THE LOWDOWN: Here's an immigration lawyer's first-hand account of confronting former President Barack Obama on family detention centers. Trump's a monster, but failings of previous administrations paved the way for his abuses.
“Systematically separating kids and parents is a new Trump policy,” said NBC News reporter Jacob Soboroff today about this first-person account. “But detaining families isn’t.” You're going to want to read this thread.
R. Andrew Free (@ImmCivilRights on Twitter) is “an attorney fighting alongside immigrant communities in the Deep South and across the country to defend deportations and advance civil rights.”
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No, really. You gotta see this. Read the rest
Lock him up. Paul Manafort is heading to jail, facing trials for bank fraud and money laundering, among other nefarious things. Today, the judge revoked his bail after being told by lawyers for Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Manafort tried to influence witnesses and obstruct justice in his trials. Said the judge to Manafort today: “This isn’t middle school, I can’t take your phone.” Read the rest
Monopoly season is open, and Net Neutrality just died. The Justice Department will not try to stop AT&T from purchasing Time Warner, and the companies are now free to close their deal. The government may yet appeal a ruling on its antitrust lawsuit against the ultra-giga-mega-merger. Read the rest
🔥😲 Christopher Wray, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, spoke publicly about the findings of the just-concluded investigation into--among other things--James Comey's 11th-hour actions around the Clinton email investigation, and their effect on the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. Read the rest
Hurricane season is on. Hurricane Aletta is now a Category 4 storm, and is the first major hurricane of the 2018 Eastern Pacific hurricane season. A second, as-yet-unnamed and still-forming storm is right behind it. That storm could become the year's second named hurricane within the next few days. Read the rest
Special Counsel Robert Mueller today brings new charges against Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort. Also named in the Friday court filing is Manafort's longtime Russia/Ukraine business partner, Konstantin Kilimnik. Read the rest
In Washington today, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan received a letter signed by 47 Senate Democrats and two independents calling on him to schedule a vote to keep Net Neutrality rules active.
Under Trump's FCC chief Ajit Pai, the Obama-era rules to help keep the internet free, fair, and equal will die next week. Read the rest
Alphabet, Google's parent company, promises not to allow use of its artificial intelligence technology in weapons and in certain forms of surveillance. Read the rest
A former executive from the data-mining dark operator Cambridge Analytica 'visited Julian Assange in February last year and told friends it was to discuss what happened during the US election,' the Guardian reported today.
Brittany Kaiser worked as a director there until not long ago, and is reported “to have channelled cryptocurrency payments and donations to WikiLeaks.”
Assange issued a statement saying that he had turned down the Cambridge Analytica offer. Alexander Nix, the company’s chief executive, told Westminster MPs the same in February, during an appearance at the Commons digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee. Nix said he found a contact for WikiLeaks’ speaking agency on the internet and sent Assange an email.
But visitor logs from the Ecuador embassy obtained by the Guardian and Focus Ecuador appear to show that Brittany Kaiser, a senior executive at Cambridge Analytica until earlier this year, visited Assange on 17 February 2017. Information passed to the DCMS committee in the UK and the Senate judiciary committee in the US states that the meeting was “a retrospective to discuss the US election”.
Kaiser is also alleged to have said that she had funnelled money to WikiLeaks in the form of cryptocurrency. She called the organisation her “favourite charity”. The reports passed to investigators say that money was given to her by third parties in the form of “gifts and payments”.
After the afore-quoted story was published, there was all-new news in London today.
Former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix. Read the rest
Brace yourself for abundant Avenatti on the telly. Read the rest
This video footage released by Entertainment Tonight is certainly telling. They cut to the chase around 1:25 seconds in. Read the rest
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
The FBI sent out an urgent bulletin advising anyone with a home or small office internet router to immediately turn it off and then turn it on again as a way to help stop the spread of a malware outbreak with origins in Russia. Read the rest
Ambien manufacturer Sanofi issued a masterfully worded public statement on Wednesday in response to recently-fired ABC TV star Roseanne Barr's latest Twitter meltdown.
In a series of wackadoodle tweets she posted late last night, 'Roseanne' blamed Sanofi's prescription sleep medication for the racist tweets that got her eponymous show canceled. Read the rest
A recently concluded cybersecurity review conducted by the Trump White House and Department of Homeland Security finds most government agencies remain shockingly insecure, despite Trump's campaign promises for super great cybersecurity unlike the very bad hacker criminal Hillary Clinton who bleached emails and acid-washed her network devices, and should be in jail. Read the rest
Federal prosecutors investigating Michael Cohen already have access to 300,000 pieces of evidence from the digital devices seized in April. They're about to get access to more than a million of 'em, because Trump's legal team vastly overstated how much would be legitimately 'attorney-client privileged material.' Read the rest
"White supremacy" is forbidden on Facebook, but "white nationalism" is OK. They know it's bullshit, elsewhere talking of "overlaps with white nationalism/separatism," but it's what they've got. Motherboard got the docs.
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Facebook has increasingly dealt head on with hate speech in recent months, sometimes with mixed results. In December, Facebook admitted to Pro Publica the social network had made mistakes on nearly half of a sample of potentially offensive posts. This month, Facebook accidentally launched a new feature early that would let users flag content for potentially containing hate speech.
In April, Facebook released a selection of rules for when it takes down content, including hate speech. VP of Global Product Management Monika Bickert told reporters that “There’s been a lot of research about how when institutions put their policies out there, people change their behavior, and that’s a good thing.” Facebook did release a sketch of its moderation policies in April, but the material obtained by Motherboard is more granular.