During the long years when Philippines strongman Rodrigo Duterte (previously) was mayor of Davao (circumventing term limits by periodically allowing his daughter to run for mayor and serving as her vice-mayor) the city was terrorized by death-squads who enjoyed total impunity as they assassinated police suspects and Duterte's political opponents, while Duterte cheered them on (Duterte has boasted about his participation in extrajudicial killings during this period, but has also denied participation in the death squads).
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Hereditary millionaire war-criminal and brother of Betsy DeVos Erik Prince (previously) is full of good ideas: after founding the disgraced mercenary company Blackwater (and several subsequent reboots thereof), he proposed that the US could withdraw its military from Afghanistan and instead pay him to occupy the country with a mercenary army that would brutally subjugate its people on America's behalf.
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Evan Greer from Fight for the Future writes, "At this moment in history, it's just not okay for tech companies to support government agencies that are openly violating human rights. But while Salesforce's executives have been speaking out against US immigration policies, the company is maintaining a multimillion dollar contract with US Border Patrol. We just launched DropSalesforce.com, an open letter from tons of organizations threatening to boycott Salesforce (and Heroku) if they don't cancel the contract. We're also crowdfunding BART bus ads to run near Salesforce HQ in San Fransisco during their big yearly conference. Lots of big tech companies have contracts with ICE and Border Patrol. Salesforce could be the first domino to fall."
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As Microsoft employees grow increasingly furious that their employer is a key technology provider to ICE, providing, among other things, facial recognition software, the company is responding, conscious of the possibility of a repeat of Google's showdown with its employees over the provision of AI for drone warfare systems.
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This promising new series explores artistic collaboration, and the first episode features Björk and collaborator Jesse Kanda. Read the rest
Last month, a hacker took 900GB of data from Cellebrite, an Israeli cyber-arms dealer that was revealed to be selling surveillance and hacking tools to Russia, the UAE, and Turkey. Read the rest
A leaked memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook to his staff explaining why he met with Donald Trump -- a guy who called Apple traitors for refusing to defeat their own security -- explains the rationale: "tax reform." Read the rest
IDNYC is New York City's ID card program, and it has served as a critical means for undocumented migrants to get identity papers that they can use to establish utilities accounts, bank accounts, and so on. The city has announced a change to the program's data-retention policy, vowing to purge information that might be useful in the mass deportations promised by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. Read the rest
Trump's Muslim database promise was extreme, even by Trump's standards; worse news, the US tech industry has built out a surveillance capability that would let him do it. Read the rest
Earlier this month, Henrik Moltke helped report the extent to which the massive, windowless, bombproof AT&T tower at 33 Thomas Street was implicated in illegal NSA surveillance of US and international communications, revealing that the tower was almost certainly the site referred to as TITANPOINTE in Snowden docs. Read the rest
In 2015, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer ordered the company's engineers to build a tool that scanned Yahoo Mail messages in realtime for "characters" of interest to a US security agency, either the FBI or the NSA. Read the rest
Netsweeper is a litigious cyberarms dealer that threatened to sue the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab when its researchers outed the company for its work in helping Yemen's despotic regime censor the internet; later, the company dropped its lawsuit. Read the rest