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Cops Follow Up Officer-Involved Shooting By Heading To Funeral Home To Apply Dead Man‘s Fingers To His Locked Phone

When your fingerprint is your device‘s password, there‘s little you can do to prevent law enforcement from accessing its contents. In most cases, judges have sided with the government, opining that fingerprints are non-testimonial even if it results in the production of criminal evidence. The Fifth Amendment offers little protection for those using fingerprints for device security. And the Fourth Amendment offers zero protection ag

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Marsha Blackburn Wants ISPs To Sell ‘Fast Lanes‘ Like ‘TSA Pre-Check‘

You‘d be hard pressed to find a bigger telecom sector crony than Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn. From her attacks on net neutrality and consumer privacy, to her support of SOPA and ATT-written protectionist state laws hampering competition, it‘s effectively impossible to find a subject where Blackburn didn‘t take the side of regional broadband monopolies over consumers. It‘s a major reason that as Blackburn tri

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Hollywood Front Groups Decide To Kick Facebook While It‘s Down, Advocate For More Internet Regulations

It‘s no secret at all (though, they tried to hide it) that Hollywood and various MPAA front-groups were heavily involved behind the scenes in getting FOSTA/SESTA passed and signed into law. It all goes back to Project Goliath, the plan put together by the MPAA a few years back to use any means necessary to try to attack the fundamental principles of an open internet. While there have been all sorts of attempts, SESTA (i.e., misrepresenting

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State Trooper Facing Murder Charges After Tasing A Teen Riding An ATV

More than two dozen hours of recordings and 600 pages of documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press have uncovered disturbing details of the senseless killing of 15-year-old Damon Grimes by Michigan State Trooper Mark Bessner last fall. Lots of killings are senseless, including many of those committed by officers authorized to use deadly force. But this one was especially senseless. Trooper Bessner decided against all policy and reason to fi

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Turns Out Lots Of People Want To Play The CIA‘s Card Game

Well, it appears we can both confirm and acknowledge that lots and lots of people want to play the CIA‘s in-house training card game. As we announced on Monday, we‘ve taken the available details of the internal CIA game Collection Deck, and are in the process of turning it a version you can actually play, which we‘re renaming CIA: Collect It All. To see if anyone else actually wanted it, we put it on Kickstarter and set what we

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Techdirt Podcast Episode 164: Getting News Without Social Media

Social media can be an extremely powerful tool for gathering, finding and sharing the news. It can also be... a bit of a disaster. It would be nice if such an important question had a simple answer, but they never do, do they? So this week, we‘re discussing and dissecting whether or not social media is "good" for the way we consume the news. Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RS

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State Appeals Court Upholds Criminal Conviction For Twitter Harassment Targeting An Autistic Student

A tough case dealing with some horrendous behavior and a pretty broad reading of Minnesota‘s harassment/stalking laws has resulted in a sustained conviction on felony charges against a minor. The state appeals court summarizes the events in its decision [PDF]: In March 2016, high school students, W.K., B.L., and appellant A.J.B., discussed that M.B., a fellow student who had been diagnosed with autism and ADHD, had recently posted some

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Daily Deal: The Complete Six Sigma Training Bundle

Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process, and Lean Six Sigma is a business management methodology that combines Lean and Six Sigma, two methodologies intended to improve performance by systematically removing waste. The Complete Six Sigma Training Bundle combines two of the top bundles we have on Six Sigma to help you get up to speed with these two management strategies. The six cour

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Comcast-Owned MSNBC Blasted For 8 Minute ‘News‘ Love Letter to Comcast

Comcast-owned MSNBC this week took a bit of a beating for an eight-minute "news" segment that was effectively little more than a sappy love letter to their parent company. The segment featured top Comcast lobbyist David Cohen, who years ago began calling himself the company‘s "Chief Diversity Officer" to tap dance around federal lobbying rules (Comcast yells at us whenever we point that out). The program, aired during the company‘s M

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Could The DOJ Be Violating SESTA/FOSTA?

Last week, Gizmodo‘s Dell Cameron has a great report on how the DOJ‘s Amber Alert site was configured so stupidly that it could be used to redirect people to any website (this was also true of weather.gov and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). And it was being used. To redirect people to hardcore porn. Basically, the sites were designed such that just by knowing the right URL and adding a new URL to the end, it wou

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No, Net Neutrality Isn‘t Officially Dead (Yet), And The FCC Is Stalling For A Reason

Numerous news outlets this week proudly, but inaccurately, declared that net neutrality was now officially dead. CNET was one of several outlets forced to walk back its headline and story proclaiming net neutrality‘s premature demise after industry watchers pointed out that wasn‘t actually the case. If you look at the actual net neutrality repeal order, you‘ll note that it‘s actually pretty wishy washy in terms of the act

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Australian Gov‘t Scooped Up Tons Of Cell Site Location Data To Track Citizens‘ Movements

A couple of years after it happened, Australian citizens are finally being (indirectly) informed their government harvested cell site location info to track their daily activities. This isn‘t the work of an intelligence agency or a secretive law enforcement effort. Instead, it‘s an (unannounced) partnership between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (which handles the Australian Census) and a cellphone service provider. The provider

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Want To Blog In Tanzania, Or Read Social Media In Uganda? Pay The Government, Please

Although blogging may have lost its early excitement for many, in some countries it still represents a vital channel for news that may not be available elsewhere. For example, as Global Voices explains: Blogging emerged in Tanzania around 2007 and became popular as an alternative news platform with educated, middle class people, as well as politicians and political parties. In Tanzania, where media historically holds strong ties to government

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Patent Troll That Sued EFF And Lost... Now Loses Its Bullshit Patent As Well

Remember GEMSA (Global Equty Management (SA) Pty. Ltd.)? That‘s the Australian patent troll who "won" a Stupid Patent of the Month award from EFF for its silly patent (US Patent 6,690,400 on "virtual cabinets representing a discrete operating system." GEMSA sued a bunch of companies, including Airbnb and Zillow for supposedly violating the patent. Oh, and then it sued EFF in Australia, getting an order from the court demanding that EFF tak

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It‘s Thanks To The Pirate Community That Amazon‘s Attempt To Degrade Its Streaming Service Is Now Public

It‘s said that there is no honor among thieves, but it should be obvious that such a blanket axiom is bound to be at least partially bullshit. Still, this mantra gets applied to the pirating community by its enemies, with those that rip and/or view pirated content labeled as ungrateful kid-slobs, simply looking for any content they can gobble up without any payment whatsoever. Any value or benefit derived from this community is denied or i

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DOJ Investigating AT&T, Verizon for Making It Harder To Switch Wireless Carriers

ATT and Verizon have enjoyed a stranglehold over fixed and mobile residential broadband for years. They also enjoy a relative monopoly over broadband business data services, a market that services everything from cellular tower backhaul to ATMs. Given that both companies have a rich, deep history of engaging in all manner of dubious behavior to keep these markets as uncompetitive as possible, there would be absolutely no shortage of ammunition f

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Daily Deal: Pay What You Want The 2018 Machine Learning Bundle

Pay what you want for The 2018 Machine Learning Bundle and unlock the first ebook, focused on test-driven machine learning. If you beat the average price, you get 9 more ebooks and courses. You‘ll learn about OpenCV, Python, and TensorFlow. You will learn how to build neural networks using Python libraries and tools such as Keras and Theano, how to improve your work by combining the MapReduce framework with Spark, and much more. Note:

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L.A. Lawmakers Looking To Take Legal Action Against Google For Not Solving Long-Running City Traffic Problems

Hopefully nothing will come of this, but one should never underestimate the creativity of city attorneys presented with the opportunity to rack up billable hours. Yet another Los Angeles city councilman has taken Waze to task for creating "dangerous conditions" in his district, and the politician is now "asking the City to review possible legal action." [...] In a new letter sent to the City Attorney‘s Office, [Councilman David] Ryu f

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Facebook Derangement Syndrome: Don‘t Blame Facebook For Company Scraping Public Info

Earlier this month I talked a little bit about "Facebook Derangement Syndrome" in which the company, which has real and serious issues, is getting blamed for other stuff. It‘s fun to take potshots at Facebook, and we can talk all we want about the actual problems Facebook has (specifically its half-hearted attempts at transparency and user control), but accusing the company of all sorts of things that are not actually a problem doesn&lsquo

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The Washington Post Thinks Overpaying For Broadband Bundles Is A Hoot

Apparently, you don‘t actually hate overpaying for cable, broadband and phone service. At least that‘s the takeaway from this bizarre editorial over at the Washington Post by columnist Megan McArdle. In it, McArdle ineffectively argues that while the rise in streaming video competition is great and all, over-paying your regional telecom monopoly is something we all secretly love. The odd part is there‘s nothing in the piece t

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The FBI‘s War On Encryption Is Personal, According To Comey‘s New Book

A recently-released Inspector General‘s report shows the FBI didn‘t try as hard as it could to find a way into the San Bernardino shooter‘s locked iPhone. It appears FBI officials were more interested in obtaining a favorable court ruling than seeking technical assistance from anyone other than Apple, despite the DOJ‘s courtroom claims about time being of the essence. This had a lot to do with the current FBI leadership

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In ‘N Out Uses A Bullshit Pop-Up Every Five Years Strategy Just To Lock Up Its Australian Trademark

When we recently discussed the rather odd story of the famous burger chain In ‘N Out suing an Australian burger joint over trademark concerns despite having no storefront presence in the country, there was one aspect of it glossed over in the source link and omitted by me that really deserves some fleshing out. You see, like here in America, Australian trademark law has a provision that you actually must be using the mark in question in or

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Judge Agrees: Perfectly Fine For Google To Deny Ad Placement For ‘Honey Cures Cancer‘ Claims

Eric Goldman brings us the dismissal of a lawsuit against Google that‘s well, a bit on the unintentionally hilarious side. The lawsuit argues there‘s a First Amendment right for Google Ad placement -- one that circumvents Google‘s policies against allowing questionable claims like "Honey Cures Cancer!" -- and contains a request for 10 billion in damages. El Reg first reported on the lawsuit, filed by a former IBM senior engin

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It‘s Spreading: Lindsey Graham Now Insisting ‘Fairness Doctrine‘ Applies To The Internet

Remember when Republicans were against the "Fairness Doctrine"? Apparently, that‘s now out the window, so long as they can attack Facebook. As we noted recently, Senator Ted Cruz appears to be pushing for the strangest interpretation of Section 230 around (in direct conflict with (a) what the law says and (b) how the courts have interpreted it) saying that in order to make use of CDA 230‘s immunity "good samaritan" clause, internet s

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