The prosecutor who helped a rich serial child rapist escape justice is now a Trump Cabinet member

In 2007, Florida multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to two felony prostitution counts in a sweetheart deal that sent him to a private wing of a minimum security prison, with a work-release program that let him go to an off-site office for 12 hours a day, six days a week, for just over a year. Prosecutors knew of at least 36 underage survivors of sex crimes committed by Epstein, but none of them were notified of the deal (this silence is a breach of federal law), and they were subsequently smeared by Epstein's lawyers who accused them of being "gold diggers." Read the rest

Man arrested for rape after his Playstation mic allegedly broadcast audio from the crime to other players

Last June, 18-year-old Daniel Fabian of Pasco County, Florida was playing Grand Theft Auto Online, when he informed the other players in his team chat that he was going to take a break to "smash" (have sex with) a 15-year-old girl. Read the rest

Florida police chief gets 3 years in prison for framing 3 innocent Black men

For framing innocent black men, a police chief in Florida will go to prison for three years. Impunity is the norm in America for cases like this, so the conviction is a big deal. Read the rest

The Florida of ballot-design mistakes is...

Florida. Read the rest

After killing disaster-recovery rules, Ajit Pai can't understand why carriers aren't helping hurricane-hit Florida

Ajit Pai is a member of the Ayn Rand/James Buchanan cult that says that any government regulation is an unfair attack on the "freedom" of business, which is why his ascendancy to the Chairmanship of the FCC under Donald Trump was attended by an orgy of deregulation -- most of us know about his senseless slaughter of Net Neutrality, but that was just for starters. Read the rest

This November, Florida may reverse more than a century of mass Black disenfranchisement

Florida is one of three states where felons who have completed their sentences are still barred from voting; it's also a notoriously inhospitable place for Black people, where the combination of racial profiling, understaffed public defenders' offices, and the threat of farcically long minimum sentences has led to 1.5 million black people with fully discharged felony convictions on their records who are nevertheless banned from voting. Read the rest

Papers sought for We Robot: Miami's eighth annual conference on robots and the law

Michael Froomkin writes, "We Robot, now heading into its 8th year, is lots of fun -- and it's also the leading North American conference on robotics law and policy. The 2019 edition will be held at the University of Miami on April 12-13, 2019, preceded by a day of special workshops on April 11. We just today opened the submissions portal for paper and demo proposals. Full details are in the Call for Papers. Read the rest

Florida sheriff makes reasonable stand-your-ground shooting sound like casual murder

Jason Boek swerved his truck in front of an Uber driver at 2 a.m., forced him to pull over, then approached his vehicle while claiming to have a pistol and threatening to shoot. Boek was stalking a woman and under the mistaken impression she was a passenger in the vehicle. The Uber driver, Robert Westlake, pulled his own gun and shot Boek once, killing him.

Given the violent threat and the dangerous circumstances, no-one's in trouble: Westlake even performed CPR and called 911, to no avail. But here's the local sheriff to put the unique stamp of Florida on it all:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Mr Boek was a "goofball".

"Here's a message for the hotheads of the community: don't do that stuff," the sheriff said.

"Good people carry guns and they will shoot you. A lot. Graveyard dead."

Read the rest

11-year-old hacks replica of Florida's state election website in less than ten minutes

Can we please have paper ballots nationwide?

Last week at DEFCON 26 in Las Vegas, eleven-year-old Emmett Brewer hacked into a replica of Florida's state election site and changed the voting results. That's scary enough. What's even scarier is that it took him less than ten minutes. An eleven-year-old girl was able to hack into the same site in about fifteen minutes. And more than THIRTY kids were able to hack into replicas of other states' sites in less than half an hour.

That is straight up alarming and you'd think the folks in charge of our state and federal elections would be concerned about this and want to take immediate action. That would be the normal reaction. But we're a long way from normal.

In a statement regarding the event, the National Association of Secretaries of State said it is “ready to work with civic-minded members of the DEFCON community wanting to become part of a proactive team effort to secure our elections.” But the organization expressed skepticism over the hackers’ abilities to access the actual state websites.

“It would be extremely difficult to replicate these systems since many states utilize unique networks and custom-built databases with new and updated security protocols,” it read. “While it is undeniable websites are vulnerable to hackers, election night reporting websites are only used to publish preliminary, unofficial results for the public and the media. The sites are not connected to vote counting equipment and could never change actual election results.”’

I'm sure we'll be fine, though. Read the rest

Florida's prisons change tech providers, wipe out $11.2m worth of music purchased by prisoners

For seven years, Florida state inmates could buy a $100 MP3 player from Access Corrections, the prisons' exclusive provider, and stock it with MP3s that cost $1.70 -- nearly double the going rate in the free world. Read the rest

Florida youth voter registration up 41% since Parkland shooting

The only thing worse than a horrific tragedy is a horrific tragedy from which nothing decent is salvaged. Florida's youth voter registration is up 41% since the Parkland shooting and the ensuing Republican Party indifference to mass-murder and open contempt for young gun-control advocates. Florida is the nation's largest swing state. 2018 is an election year. (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

Florida man goes ape over $4 bundt cake coupon, may lose $204,000 job

Richard Salamon, the city planner for Sunrise, Florida, apparently got so nasty after a bundt cake store wouldn't honor his expired coupon that his job is up for review with city commissioners. Read the rest

Adventure House: the sequel to the Haunted Mansion that never was

In 1976, Walt Disney World was riding high: the oil crisis was over, tourists were flocking back to Florida, and the successful bicentennial celebration at the Florida Disney resort had been national news. Read the rest

Feds indict Florida police chief who framed a teen for burglaries so he could boast about perfect record

Raimundo Atesiano was chief of the Biscayne Park Police Department in 2013, and he was proud to boast about his department's 100% clearance rate for burglaries -- but according to federal prosecutors who just indicted him, Atesiano conspired with two of his officers to frame a 16-year-old child for unsolved burglaries so that they could impress local officials. Read the rest

Jimmy Fallon surprised Parkland high school grads by speaking at their commencement ceremony

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's class of 2018 got a surprise visit from late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon on Sunday. He took the stage at their graduation ceremony to deliver a humorous and heartfelt commencement speech.

When you think of commencement speakers, you think of people who are inspirational, people who are eloquent, people who've changed the world. When you think of high school students, you think of people who are immature, slightly awkward, still learning to be an adult.

Welcome to "Opposite Day."

The Parkland, Florida students were the survivors of the shooting that happened nearly four months ago on their campus. Seventeen of their classmates and school staff died in the tragedy on February 14, 2018.

Fallon said he and his wife and two young girls to the ceremony because "we wanted them to see what hope and light looks like."

Watch his full speech in the video above.

Read the rest

Tax-funded charter schools textbooks deny evolution, teach human-dinosaur cohabitation, endorse slavery and indigenous genocide

2,000 US schools use textbooks from Abeka, BJU Press and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), including tax-funded charter schools across America; students who learn from these texts are taught that God wanted Protestantism to flourish in North America and that Catholocism is not a true faith; that it was better Africans to be enslaved and come to "know Christ" than to be free but not Christian; that evolution is untrue; that humans and dinosaurs lived together (and that Noah brought baby dinosaurs on the ark); that the Loch Ness monster is real; that "abortion, gay rights and the Endangered Species Act" are part of a "radical social agenda"; that nonwhites are inferior (60% of the tax-funded scholarship students at charter schools come from racialized minorities and are thus taught that they are racially inferior to their white schoolmates). Read the rest

Amazon has been quietly selling its facial recognition system to US police forces, marketing it for bodycam use

Amazon bills its Rekognition image classification system as a "deep learning-based image and video analysis" system; it markets the system to US police forces for use in analyzing security camera footage, including feeds from police officers' bodycams. Read the rest

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