In this video from the Recode conference, an interesting reveal of what Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos thinks of the legal battle between Peter Thiel and Gawker, with Hulk Hogan as a most unfortunate proxy. Bezos is full of surprising insights here, and offers Thiel some tough love.
The only effective defense public figures like Thiel have against their critics, says Bezos: “Develop a thick skin.” Read the rest
Andrei Bubeyev, a 40-year-old electrician from Russia, was sent to prison for sharing a picture of a toothpaste tube with the words: "Squeeze Russia out of yourself!" with 12 friends.
From ABC News:
Read the rest
In spring 2015, [Bubeyev] left town to work on a rural construction site. After investigators couldn't get through to him on the phone, they put him on a wanted list as an extremism suspect. When Bubeyev stopped by to visit his wife and young son at their country cottage, a SWAT team stormed in and arrested him.
His wife now lives alone with their 4-year-old son in a sparsely furnished apartment on the ground floor of a drab Soviet-era apartment block. After her husband was arrested, Anastasia Bubeyeva, 23, dropped out of medical school because she couldn't find affordable day care for her child, who still wears an eye patch for an injury he suffered when he bumped his head during the raid.
Several months after his arrest, Bubeyev pleaded guilty to inciting hatred toward Russians and was sentenced to a year in prison. His offense was sharing articles, photos and videos from Ukrainian nationalist groups, including those of the volunteer Azov battalion fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Among them was an article about the graves of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine and a video describing Russia as a "fascist aggressor" and showing Russian tanks purportedly crossing into Ukraine.
Less than two weeks after the verdict, Bubeyev was charged again. This time, he was accused of calling for "acts of extremism" and "actions undermining Russia's territorial integrity." He had shared the picture of a toothpaste tube and also an article under the headline "Crimea is Ukraine" by a controversial blogger, who is in jail now, calling for military aggression against Russia.
Protesters gathered in Seoul this week, the night before South Korean President Park Geun-hye's third anniversary in office, to condemn his administration's growing crackdown on free speech. But these protesters were life-size hologram "ghosts," and they marched over a transparent screen facing an old palace gate in the city's historic Gwanghwamun Square. Read the rest
Freedom of the Press Foundation has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for all correspondence the agency has had with Congress over proposed FOIA reform bills that died last year in Congress, despite having unanimous support of all its members. Read the rest
The House of Representatives today voted 225-183 to approve an appropriations bill amendment that bars the Justice Department from forcing reporters to testify about their confidential sources. Read the rest
Hillary Clinton made her first extended public remarks about Edward Snowden late last week, and unfortunately she misstated some basic facts about the NSA whistleblower and how events have played out in the last year. Here’s a breakdown of what she said and where she went wrong:
Clinton: "If he were concerned and wanted to be part of the American debate, he could have been… I don't understand why he couldn't have been part of the debate at home."
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Snowden that even NSA reform advocates have furthered. Edward Snowden could not be part of this debate at home, period. Read the rest
Anti-cancer-quackery blogger Robert Blaskiewicz has a blog post up that details how Houston-based "alternative cancer treatment" practitioner Stanislaw Burzynski (photo at left) whom many reasoned minds in the oncology field would describe as a quack, has crossed a new line in his ongoing awfulness.
The latest: Burzynski's rep threatened one of his own patients, Wayne Merritt who had advanced pancreatic cancer, after Wayne (right) and his wife Lisa published a website detailing how they'd been duped.
That site, burzynskiscam.com, is still up, despite the nastygram threatening "to file a legal lawsuit" for its purportedly "defamatory" contents.
Threatening bloggers is nothing new for Burzynski, but threatening cancer patients is, as far as I can tell. Read the rest
Saudi Arabia is reported to have used Interpol's "red notice" system to locate and arrest journalist Hamza Kashgari, 23, (image at left) over tweets perceived as an insult to the Prophet Muhammad.
The international police organization denies involvement.
On the day observed as the Prophet's birthday, Kashgari published three tweets that described an imaginary meeting with the Prophet.
The one that caused all the hysteria (including "arrest him!" campaigns on Facebook and Twitter):
"I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you … I will not pray for you."
[translation via AFP].
Kashgari later apologized, removed the tweets, then fled the country as calls for his arrest grew.
More from the Guardian:
Police in Kuala Lumpur said Hamza Kashgari, 23, was detained at the airport "following a request made to us by Interpol" the international police cooperation agency, on behalf of the Saudi authorities. Interpol later denied that its notice system had been involved in
the arrest of Kashgari.
A spokesperson said: "The assertion that Saudi
Arabia used Interpol's system in this case is wholly misleading and
Kashgari's tweets are said to be blasphemy, and blasphemy is punishable by execution in Saudi Arabia. Read the rest