UK police rely heavily on cyberweapons but won't answer any questions about them

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The UK police and security services have frequently touted the necessity of "equipment interference" techniques -- cyberweapons used to infect suspects' computers -- in their investigations, but they have refused to release any information about their use in response to 40 Freedom of Information requests from Motherboard. Read the rest

Copyright infringement "gang" raided by UK cops: 3 harmless middle-aged karaoke fans

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The City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit's breathless press-release about their raid on a "gang suspected of uploading and distributing tens of thousands of karaoke tracks online" obscures the truth: they busted three middle-aged dudes who loved singing, so they hunted down otherwise unavailable tracks and shared them with other karaoke fans, not making a penny in the process. Read the rest

In Texas, a 12 year old Sikh boy was arrested for "terrorism" over a solar charger

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Dallas cops put Armaan Singh Sarai in jail for three days because someone mistook the solar panel on his phone-charging backpack for a bomb. Read the rest

Cops have way more rights than you do

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When you get arrested, what happens next depends on the law and the Constitution, but when a cop arrests their co-worker, what happens next is determined by a cushy contract between the police union and the city that gives suspected crooked law enforcement officers every benefit of the doubt, and lots of ways to walk away free, regardless of the facts. Read the rest

LEAKED: The secret catalog American law enforcement orders cellphone-spying gear from

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The Intercept has obtained a secret government catalog that law enforcement agencies use to source even-more-secret cellular spying devices, mostly variants on the Read the rest

Policeman who wanted photos of teen penis in sext case kills self

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A cop who convinced a judge to let him take photos of a 17-year-old boy's erect penis has killed himself after being accused of having an "inappropriate relationship" with another underage teen.

David Edward Abbott, a member of a Crimes Against Children taskforce, obtained a warrant to "inject a young boy with a drug that would cause an erection" after the teen sent a dick pic to his 15-year-old girlfriend. The ostensible plan: to match one pic to the other to prove they were the same penis.

Amid a public outcry, the Manassas City police eventually decided against doing that. The 17-year-old boy got a year of probation for sexting his teen girlfriend… The authorities went to arrest Abbott, 39, on Tuesday. [...] Abbott had an inappropriate relationship with a boy, now 13, police alleged. He was accused of soliciting sexual acts on the phone, via text messages and social media. Abbott was also accused of having an "inappropriate relationship with a second male victim" affiliated with the Prince William County hockey league.

If you're wondering whether Manassas is a safe environment for children, it's best you know that the Manassas City Police Department is standing by their man, to whom they remain "grateful."

This is a tragic and sad day for the Abbott family, the juvenile victims and their families, the Manassas City Police Department, and our community. In spite of these recent developments regarding the serious allegations against him, we are grateful for the contributions Det. Abbott made during his time with Manassas City Police, to include the prosecution and conviction of hundreds of criminals.

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LAPD investigated 1356 complaints of racial profiling, decided they were all without merit

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The LAPD received 1,356 complaints of "biased policing" (AKA racial profiling) from 2012-2014, but after investigating them, the investigating officials decided that their co-workers had done nothing wrong -- ever. Read the rest

In the data, Chicago's crooked cops are so obvious they practically glow

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As Chicago's mayor/kingmaker/kingpin Rahm Emanuel grins at the chorus demanding his resignation for his role in covering up video showing that Chicago PD officers shot a man 16 times, lied about it, and confiscated and destroyed all the evidence they could find, the Five Thirty-Eight blog looks at the data on Chicago's dirtiest cops. Read the rest

Cop who demanded photo of sexting-accused teen's penis commits suicide

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Detective David Edward Abbott, a member of the Virginia-Washington DC Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force became Internet famous when he obtained a warrant to inject a child with an erection-causing drug so that he could photograph the child's erect penis and compare it to an image sexted to another child. Read the rest

Backslash: a toolkit for protesters facing hyper-militarized, surveillance-heavy police

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Backslash -- an "art/design" project from NYU Interactive Technology Program researchers Xuedi Chen and Pedro G. C. Oliveira -- is a set of high-tech tools for protesters facing down a "hyper-militarized," surviellance-heavy state adversary, including a device to help protesters keep clear of police kettles; a jammer to foil Stingray mobile-phone surveillance; a mesh-networking router; a "personal cloud" that tries to mirror photos and videos from a protest to an offsite location; and tools for covertly signalling situational reports to other protesters. Read the rest

FBI tells tech companies offering encryption to reconsider “their business model”

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Despite zero indication the people responsible for recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino used encryption, the FBI is launching an all-out PR war on crypto.

Now, FBI director James Comey is making tech firms that offer end-to-end encryption tools an offer they can't refuse: they should reconsider “their business model,” he said today, and instead adopt encryption techniques that let them intercept communications, and hand them over to law enforcement when asked.

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New crowdfunding campaign to help local independent journalists hold police accountable

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Today Freedom of the Press Foundation is proud to announce a new crowd-funding campaign that will fund local journalists around the United States to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other transparency lawsuits aimed at uncovering video evidence of police misconduct and brutality against unarmed men and women. You can donate to the fund here.

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Video of 5 San Francisco police officers shooting a Black man dead goes viral

Photo: @Daniggahot on Instagram

In a now-viral police killing video captured in San Francisco, a 26-year-old man stands up against a wall as a group of police officers aim their guns at him. Mario Woods, 26, was then shot to death, execution-style.

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A profile of America's killingest cops: the police of Kern County, CA

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The predominantly white police of predominantly black and Latino, Tea-Party-governed Kern County, California kill more people per capita than any other force in America. The Guardian's Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland and Mae Ryan have produced an amazing, deep, interactive profile of a force whose killings are investigated internally and cursorily recorded in a poor, remote area with high unemployment and a meth epidemic. Read the rest

The word "taser" comes from an old racist science fiction novel

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Taser inventor Jack Cover named his gadget after a zapper from Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle, a 1911 YA science fiction novel by Victor Appleton that tells the story of a hero who travels to Africa to get rich by killing elephants for their ivory, and who encounters racist caricatures of "natives" who he fights off with his "electric rifle." Read the rest

Molly Crabapple's memoir DRAWING BLOOD: preview and a giveaway

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A Canadian teenager used America's militarized cops to terrorize women gamers for years

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If you're a woman on the Internet, harassment comes with the territory. There have been jerky dudes since time immemorial, after all. But with the advent of America's militarized cops, sociopathic misogynists have a new, deadly force-multiplier in their war on women. Read the rest

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