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


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

JoaquĆ­n Sorianello found the defects in MSA, manufacturer of the 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

Sunday Times sends copyright threat to The Intercept over critical article

The Intercept used a screenshot of the Sunday Times front page in a story that criticized the paper for its crappy, gullible, manipulative Snowden reporting. Read the rest

Legal threat against security researcher claims he violated lock's copyright

Mike Davis from Ioactive found serious flaws in the high-security the Cyberlock locks used by hospitals, airports and critical infrastructure, but when he announced his findings, he got a legal threat that cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Read the rest

Crowdfunded 3D printer shipments withheld to backers who complained about lateness

Cobblebot's crowdfunded 3D printers were supposed to ship in October, but many backers have yet to get theirs, including the "super early" backers -- and it turns out this is on purpose, as Cobblebot is deliberately withholding shipments from customers who complained online, citing a nebulous Texas defamation statute that bans statements regarding "dishonesty, fraud, rascality, or general depravity." Read the rest

United and Orbitz sue Skiplagged, a service you should totally use

Skiplagged finds cheap one-way fares by surfacing weird airline pricing strategies, like pricing a NY-SFO-Lake Tahoe flight cheaper than an NY-SFO flight, so you book all the way through to Tahoe, debark at SFO, and walk away from the final leg. Read the rest

Blackpool's Broadway Hotel fines guests £100 for negative review

The hotel had no running water, miswired electrical outlets, and a contract with fine-print that said that they'd charge your credit card £100 if you posted a negative review on the Web. Read the rest

Roca Labs sends abusive, unwarranted DMCA notices to banish negative reviews

What do you do if you sell a product on terms that legally bind your customers not to complain and they complain anyway? Pretend that the DMCA gives you the right to censor search results. Read the rest

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 for having a message board where its customers are complaining about its product. Read the rest

Pianist wants bad review taking down under EU "right to be forgotten" rules

In 2010, Dejan Lazic got a mildly critical review in the Washington Post and now he wants it taken down so people who google him won't see it anymore. Read the rest

Inside Secure threatens security researcher who demonstrated product flaws

Martin Holst Swende maintains a free/open tool for testing software that uses the (notoriously flawed) Iclass Software, which is used by Inside Secure for its RFID-based access systems. Read the rest

Right to complain: fighting back against Roca Labs

Pissedconsumer, a website that's being sued by a supplements company called Roca Labs whose diet aids come with terms-of-service that prohibit complaining about them, has filed its opposition to Roca's request for an injunction -- it's quite a read. Read the rest

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." Read the rest

Copyright troll abuses DMCA in bid to censor his previous life as a troll-fighter

DC attorney Mike Meier once worked with EFF to fight copyright trolls, whom he called "bill collectors for the movie industry...extorting money" -- now he's joined the trolls as a professional "bill collector," and now he wants evidence of his past life censored and is prepared to send outrageously bogus copyright threats to get his way. Read the rest

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