Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador the front-running candidate for president of Mexico on a largely progressive ticket (tuition breaks, increased aid to seniors, drug war amnesty, though it's a mixed bag, reflecting the weird coalition of left-wing and right-wing parties he's fronting); and he is the target of a bizarre, mass-scale disinformation campaign being carried out by blanket robo-calling.
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2016 wasn't Cambridge Analytica's first rodeo; in 2014, they worked for Republicans in races across the country.
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Michael Madigan has served as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party for 20 years (prior to that, he was Speaker of the Illinois House for decades); if you donated to the party in Illinois, Mr Madigan used your money to fund mailers that smeared progressive Democratic hopefuls as being secret Tea Party members, Donald Trump supporters and opponents of universal health care.
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The Security Innovation Center is a lobbying group backed by CompTIA, CTIA, TechNet and the Consumer Technology Association for the express purpose of fighting laws that would legalize repairing your own property, or choosing to have it repaired by third parties.
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Wisconsin governor Scott Walker -- whose reign has been haunted by scandal and propped up by out-of-state dark money -- has announced that he will not call special elections to fill seats in the Wisconsin legislature, following on from Democratic upsets in state Republican strongholds.
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North Carolina is one of several Republican-held states whose legislatures have created bizarre, misshapen and fundamentally, provably unfair electoral maps that ensure that the votes of Democrats in their states almost never result in representation by Democratic lawmakers.
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The workers at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi are attempting to organize under the United Auto Workers, but Nissan is fighting the "nastiest anti-union campaign" in modern history, breaking the law so egregiously that even Trump's National Labor Relations Board has filed a series of complaints against the company. Read the rest
Cambridge Analytica is a dirty, Dementor-focused big data research outfit that provided the analysis and psych profiles that the Trump campaign used in its electioneering; because its parent company is in the UK, it is required (under EU law) to send you its dossier on you for £10. Read the rest
Thomas writes, "Shortly after closing a post-election special session to fund relief for counties afflicted by flooding from Hurricane Matthew or mountain wildfires, North Carolina GOP legislative leaders announced a second special session to begin the same day with an open agenda. The docket was filled with 21 House bills, some of which stripped Democratic Governor Elect Roy Cooper of substantial control over the executive branch. This is a coup attempt, an effort to undermine the results of a highly scrutinized election." Read the rest
It's been just over a year since Jeremy Corbyn won the UK Labour Party leadership race with the biggest margin in history -- an avowed socialist who would reverse the party's years of special gifts to the UK's legendarily corrupt finance sector, fight mass surveillance, pull out of secretive trade deals -- a frugal man who walked his talk. Read the rest
Palmer Luckey is the founder of virtual reality tech firm Oculus, which was bought by Facebook for $2 billion. With a portion of his huge pile of Oculus cash, Luckey is funding a pro-Donald Trump “shitposting” tactical team that churns out racist, sexist, hatey anti-Hillary Clinton memes and works to make them go viral.
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The parallels between the Bernie Sanders insurgency and the vicious UK Labour Party fight over its left-leaning, incredibly popular leader Jeremy Corbyn keep on coming: now there's a Labour analogue to Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the corrupt, hawkish, disgraced former chair of the DNC, who was forced to resign after the DNC email leak revealed her extensive dirty-tricks campaign against Bernie Sanders. Read the rest
In 1971 the Young Socialist Alliance ended its policy of barring gays. The FBI's San Diego office seized on this announcement "to play on people's bigotries to dissuade them from joining a political organization" by creating these fliers, says Jesse Walker of the Hit & Run blog. The FBI also made another flier with women's names and said the organization was "now accepting 'les' membership."
FBI headquarters wholeheartedly approved of the smear campaign: "Bureau feels preparation of leaflets as requested in relet has merit, and you are authorized to duplicate sufficient copies on commercially obtained paper to have posted on various bulletin boards where they might be seen by majority of students at San Diego State College. It is hopeful this action will have desired effect of dissuading would-be new recruits from membership in YSA." Read the rest
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a non-profit that gets its funding from private donors, foundations, and news organizations. But it's also operated out of offices on the campus of the University of Wisconsin - Madison and students from the school have had access to paid internships and other perks of the University and the WCIJ working together. Early Wednesday morning, the Wisconsin legislature's Joint Finance Committee put a stop to that nonsense — kicking the WCIJ off campus and prohibiting professors from working with the center.
No explanation has been given. Although, as Inside Higher Ed points out, the co-chair of that committee (and the person who introduced the bill) is State Rep. John Nygren — who was a key figure in a 2011 WCIJ story about how the auto insurance industry was influencing legislation through donations to representatives, including Nygren. Read the rest
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a comprehensive, multi-lingual guide to keeping sites that are undergoing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks alive.
Denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are increasingly common phenomena, used by a variety of actors—from activists to governments—to temporarily or indefinitely prevent a site from functioning efficiently. Often, the attack saturates the target with server requests designed to flood its bandwidth, leaving the server unable to respond to legitimate traffic.
Though the owners of major sites often have the resources to fend off or even prevent such attacks, smaller sites—such as those belonging to small independent media or human rights organizations—are sometimes permanently disabled due to a lack of resources or knowledge.
This guide aims to assist the owners of such websites by providing advice on choosing an appropriate webhost, as well as a guide to mirroring and backing-up their websites so that the content can be made available elsewhere even if their site is taken down by a DoS or DDoS attack.
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A 30-page document containing the master anti-piracy strategy for IFPI (the umbrella group for all the record labels' national associations, like the RIAA and BPI) has leaked. The document, written by IFPI chief anti-piracy officer Mo Ali, has gotten into the hands of TorrentFreak. TorrentFreak's Enigmax summarizes the document in some detail:
Dealing with Internet service providers
In common with cyberlockers, IFPI have a set of rules they’d like to impose on Internet service providers. According to the industry group, ISPs should not provide Internet access to infringing sites, services or even unidentified customers. Furthermore, ISPs are required to “Implement a system of graduated response for infringing P2P users including warnings to an effective deterrent sanction.”
ISPs are also required by IFPI to block access to infringing sites and services “located outside the local jurisdiction.” The chart below shows where blocking orders have been obtained (prior to April 2012) and how they are carried out.
Surprisingly, despite reports mounting to the contrary, IFPI seems to think that site blocking is an almost perfect solution to counter infringement.
“The effectiveness of such a ‘block’ will depend on the determination of the ISP subscriber
and the content/website provider to maintain access to each other and to use circumvention techniques to bypass blocking techniques,” they write.
“There is evidence to suggest that there is limited (between 3% and 5%) adoption of these circumvention techniques although subscribers with more technical knowledge could look to circumvent ISP controls using virtual private networks (VPN) or anonymous proxies.”
Leaked Report Reveals Music Industry’s Global Anti-Piracy Strategy
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Public Knowledge, a public interest group fighting SOPA and PIPA, believes that its email to supporters has been plagiarized by its rivals, Creative America, an MPAA-funded astroturf group that lobbies in favor of PIPA. The copyright lobby sent a note to supporters that had a number of similarities (including word-for-word lifts) to a Public Knowledge email sent four days earlier. It's all fair use, of course, but then again, the MPAA claims that fair use isn't a right, and that no one should rely on it, and that anyone who wants to quote someone else should always get permission. Read the rest