Blogging History: Banks stole $trillions worth of houses; MPAA wants your house kicked offline; Olympic brand-whoring low

One year

Unsealed court-settlement documents reveal banks stole $trillions' worth of houses: Back in 2012, the major US banks settled a federal mortgage-fraud lawsuit for $95,000,000. The suit was filed by Lynn Szymoniak, a white-collar fraud specialist, whose own house had been fraudulently foreclosed-upon. When the feds settled with the banks, the evidence detailing the scope of their fraud was sealed, but as of last week, those docs are unsealed, and Szymoniak is shouting them from the hills. The banks precipitated the subprime crash by "securitizing" mortgages — turning mortgages into bonds that could be sold to people looking for investment income — and the securitization process involved transferring title for homes several times over. This title-transfer has a formal legal procedure, and in the absence of that procedure, no sale had taken place. See where this is going?

Five years

Movie industry wants the right to take your house off the net without full judicial review: The motion-picture industry has spoken out against a New Zealand proposal to allow them to disconnect entire households from the Internet if one member is accused of copyright infringement; they want to be able to disconnect your Internet connection without giving you a chance to defend yourself in front of a judge because that would be "time consuming." Instead, they would like to be lord high executioner for your network connection, with the power to shut you out of the benefits of the network (freedom of speech, assembly and the press; access to school, health, family, work and government) without having to prove it in a real court of law.

Ten years
Olympic brand-whoring attains new, shameful low: Penalties for buying the wrong product range from confiscation of your goods to being forced to wear your t-shirt logo-side-in. The worst of it is the steaming craopla from the IOC official who says "We have to protect official sponsors who have paid millions to make the Olympics happen." Oh, rilly? Or what? They won't sponsor the Olympics anymore?