Feb 282021
 

 
FBI Director James Comey (Nextgov, 10/8/15) told Congress that his agency lost track of “dozens” of terror suspects because of encryption. “We’re really not just mak­ing this up,” he assured senators.
Before he became a household name as the accused spoiler of the 2016 election, James Comey, FBI director under President Barack Obama, was already well-known in tech circles as a crusader against strong encryption. Still smarting from Edward Snowden’s exposure of the US government’s massive and illegal domestic spying operations, Comey grabbed any microphone he could during the waning years of Obama’s tenure to warn Americans that encryption technology was putting us all at grave risk by causing law enforcement to “go dark.”
Cryptography is the art…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://fair.org/home/corporate-media-parrot-fbi-talking-points-as-more-americans-turn-to-encrypted-communication-online/

 2021-02-28  No Responses »
Feb 272021
 

CHICAGO—Following a report Friday that Joe Biden’s first military action as president had killed at least 22 people at sites used by Iranian-backed fighters, local registered Democrat Tim Randall was overheard reassuring a friend that this was one of the good Syrian airstrikes. “No, no, don’t worry—these are the…

Read more…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://local.theonion.com/democrat-reassures-friend-this-one-of-the-good-syrian-a-1846366749

 2021-02-27  No Responses »
Feb 272021
 

On February 26, Level the Playing Field filed this reply brief in Level the Playing Field v Federal Election Commission, 20-649. This is the case over whether the Commission on Presidential Debates is violating federal campaign law by excluding all but the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees from the general election debates.

External feed Read More at the Source: http://ballot-access.org/2021/02/26/reply-brief-filed-in-u-s-supreme-court-in-presidential-debates-case/

 2021-02-27  No Responses »
Feb 272021
 

So, here’s where we’re at in the Fifth Circuit: cops can literally set a person on fire and walk away from it.

Judge Don Willett’s incendiary comments opposing qualified immunity notwithstanding, civil rights litigation still remains a sucker bet in the Fifth Circuit, where cops are granted judicial forgiveness more frequently than they are in any other judicial circuit.

Here’s the latest depressing read from the Appeals Court, which can’t talk itself into removing this shield from officers who tased a suicidal man after he covered himself in gasoline, turning a potential suicide into an actual homicide.

Some cops seem to feel suicide threats should be converted into self-fulfilling prophecies. The cops involved here — all Arlington, Texas police…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210218/13113046272/fifth-circuit-says-tasing-person-soaked-gasoline-setting-them-fire-isnt-unreasonable-use-force.shtml

 2021-02-27  No Responses »
Feb 272021
 

There are many complicated debates happening right now around Twitter
and its role in public discourse. These discussions are important, but
we also shouldn’t forget a very basic and clear principle — whatever
its policies are about who can and can’t post or how, it’s of
fundamental importance that Twitter should not require users to run
nonfree software in order to use the site.

External feed Read More at the Source: http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/new-changes-to-twitter-make-it-even-worse-for-free-software-users

 2021-02-27  No Responses »
Feb 272021
 

There are many complicated debates happening right now around Twitter
and its role in public discourse. These discussions are important, but
we also shouldn’t forget a very basic and clear principle — whatever
its policies are about who can and can’t post or how, it’s of
fundamental importance that Twitter should not require users to run
nonfree software in order to use the site.

External feed Read More at the Source: http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/new-changes-to-twitter-make-it-even-worse-for-free-software-users

 2021-02-27  No Responses »
Feb 272021
 

After more than two decades, New York’s storied tabloid, the Daily News, finally has a staff union again. But with the paper’s sale to Alden Global Capital, a rapacious hedge fund notorious for crushing newsrooms, the union is going to have its work cut out for it just keeping the paper alive.
The New York Daily News has been acquired by Alden Global Capital, a New York City–based hedge fund that owns more than two hundred newspapers and various publications across the US. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images) The news came almost in tandem, a worthy encapsulation of the media’s plight under capitalism. First, after great effort, the journalists of the…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://jacobinmag.com/2021/02/new-york-daily-news-alden-global-capital-media-union/

 2021-02-27  No Responses »
Feb 272021
 

There is no safe way to have indoor dining without massive vaccine deployment, no matter how much you want someone pandering to you.

There is no safe way to have in-person classrooms without massive vaccine deployment, no matter how much you want a babysitter.

This is not rocket surgery.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.jwz.org/blog/2021/02/thank-you-management/

 2021-02-27  No Responses »
Feb 272021
 

Google’s AI team has announced “Lyra” as a very low bit-rate codec for speech compression designed for use-cses like WebRTC and other video chats… With a bit rate so low that when combined with the likes of the AV1 video codec could potentially allow video chats over 56kbps Internet connections…

External feed Read More at the Source: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Google-Lyra

 2021-02-27  No Responses »
Feb 262021
 

Section 230, a key law protecting free speech online since its passage in 1996, has been the subject of numerous legislative assaults over the past few years. The attacks have come from all sides. One of the latest, the SAFE Tech Act, seeks to address real problems Internet users experience, but its implementation would harm everyone on the Internet. 
The SAFE Tech Act is a shotgun approach to Section 230 reform put forth by Sens. Mark Warner, Mazie Hirono and Amy Klobuchar earlier this month. It would amend Section 230 through the ever-popular method of removing platform immunity from liability arising from various types of user speech. This would lead to more censorship as social media companies…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/02/safe-tech-act-wouldnt-make-internet-safer-users

 2021-02-26  No Responses »
Feb 252021
 

On February 23, the North Carolina State Board of Elections determined that the Green and Constitution Parties can keep their registrants, at least until June 2021. Both parties lost their qualified status in November 2020 for failing to poll 2% for either President or Governor, and also failing to have their presidential nominees on the ballot in at least 35 states. But the party’s registrants will not be forced to register some other way, at least for a few months.
Both parties will try to petition onto the ballot again by June 2021. They each need 13,757 signatures. Both parties have begun their petitioning.
North Carolina is one of the few states that forces members of parties that…

External feed Read More at the Source: http://ballot-access.org/2021/02/24/north-carolina-will-not-erase-green-and-constitution-party-registrants-until-june-2021-at-the-earliest/

 2021-02-25  No Responses »
Feb 242021
 

By Howie Hawkins
HR 1, the For the People Act, is an omnibus voting reform bill that has many progressive measures concerning voter registration, voter roll purges, voter-verified paper ballots, early voting, no-excuse absentee ballots, presidential candidate tax returns, gerrymandering, and more. According to reports, the Democratic leadership will whip their members hard to pass the bill through the House and Senate in March.
But progressives should say not so fast. Buried in the middle of the bill is a public campaign finance program that is merely a public funding palliative that fails to stop the overwhelming domination of big private money in federal elections.
Progressives should be demanding full public funding based on equal grants for all qualified…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://howiehawkins.us/hr-1s-campaign-finance-program-a-reform-that-doesnt-reform/

 2021-02-24  No Responses »
Feb 232021
 

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.”
The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.”…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://popularresistance.org/congress-escalates-pressure-on-tech-giants-to-censor-more/

 2021-02-23  No Responses »
Feb 232021
 

The much-anticipated video from the entry descent and landing (EDL) camera suite on the Perseverance rover has been downlinked to Earth, and it does not disappoint. Watch the video below and be amazed.
The video was played at the NASA press conference today, which is still ongoing as we write this. The brief video below has all the highlights, but the good stuff from an engineering perspective is in the full press conference. The level of detail captured by these cameras, and the bounty of engineering information revealed by these spectacular images, stands in somewhat stark contrast to the fact that they were included on the mission mainly as an afterthought. NASA isn’t often in the habit…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2021/02/22/stunning-footage-of-perseverance-landing-on-mars/

 2021-02-23  No Responses »
Feb 232021
 

On February 22, the U.S. Supreme Court revealed that it won’t hear Kopitke v Bell, 20-897, the challenge to the North Carolina independent presidential petition deadline of March 3. That deadline, created in 2018, violates the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1983 decision Anderson v Celebrezze, which struck down Ohio’s March 20 deadline.
The result will create disorder if there is a presidential candidate running outside the major parties in future elections who doesn’t begin his or her campaign until the election year itself.
The court’s action continues its 30-year unbroken record of denying all cert petitions filed by minor party and independent candidates on ballot access. It is as though every member of the U.S. Supreme Court has silently…

External feed Read More at the Source: http://ballot-access.org/2021/02/22/u-s-supreme-court-refuses-to-hear-challenge-to-north-carolina-independent-petition-deadline/

 2021-02-23  No Responses »
Feb 232021
 

Within hours of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, the FBI began securing thousands of phone and electronic records connected to people at the scene of the rioting — including some related to members of Congress, raising potentially thorny legal questions.
Using special emergency powers and other measures, the FBI has collected reams of private cellphone data and communications that go beyond the videos that rioters shared widely on social media, according to two sources with knowledge of the collection effort.
In the hours and days after the Capitol riot, the FBI relied in some cases on emergency orders that do not require court authorization in order to quickly secure actual communications from people who were…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://theintercept.com/2021/02/22/capitol-riot-fbi-cellphone-records/

 2021-02-23  No Responses »