Inside the triumphant Alex Jones banned everywhere story is a worrying nuance about free speech and platform dominance

When we worry about free speech, we mostly worry about governments suppressing speech, not private actors. It's one thing to say that the US government shouldn't have the ability to arbitrarily censor some speech, but it's another altogether to say, that, for example, Boing Boing shouldn't be able to kick jerks off its message boards -- that has as much to do with "compelled publication" as it does with "free speech." Read the rest

UK government accidentally includes Scarfolk poster endorsing culls of rabid children in official publication

The latest edition of the Civil Service Quarterly from Her Majesty's Government accidentally included a satirical poster from Scarfolk, the nightmarish alternate reality of a perpetually renewed decade of Thatcher/Cthulhu crossovers. Read the rest

The MEP behind Europe's proposed copyright censorship proposal can't explain all the copyrighted images in his social media

Axel Voss is the German MEP responsible for Article 13 of the pending EU Copyright Directive, which says that it's not good enough for companies to remove infringing material posted by users once they're notified of its existence; instead, Voss wants then to spend hundreds of millions of dollars implementing automated filters that prevent anyone from posting copyrighted material in the first place (even if they have the right to do so under fair dealing, and even if that means that a lot of legitimate material gets accidentally blocked). Read the rest

France's Front National (who support the EU's mandatory copyright filters) furious when Youtube's copyright filters kill their channel

On June 20, an EU committee will vote on mandatory copyright filters -- the idea that everything that gets posted to an EU service should be checked for copyright violations by a machine learning system that will decide what gets published and what gets censored. Read the rest

Bavaria says its mandatory crosses aren't religious, so there should be no problem hanging them upside-down, right?

Bavaria's far-right, Islamophobic government enacted its Kreuzpflicht ("cross obligation") law, which mandates that every government building must display a Christian cross, and finessed this violation of Germany's legally enforced separation of church and state by claiming the crosses were "cultural," not "religious" and by saying that each building "should hang up the cross as they think best." Read the rest

App that let parents spy on teens stored thousands of kids' Apple ID passwords and usernames on an unsecured server

If you're the kind of parent who wants to spy on everything your kids do, you can force them to install an app like Teensafe, which only works if your kid doesn't use two-factor authentication; you have to give it your kid's device ID and password, so if that data leaks, it would allow anyone to break into your kid's cloud and plunder all their private data. Read the rest

News crew discovers 40 cellphone-tracking devices operating around DC

An NBC investigative journalism team and a security researcher went wardriving around the DC area with a cell-site-simulator detector that would tell them whenever they came in range of a fake cellphone tower that tried to trick their phones into connecting to it in order to covertly track their locations (some cell site simulators can also hack phones to spy on SMS, calls and data). Read the rest

The secret, unaccountable location-tracking tool favored by dirty cops has been hacked (and it wasn’t hard)

Securus is the widely abused location-tracking tool that exploits a loophole in privacy law to allow police to extract realtime and historical cellphone location data without a warrant or any accountability. Read the rest

West Virginia Senator laughed at the idea that hating on teachers would bite him in the ass - then he lost his job

Robert Karnes is your basic knee-jerk reactionary West Virginia state senator who devoted his tenure in office to hating on unions, especially teachers, especially teachers who participated in the West Virginia teachers' strike, the longest, most widespread strike in state history. Read the rest

Right wing snowflakes moaning about Michelle Wolf's hilarious White House Press Corps monologue show us real "PC"

Michelle Wolf delivered the best White House Press Corps monologue since Colbert's amazing 2006 performance, and it has made the right (as well as establishment handwringers) really angry! Read the rest

Restauranteurs' association dismayed when their private poll on minimum wage reveals a nation in support of their low-paid staff

The National Restaurant Association privately commissioned GOP pollster Frank Luntz and his company LuntzGlobal to poll Americans on their support for raising the minimum wage, a policy they staunchly oppose; that poll has now leaked, and it reveals a nation that stands in solidarity with low-waged workers, with 71% of Americans supporting raising the minimum wage to at least $10, even if they have to pay higher prices as a result. Read the rest

Washington State lawmaker thinks the courts will uphold state Net Neutrality law because the FCC abdicated its duty

Washington State was the first to pass a true Net Neutrality law that restored all the public protections the FCC withdrew when it killed Net Neutrality late last year; the move is symbolically awesome but legally fraught, seeking to redefine the line where the FCC's authority stops and the states' authorities start. Read the rest

Once again, a stalkerware company's had its servers pwned and wiped by a hacker who thinks they're selling an immoral product

It's been less than a year since a public-spirited hacker broke into the servers of Florida stalkerware vendor Retina-X, wiping out all the photos and data the company's customers had stolen from other peoples' phones (including their kids' phones) by installing the spying apps Phonesheriff on them. Read the rest

The West Virginia Democrat candidate who was dragged away for calling out gas-money-dependent lawmakers has raised record-breaking sums

When Lissa Lucas stood up at a public meeting of the West Virginia legislature and read into the record the gas-industry campaign contributions that lawmakers had received prior to taking a favorable view on allowing gas-drillers to drill in West Virginians' property, she was dragged out of the chamber. Read the rest

GOP candidate Rick Saccone hates government waste, bills the taxpayer like crazy on his own personal expenses, which totalled $435,172

Rick Saccone (@Saccone4PA18) is the Republican challenger for the seat vacated by Tim Murphy, the Pennsylvania anti-abortion Congressman who resigned after being outed for pressuring his pregnant mistress to get an abortion. Read the rest

News report claims Dutch spies hacked Russian cyberwar operation and pwned their CCTVs, then recorded video of Russian government hackers attacking the DNC

Dutch left-leaning daily de Volkskrant has published a remarkable -- but thinly sourced -- report claiming that a Dutch spy agency called the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD) hacked into the network of a notorious Russian spy group called "Cozy Bear" or APT29, thought to be an arm of the Russian spy apparatus, and obtained direct evidence of Russian state involvement in the hacking of the DNC during the 2016 US election campaign. Read the rest

Wells Fargo's CEO told Congress that he wouldn't enforce binding arbitration, so Wells is getting sued in Utah

A class action suit by some of the 3,500,000+ Wells Fargo customers defrauded in the company's fake account scam was foundering in Utah, thanks to the company's insistence that its binding arbitration clauses also applied to the accounts it fraudulently opened (that is, by agreeing not to sue the company for defrauding you over the accounts you opened, you were also agreeing not to sue them if it opened a bunch more accounts and forged your signature on the papers). Read the rest

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