DoJ report: less than a quarter of one percent of wiretaps encounter any crypto


Despite all the scare talk from the FBI and the US intelligence services about terrorists "going dark" and using encrypted communications to talk with one another, the reality is that criminals are using crypto less than ever, according to the DoJ's own numbers. Read the rest

Rules for undercover cops, UK edition


In 2012, a scandal erupted in the UK when it was revealed that undercover police officers infiltrated environmental groups, seduced and impregnated their members, and then abandoned them. Read the rest

Unnamed Canadian telco sabotages' library's low-income internet service


Toronto's public libraries have followed New York and Chicago's lead in offering wifi hotspot lending to low-income families, allowing them to "check out the internet" and take it home with them. Read the rest

NSA dumps docs about its Snowden response, reveals that Snowden repeatedly raised alarms about spying


Since the earliest days of the Snowden revelations, apologists for the NSA's criminal spying program have said that Snowden should have gone "through channels" to report his concerns, rather than giving evidence to journalists and going public. Read the rest

List of things the FCC refused to reveal to Freedom Of Information Act requesters


Gizmodo's Matt Novak filed a clever request to the FCC under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): what are all the FOIA requests you've "withheld in full"? So they sent him the list. Read the rest

In 1977, the CIA's top lawyer said Espionage Act shouldn't be applied to press leaks


Yesterday, the State Department declassified and released Organization and Management of Foreign Policy: 1977-80, volume 28, a Carter-era document that includes startling statements by CIA General Counsel Anthony Lapham on the role of the WWI-era Espionage Act in prosecuting leaks of classified material to the press. Read the rest

How an engineer/public health whistleblower led the citizen scientists who busted Flint's water crisis


When Marc Edwards was a young Virginia tech engineer, he landed a job with Cadmus Group, an EPA subcontractor who'd been hired to investigate problems with the DC water-supply, but when he discovered a lead contamination crisis and refused to stop talking about it, he was fired. Read the rest

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


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

What the NSA's assault on whistleblowers taught Snowden


Investigative journalist Mark Hertsgaard's new book Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden tells the story of modern intelligence community whistleblowing; in a fantastic longread excerpted from the book, he recounts how the US military's program of punishing whistleblowers, and the officials charged with protecting them, convinced Snowden that he should take a thumbdrive full of documents directly to the media.

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The Intercept begins publishing Snowden docs


The Intercept has begun publishing a large tranche of NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden. All 166 articles from SID Today, an NSA internal newsletter, are coming in the first portion of Snowden docs that The Intercept will release, with more to come. Read the rest

FBI Director: viral videos make cops afraid to do their jobs


FBI Director James Comey told reporters that "viral video effect" (which is his latest term for what used to be called the "Ferguson effect") is responsible for increased violent crime in some US cities, in that police are scared to do their jobs because they might end up on Youtube in an unflattering video. Read the rest

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


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

America's courts are going dark


US Federal Magistrate judge Stephen William Smith sounds the alarm about the skyrocketing trend of US courts operating in secret, with their findings (or even the fact that they're hearing a case at all) sealed to scrutiny, and an ever-increasing portion of judicial action taking place in off-record arbitration. Read the rest

Panama Papers: New Zealand is the go-to money launderer for crooked Latin Americans


A joint report by RNZ, TVNZ and Nicky Hager accuses New Zealand of being at the heart of a gigantic money-laundering operation for the corrupt elites of Latin America. Read the rest

Safe Patient Project: searchable spreadsheet tells Californians whether their doc is on probation, and why

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State medical boards are hybrids: part independent regulator, part industry association. They are in charge of handing down professional probations against doctors who do wrong, but the details of which doctors are on probation, and why, are kept from patients. Read the rest

Panama Papers whistleblower issues statement, naming and shaming failed states and institutions


"John Doe," the mysterious whistleblower who released the largest-ever leak of confidential documents in world history -- papers from the Panamanian law firm Mossack-Fonseca, a key player in the offshore dark money industry -- has published their first-ever public statement. Read the rest

MEP tours the farcical viewing conditions for the TTIP text


On Monday, Greenpeace leaked the highly confidential negotiating drafts of the TTIP, a top-secret, big-business-friendly trade agreement between the USA and the EU. Read the rest

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