Boing Boing 

The snitch in your pocket: making sense of Stingrays


If you've been struggling to make sense of the stories about Stingrays (super-secretive cellular surveillance tech used by cops and governments) (previously) this week's Note to Self podcast does the best job I've yet seen (heard) of explaining them.

Read the rest

Seattle's tent cities


Seattle has America's fourth-largest homeless population and virtually everything homeless people do is illegal in Washington State, which has added 288 new offenses related to homelessness to its statute-books since 2000 -- amazingly, this did not convince those homeless people to stop being homeless.

Read the rest

John Oliver commissions Helen Mirren to narrate an audiobook of the CIA Torture Report

Despite a hard-fought battle to publish the CIA Torture Report, very few people have read it, including some of the report's starring villains.

Read the rest

Navy openly solicits for 0-day bugs to weaponize


A solicitation on FedBizOpps from the Navy asks security researchers to sell them their "vulnerability intelligence, exploit reports and operational exploit binaries affecting widely used and relied upon commercial software."

Read the rest

Anti-surveillance steamroller still rolling through Congress

The USA Freedom Act set the first legal limits on spying in a generation, and were immediately followed by 3 more surveillance-blocking amendments from the House, and now, a week later, there's 2 more bipartisan curbs on surveillance.

Read the rest

Being a cop just keeps on getting safer


The police will tell you that the reason they're arming up with surplus military gear and pursuing a shoot-first posture to their job is that being a cop is deadly business -- but as the saying goes, you're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Read the rest

Thousands of American kids are getting free university educations in Germany

German higher education is essentially free, even for foreign students, and many courses are conducted entirely in English.

Read the rest

How and why to default on your student loan


Lee Siegel defaulted on his student loans because it was "absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college" just because "he had the misfortune of coming from modest origins."

Read the rest

Divining the capabilities of the FBI's ubiquitous spy aircraft


The FBI has filled the skies of America's cities with covert aircraft, crisscrossing overhead, bristling with sensors and cloaked in mystery, from the shell companies that own them to the obfuscated tail-numbers they sport.

Read the rest

House easily passes further anti-surveillance amendments


The USA Freedom Act was a very timid curb on surveillance powers, but it was also the first time since the 1970s that Congress limited spies' powers -- and it won't be the last.

Read the rest

Swiss cops' dawn raid snags top FIFA officials


Six top executives of international football's (notoriously corrupt) governing body were arrested at the crack of dawn in their Zurich hotel by Swiss police acting on a US criminal corruption warrant.

Read the rest

Hedge funds buy swathes of foreclosed subprimes, force up rents, float rent-bonds


When a giant hedge fund is bidding on all the foreclosed houses in a poor neighborhood, living humans don't stand a chance -- but that's OK, because rapacious investors make great landlords.

Read the rest

Hacktivist sees too much, FBI lock him up on child-porn charges, produce no evidence


Matthew DeHart, a veteran from a multi-generational military/intelligence family, ran a Tor hidden service server for his Wow guildies, members of his old army unit, and whistleblowers.

Read the rest

America: the spatula

What says God Bless America better than a Stars and Bars spatula? (via Canopy)

Chris Christie denounces "civil liberties extremists"

Because the framers of the Constitution didn't really mean it -- after all, it's not like America had any enemies in 1776.

America's terrible trains are an ideological triumph

America's trains suck on purpose: "Ride a fast train to Washington today and you’ll start thinking about national health insurance tomorrow."

Read the rest

Stephen Harper extended music copyright to please US record industry lobbyist


Michael Geist writes, "The Canadian government's decision to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings in the budget may have taken most copyright observers by surprise, but not the music industry."

Read the rest