A who's-who of tech manufacturers sent scaremongering letters to the Illinois legislature to kill Right to Repair

Illinois is one of 18 states where Right to Repair legislation has been introduced -- rules that would force manufacturers to end the practice of undermining the independent repair sector with hidden service documents, unavailable parts, and DRM. Read the rest

The used cars that Europe sends to Nigeria are filled with illegal, toxic e-waste

EU and Nigerian law both ban the export of e-waste to Nigeria, but a new study jointly authored by scholars from UN University and the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Africa found that exported used cars represent a smuggler's bonanza for the illegal dumping of toxic waste. Read the rest

In 1968, the Supreme Court gutted the Fourth Amendment, certain that it would all work out in the end. It didn't.

In 1968, the Supremes ruled in Terry v. Ohio that the police did not need "probable cause" to stop a person, it was sufficient that they have "reasonable suspicion." Read the rest

Person driving on shoulder receives instant justice

Matt Bentkowski was stuck in traffic on Interstate 285 East near Atlanta, enjoying "a front row seat" when a driver behind him decided the shoulder would do just fine as a lane.

P.S. Instant Justice YouTube is obviously a lot of fun, but there's plenty there you might not want to bother with first thing in the morning. Read the rest

Contrasting perspectives on the meaning of the raid on Michael Cohen's office

It's hard to know what to make of the raid on Trump family lawyer/bagman/fixer Michael Cohen's office -- there's been plenty of news tick-tock on the subject and legal experts agree that something momentous is going on, but what, exactly, does it all mean. Read the rest

Parkland teacher who was open to the idea of arming teachers forgets his loaded Glock in a public bathroom

Sean Simpson is a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had expressed an openness the idea of arming teachers to prevent school shootings. Read the rest

Lawsplaining the FBI raid on Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen

Ken "Popehat" White (previously) is a former US federal prosecutor whose explanations of the minutae of law have been invaluable to my understanding of the legal controversies swirling around Trump and his retinue. Read the rest

Eviction Lab: a comprehensive database of every eviction proceeding in America for the past 16 years

The Eviction Lab is a collaboration between Princeton University and Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Paperback; the lab's team gathered the court records of ever landlord-tenant proceeding in every court in every county in America for the past 16 years. Read the rest

Modern NDAs are unbelievably dirty, and the same handful of sleazy lawyers is behind most of them

Non-disclosure agreements were designed to protect trade-secrets, but they've morphed into a system for covering up misdeeds, silencing whistleblowers, and suborning perjury -- often at taxpayer expense. Read the rest

New Florida law lets beachfront property owners kick people off of public coasts

A new Florida law redefines the reach of beachfront property owners' claims to "the land above the mean high-tide level." This seemingly innocuous change means that private property owners -- and their patrolling rent-a-cops -- will have vastly expanded powers to kick members of the public off of public beaches. Read the rest

Scammy phone company Centurylink: "No one can sue us because we don't have any customers"

Centurylink is a giant, scammy telco notorious for larding its customers' bills with fraudulent charges, and instructing its customer service reps to do everything possible not to waive those charges; they also open fake accounts in their customers' names, a la Wells Fargo, and then rack up charges against them. Read the rest

Federal court will allow the ACLU to keep suing for the right to violate terms of service for legitimate purposes

Back in 2016, the ACLU and First Look (the publishers of The Intercept) sued the US government to force it to clarify that the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act -- the overbroad statute passed during over a panic sparked by the movie "Wargames" -- does not prohibit violations of terms of service. Read the rest

Alex Jones falsely accused a guy of being the Parkland school shooter, so now he's being sued for more than $1,000,000

Self-described roaring performance artist has a simple business model: he spouts outrageous lies to bring in an audience, then sells them quack remedies whose market has been proven by Gwyeneth Paltrow. Read the rest

ACLU steps in to defend anti-Trump mural in New Orleans

A mural quoting a sexual assault comment made by the President of the United States led to a threat of jail time from the city of New Orleans. Neal Morris, owner of the property and commissioner of the work, got the ACLU involved. Read the rest

Lobbyist for AT&T and Verizon publishes a threat to "aggressively" sue any states that pass net neutrality laws

Jonathan Spalter is the CEO of Ustelecom, a telcoms lobby group funded by AT&T and Verizon; in an op-ed on the lobbyists' site, he threatened to "aggressively" sue any state that passes net neutrality rules. Read the rest

Law professors and computer scientists mull whether America's overbroad "hacking" laws ban tricking robots

Robot law pioneer Ryan Calo (previously) teamed up with U Washington computer science and law-school colleagues to write Is Tricking a Robot Hacking? -- a University of Washington School of Law Research Paper. Read the rest

Cops routinely unlock phones with corpses' fingers

Since 2016, when an FBI agent first used a dead suspect's finger to unlock his phone, police forces across the USA have made a routine practice of unlocking phones using suspects and victims' dead fingers, saving big on buying cyberwar tools like Cellebrite's $1500-$3000 unlocker, or Grayshift's $30k/year Graykey. Read the rest

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