at the thought of a whole generation of mostly poor, mostly black children being given permanent brain damage through lead poisoning, thanks to the deliberate indifference of the state's Republican administration and the greedy people who elected them. Read the rest

DOT EVERYONE: a UK institution to promote the public, civic, noncommercial Internet

Martha Lane Fox, the UK's first Champion for Digital Inclusion and occasional Boing Boing contributor, has given a spectacular speech in which she calls on the UK government to create a public-service Internet institution called Dot Everyone, to make the UK the most digital nation on the planet, in a way that promotes "the civic, public and non-commercial." Read the rest

Toronto's public library under threat from Rob Ford's Library Board

The Toronto Library Board appointed by the disgraced former mayor Rob Ford has continued its programme of cutting library budgets, cutting way past the bone and threatening the Toronto public library system altogether. Read the rest

Petition: remove child-specific antipersonnel device from Welsh library

The Port Authority in the Welsh town of Milford has installed a "Mosquito" -- a sonic weapon that produces tones that are mostly perceptible to children and teenagers -- at the library, where it has been used during opening hours. Read the rest

Last chance to save Net Neutrality

Only 36 hours are left to comment on the FCC's proposal to allow for Net Neutrality-shredding "Internet fast lanes" that let phone companies pick Internet winners and losers—it's time to act.

Petition against UK sell-off of private tax data

Pam writes, "The Open Rights Group has set up a petition in response to last week's news that the British government is planning to sell access to private tax records." Read the rest

Tell Congress to legalize unlocking your phone

Sherwin from Public Knowledge writes, "The Copyright Office and the Library of Congress think that copyright law and the DMCA make it illegal to unlock your phone and take it to a new carrier. This is plainly ridiculous: a year ago, 114,000 Americans wrote the White House to tell them that, and the White House agreed. So did the FCC. And, eventually, so did the phone companies, who say they'll work to unlock most consumers' phones for them. But the law has stayed the same. It's still illegal for you, even if you've paid off your entire contract, to take it upon yourself to unlock your own phone." Read the rest

EU elections: ask candidates to sign digital rights pledge

Kirsten From Edri writes, "European Digital Rights (EDRi) has launched WePromise.EU to put digital civil rights on the agenda of the European election. The platform is based on a two-sided promise: On the one hand, parliamentary candidates will be able to endorse a ten point 'Charter of Digital Rights' that supports an open digital environment. On the other, citizens across Europe can in turn sign the petition and promise to vote for candidates that have endorsed the Charter." Read the rest

Parents of Buddhist student sue "Bible Belt" Louisiana school over forced prayer, religious discrimination

The ACLU is representing Scott and Sharon Lane, the parents of a child known in the proceedings as "CC," in a case against the Sabine Parish, Louisiana School Board, where their child was ridiculed for his Buddhist faith, and was forced to endure Christian indoctrination, including forced prayer, in the class. They say that their son's sixth grade curriculum included exam questions like "ISN'T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (the correct answer was "LORD"). The school superintendent told them that they had no business being upset by this, because the school is in the Bible Belt, and he recommended sending the child to a school 25 miles away where there were "more Asians."

The ACLU is calling on supporters of the Lanes and CC to sign a petition to Attorney General Eric Holder, asking for a "an immediate investigation into unlawful religious discrimination in Sabine Parish public schools."

To the right, the charming logo of Negreet High, whose school team is the "Negreet Indians." Read the rest

30,000 more signatures needed, then Obama will have to take a position on warrantless access to email and texts

Holmes from Fight for the Future writes, "Think local police in America should be able to read your emails and texts without a warrant? No? Well right now they can. Want to fix that? Then please sign this 'We the People' petition asking Obama for a response. It's at 70,000 signatures and it needs 100,000 by tomorrow for a response. It's tantalizingly close. Once the petition hits 100,000 signatures, Obama must take a position, and movement in Congress becomes much more likely." Read the rest

Writers against mass surveillance

A group of writers from around the world, including Nobel laureates, have signed onto a petition calling on the world's governments to limit online surveillance. I was honored to be asked to be among the initial signatories, in good company with the likes of Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Martin Amis, Günter Grass, Pico Ayer, Will Self, Irvine Welsh, Jeanette Winterson, Lionel Shriver, Paul Auster, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, and many, many others. The petition is now open for your signature in support of a set of simple, important core principles: Read the rest

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