Cambridge Analytica data-raid: the number is "much greater than 87 million"

Brittany Kaiser is an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee who gave written testimony and answered questions at the UK Parliament this week in which she revealed that the Facebook apps that Cambridge Analytica used to covertly gain access to millions of users' data went far beyond the ones disclosed to date, and that the number of total users implicated is "much greater than 87 million." Read the rest

Contrasting perspectives on the meaning of the raid on Michael Cohen's office

It's hard to know what to make of the raid on Trump family lawyer/bagman/fixer Michael Cohen's office -- there's been plenty of news tick-tock on the subject and legal experts agree that something momentous is going on, but what, exactly, does it all mean. Read the rest

Prosecutors got 'covert' warrants to search Michael Cohen's email, here's what we know of their findings

A court filing in the case of President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen shows that prosecutors obtained “covert” search warrants on multiple email accounts belonging to Cohen. An early report says “Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work,” according to sources, and “zero emails were exchanged with President Trump.”

If that's the case, attorney-client privilege doesn't apply.

According to all that is publicly known, Trump does not use email, personally. Others may read out the contents to him, or print out the messages. But he doesn't email.

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Modern NDAs are unbelievably dirty, and the same handful of sleazy lawyers is behind most of them

Non-disclosure agreements were designed to protect trade-secrets, but they've morphed into a system for covering up misdeeds, silencing whistleblowers, and suborning perjury -- often at taxpayer expense. Read the rest

The Congressjerks who will grill Zuckerberg this week are a rogue's gallery of Facebook donation recipients

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to give Mark Zuckerberg a public drubbing on Wednesday morning, sticking up for America and sticking it to the reckless, feckless CEO of a giant digital monopolist who has distorted our discourse to sell us soap and only grudgingly feigned surprise when he was informed that his machine had also been used in an attempt to win an election by trickery. Read the rest

Scott Pruitt is such a colossal asshole that the lobbyists who were bribing him with nearly-free lodgings evicted him

Scott Pruitt, an asshole, was Donald Trump's pick to head the EPA. Read the rest

Chinese surveillance/tech giant Alibaba joins ALEC, will start co-authoring US legislation

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a big-business think-tank that authors "model legislation" at the local, state and national level that benefits corporations at the expense of everyday people; their greatest hits make for scary reading -- you can thank ALEC for ag-gag laws, stand-your-ground laws, private prisons, bans on municipal ISPs, killing Obamacare and jailing pipeline protesters. Read the rest

Alabama Sheriff legally appropriated $750K from prison meal budgets to build himself a beach house, locked up his whistleblowing gardener

Etowah, Alabama County Sheriff Todd Entrekin took advantage of a Great-Depression-era rule that lets the sheriff pocket any "excess" from the budget for prisoner meals (provided he makes up any shortfall from his own finances) and used $750,000 that had been allocated to feed prisoners to build himself a luxury beach house. When his gardener tipped off a Birmingham News reporter, the gardener was locked up in the Sheriff's jail on mysterious drug charges. Read the rest

EFF awards the Foilies to the government agencies with the worst transparency for 2018

The annual Foilie Awards are out; the Electronic Frontier Foundation hands out these sardonic "awards" to the government entities whose Freedom of Information Act responses were the most heel-dragging, kakfaesque, and pointless. Read the rest

FCC chairman Ajit Pai receives heaps of insults after tweeting about his love for The Big Lebowski

Ajit Pai used his power as FCC Chairman to kill net neutrality.

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Corruption Perception Index 2018

The United States is a bit more corrupt than tight-arsed northern European and richer Commonwealth nations, but isn't particularly corrupt all considered. Trump's slackin'! Movers and shakers: Britain itself cleaned up its act after years of politicans dipping into the public kitty, but Australia's slipping--reportedly a crisis of perception more than actual corruption, but alarming all the same.

Since 2012, several countries significantly improved their index score, including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and the United Kingdom, while several countries declined, including Syria, Yemen and Australia.

Here's the least corrupt/

1. New Zealand 2. Denmark 3. Finland, Norway, Switzerland 6. Singapore, Sweden 8. Canada, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom

16. United States

And the most corrupt.

180. Somalia 179. South Sudan 178. Syria 177. Afghanistan 175. Yemen, Sudan 171. Lybia, North Korea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea

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Online security is a disaster and the people who investigate it are being sued into silence

The only thing worse than driving a car with defective brakes is unknowingly driving a car with defective brakes -- and learning about them the hard way. Read the rest

Students substitute gun control protest for active shooter drill

After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students at MDI High School in Bar Harbor, Maine were scheduled to have a routine lock-down drill, in which students practice how to behave if their school is the site of a similar mass shooting; these drills teach children to sacrifice themselves by distracting the shooter before they are murdered in order to give other students a few more seconds during which the police might arrive and kill the shooter. Read the rest

Corbyn says he'll end asset-stripping hostile takeovers

Labour leader and PM-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn has promised that when he is Prime Minister, his government will introduce regulations that ban the finance-driven, asset-stripping hostile takeovers of UK companies, in a bid to make finance the "servants of industry not the masters of us all." Read the rest

Wells Fargo admits it ripped off its customers, creates low-response-rate opt-in system for its victims to get paid back

Wells Fargo has admitted wrongdoing in defrauding 110,000 mortgage borrowers, and to make good on it, they're sending out letters that look like junk-mail, containing a form that customers have to fill in to confirm that they want their stolen money back; if Wells doesn't get a reply, it will assume that those customers are donating their settlements back to the bank's shareholders. Read the rest

FCC opens corruption investigation into Ajit Pai, who likes to joke about being a corporate puppet

Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's tenure has been marked by a disregard for the rules under which his agency is legally bound to operate: his Net Neutrality killing order was made without satisfying the evidentiary burden required by law, on the basis of laughable lies (including more than a million fake anti-Neutrality comments from bots pretending to be dead people, nonexsitent people and people who support Net Neutrality) that even his own agency knew to be false, then stonewalling law enforcement attempts to identify the botmasters -- no surprise that Pai's Neutracide is going to be tied up in court for years. Read the rest

The West Virginia Democrat candidate who was dragged away for calling out gas-money-dependent lawmakers has raised record-breaking sums

When Lissa Lucas stood up at a public meeting of the West Virginia legislature and read into the record the gas-industry campaign contributions that lawmakers had received prior to taking a favorable view on allowing gas-drillers to drill in West Virginians' property, she was dragged out of the chamber. Read the rest

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