U.S. is investigating claims that TikTok violated children's privacy

The FTC and the Justice Department are investigating claims that TikTok, the popular social media app with close ties to China, violated a 2019 agreement to protect children's privacy. Read the rest

I found out about this amusing Karen parody of American Girl dolls because they want it taken down

Today's serving of the Streisand Effect comes courtesy of American Girl, which hopes that no-one will see Adam the Creator's "Karen" parody of its dolls. Read the rest

Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell arrested by FBI

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British heiress and longtime confidant of billionaire sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, is in FBI custody. She was arrested in New Hampshire, reports NBC News, and charged with conspiracy to sexually abuse children.

The six-count indictment in Manhattan federal court alleges that Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14 years old, going back as far as 1994.

"In some instances, Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims," the indictment says. The daughter of media baron Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine was a one-time girlfriend of Epstein's and was at the high-flying investor's side for decades. But she was also alleged to have helped Epstein groom teen girls for sex with the rich and powerful. One of those teens, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, leveled that charge against Maxwell in a 2015 defamation suit, as have a number of other women.

Read the rest

CCPA: California to enforce new digital privacy law starting today, despite calls for further pandemic delay

New data privacy law took effect in January, with a six-month grace period

Three Nevada casinos sued over coronavirus protections for workers, unions claim dangerous working conditions

Unions that represent 60,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas and Reno sued three Nevada casino properties Monday, claiming dangerous working conditions that fail to protect workers from the still accelerating coronavirus outbreak. Read the rest

Devin Nunes loses legal battle with fictional cow

U.S. Representaive Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) has lost his legal battle to unmask a fictional cow on Twitter. Though the case made news of Nunes' narcissism, it was months before a judge could bring an end to his thin-skinned legal shenanigans. It was an exercise in censorship, in chilling criticism with the expensive prospect of defending even absurd lawsuits.

An interesting wrinkle: as the lawsuit suit named Twitter, its Section 230 immunity to defamation claims was how it rid itself of Nunes.

Judge John Marshall said in a decision Friday that Twitter was “immune from the defamation claims of” Nunes, R-Tulare, due to federal law that says social media companies are not liable for what people post on their platforms.

Specifically: "Judge Marshall [said] previous court cases had already settled that Section 230 applies even if the company does show bias in what content it allows people to post."

Conservatives have made a big shit sandwich out of believing Section 230 somehow means the opposite of this, and they will be eating it for years to come. Read the rest

IRS says it bought in to location database for millions of US cellphones to track tax crime suspects

The United States Internal Revenue Service says it purchased access to a marketing database that offers location data for millions of US cellphones, so the IRS can identify and track persons suspected of tax-related crimes. Read the rest

Fox News lawyer tells a federal judge they know Tucker Carlson is full of 💩

“What we’re talking about here, it’s not the front page of the New York Times. It’s 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' which is a commentary show,” Fox News lawyer argued, defending lawsuit from Karen McDougal

Trump administration sues John Bolton to block publication of new book that claims presidential misconduct

U.S. files breach-of-contract suit vs. former National Security Adviser John Bolton

Camp Fire: PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for negligence in California’s worst wildfire

“The California utility agreed to pay a nearly $2 billion fine for causing the blaze, which killed dozens and destroyed the town of Paradise.”

George Floyd killing: Derek Chauvin charges elevated to 2nd degree murder, and 3 more Minneapolis officers charged

• Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison increased the charge against Derek Chauvin, and charged Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

On Wednesday, three additional Minneapolis police officers were charged in the killing of George Floyd, and charges against Derek Chauvin were elevated to second degree murder. Read the rest

Know your rights while demanding justice for George Floyd #BlackLivesMatter

ACLU: “We want you to have what you'll need to know your risks and know your rights.”

Supreme Court rejects church lockdown exemption

The Supreme Court ruled friday that lockdown rules during the Covid-19 pandemic do not place an unconstitutional burden on free speech. The court's four liberals were joined by chief justice John Roberts to form a 5-4 majority over the other conservative justices; the case concerned a church's right to fill the pews after California governor Gavin Newsome imposed a 25%-or-100-person occupancy limit.

Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's liberals in rejecting a San Diego church's request for relief from Gov. Gavin Newsom's most recent directive limiting churches to 25% of their normal maximum capacity, with an absolute maximum of 100 people at any service.

In a three-page opinion issued just before the stroke of midnight Washington time, Roberts said it would be unwise for the court to intervene on an emergency basis as state officials try to grapple with the ebb and flow of a pandemic caused by a highly infectious and sometimes deadly virus.

Read the rest

Man who filmed fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery is arrested for murder, 3rd arrest in Georgia investigation

William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. charged with Felony Murder & Criminal Attempt to Commit False Imprisonment.

Google is about to be hit with multiple antitrust cases in the U.S., reports WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that federal and state regulators in the U.S. are preparing to file antitrust lawsuits against Google, saying the company abused its dominance of online search and advertising to crush competition and maximize profit. Read the rest

Zoom sued over Bible Study that was zoom-bombed by 'Traumatizing' porn

"It is baffling, to say the least, how Zoom failed to protect Saint Paulus's Bible study class from a 'serial offender' who has been 'reported multiple times to the authorities,'" the church said.

Coronavirus scams prove a federal anti-price gouging law is needed — Amazon's VP of public policy

'We want to avoid the $400 bottle of Purell for sale right after an emergency goes into effect'

More posts