Minneapolis police are abusing copyright law to censor their controversial 'shoot-first' recruiting video

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Less than a week after an officer from a nearby force shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop, leaving him to die in front of his child and girlfriend (and the world on livestream) the Minneapolis Police Department has perjured itself in issuing a copyright takedown notice to Youtube in order to suppress a controversial recruiting video that depicted the jobs of MPD officers as being a firearms-heavy shoot-em-up. Read the rest

Australian politician investigated for perjury over fake DMCA notices to Twitter

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Kelly O'Dwyer is a politician from the Australian Liberal Party who sent Twitter DMCA notices that shut down an account that compared her to Sophie Mirabella, another Liberal politician who lost her seat in a landslide in the last election. Read the rest

Peter Thiel's lawyer threatens Gawker for talking about Donald Trump's "hair"

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Before Peter Thiel became infamous for being a thin-skinned scheming billionaire who secretly financed Hulk Hogan's lawsuit in a petty bid for revenge against Gawker for being mean to him, he was infamous for being a California delegate for Donald Trump, who shares his fondness for limiting press-freedom with exercises of coercive power. Read the rest

It's getting harder and harder to use gag clauses to silence laid off workers in America

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In America, it's common practice to make severance pay for laid-off workers contingent on signing a "nondisparagement clause" that prohibits workers from ever speaking ill of their former employers -- some contracts I've seen even prohibit revealing the existence of these clauses, combining silence with secrecy. A winning combination if you're a rapacious corporation engaged in legally questionable labor practices. Read the rest

Prestigious Pets of Dallas wants $1M from customers who said they overfed a fish

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If you hire Prestigious Pets of Dallas, TX to take care of your pets, you have to sign a sleazy nondisparagement contract through which you promise not to complain in public about the company's service. Read the rest

Salt Lake City apartment complex threatens tenants with eviction if they don't "Friend" the building

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The landlords at City Park Apartments stuck memos on their tenants' doors last week, outlining a "Facebook addendum" requiring tenants to Friend the building on Facebook or lose their lease. Read the rest

Smart-meter vendor says that if we know how their system works, the terrorists will win

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Phil Mocek filed a public records request to find out how Seattle's new smart meters -- supplied by Landis and Gyr -- will work. As Mocek writes, these meters are based on "unspecified and unverifiable sensors that monitor activity inside of private property and can communicate collected information in real-time to unspecified machines in remote locations, the workings of which are obscured from ratepayers, with interfaces used by [the city] that require specialized equipment and are thus completely unavailable to ratepayers for personal use or monitoring and verification of information communicated, is already shrouded in secrecy and seemingly proceeding despite repeated voicing of public concern and complete lack of public justification of expense." Read the rest

How British journalists talk about people they're not allowed to talk about

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The "super-injunction" (previously) is a weird feature of English and Welsh law through which the very wealthy can hire bulldog lawyers to get judges to pass an order prohibiting any newspaper or journalist from disclosing true facts about them, on pain of jail-time. Read the rest

UC Davis paid $175,000 or more to scrub police pepper spray incident from web searches

Photo: Brian Nguyen, The Aggie.

Looks like the geniuses who run UC Davis never Googled the words “Streisand Effect.”

Read the rest

Turkish government tells German ambassador to ban video satirizing president Erdoğan

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The Turkish government privately contacted Germany's ambassador to demand the censorship of a video satirizing the thin-skinned, famously corrupt Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he of the 1,000-room palace whose erection required the razing of a nature preserve. Read the rest

Honda's lawyers want Jalopnik to dox a whistleblower

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"HondAnonymous" is a commenter on Jalopnik, a Gawker site about cars, who claims to work at Honda's R&D facility. Read the rest

Listen: whistleblower story that Marineland threatens to sue journalists for disclosing

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Phil Demers worked as an animal trainer at Niagara Falls, Ontario's Marineland for 12 years before resigning because he believed that the animals in his care were being mistreated and he did not believe that his employers would listen to him or his colleagues' warnings about this. Read the rest

How a billionaire GOP rainmaker tried (and failed) to rewrite history by suing Mother Jones

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Frank VanderSloot is a major Republican donor -- he funneled more than $1M to the Romney campaign -- who is tapped to be one of the kingmakers in the party's leadership race. But the multi-level marketing nutritional supplement billionaire has a dark history he'd like to erase: his many, high-profile, vicious campaigns against gay people. Read the rest

NZ bans award-winning YA novel after complaints from conservative Christian group

Ted Dawe's Into the River won the 2013 New Zealand Post Children's Book prize; businesses that sell, lend or gift it face fines of up to NZD10,000. Read the rest

Student suspended for tweeting two words will get to sue his school, police chief

Rogers, MN honor student Reid Sagehorn was suspended after he tweeted two words, using his own device, on his own time, off school property. Read the rest

Argentine police raid programmer who discovered fatal e-voting flaws

Joaquín Sorianello found the defects in MSA, manufacturer of the Vot.ar e-voting system, and the next he heard about it was when the police came to his house, seized every piece of electronic equipment. Read the rest

Anti-corruption journalist immolated by cops, allegedly under orders from minister

Jagendra Singh reported on corruption in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on his Facebook account, which allegedly prompted Ram Murti Singh Verma, a ruling party politician, to send police to his house to burn him alive; he died a week later of his injuries. Read the rest

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