45 Google whistleblowers tell tales of workplace retaliation after reporting abuse

A leaked document co-written by 45 googlers and reported on by Motherboard details how each was subjected to illegal workplace retaliation after reporting abuse by co-workers or superiors. Read the rest

Republic of Lies: the rise of conspiratorial thinking and the actual conspiracies that fuel it

Anna Merlan has made a distinguished journalistic career out of covering conspiracy theories, particularly far-right ones, for Gizmodo Media; her book-length account of conspiratorial thinking, Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power, is a superb tour not just through the conspiracies that have taken hold in American public discourse, but also in the real, often traumatic conspiracies that give these false beliefs a terrible ring of plausibility. Read the rest

Phoenix's police union has a secret deal with the department to purge dirty cops' disciplinary records

For two decades, the Phoenix police union has had a secret deal with the police department that required that the disciplinary records of cops would be "purged," so that no one, not even their supervisors, would be able to retrieve them. Read the rest

Debullshitifying Trump's get-out-of-jail statement for Medicaid scammer Ted Suhl

Ted Suhl was serving his third year of a seven-year sentence for bribery and Medicaid fraud when Trump commuted his sentence and sprung him, at the request of Mike Huckabee; the White House released a statement explaining Trump's reasoning for the commutation, and, as Propublica documents, it is full of "half-truths and omissions" about Trump's new grifter pal. Propublica did the hard work of annotating the Trump statement to remove the bullshit and tell the true tale. Read the rest

Equifax settles with FTC, CFPB, states, and consumer class actions for $700m

Equifax doxed virtually every adult in America as well as millions of people in other countries like the UK and Canada. The breach was caused by an acquisition spree in which the company bought smaller competitors faster than it could absorb them, followed by negligence in both monitoring and responses to early warnings. Execs who learned of the breach used it as an opportunity to engage in insider trading, while failing to take action to alert the public. Equifax nonconsensually gathers dossiers on everyone it can, seeking the most sensitive and potentially damaging information to record. The company was founded as part of a corporate spy-ring employed to root out and identify political dissidents and sexual minorities. Read the rest

Lessons from testing decades of forgotten rape kits: serial rapists are common, they don't follow a pattern, they're not very bright, and they're often the same men who commit acquaintance rape

America has an epidemic of untested rape kits, thanks to the institutional misogyny of police departments and prosecutors, especially when it comes to rapes committed against poor and racialized women. Read the rest

Rebecca Solnit on Jeffrey Epstein: "In patriarchy, no one can hear you scream"

In a characteristically brilliant essay, historian, activist and writer Rebecca Solnit connects the dots between the sexual abuses of Jeffrey Epstein, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Brett Kavanaugh, Harvey Weinstein, and the unnamed 16-year-old boy whose admitted rape was excused because the judge said that This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well: in each case, there was an elaborate scheme to silence and discredit the survivors of sexual violence, abetted by networks of (mostly) men who treat the disclosure of sexual assaults as a worse offense than committing the assaults themselves. Read the rest

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for trafficking dozens of young girls for sex

Days after an appeals court panel ordered the unsealing of thousands of pages of documents from one of the civil suits arising from billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's secret sweetheart plea bargain that allowed him to escape any serious penalties for years of alleged trafficking and raping of young teens, he has been arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force and now faces charges related to dozens of sex offenses against young girls. Read the rest

"I'm 10-15": the secret CBP Facebook group full of racism, sexism, and jokes about migrant deaths

10-15 is Customs and Border Protection's code for "aliens in custody"; "I'm 10-15" is a secret Facebook group for current and former CBP officers whose participants create and share a torrent of racist and sexist memes, as well as jokes about the deaths of migrants in their care. Read the rest

Pentagon Inspector General reveals widespread retaliation against whistleblowers with impunity for the retaliators and the wrongdoers

Last November, the Pentagon's Inspector General presented Congress with a "little-noticed" report on whistleblowing in the US military, revealing that those who come forward with claims of misconduct including sexual harassment and safety problems face a "culture of retaliation" including black marks on their service records, demotion, and suspension of security clearance; the IG also reported that in nearly every case, the officers who retaliated against whistleblowers faced no consequences for their actions. Read the rest

Air Force veteran Reality Winner is serving 5 years for blowing the whistle on Russian election interference, while Trump's Russia-dealing cronies are going free

In 2017, Reality Winner, a 25-year-old Air Force veteran and intelligence contractor was arrested for leaking confirmation of 2016 Russian election meddling to The Intercept; Winner seems to have been motivated by the same outrage that had animated Ed Snowden four years earlier: watching her bosses lie about matters of national interest. Read the rest

Wells Fargo: We can't be sued for lying to shareholders because it was obvious we were lying

Wells Fargo has asked a court to block a shareholder lawsuit that seeks to punish the company for lying when it promised to promptly and completely disclose any new scandals; Wells Fargo claims that the promise was obvious "puffery," a legal concept the FTC has allowed to develop in which companies can be excused for making false claims if it should be obvious that they are lying (as when a company promises that they make "the best-tasting juice in America). Read the rest

Trump wants to kill the International Criminal Court to protect US war criminals from prosecution for Afghan crimes

Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton on how the administration views the International Criminal Court in the Hague, where genocides, crimes against humanity and war crimes are prosecuted: "We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us." Bolton's goal? Ensuring "that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans" who are accused of war crimes in Afghanistan. (Image: OSeveno, CC-BY-SA) (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

It's been a year since Equifax doxed America and nothing's changed

Last year Equifax sheepishly admitted that it had breached hundreds of millions of Americans', Britons' and Canadians' private financial data and then suppressed the news (subsequent months revealed that the company had suffered multiple breaches, so many it didn't know what it had lost and wasn't looking very hard). Read the rest

'Act like a lady,' Denver police tell journalist as they handcuff and detain her for photographing them

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Susan Greene responds. “Act like a lady?”

“There you go,” the police officer says. “Now you can go to jail.” Read the rest

TSA: the fact that our secret surveillance program hasn't caught anyone means it's working

Late last month, the Boston Globe published a blockbuster scoop revealing the existence of "Quiet Skies," a secret TSA program that sent Air Marshals out to shadow travelers who were not on any watchlist and had committed to crime, on flimsy pretenses like "This person once visited Turkey." Read the rest

London police finally admit they fed intel to UK construction cartel to build illegal blacklist of labour organisers

It's been six years since investigative journalists published their expose accusing London's Metropolitan Police of colluding with the UK's construction cartel to blacklist workers who complained about unsafe working conditions, abusive bosses and wage-theft, as well as union organisers and other "troublemakers" -- this week, the Met confirmed that its officers were an active part of the illegal blacklist. Read the rest

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