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06.11.19

Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

Posted in News Roundup at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What is a Linux user?

    In only two years, the Linux kernel will be 30 years old. Think about that! Where were you in 1991? Were you even born? I was 13! Between 1991 and 1993 a few “proper” Linux distributions were created, and at least three of them—Slackware, Debian, and Red Hat–provided the backbone the Linux movement was built on.

    Getting a copy of a Linux distribution and installing and configuring it on a desktop or server was very different back then than today. It was hard! It was frustrating! It was an accomplishment if you got it running! We had to fight with incompatible hardware, configuration jumpers on devices, BIOS issues, and many other things. Even if the hardware was compatible, many times, you still had to compile the kernel, modules, and drivers to get them to work on your system.

    If you were around during those days, you are probably nodding your head. Some of you might even go as far as calling them the “good old days,” because choosing to use Linux meant you had to learn about operating systems, computer architecture, system administration, networking, and even programming, just to keep the OS functioning.

  • [Older] Free OS to power computers in schools

    The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) has rolled out the new version named “IT@School GNU/ Linux 18.04”. Based on the Ubuntu OS LTS edition, the system features several free applications customised as per the State school curriculum.

    [...]

    Apart from the financial savings, the biggest advantage of the Free OS is its ability to be modified and shared.

  • [Older] Making physics lab work easier

    The use of open source software in ExpEYES enables modifications in the source code for new experiments that would be added to the list. The recently rolled out IT@School GNU/ Linux 18.04 operating system by KITE has incorporated the ExpEYES applications.

  • Server

    • Why containers and Kubernetes have the potential to run almost anything

      The future of Kubernetes is bright, and like virtualization before it, workload expansion is inevitable. Learning how to drive Kubernetes is probably the biggest investment that a developer or sysadmin can make in their own career growth. As the workloads expand, so will the career opportunities. So, here’s to driving an amazing dump truck that’s very elegant at moving dirt…

    • Containers With Kubernetes Are More Secure: Loris Degioanni

      In this interview, conducted at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon (Barcelona), we discussed the state of security in the cloud-native world. Loris Degioanni is the CTO and founder of Sysdig, the container intelligence platform. He is also the creator of the popular open source troubleshooting tool, sysdig, and the open source container security tool Falco. Prior to founding Sysdig, Loris co-created Wireshark, the open source network analyzer, which today has 20+ million users. Loris holds a PhD in computer engineering from Politecnico di Torino and lives in Davis, California.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Mic And Coke | The Friday Stream 6

      The funniest 17 seconds from Texas Linux Fest and we learn some remarkable things about our crew’s past.

    • Episode 69 | This Week in Linux

      On this episode of This Week in Linux, we have a LOT of new releases to talk about from applications to distros and even some hardware news. GParted has finally reached the 1.0 milestone, Krita 4.2 & Zorin OS 15 were released this week, and some Security News was released regarding the HiddenWasp Malware so we’ll talk about all of that. In Hardware news, AMD announced their new Ryzen 3000 series CPU and we also got some product updates from System76 & Dell. In Window Manager News, we got some updates from HerbsluftWM and IceWM. Later in the show, we’ll discuss some Linux Gaming News as Google announces news for Google Stadia, Unity Tech announces that the Unity Editor is now available for Linux and we’ll take a look at an open source handheld console called the PyGamer. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #134
    • ZEEEE Shell! | Coder Radio 361

      Apple is shaking up the foundations of UI development with SwiftUI and raising developer eyebrows with a new default shell on MacOS.

      Plus feedback with a FOSS dilemma and an update on our 7 languages challenge.

    • Podcast interviews where I talk about Python’s governance

      Over the past two months I have given two podcast interviews where I talk about how we handled Guido’s retirement, chose our new governance model, and what being on the inaugural steering council has been like.

      Now that I have “talked it out” at least twice I don’t plan to blog about this topic until something more substantial happens with the steering council. Because of this decision I figured it was worth linking to the interviews in case anyone was waiting for me to write a post on Python’s governance.

  • Kernel Space

    • Securing the Kernel Stack

      The Linux kernel stack is a tempting target for attack. This is because the kernel needs to keep track of where it is. If a function gets called, which then calls another, which then calls another, the kernel needs to remember the order they were all called, so that each function can return to the function that called it. To do that, the kernel keeps a “stack” of values representing the history of its current context.

      If an attacker manages to trick the kernel into thinking it should transfer execution to the wrong location, it’s possible the attacker could run arbitrary code with root-level privileges. Once that happens, the attacker has won, and the computer is fully compromised. And, one way to trick the kernel this way is to modify the stack somehow, or make predictions about the stack, or take over programs that are located where the stack is pointing.

      Protecting the kernel stack is crucial, and it’s the subject of a lot of ongoing work. There are many approaches to making it difficult for attackers to do this or that little thing that would expose the kernel to being compromised.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Zen 2 + Radeon RX 5700 Series For Linux Expectations

        This weekend I was out the AMD E3 event learning more about their third-generation Ryzen processors as well as their equally exciting AMD Radeon RX 5700 series Navi hardware. Being at the event, one could reasonably deduce the Linux support will be great and it does appear to be that way building upon their improvements of earlier GPUs and Zen processors. It does appear to be that way while obviously we will begin testing soon of these new processors and graphics cards. At least for the Zen 2 processors, I am confident in their Linux support while on the Navi side we are awaiting Linux driver support but I am optimistic it will work out nicely. Now that the initial embargo has expired, here are more details on these new AMD products launching 7 July and my Linux information at this time.

      • The Current Radeon RX Vega 64 / Radeon VII Linux OpenCL Performance Against NVIDIA

        Recently I provided a fresh look at the Radeon VII Linux gaming performance (as well as comparing AMDVLK vs. RADV) now that I have a Vega 20 graphics card running great under Linux after the pre-production VII had failed. One of the other areas I was curious to see how the Linux performance evolved in the few months since the original Radeon VII Linux benchmarks was checking on the ROCm OpenCL performance. Here are those results up against NVIDIA with their proprietary Linux graphics driver.

        This article is to serve as some fresh Radeon VII OpenCL benchmark figures on Linux while also tossing in the Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX 580 as some reference figures. These tests were done on ROCm 2.4 while just before the weekend ROCm 2.5 shipped. Unfortunately due to an E3 event I didn’t have the time to test ROCm 2.5 yet, but no OpenCL performance changes are noted. Anyhow, as soon as I’m back will be some ROCm 2.5 tests. The NVIDIA tests meanwhile were using the current 430 series driver while testing the GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1080, GTX 1650, GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 2060, RTX 2070, RTX 2080, RTX 2080 Ti, and TITAN RTX for a wide-range of NVIDIA OpenCL Linux performance metrics.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 5.16 by KDE is Now Available

        Say hello to Plasma 5.16, a the newest iteration of KDE’s desktop environment, chock-a-block with new features and improvements.

        Let’s start with Dolphin, Plasma’s file and folder manager. It now opens folders you click on in new tabs instead of new windows, keeping everything together. You can try this out by clicking the Home folder icon on your desktop (which will open Dolphin and show the contents of Home), and then clicking the Trash can folder also on your desktop. The Trash can folder will open in a new tab of the existing Dolphin window. You can, of course, choose to open more than one Dolphin window — after all, it wouldn’t be Plasma without options — but this is a feature that will keep things nice and tidy.

        Talking about tidy: check out the new notification system! Not only can you mute notifications altogether with the Do Not Disturb mode, but the system also groups notifications by app. Like this, when you run through the history of past notifications, you can see all the messages from KDE Connect in one category, the download information in another, email alerts in a third, and so on.

        Discover, Plasma’s software manager, is also cleaner and clearer as it now has two distinct areas for downloading and installing software on the Update page. Besides, when updating, the completion bar now works correctly and the packages disappear from the list as the software manager completes their installation.

      • KDE Plasma 5.16 Desktop Environment Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

        The KDE Project released today the KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop environment, a major release that adds a plethora of new features and enhancements, along with many improvements to make your Plasma experience more enjoyable and reliable.
        The KDE Plasma 5.16 has been in development for the past few months and it’s now the latest version of the acclaimed graphical desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems. It’s a major release that introduces several new features, more polishing, and dozens of improvements.

        “For this release, KDE developers have worked hard to polish Plasma to a high gloss. The results of their efforts provide a more consistent experience and bring new features to all Plasma users,” reads today’s announcement. “We hope you enjoy using Plasma 5.16 as much as we did making it.”

      • Nextcloud Login Plugin for PlaMo

        With the completion of my first milestone for my GSoC project: Nextcloud Integration on Plasma Mobile, plasma mobile accounts settings now enables the users to add their nextcloud accounts via webview.

        Well! didn’t accounts setting already provide the method to add nextcloud/owncloud accounts? Yes, this functionality was already implemented by the owncloud plugin in kaccounts-providers project. Then, why did I re-implement the same thing?

        As I mentioned, now accounts can be added via webview.

      • First week of GSOC, Piece Table Implement

        Hi! Last week was start of the GSOC coding period. So I started my project. Also I opened my code on the KDE git. https://cgit.kde.org/scratch/songeon/kmarkdownparser.git/

        If you are interested in my project feel free to look and give me some advices.

      • KIOFuse: 32-bit Support

        The first two weeks of the GSoC coding period are now over.

        Firstly, a mapping between KIO errors and FUSE errors has now been established. Previously all KIO Job errors were simply sent back to FUSE as EIO, which isn’t entirely accurate. The mapping now provides more accurate error replies.

        A major new addition is 32-bit support. KIOFuse did not compile on 32-bit but these compilation errors have now been alleviated. They mostly stemmed from the fact that size_t has a different size on different architectures, and that file sizes should always be represented as off_t anyway.

      • Kate & C++ Developer Survey

        While browsing the ISO C++ homepage I stumbled over the results PDF of the Second Annual C++ Foundation Developer Survey “Lite”.

        I was astonished that Kate made it into the “Which development environments (IDEs) or editors do you use for C++ development?” results.

        ;=) Seems not only I use it as my normal editor for working on C++ code.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Sumaid Syed: First Two Weeks

        Jean Felder ( My mentor for GSoC project) and Marinus Schraal (GNOME Music Maintainer) suggested that I propose a plan of the whole project. Now trust me! This is the much more difficult than actual coding!
        I usually work on my personal projects and start working from scratch, but here the project involves so many different libraries, so I really struggled with making a plan with a proper timeline.

      • What is my Project?

        In this case, all we need to do is extract those mbids and store them in tracker. Tracker is a file indexing and search framework, which GNOME Music relies on. Hence it’s necessary to extract and index mbids in tracker from file.

  • Distributions

    • Arch Family

      • First Arch Linux ISO Snapshot Powered by Linux Kernel 5.1 Is Now Available

        Now that Linux kernel 5.0 reached end of life, which means that it will no long receive maintenance updates, the Arch Linux 2019.06.01 is here as the first ISO snapshot of the acclaimed Linux-based operating system to ship with a kernel from the latest Linux 5.1 series, namely Linux kernel 5.1.5.

        Linux kernel 5.1 was released last month and comes with great additions, including more preparations for the year 2038, more scalable and faster asynchronous I/O, support for configuring Zstd compression levels in the Btrfs file system, better file system monitorization, and a new cpuidle governor called TEO.

      • Best Wallpapers for Arch Linux

        Coloring your Linux system is probably the best way to keep your Linux experience fresh. Whenever you boot up your computer, the wallpaper will be one of the very first things to welcome you. The quality of your computer sessions is massively dependent on your mood and the welcome scenarios play a major role.

    • Fedora

      • Converting fedmsg consumers to fedora-messaging

        So in case you hadn’t heard, the Fedora infrastructure team is currently trying to nudge people in the direction of moving from fedmsg to fedora-messaging.

        Fedmsg is the Fedora project-wide messaging bus we’ve had since 2012. It backs FMN / Fedora Notifications and Badges, and is used extensively within Fedora infrastructure for the general purpose of “have this one system do something whenever this other system does something else”. For instance, openQA job scheduling and result reporting are both powered by fedmsg.

        Over time, though, there have turned out to be a few issues with fedmsg. It has a few awkward design quirks, but most significantly, it’s designed such that message delivery can never be guaranteed. In practice it’s very reliable and messages almost always are delivered, but for building critical systems like Rawhide package gating, the infrastructure team decided we really needed a system where message delivery can be formally guaranteed.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Design Team: Design and Web team summary – 10 June 2019

            This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS With Latest GNOME Update Now Plays Nicely For 120~144Hz Displays

            For those running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the default GNOME Shell desktop experience, the latest stable release update of Mutter now fixes the support for running on high refresh rate (above 60Hz) displays.

            Ubuntu 18.04′s GNOME desktop had been capped to running at 60Hz. The non-60Hz support had been fixed upstreamed but only as of this past week was patched for GNOME 3.28 used by the Bionic Beaver.

          • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 582
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Step by Step Zorin OS 15 Installation Guide with Screenshots

              Good News for all the Zorin users out there! Zorin has launched its latest version (Zorin OS 15) of its Ubuntu based Linux distro. This version is based on Ubuntu 18.04.2, since its launch in July 2009, it is estimated that this popular distribution has reached more than 17 million downloads. Zorin is renowned for creating a distribution for beginner level users and the all new Zorin OS 15 comes packed with a lot of goodies that surely will make Zorin OS lovers happy. Let’s see some of the major enhancements made in the latest version.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Chrome 75 vs. Firefox 67 / 68 Beta Linux Performance

        With last week’s release of Chrome 75 I have now wrapped up some benchmarks seeing how the performance of the updated Google web-browser compares to that of the current Firefox 67 stable release as well as Firefox 68 beta, including with WebRender activated. Here are those latest Linux web browser benchmarks.

        This round of testing is particularly interesting given the really promising Firefox 68 Beta + WebRender Linux performance I wrote about a few weeks ago. So seeing how it stacks up now against Chrome 75 should be quite interesting.

      • Data Science is Hard: Validating Data for Glean

        Glean is a new library for collecting data in Mozilla products. It’s been shipping in Firefox Preview for a little while and I’d like to take a minute to talk about how I validated that it sends what we think it’s sending.

        Validating new data collections in an existing system like Firefox Desktop Telemetry is a game of comparing against things we already know. We know that some percentage of data we receive is just garbage: bad dates, malformed records, attempts at buffer overflows and SQL injection. If the amount of garbage in the new collection is within the same overall amount of garbage we see normally, we count it as “good enough” and move on.

        [...]

        At this point, aside from the “metrics” ping which is awaiting validation after some fixes reach saturation in the population, Glean has passed all of these criteria acceptably. It still has a bit of a duplicate ping problem, but its clock skew and latency are much lower than Firefox Desktop’s. There are some outrageous clients sending dozens of pings over a period that they should be sending a handful, but that might just be a test client whose values will disappear into the noise when the user population grows.

      • It’s time for the US Senate to Save the Net

        On the one year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality, Mozilla is joining millions of people across the internet to once again stand up to protect the open internet.

        When the FCC gutted net neutrality protections last year, we filed our lawsuit because we believed that repeal was unlawful. We also believed taking on the FCC was the right thing to do for the future of the internet and everyone who uses it.

        Until the Senate listens to the American people and protects the open Internet, Mozilla v. FCC continues to be net neutrality’s best hope.

        But it’s time our Senators do what they were elected to do – represent their constituents, and pass net neutrality legislation that has overwhelming support and protects Americans. With a victory in the courts, or bipartisan legislation, we can ensure that people – and not big cable and telephone companies – get to choose what they see and do online.

      • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 59
  • Healthcare

    • Medicine needs to embrace open source

      In 2015, Pfizer researchers discovered its rheumatoid arthritis drug, Enbrel, seemed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 64%. The company buried the results and didn’t follow up.

      Why? Because the statistical results, which lead to the conclusion that Enbrel might help with Alzheimer’s, didn’t meet “rigorous scientific standards.” Why not publish the results for others to study? Because Pfizer believed it would lead others down a wrong path.

      Other medical and pharmaceutical researchers believe Pfizer should have released the data. As The Washington Post, which broke the story, reported: “It would benefit the scientific community to have that data out there,” said Keenan Walker, a Johns Hopkins assistant professor of medicine who studies Alzheimer’s. “Whether it was positive data or negative data, it gives us more information to make better informed decisions.”

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD Now Defaulting To HAMMER2 File-System By Default

      After being an experimental option in DragonFlyBSD for more than the past half-decade, HAMMER2 is the new default file-system of this FreeBSD derivative.

    • Playing Bluetooth Audio with OpenBSD

      OpenBSD removed Bluetooth support in 2014, so officially there is no way to connect a Bluetooth to your OpenBSD system. However, jcs@ posted on Twitter that he found a simple way to play audio via Bluetooth. He recommended the Creative BT-W2 USB dongle.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EFF and Open Rights Group Defend the Right to Publish Open Source Software to the UK Government

      EFF and Open Rights Group today submitted formal comments to the British Treasury, urging restraint in applying anti-money-laundering regulations to the publication of open-source software.

      The UK government sought public feedback on proposals to update its financial regulations pertaining to money laundering and terrorism in alignment with a larger European directive. The consultation asked for feedback on applying onerous customer due diligence regulations to the cryptocurrency space as well as what approach the government should take in addressing “privacy coins” like Zcash and Monero. Most worrisome, the government also asked “whether the publication of open-source software should be subject to [customer due diligence] requirements.”

      We’ve seen these kind of attacks on the publication of open source software before, in fights dating back to the 90s, when the Clinton administration attempted to require that anyone merely publishing cryptography source code obtain a government-issued license as an arms dealer. Attempting to force today’s open-source software publishers to follow financial regulations designed to go after those engaged in money laundering is equally obtuse.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Helicopter Crashes on Roof of NYC Skyscraper; Pilot Killed

    A helicopter crash-landed on the roof of a rain-shrouded midtown Manhattan skyscraper Monday, killing the pilot and briefly triggering memories of 9/11, though it appeared to be an accident.

    The crash near Times Square and Trump Tower shook the 750-foot (229-meter) AXA Equitable building, sparked a fire on the roof and forced office workers to flee on elevators and down stairs, witnesses and officials said.

    The pilot was believed to be the only one aboard, and there were no other reports of injuries, authorities said.

  • Microsoft Shuts Down ‘Xbox One’ Backward Compatibility Program

    The Xbox Backward Compatibility program first came to life back in 2015 as an attempt to bring older games from the Original Xbox and Xbox 360 to the newer Xbox One consoles.

    Now, after 4 years and rejuvenating over 600 game titles, Microsoft is finally pulling the plug on the program. At E3 2019, the company has already announced a next-gen 8K-compatible Xbox called Project Scarlett.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Churches Wipe Out Millions In Medical Debt For Others

      The leaders of Pathway Church on the outskirts of Wichita, Kan., had no clue that the $22,000 they already had on hand for Easter would have such impact.

      The nondenominational suburban congregation of about 3,800 had set out only to help people nearby pay off some medical debt, recalled Larry Wren, Pathway’s executive pastor. After all, the core membership at Pathway’s three sites consists of middle-income families with school-age kids, not high-dollar philanthropists.

      But then they learned that, like a modern-day loaves-and-fishes story, that smaller amount could wipe out $2.2 million in debt not only for the Wichita area but all available debt for every Kansan facing imminent insolvency because of medical expenses they couldn’t afford to pay — 1,600 people in all.

      As Wren thought about the message of Easter, things clicked. “Being able to do this provides an opportunity to illustrate what it means to have a debt paid that they could never pay themselves,” he said. “It just was a great fit.”

    • Can You Eat Weed? All You Need to Know About Marijuana Edibles

      Marijuana — colloquially called weed — refers to the dried flowers, seeds, stems, and leaves of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plants (1).

      It’s a popular drug used by millions of people either for pleasure or to treat chronic health conditions.

      Weed can be used in a number of ways, but some of the most popular methods include smoking and vaping.

      However, some people wonder whether it’s safe to eat marijuana and whether ingesting it has the same effects as smoking or vaping.

    • ‘Dangerous’: With Foodborne Illness On the Rise, USDA Seeking Privatization of Food Safety Inspection at Beef Plants

      In an apparent effort to boost profits for meat manufacturers despite potential harms to food safety, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is reportedly planning to privatize inspections of beef slaughter plants.

      Food and Water Watch reported Monday that the USDA is pursuing deregulation of the food inspection system that has been used for years at beef slaughterhouses. The information came from documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

      The group released an application from beef, pork, and poultry manufacturer Tyson Foods, in which the company requested a waiver to allow Tyson employees to conduct more inspections at its beef plant in Holcolm, Kansas, instead of relying on USDA food safety inspectors.

    • #DontBanEquality: 180+ CEOs Denounce Attacks on Abortion Access

      So said the chief executives of over 180 companies on Monday in a statement affirming gender equality and denouncing attacks on reproductive rights including abortion bans.

      In the new statement, which ran as a a full-page ad in The New York Times on Monday, the CEOs from Amalgamated Bank, Atlantic Records, Bloomberg L.P., H&M U.S., Square, and other companies said that imposing limits on comprehensive reproductive care “goes against our values and is bad for business.”

      Restricting such access, they wrote, “impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.”

      The effort was led by rights organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, The American Civil Liberties Union, and Center for Reproductive Rights, and marked a rebuttal to a recent slew of state-level extreme abortion bans.

      Those bans, as NARAL president Ilyse Hogue noted, run counter to public opinion.

  • Security

    • Report: Response to the Consultation on the Government’s regulatory proposals regarding consumer Internet of Things (IoT) security

      Open Rights Group (ORG) is a UK-based digital campaigning organisation working to protect fundamental rights to privacy and free speech online. With over 3,000 active supporters, we are a grassroots organisation with local groups across the UK.

      We are a project partner to Values and Ethics in Responsible Technology in Europe (VIRT-EU) – a European project funded by the Horizon 2020 program. VIRT-EU’s mission is to foster ethical thinking in IoT development. The following comments stem predominantly from our experience accumulated in the course of that project.

      We address the consultation questions in order below, omitting questions 7, 8 and 9 as these lie outside our remit.

      1. Do you agree that the Government should take powers to regulate on the security of consumer IoT products? If yes, do you agree with the proposed legislative approach?

      We welcome the proposal to create primary legislation to introduce enhanced security for consumers using IoT devices. We also support the approach of making some requirements mandatory in the first instance with a longer strategy.

    • ‘This Is a Bombshell’: Facial Recognition Data Collected by US Customs Agency Hacked

      “This is a bombshell,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of the advocacy group Fight fight for the Future, in response to the reporting. “Even if you 100% trust the US government with your biometric information (which you shouldn’t) this is a reminder that once your face is scanned and stored in a database, it’s easily shared across government agencies, stolen by hackers, other governments, etc.”

      Buzzfeed, also among the first to report on the breach on Monday, noted that the “cyberattack comes amid the ongoing rollout of CBP’s “biometric entry-exit system,” the government initiative to biometrically verify the identities of all travelers crossing US borders.” As BuzzFeed News reported Citing earlier reporting, Buzzfeed pointed out that “CBP is scrambling to implement the initiative with the goal of using facial recognition technology on ’100 percent of all international passengers,’ including American citizens, in the top 20 US airports by 2021.”

    • What you need to know about the MDS vulnerability and Red Hat Virtualization

      A new series of vulnerabilities in Intel processors, known as Microarchitectural Data Sampling, or more simply MDS, was recently made public and Red Hat released information about how the vulnerabilities affect our software and how to protect your organization.

      In the simplest terms, MDS is a vulnerability in Intel processors similar to Spectre and Meltdown; it allows a guest to read protected memory from anywhere on the host or guest. To mitigate the risks exposed by MDS, a combination of updated microcode, updated kernel(s), patches, and administrator action will need to be taken for both the hypervisors and virtual machines in your Red Hat Virtualization deployment. Unlike some similar vulnerabilities, simply disabling SMT and/or hyper-threading is not enough to protect your applications.

    • 5 reasons chaos engineering is indispensable to the CISO

      Security leaders, including the chief information security officer (CISO), are challenged to continuously demonstrate their role within the company’s value stream as part of improving security. In doing so, a growing number of security organizations are shifting toward a more “applied security mode,” leading many to rethink our traditional practices and question their effectiveness in today’s high-velocity, software-driven world.

    • Wireless Security | Roadmap to Securing Your Infrastructure
    • IPFire on AWS: Update to IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 132

      Today, we have updated IPFire on AWS to IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 132 – the latest official release of IPFire.

      This update brings you the new Intrusion Prevention System out-of-the-box as well as updates to the whole system.

    • Amitabh Bachchan’s Twitter Account “Hacked” And DP Got Changed
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Daniel Ellsberg and Peter Dale Scott Part 2

      This week’s Project Censored episode presents a continuation of the May 27 program, the interview of Daniel Ellsberg and Peter Dale Scott together. The two scholars spoke with doctoral student Aaron Good in October 2018. On this week’s program, Ellsberg and Scott discuss issues ranging from the role of scientists in political affairs to the WWII atomic bombing of Japan and the US intervention in Vietnam.

    • There is bipartisan support to stop Trump from selling arms to Saudi Arabia

      epublican and a Democratic senator join forces on Monday to introduce a bill they hope will check President Donald Trump’s ability to sell arms to Saudi Arabia.

      The bill, which will be introduced by Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Todd Young of Indiana, would compel the Senate to vote whenever arms sales and other forms of military support are provided to Saudi Arabia, according to NBC News. Both Murphy and Young are members of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, which gives them a position of credibility when attempting to impose checks on a president’s foreign policymaking powers.

      “The process we are setting in motion will allow Congress to weigh in on the totality of our security relationship with Saudi Arabia — not just one arms sale — and restore Congress’s role in foreign policy-making,” Murphy said in a statement.

      Young expressed similar views, saying in a statement that “our arms sales to Saudi Arabia demand Congressional oversight. This bipartisan resolution simply asks the secretary of state to report on some basic questions before moving forward with them. The ongoing humanitarian crisis and complicated security environment in Yemen requires our sustained attention, and we cannot permit U.S. military equipment to worsen the situation on the ground.”

    • Stern Words From Iran: U.S. Cannot ‘Expect to Stay Safe’

      Iran’s foreign minister warned the U.S. on Monday that it “cannot expect to stay safe” after launching what he described as an economic war against Tehran, taking a hard-line stance amid a visit by Germany’s top diplomat seeking to defuse tensions.

      A stern-faced Mohammad Javad Zarif offered a series of threats over the ongoing tensions gripping the Persian Gulf. The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s decision over a year ago to withdraw America from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Trump also reinstated tough sanctions on Iran, targeting its oil sector.

      “Mr. Trump himself has announced that the U.S. has launched an economic war against Iran,” Zarif said. “The only solution for reducing tensions in this region is stopping that economic war.”

    • This Is How War With Iran Is Manufactured

      Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal was a top campaign priority for President Trump, one he accomplished in 2018. In a May 8 speech from the White House, he said the agreement was “a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.” In other instances, he claimed that the agreement increased Iran’s military budget, once in a tweet CNN called misleading. When reporters from The Washington Post asked the source of the claim, the White House provided a Forbes article by an Iranian writer named Heshmat Alavi.

      Alavi is described in his Forbes contributor biography as “an Iranian activist with a passion for equal rights.” His byline also appears in The Hill, The Daily Caller and The Federalist. The problem, however, is not only that President Trump may be using a misleading claim to support his decision to withdraw from an international nonproliferation agreement, but that the person who wrote about the claim may not exist, according to new reporting from The Intercept.

      “Alavi’s persona,” Murtaza Hussain writes in The Intercept, “is a propaganda operation run by the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq, which is known by the initials MEK.”

      Hassan Heyrani, a high-ranking defector from the MEK and one of Hussain’s sources, told The Intercept that Alavi’s persona is a group effort “run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK,” who are based in Albania. According to Heyrani, the group writes under a pseudonym partly because MEK abhors individuality. As Heyrani told The Intercept, “… the leader is the first man in the organization, and everything should be under their shadow.”

      MEK, Hussain explains, is “deeply unpopular” in Iran, and is now looking to English-speaking audiences in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. These are all places, Hussain writes, “whose foreign policies are crucial nodes in the MEK’s central goal of overthrowing the Iranian regime.”

    • Citing Slaughter in Yemen, Senators Launch New Effort to Block Trump From Selling More US-Made Weapons to Saudis

      A bipartisan pair of senators announced late Sunday their plan to introduce a privileged resolution Monday in hopes of using congressional oversight to block U.S. arms sales and other “security” assistance to Saudi Arabia—which, along with the United Arab Emirates, is leading the coalition waging war on Yemen.

      “The consequences are clear: the more weapons we sell to Saudi Arabia, the longer the war in Yemen drags on and the more civilians will die as a result of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks by the Saudi-led coalition,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who is cosponsoring the measure with Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), said in a statement.

      Murphy explained that “the process we are setting in motion will allow Congress to weigh in on the totality of our security relationship with Saudi Arabia, not just one arms sale, and restore Congress’s role in foreign policy making.”

    • Pompeo’s promise to intervene against Corbyn should surprise no one

      Of course the idea the “Jewish leaders” harbor any real fear that Jeremy Corbyn (Jeremy Corbyn!) is going to make life “difficult” for British Jews if elected is simply risible. They know, just as every moderately informed person knows, that that’s absurd. They know Corbyn has no wish to make life difficult for anybody – except possibly the uber wealthy and the profiteer class.

      They know the “antisemitism” fear is just a cover for the very very real fear that a Corbyn government will break the unwritten rules of modern western governance and reject the agenda of austerity, exploitation and perpetual war that has been creating huge profits and ideological thrills for the blessed few over the last twenty years.

      They know that what Pompeo is promising is action to prevent this possibility coming about.

      People are up in arms about this, and some seem quite shocked. Apparently the idea the neoliberal elites would try regime change or regime-control on a relatively prosperous western country was something they didn’t previously think possible.

      Unfortunately it’s more than possible. The state apparatus of the different western nations are a tight bond of mutual regard and interest, just as likely to foment regime change on their own or their allies’ elected representatives as on those of impoverished or “developing” countries, if they believe those representatives threaten the perceived interests of the state. Of course it isn’t too often necessary, since the same western state apparatus also works to ensure that only governments that don’t threaten perceived state interests manage to get elected. But, when the unthinkable happens, MI5 and the CIA are quite happy to step up to the plate and throw their own or their allies’ democratic governments out the window.It’s happened – or nearly happened – at least twice in the last fifty years.

      In the 1960s the UK security agencies, senior military and members of the royal family were apparently contemplating a fullblown coup against Labour prime minister Harold Wilson.

    • Raytheon and United Technologies Announce Merger to Create ‘Military-Industrial Behemoth’

      In a move that immediately sparked concerns among anti-trust advocates, weapons manufacturer Raytheon and aerospace giant United Technologies agreed Sunday to a $120 billion merger that was described as one of the largest-ever combinations of two defense contractors.

      The merger, if approved by the government and the two companies’ shareholders, would create what the Washington Post described as a “military-industrial behemoth” with the power to rival Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor.

      “The company should be expected to make a strong play for the Defense Department’s emerging hypersonic missiles programs,” the Post reported. “It also will give Raytheon a sizable foothold in the commercial aerospace market for the first time in recent memory. Before the combination, the lion’s share of Raytheon’s revenue came from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies.”

    • Denouncing US Bullying of ICC, Rights Groups Demand Afghan War Crimes Victims Get Their Day in Court

      Demanding that the pleas for justice from victims of Afghanistan war crimes be heard, human rights organizations on Monday filed an appeal against the International Criminal Court’s recent decision not to probe the alleged abuses.

      The appeal (pdf), filed by Reprieve and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), said the decision by the “court of last resort” was “devastating” for the six victims, as it left them unable “to contribute to a process that seeks to end impunity and contribute to the prevention of crimes, to know the truth, and to request reparations.”

      As Common Dreams reported, the court announced in April that it would not launch a probe into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including those committed by U.S. forces. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested the investigation in 2017.

      The rejection of the probe—which came even as the three-judge chamber acknowledged “there is a reasonable basis to believe that the incidents underlying the request have occurred”—followed intimidation efforts by the Trump administration to block the investigation, including denying visas for ICC personnel, revoking Bensouda’s visa, and President Donald Trump and national security adviser John Bolton threatening the court should it investigate possible U.S. or Israeli war crimes.

    • Mali attack: ’100 killed’ in ethnic Dogon village

      Nearly 100 people have been killed in an attack in a village in central Mali inhabited by the Dogon ethnic group, officials say.
      The attack happened in Sobame Da, near Sanga town in the Mopti region.
      The search for bodies is ongoing, but officials say 95 people have been found dead, with many of the bodies burned.
      There have been numerous attacks in Mali in recent months, some ethnically driven, some carried out by jihadist groups.
      Clashes between Dogon hunters and semi-nomadic Fulani herders are frequent.

    • ‘Unlawful Killings’: Nearly 100 Dead in Attack on Mali Village

      At least 95 people were killed Monday morning in the West African nation of Mali, the latest escalation of continued violence in the country in the last six years.

      Central Mali villagers belonging to the Dogon ethnic group were the victims of the nighttime raid. The Mali government blamed “suspected terrorists” for the incursion, the BBC reported.

    • The Generals Won’t Save Us From the Next War

      Poll after poll indicates that the only public institution Americans still trust is the military. Not Congress, not the presidency, not the Supreme Court, the church, or the media. Just the American war machine.

      But perhaps that faith in the U.S. Armed Forces is misplaced. I got to thinking about this recently after I wrote articles calling for dissent among military leaders in order to stop what seems to be a likely forthcoming war with Iran. While I still believe that dissent in the ranks stands the best chance of galvanizing an apathetic public against an ill-advised, immoral conflict in the Persian Gulf, I also know its a pipe dream.

      These are company men, after all, obedient servants dedicated—no matter how much they protest otherwise—to career and promotion, as much or more than they are to the national interest. The American military, especially at the senior ranks, is apt to let you down whenever courage or moral fortitude is needed most. In nearly 18 years of post-9/11 forever war, not a single general has resigned in specific opposition to what many of them knew to be unwinnable, unethical conflicts. Writing about the not-so-long-ago Vietnam War, former national security advisor H.R. McMaster, himself a problematic war on terror general, labeled in his book title such military acquiescence Dereliction of Duty. That it was, but so is the lack of moral courage and logical reasoning among McMaster and his peers who have submissively waged these endless wars in Americans’ name.

      Think on it: of the some 18 general officers who have commanded the ill-fated, ongoing war in Afghanistan, each has optimistically promised not only that victory was possible, but that it was “around the corner” or a “light at the end of the tunnel.” All these generals needed, naturally, was more time and, of course, more resources. For the most part they’ve gotten it, billions in cash to throw away and thousands of American soldiers’ lives to waste.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • ‘XY Chelsea’ Is Bittersweet Film On Chelsea Manning’s Life After Commutation

      It is difficult enough for a person to transition from the United States military back to life as a civilian. It is even more difficult for a person to transition from the military to prison and then back to life as a civilian. The stress becomes even more compounded when one is a prominent figure and everyone has their expectations of who you are and what you are supposed to do now.

      “XY Chelsea,” the first feature documentary from Tim Travers Hawkins, explores moments in Chelsea Manning’s life immediately following her release from military prison at Fort Leavenworth.

      The film was largely completed before Chelsea was subpoenaed and jailed twice because she refuses to testify before a federal grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. However, this latest development adds an undercurrent of bittersweetness.

      “XY Chelsea” opens with her attorneys, Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward, who worked on her appeal and request for clemency. It is January 2017. The counsel to President Barack Obama calls to inform them that Chelsea’s sentence was commuted. It was entirely unexpected.

    • First Assange. Then Us.

      Chris Hedges gave this talk Tuesday, June 11, at an event held in London in support of Julian Assange.

      Ask the Iraqi parents of Sabiha Hamed Salih, aged 15, and Ashwaq Hamed Salih, aged 16, who were killed by shrapnel in Baghdad on July 31, 2004, what they think of Julian Assange.

      Ask the man and his two young daughters who saw their wife and mother shot to death and were themselves wounded in a car fired upon by U.S. Marines in Fallujah on July 22, 2005, what they think of Julian Assange.

      Ask the parents of Huda Haleem, an 18-year-old girl, and Raghad Muhamad Haleem, a 5-year-old boy, shot dead by U.S. soldiers on June 2, 2006, in Iraq’s Diyala province what they think of Julian Assange.

      Ask the parents of the 15-year-old boy choked with a wire and then shot to death by U.S. Marines in Ramadi on Aug. 10, 2006, what they think of Julian Assange.

      Ask the relatives of Ahmed Salam Mohammad, who was shot dead on Nov. 27, 2006, when U.S. troops attacked a wedding party near Mosul, an attack that also left four wounded, what they think of Julian Assange.

    • “Your Default Position Should Be Skepticism” and Other Advice for Data Journalists From Hadley Wickham

      I help teach a data science class at Stanford, and I was just looking through this dataset on emergency room visits in the United States. There is a sample of every emergency visit from like 2013 to 2017 … and then there’s this really short narrative, a one-sentence description of what caused the accident.

      I think that’s a fascinating dataset because there are so many stories in it. I look at the dataset every year, and each time I try and pull out a little different story. This year, I decided to look at knife-related injuries, and there are massive spikes on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s.

      As a generalist you want to turn that into a story, and there are so many questions you can ask. That kind of exploration is really a warmup. If you’re more of an investigative data journalist, you’re also looking for the data that isn’t there. You’ve got to force yourself to think, well, what should I be seeing that I’m not?

      ProPublica: What’s a tip for someone who thinks that they have found some

    • Opposition campaign manager Leonid Volkov has been jailed a second time for a single livestream. Is that even legal? (Spoiler: nope.)

      Early in the morning on June 10, Leonid Volkov, a former campaign manager for Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, was set to leave the detention facility where he had spent the previous 20 days. Volkov was convicted of “action or inaction by an organizer of a public event leading others to cause harm to the health of an individual or to property” under Article 20.2 of Russia’s Codex of Administrative Violations. The charge was based on his public support for a protest against Russia’s pension reforms in September of 2018. In May, a court ruled that Volkov had “inspired” people to join an unsanctioned protest in Moscow that september by livestreaming a video from outside Russia on the day of the event. Immediately after Volkov was released, he was arrested again and sentenced to 15 more days in jail under a different section of Article 20.2 on the premise that the same video had inspired protesters in St. Petersburg. We explain why that move contradicts both Russian procedural norms and the country’s Constitution.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Green New Deal Me In

      In the early 80s the New Yorker ran a three-part series called “The Fate of the Earth” by Jonathan Schell. At the time there was a great deal of fear that the world would end in a nuclear holocaust. Ronald Reagan was president. He’d not yet had his epiphany about the horrors of nuclear war. The Soviet Union’s expiration date was still a few years away. It was pointing SS-20s at Europe, those multi-warheaded missiles each capable of delivering 150 kilotons of destruction, Reagan was responding with Pershing missiles’ 400 kilotons.

      The fear was real. We were demonstrating in the streets, writing testaments, hanging UNICEF posters in our rooms that asked “What would you like to be when you grow up?” The answer, of course was alive.

      “The Fate of the Earth” was a call to arms, or rather to disarm, an attempt to describe the global Hiroshimas we were hurtling toward if we didn’t become wiser. Its most arresting pages describe what it would look like if a 20-megaton nuclear bomb exploded on the Empire State Building. I was in high school at the time. I remember reading the article while visiting my brother at Columbia University, and looking out his window at the Manhattan skyline Schell’s descriptions were demolishing–the six-mile-wide fireball, the millions of New Yorkers, myself among them, reduced to radioactive dust, the death of 20 million people and the reduction of the country to what he called a “republic of insects and grass.” Obviously, we’re still here, and books like Schell’s played a significant role in what turned into an era of significant arms control and disarmament.

      The problem, or perhaps the opportunity, is that the same sort of language Schell used in 1983 can apply today to the slow-building catastrophe of climate change. “Since we cannot afford under any circumstances to let a holocaust occur,” Schell wrote back then, “we are forced in this one case to become the historians of the future–to chronicle and commit to memory an event that we have never experienced and must never experience.”

      The difference is that the holocaust this time is slow, giving us the illusion of adaptability. Much of it is out of view, allowing us to ignore it. We’ve sensed temperatures getting warmer in Florida, we already see the effects of rising seas on Miami, whose voters just levied a higher property tax on themselves to combat the rise. Hell, we’re seeing it in Flagler, where we just finished wasting $20 million on repairing dunes and are about to waste another $50 million or more on an ultimately futile beach renourishment effort in Flagler Beach, not including the millions the transportation department is spending on road repair and sea wall construction. But it’s still nothing compared to the much higher and faster temperature rises the Arctic has been experiencing, with reports of 84 degrees near the Arctic Ocean last month.

    • How Unions and Climate Organizers Learned To Work Together in New York

      Several years before Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) elevated the climate, jobs and justice framework to the national level, a coalition of labor, environmental and community groups joined together to push for a pioneering climate bill in New York.

      The idea for the legislation came in the immediate aftermath of the 2014 People’s Climate March, when organizers decided to build on the momentum of the historic demonstration. In 2016 the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) was born, an expansive bill that would require New York to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The bill would also mandate that 40 percent of New York’s climate funding go towards projects in low-income, vulnerable communities, and require all green projects to have high labor standards, including the requirement for a prevailing wage.

    • Canada’s Plan to Ban Single-Use Plastics and Make Corporations Responsible for Waste Welcomed as ‘Step in the Right Direction’

      Environmental campaigners on Monday welcomed the Canadian government’s new plan to ban certain single-use plastics as early as 2021 and work with provinces and territories to make corporations responsible for their plastic waste.

      “Ultimately Canada needs to move towards phasing out all non-essential plastics if we are going to truly reduce the awful plastic legacy we are leaving for future generations of all life on this planet,” Sarah King of Greenpeace Canada said in a statement. “The federal government’s announcements marks the first step in an essential journey to break free from plastic.”

    • African city heat is set to grow intolerably

      An entire continent faces lethal conditions for many of its people: by 2090, one person in three can expect African city heat in the great conurbations severe enough to expose them to potentially deadly temperatures.

      That is: the number of days in which the apparent temperature – a notional balance of thermometer-measured heat and maximum humidity – could reach or surpass 40.6°C will increase dramatically, and the days when individuals could be at risk could in some scenarios multiply 50-fold.

      The scientists selected this “apparent” temperature of 40.6°C because it is significantly beyond the natural temperature of the human body, which must then be kept cool by perspiration. This is possible in arid climates.

      But as humidity goes up – and with each 1°C rise in temperature, the capacity of the air to hold moisture rises by 7% – cooling by perspiration becomes less efficient.

    • Trudeau to announce ban on single-use plastics Monday

      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce steps towards a federal ban on single-use plastics on Monday, a government official has confirmed, following in the footsteps of the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions.

      In Montreal, Trudeau is slated to announce a “host” of measures to reduce pollution, including “steps to get to a ban” on single-use plastics, the official, who could only speak under condition of anonymity, told the National Post. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson will be in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, talking about the same initiatives.

    • Official: Canada to announce ban on single-use plastics

      The Canadian government plans to announce it is moving to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, a senior government official said late Sunday

      The official said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would make the announcement Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of Monday’s news conference.

    • Canada to Announce Ban on Single Use Plastics

      Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce a plan to ban single use plastics by 2021 at a press conference in Montreal Monday, the Associated Press reports.

    • Asbestos Contamination Found in More Claire’s Cosmetics: New FDA Report

      The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found more asbestos in make-up sold at Claire’s, an accessory store geared towards young teenagers.

    • Wildfire Prompts Evacuation at Magic Mountain Amusement Park

      A wildfire that erupted Sunday near Los Angeles forced evacuations from the Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor parks, NBC News reported.

      “I was getting iced coffee and when I walked outside, ash was raining down on me,” Rachel Gallat, who was visiting a friend who works at the park, told The Associated Press of the experience. “There was a big cloud of smoke. I saw people around me panicking; they didn’t know where they were supposed to go.”

    • Smoke forces evacuations of Six Flags parks near Los Angeles

      The Sky Fire erupted at about noon Sunday in Valencia, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and had grown to 40 acres in less than two hours.

  • Finance

    • Donald Trump’s Capricious Tariffs Open the Door to Corruption

      Donald Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his love for tariffs, even dubbing himself “Tariff Man.” While Trump clearly does not understand how tariffs work, some of the discussion in the media has been off target as well. It’s worth trying to get the basic story straight.

      First, it has been widely pointed out that Trump is wrong in thinking that China or other targeted countries are paying tariffs to the U.S. Treasury. To make it simple, a tariff is a tax on imports.

      It can be thought of as being like a tax on cigarettes or alcohol. The buyer is the one who most immediately pays the tax on Chinese or other targeted imports. However, the tax will generally not be borne entirely by the consumer.

      The seller — in this case, producers in the countries subject to the tax — will typically lower their price to maintain their market share. So, some of the burden of the tariff will be borne by China or other targeted countries. (An important exception is a financial transactions tax, where the financial industry will bear almost the entire burden of the tax.)

      It is also important to point out that part of this burden is likely to come through fluctuations in currency prices, an issue that has been almost completely ignored in media reports on tariffs. The classic economics story is that if the U.S. puts a tariff on Chinese or other imports, the value of the dollar will rise relative to the Chinese yuan and other currencies.

      The logic is that since the U.S. is supplying fewer dollars on international currency markets, because tariffs reduce our demand for imports, the price of the dollar rises. This means, other things being equal, U.S. imports cost somewhat less than they would otherwise because a dollar buys more yuan, yen, etc.

    • Corporations Are Poisoning People in Puerto Rico With Coal Ash

      Community organizers in Guayama, Puerto Rico, are agitating for the closure of a coal plant operated by the Virginia-based multinational corporation AES, citing research showing that local rates of cancer and asthma have increased substantially since the plant opened in 2002.

      Now the fight has spread to the mainland United States: in early May, media reported that AES coal ash is now being shipped to a landfill in Osceola County, Florida. Even as AES continues to plague communities in Puerto Rico, it is now threatening to spread its poison to this Florida county with a large Puerto Rican community.

      I first learned of the crisis of the cenizas, or ashes, in January, when I traveled to Puerto Rico with the Queer Trans Solidarity and Service Brigade, a group of U.S.-based activists on a mission to learn more about the political and day-to-day struggles in the archipelago and organize in solidarity with our comrades based in Puerto Rico. We went to Guayama, in the southeast of the main island, for a town forum organized by Comunidad Guayamesa Unidos por tu Salud on the community-wide health effects of the coal ash generated by the AES power plant in the town. Some of us from the U.S. had seen cable news air footage after Hurricane Maria of black sludge, rainwater mixed with thick coal ash from the plant, pouring from drainage pipes into the sea in the nearby town of Peñuelas, but we didn’t yet know the full extent of the coal ash catastrophe.

    • Retail Workers Nationwide Are United for Respect

      Toys ‘R’ Us workers won a crucial severance pay victory last year after the company closed its US stores. Private equity firms KKR, Bain, and Vornado had bought up the legendary toy store just a decade before, saddled the company with debt, and left the 33,000 laid-off employees without access to the millions they were owed in severance.

      But rather than letting private equity vultures enrich themselves on the backs of employees who’d been with the store for decades, workers fought back, taking creative actions across the country and pushing legislators and pension funds to get on board—and eventually won a $20 million severance fund. Their victory was part of a broader movement—one that’s been fighting for justice for retail workers for years. Under the umbrella of United for Respect, retail workers from corporations like Toys ‘R’ Us, Sears, and Walmart are joining together to demand a just economy.

      United for Respect made headlines just last week by filing a resolution at a Walmart shareholders meeting to allow workers on the company’s corporate board. While the resolution didn’t pass, the news—alongside the appearance of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was invited by Walmart workers—was a welcome addition to the conversation about the role of workers in corporate decision-making.

      In addition to the waves made by worker organizing, talk around shifting power on corporate boards is growing as Democratic presidential candidates elaborate on their labor proposals. The Sanders campaign has announced it’s working on a plan to require corporations to give workers a share of corporate board seats, as well as a proposal that would require large businesses to direct a portion of their stocks into a worker-controlled fund. And Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act – which would require companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue to allow workers to elect at least 40 percent of board members – last year before announcing her presidential run.

      Andrea Dehlendorf and Ann Marie Reinhart told Inequality.org more about the importance of workers on corporate boards, the need for fair workweek scheduling, and why Wall Street is a culprit in retail bankruptcies. Andrea serves as Co-Director of United for Respect, and Ann Marie is a United for Respect leader and former Toys ‘R’ Us employee.

    • The Miners’ Strike: Renewed Class Struggle in Chiatura, Georgia

      Over 3,000 workers in the manganese mining town of Chiatura (Georgia) started a wildcat strike 15 days ago in spite of the three unions that operate there, including one that signed a collective agreement last year that forbids strikes for three years. The whole town joined them in the strike while workers from the coal mine, ferroalloy plant, metro workers, and students and activists from Tbilisi all visited in solidarity. Unlike other strikes where workers stop production, this strike included stopping all transport of manganese supply as well. The main roads were blocked. Their demands were: 50% salary increase, no more vehicles full of manganese driving through the town, better health insurance and healthcare, and better food provided by the company. A small group of workers also started a hunger strike and remained within the center of town in tents, also beginning to sew their mouths shut, one by one, for each day that their demands were not met. The resonance began to magnify as more and more people joined the strikers across the country and as talks between miners and the company had fallen apart. Government officials have been the progress, though two days ago when the minister of finance was supposed to visit the company threatened with a lawsuit against the workers for starting an “illegal” strike.

      This strike was started by one shift of workers refusing to go to work in the new work regime called the “Wachtian” system, which is the most brutal shift in the mines. When asked what the origin of the word “Wacht” was that people kept using in Chiatura to describe the new mining “system,” no one knew. After some digging, it turned out to be from the German word for “watch” or “guard” The name is quite apt, this new work regime means that the workers are being watched and guarded for 24 hours a day, 15 days a month. They work 12 hour shifts every day for fifteen days, sleeping in a dormitory that used to be a Sanatorium during the Soviet Union where workers used to be treated and rested during periods of physiologically and mentally more difficult work. Nowadays, the Sanatorium is where the workers are watched closely so they don’t go home to visit their families or see their friends even though many miners’ houses are one street over. The irony that the Sanatorium that was once a symbol and a rest-place of the workers’ state is now transformed into the center of their heightened exploitation. It’s the state of class struggle in Georgia.

    • Charter Schools Are a Major Dividing Line for the 2020 Democratic Candidates—Education Fights in Pennsylvania Point the Way

      Charter schools have finally broken into the national political dialogue, with presidential candidates in the Democratic Party proclaiming their stances on these schools. But a national debate about charters and “school choice” will be an exercise in empty rhetoric unless the candidates’ views are grounded in the real consequences of how charter schools and school choice affect communities.

      Although much of the debate is stuck to a bumper sticker message about the need for families to have a choice to attend charter schools, few if any candidates seem willing to acknowledge providing families with an option to choose charters can come with considerable costs to everyone else in the community.

      To understand those costs, consider Pennsylvania, where the costs of charter schools are most blatantly apparent but nevertheless representative of the cost of charters everywhere.

    • Most American Women Prefer Socialism to Capitalism: Poll

      Signs that socialism is gaining popularity in the United States are popping up everywhere. Publications such as The Economist, The Guardian and The New York Times have all been saying for some time that American millennials are more interested in socialism than capitalism these days, with one 2017 Guardian piece even framing it as a youthful love affair with a not-so-young idea. Then there was Bernie Sanders’ unexpected popularity among young voters during the 2016 primaries, with polls showing that the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist “won more votes from the under-30 crowd than Trump and Clinton combined.” Add to this the rise of figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and polls showing that Democrats are increasingly embracing socialism, and it’s clear the term no longer holds the misguided Cold War stigma it did for decades.

      Now a new Harris poll conducted for the show “Axios on HBO” reveals 40% of Americans would take socialism over capitalism. Perhaps more significantly, the poll finds a whopping 55% of women between the ages of 18 and 54 would prefer to live under socialism. Given a lack of policies in capitalist America that benefit or protect women, these numbers should be unsurprising.

    • THE 7 BIGGEST FAILURES OF TRUMPONOMICS

      Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress keep crowing about the economy, when in reality Trumponomics has been a disaster. Here are its 7 biggest failures…

    • Underpaid Adjunct Professors Sleep in Cars and Rely on Public Aid

      Childress discusses homeless adjunct professors who sleep in their cars. He cites the San Francisco Chronicle and the example of English professor Ellen Tara James Penny. While teaching four courses per semester at San Jose University in Fall 2017, Penny “often drives to a parking lot to grade papers. When it’s dark, she’ll use a headlamp from Home Depot, so she can continue her work. At night she’ll re-park in a residential neighborhood and sleep in her 2004 Volvo. She keeps the car neat to avoid suspicion.”

      Some adjunct professors turn to sex work to augment their income. Childress refers to a Guardian story about a “middle-aged” adjunct whose income dwindled dramatically when her course load was cut in half. About to be evicted, she told The Guardian, “In my mind I was like, I’ve had one-night stands, how bad can it be?… And it wasn’t that bad.”

      Many adjuncts toil at multiple campuses in a semester, commuting hundreds of miles each day, working essentially nonstop except for sleep, as they teach, grade papers and answer multitudinous student emails. “The figure of 45 contract hours is a fiction that conceals 350 hours of work, maybe 400 and maybe more,” Childress writes. “A $3,600 pretax stipend with no benefits like healthcare or retirement contributions, spread over 400 hours of work, comes to $9 per hour.”

      As a result, adjuncts are organizing. This spring, adjunct professors at several Minnesota colleges began agitating for unions, as reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Minnesota’s first adjunct union, at Hamline University, has pursued negotiations for a second contract since July 2018. Meanwhile in January, New York City-based Mercy College adjunct teachers started a drive to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Recently, Fordham University adjuncts ratified their first contract, which mandates substantial pay increases. “Nationally about seventy new faculty bargaining units — all but one for nontenure faculty — have sprung up on private campuses since 2012,” according to the Star Tribune.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Supreme Court Nixes Corporate Contributions for the 2020 Campaign

      A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court delivered a surprising rebuke to those who think corporations just don’t have enough influence on U.S. elections. In declining to hear the case of 1A Auto, Inc. vs. Sullivan, the court essentially guaranteed that corporations will be sidelined for at least the next election cycle.

      Some background: since the passage of the Tillman Act of 1907, corporate contributions have been banned in federal elections. The Tillman Act was violated most famously by President Nixon’s re-election campaign in 1972, in which illegal corporate money was used to fund even more illegal campaign activities, like the break-in at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate.

      A more recent example of a Tillman Act violation was committed by President Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen, who was convicted of facilitating payments from the National Enquirer’s parent company American Media Inc. to an alleged Trump mistress. The company got off with a non-prosecution agreement and the obligation to not break the law again, but Cohen is now in jail for this and other crimes.

      In the aftermath of 2010’s Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC, in which the court allowed corporations to buy unlimited amounts of political ads, many court watchers thought the justices’ next move would be to get rid of the corporate contribution bans that exist in federal elections, as well as those that exist in a little under half the states. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 22 states ban corporations from giving directly to political campaigns in state races. And like the Tillman Act itself, Massachusetts’ ban dates back to 1907.

    • ‘Corruption in Plain Sight’: Jared Kushner Firm Took in $90 Million From Unnamed Foreign Entities Since 2017

      The latest scandal from the President Donald Trump administration involves secretive foreign investments in a company in which the president’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner has a stake.

      As The Guardian reported Monday, real estate speculation corporation Cadre, which was co-founded by Kushner, has received at least $90 million in overseas capital since 2017.

    • Justice Department Agrees to Release Key Mueller Evidence to Congress

      The Justice Department has agreed to turn over some of the underlying evidence from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, including files used to assess whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Monday.

      In the first breakthrough in weeks of negotiations over the report, Rep. Jerrold Nadler said the department will begin complying with the committee’s subpoena on Monday and provide some of Mueller’s “most important files.” He said all members of the committee will be able to view them.

      The Justice Department did not have an immediate comment.

    • Tariff Temper Tantrum: Trump “Created a Fake Crisis & Has Announced a Fake Solution” with Mexico

      Facing an escalating showdown with Mexico and an insurrection from his own party, President Trump said Friday the United States had reached a deal with Mexico to avert a 5% tariff on all imported Mexican goods that was due to take effect today and increase to 25% by October. Trump’s announcement came after three days of Mexico-U.S. negotiations in Washington. Officials said it was based around Mexico’s commitment to deploy National Guard forces throughout the country, in particular to its southern border, in order to stem the flow of northbound migrants headed toward the US. Under the deal, they said Mexico also agreed to expand what is known as the Remain in Mexico policy, which allows the U.S. to send back Central American asylum-seeking migrants to Mexico while their cases make their way through immigration courts. However, on Saturday, The New York Times reported that the plan to send troops to the border had already been agreed to in March. We speak with Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and author of “The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority.”

    • Rev. William Barber: Racist Gerrymandering Created a GOP Stronghold in the South. We Must Fight Back

      Longtime civil rights leader Rev. Dr. William Barber joins us to respond to his conviction Thursday for trespassing during a 2017 protest against gerrymandering and attacks on healthcare at the North Carolina Legislature. Barber had refused to leave the General Assembly as ordered, after he organized a sit-in at the legislative building when Republican leaders refused to meet with him about concerns with voter ID requirements and redistricting plans that would weaken the power of the black vote. “We must start connecting systemic racism, most seen through systemic voter suppression and gerrymandering, poverty, the lack of healthcare, environmental devastation and the war economy,” says Barber, the former president of the North Carolina NAACP and a leader of the national Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. This Wednesday he will join faith leaders and religious groups in Washington, D.C., for a march to the White House to protest the Trump administration’s attacks on the nation’s most vulnerable communities, and next week he hosts the three-day Poor People’s Campaign Moral Action Congress in Washington, D.C., that will draw hundreds of people from across the country for a presidential forum, where both Republican and Democratic candidates will speak.

    • ‘Truth Will Prevail,’ Says Lula, After Leaked Documents Suggest He Was Imprisoned to Prevent Victory in Brazil’s Presidential Election

      According to The Intercept, the documents provide significant evidence that Sérgio Moro—the judge who found Lula guilty—unlawfully conspired with prosecutors to construct the corruption case against the former Brazilian president, who polled as the frontrunner in the 2018 presidential election even while he was imprisoned.

      “Overall, the documents depict a task force of prosecutors seemingly intent on exploiting its legal powers for blatantly political ends,” The Intercept reported Sunday, “led by its goal of preventing a return to power of the Workers’ Party generally, and Lula specifically.”

      Lula’s imprisonment in 2018 on corruption charges cleared the way for the rapid ascent and victory of Brazil’s current far-right president Jair Bolsonaro over Fernando Haddad, who replaced Lula as the presidential candidate for the Workers’ Party (PT).

      “[M]any of these documents show improper and unethical plotting… on how to best structure the corruption case against Lula—although Moro was legally required to judge the case as a neutral arbiter,” The Intercept reported. “Other documents include private admissions among the prosecutors that the evidence proving Lula’s guilt was lacking.”

      Following his victory in the presidential election, Bolsonaro appointed Moro as justice minister—a move The Intercept said created “the obvious perception (real or not) of a quid pro quo.”

    • Hollywood, Cinema, Pornography & Propaganda

      It’s often said that there is a fine line between art and pornography, and this is true, but few people take the time to seriously contemplate where that line is. As a fan of both art and pornography, not to mention sociology, I have probably spent too much time on the subject. Most people view the dividing line between these two mediums to be the actions of its subjects, to put it bluntly, people fucking. But some of my favorite art films include graphic scenes of passionate and unsimulated coitus. And some of my favorite genres of pornography involve acts that many wouldn’t even consider to be sexual. No, the line between art and pornography is not defined by its subject matter but rather by its intent. The intent of art is to provoke and engage the audience intellectually. The intent of pornography is to indulge and engage the audience reactively.

      Unlike far too many other feminists, I have no problem with pornography in and of itself, particularly if it involves Asian lesbians with small feet and plenty of rope, but there are forms of pornography that have nothing to do with natural human sexuality in all its perverted diversity. Propaganda would probably be my least favorite genre of pornography and this hardcore smut plays on cable news 24/7 when any child could be flipping through the channels. Propaganda is the ultimate form of malignant pornography. It is the complete antithesis of art, designed for the express purpose of keeping people reacting by making sure they have no time to think. The audience is blitzed with an explosive barrage of suggestions, largely parroted from the satanic conglomeration of big government and big business commonly referred to by woke freaks like me as the Establishment. “Fear! Fear! Be afraid! Be afraid! Vote! Buy! Vote! Attack Iran! Squirrels on jet skies! Lupus fun run! Drone strike! MONEY SHOT! Have you attacked Iran yet?” Some pretty sick shit. Ted Turner makes Bob Guccione look like Captain Kangaroo.

    • Mexico Denies Trump’s Claim of Secret Concessions in Deal

      Three days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a deal with Mexico to stem the flow of migrants at the southern border, the two countries appear unable to agree on exactly what’s in it.

      Stung by criticism that the agreement mostly ramps up border protection efforts already underway, Trump on Monday hinted at other, secret agreements he says will soon be revealed.

      “We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years,” Trump wrote Monday, saying it would “be revealed in the not too distant future.”

    • News Hounds Ignore Red Meat in D.C., Gnaw on Bone in New York

      Since 2001, any aircraft-vs.-building incident in New York is big news. So it was that mass media coverage of a helicopter crash-landing threw shade on the Democrats’ first salvo in an as-yet undeclared impeachment war.

      The chopper incident, big story though it was for jittery New York, had none of the historical import of the Washington hearing, billed by the Democrats as the start of an education campaign for the American people. It was titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes.”

      Call it impeachment light.

      When it became clear the Manhattan incident was not much more than a disturbing echo of 9/11, we kept waiting for at least one of the big 3 cable networks to switch coverage to Capitol Hill. None did.

      Instead it was “game on” for the ultracompetitive media. Historical import be damned, we’re going to cover the New York story like a wet blanket.

      Meanwhile, as broadcast on C-SPAN, the committee was hearing compelling testimony from former U.S. attorneys Joyce White Vance and Barbara McQuade, who lucidly explained why a presidential attempt to obstruct justice, if unpunished, undermines the rule of law in America.

      “By seeking to curtail the [Russia] investigation,” McQuade declared, “President Trump committed an act that threatened the national security of this country.”

    • Whining About Big Tech Doesn’t Protect Journalism

      Even if you believe the (debatable) claim that Google and Facebook are somehow to blame for the decline in advertising revenue to news sites, I’m left scratching my head over what good complaining about big tech actually does. Also “break up and regulate or something along those lines”? Again, I think there’s a valuable discussion to be had about how best to help fund journalism. It is pretty damn key to my own livelihood. But, this organization isn’t set up to have an “open” discussion. It has already insisted what the problem is (“big tech”) without being able to support that argument, and then says “something must be done” and so far it’s just whining about big tech.

      I fail to see how that’s productive. There are lots of smart, thoughtful people who have put a lot of work into a variety of arguments about how to deal with the big internet companies. Some of them I agree with and some of them I don’t, but I’m at a near total loss as to how merely whining does anything at all to save journalism.

    • Google Made $4.7 Billion From the News Industry in 2018, Study Says

      It’s more than the combined ticket sales of the last two “Avengers” movies. It’s more than what virtually any professional sports team is worth. And it’s the amount that Google made from the work of news publishers in 2018 via search and Google News, according to a study to be released on Monday by the News Media Alliance.

      The journalists who create that content deserve a cut of that $4.7 billion, said David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the alliance, which represents more than 2,000 newspapers across the country, including The New York Times.

      “They make money off this arrangement,” Mr. Chavern said, “and there needs to be a better outcome for news publishers.”

      That $4.7 billion is nearly as much as the $5.1 billion brought in by the United States news industry as a whole from digital advertising last year — and the News Media Alliance cautioned that its estimate for Google’s income was conservative. For one thing, it does not count the value of the personal data the company collects on consumers every time they click on an article like this one.

    • Google Is Making Billions at the Media’s Expense

      Last year, amid a wave of layoffs and turmoil in the media that has shown no sign of breaking, Google earned $4.7 billion in revenue from news publishers through search and Google News. The findings were part of a study by the trade organization News Media Alliance, previously the Newspaper Association of America, and first reported in The New York Times. The study also notes that this figure is likely conservative due to the multinational’s diverse business model.

      “The actual value of news content to Google is more difficult to quantify because of the various ways the company uses news content to drive traffic, develop its products and entrench its dominant position,” it reads. “In addition to using news content for product development, such as training its artificial intelligence services, Google is tailoring its products—ramping up its use of news—to keep users in the Google ecosystem.”

      For a news industry that earned a total $5.1 billion in advertising in 2018, the dangers are manifest. Just ask Philadelphia Media Network CEO Terrance C.Z. Egger, whose company’s publications include The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and the erstwhile philly.com. “The study blatantly illustrates what we all know so clearly and so painfully,” Egger told the Times’ Marc Tracy. “The current dynamics in the relationships between the platforms and our industry are devastating.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • News Channel Crew Shot At By Men On Motorcycle In Delhi, Car Hit

      A reporter, a cameraperson and a driver of Hindi channel ABP News claimed that two men riding on a black Pulsar opened fire when they refused to stop by the road in central Delhi while they were on their way to cover a crime story.

    • Initial analyses show no traces of drugs in Golunov samples

      Yevgeny Bryun, an independent narcologist for Russia’s Health Ministry, has announced that no traces of narcotic substances were found in initial tests of biological materials taken from Ivan Golunov. The TV program Vesti Nedeli reported that no signs of drug use were found in Golunov’s urine, and human rights advocate Pavel Chikov, whose colleagues have represented Golunov in court, added that his palm swabs and nail clippings were also free of narcotics.

    • Protests in support of Ivan Golunov planned for June 12 and 23

      Russian journalists, activists, and Libertarian Party members are planning two marches in support of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov, according to a Facebook event posted June 10. Golunov is facing dubious drug charges and is currently under house arrest

      The organizers of the marches are demanding an end to law enforcement persecution of Golunov and legal consequences for “those who ordered the criminal case, fabricated it, and planted drugs” to target the investigative journalist. They have chosen the slogan “For Ivan Golunov’s Freedom.”

      The June 12 march will not be approved by local authorities, meaning that anyone who attends will risk arrest. Organizers have recommended that marchers behave calmly and carry newspapers with articles about Golunov on that day.

    • In historic collaboration, Russia’s three major business newspapers publish front pages for Ivan Golunov

      On June 10, for the first time in their history, the business newspapers Vedomosti, Kommersant, and RBC published identical front-page spreads. They were all dedicated to the case against Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov. By 11:30 AM local time, all three newspapers had nearly sold out in Moscow and St. Petersburg. They also published a joint message arguing that Golunov’s June 6 arrest and the attempted drug distribution charges against him were highly dubious and possibly related to his work as a journalist. English-language image files of the “I/WE = IVAN GOLUNOV” design are downloadable here.

    • A transcript of the Kremlin’s first comments on Ivan Golunov’s case

      Meduza: What comments can the Kremlin offer now on the criminal case against Ivan Golunov?

      Dmitry Peskov: The Kremlin cannot comment on Golunov’s criminal case. I can only tell you that the president was briefed on the case in St. Petersburg on Friday. He was briefed on the fact that this is a very high-profile case. The Kremlin, as you know, does not have the right to comment on cases, and it will not do so this time either. However, given the fact that this case is very, very high-profile, of course, we are monitoring all the details very carefully. That’s all I can say.

    • Republish these images of Ivan Golunov wherever you want for free
    • Human rights icon Oyub Titiev, convicted in March on dubious drug charges, to be released on parole

      In Chechnya, the Shalinsky City Court has approved a defense petition to allow Oyub Titiev to be released on parole in 10 days. Titiev, who leads the Chechen branch of the human rights organization Memorial, was arrested in January 2018 when police said they found 200 grams of marijuana in his car. Titiev argued that the drugs were planted, but in March 2019, a court sentenced him to four years in a prison colony.

    • Russian media outlets begin sending complaints about Golunov case to law enforcement en masse

      Russian media outlets have begun submitting numerous complaints and requests regarding the case against Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov to the Moscow branch of Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry, the federal Internal Affairs Ministry, the Investigative Committee, and the Prosecutor General’s Office. The outlets involved include Mediazona, Novaya Gazeta, Ekho Moskvy, Dozhd, The Bell, RTVI, and Snob.

      The journalists are demanding that government officials conduct an investigation of the police officers who arrested, searched, and questioned Golunov. They are also asking officials to look into reports that Golunov was beaten, the reasons he was denied an attorney and medical aid for hours on end, and the reasons police did not immediately take biological samples from Golunov that could have confirmed his innocence despite his demands that they do so.

    • ‘I/WE = IVAN GOLUNOV’. Download profile pics, headers, and poster templates to support Meduza’s arrested investigative reporter
    • Police and prosecutors have reportedly opened investigations into Ivan Golunov’s case

      Open Monitoring Commission member Eva Merkacheva told RIA Novosti that Russian prosecutors and the internal security division of Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry have begun investigating the case against Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov. No official announcement has yet been made regarding the reported investigations.

    • Republicans Blame CDA 230 For Letting Platforms Censor Too Much; Democrats Blame CDA 230 For Platforms Not Censoring Enough

      It certainly appears that politicians on both sides of the political aisle have decided that if they can agree on one thing, it’s that social media companies are bad, and that they’re bad because of Section 230, and that needs to change. The problem, of course, is that beyond that point of agreement, they actually disagree entirely on the reasons why. On the Republican side, you have people like Rep. Louis Gohmert and Senator Ted Cruz who are upset about platforms using Section 230′s protections to allow them to moderate content that those platforms find objectionable. Cruz and Gohmert want to amend CDA 230 to say that’s not allowed.

      Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, we’ve seen Nancy Pelosi attack CDA 230, incorrectly saying that it’s somehow a “gift” to the tech industry because it allows them not to moderate content. Pelosi’s big complaint is that the platforms aren’t censoring enough, and she blames 230 for that, while the Republicans are saying the platforms are censoring too much — and incredibly, both are saying this is the fault of CDA 230.

    • North Korea Law of Journalism Strikes Again as Envoy Rises From Dead

      When it comes to North Korea, stories are often too bad to be true.

      The country has been in the news of late, as ongoing negotiations between the Trump and Kim Jong-un administrations appear to have soured. The chief casualty of this diplomatic failure, the New York Times (5/31/19) breathlessly reported, was Kim Jong-un’s negotiating team, with the vice chair of the North Korean Workers’ Party, Kim Yong-chol, being sent to a forced labor camp in “the latest example of how a senior North Korean official’s political fortune is made or broken at the whims of Kim Jong-un.”

    • Not a single object confiscated from Ivan Golunov’s apartment carries his fingerprints, attorney says

      Sergey Badamshin, one of the attorneys representing Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov, told MBK Media that the journalist’s fingerprints were not found on any of the drug-related items police confiscated from his apartment.

    • YouTube Continues to Selectively Enforce Its Terms of Service

      Another day, another internal debate at YouTube about whether it will enforce its own content policies. And yet again, YouTube’s decision seems to solidify that the video platform will continue to be a welcoming home for channels that promote hate speech and harassment, and serve as a conduit for laundering far-right ideology—as long as those channels continue to make YouTube money.

      Carlos Maza, host of the Vox online video show Strikethrough, published a tweet thread on June 4 detailing the online harassment he has received as a result of a campaign against him by right-wing pundit and comedian Steven Crowder. Crowder has repeatedly used anti-gay rhetoric to attack Maza, calling him a “lispy queer,” an “angry little queer” and “Mr. Gay Vox,” among other insults. He frequently refers to Maza’s ethnicity, calling him a “gay Mexican” or a “gay Latino from Vox.”

      Since I started working at Vox, Steven Crowder has been making video after video “debunking” Strikethrough. Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • California: No Face Recognition on Body-Worn Cameras

      EFF has joined a coalition of civil rights and civil liberties organizations to support a California bill that would prohibit law enforcement from applying face recognition and other biometric surveillance technologies to footage collected by body-worn cameras.

      About five years ago, body cameras began to flood into police and sheriff departments across the country. In California alone, the Bureau of Justice Assistance provided more than $7.4 million in grants for these cameras to 31 agencies. The technology was pitched to the public as a means to ensure police accountability and document police misconduct. However, if enough cops have cameras, a police force can become a roving surveillance network, and the thousands of hours of footage they log can be algorithmically analyzed, converted into metadata, and stored in searchable databases.

      Today, we stand at a crossroads as face recognition technology can now be interfaced with body-worn cameras in real time. Recognizing the impending threat to our fundamental rights, California Assemblymember Phil Ting introduced A.B. 1215 to prohibit the use of face recognition, or other forms of biometric technology, such as gait recognition or tattoo recognition, on a camera worn or carried by a police officer.

    • Federal Court: Eight Months Of Utility Pole Camera Surveillance Is A Fourth Amendment Violation

      The Supreme Court’s Carpenter decision continues to add warrant requirements to surveillance activities law enforcement routinely engages in with almost zero paperwork whatsoever. The Carpenter case dealt with the government’s collection of historical cell site location info from third party telcos, but its influence has spread much farther than that.

      The decision shook the foundation of the Third Party Doctrine, suggesting a new “reasonable expectation of privacy” standard that threatens warrantless access to a number of third party records. It also suggested long-term surveillance of citizens shouldn’t be a warrant-free activity, even if much of what’s surveilled occurs out in the open.

      To date, courts have applied the Carpenter decision to cover things like car crash data from a vehicle’s black box and GPS data pulled from third party services. In this case, via FourthAmendment.com, a Massachusetts federal court says the Carpenter decision covers long-term surveillance of someone’s home.

    • Five California Cities Are Trying to Kill an Important Location Privacy Bill

      If you rely on shared biked or scooters, your location privacy is at risk. Cities across the United States are currently pushing companies that operate shared mobility services like Jump, Lime, and Bird to share individual trip data for any and all trips taken within their boundaries, including where and when trips start and stop and granular details about the specific routes taken. This data is extremely sensitive, as it can be used to reidentify riders—particularly for habitual trips—and to track movements and patterns over time. While it is beneficial for cities to have access to aggregate data about shared mobility devices to ensure that they are deployed safely, efficiently, and equitably, cities should not be allowed to force operators to turn over sensitive, personally identifiable information about riders.

      As these programs become more common, the California Legislature is considering a bill, A.B. 1112, that would ensure that local authorities receive only aggregated or non-identifiable trip data from shared mobility providers. EFF supports A.B. 1112, authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, which strikes the appropriate balance between protecting individual privacy and ensuring that local authorities have enough information to regulate our public streets so that they work for all Californians. The bill makes sure that local authorities will have the ability to impose deployment requirements in low-income areas to ensure equitable access, fleet caps to decrease congestion, and limits on device speed to ensure safety. And importantly, the bill clarifies that CalEPCA—California’s landmark electronic privacy law—applies to data generated by shared mobility devices, just as it would any other electronic devices.

    • Waiting Game | TechSNAP 404b

      The next episode of TechSNAP is still in the works, so Wes takes a quick look at an interesting application of public-key cryptography in Apple?s Find My feature.

    • Hearing Tuesday: EFF Will Voice Support For California Bill Reining In Law Enforcement Use of Facial Recognition

      Senate Bill 1215 Would Bar Police From Adding Facial Scanning to Body-Worn Cameras
      Sacramento, California—On Tuesday, June 11, at 8:30 am, EFF Grassroots Advocacy Organizer Nathan Sheard will testify before the California Senate Public Safety Committee in support of a measure to prohibit law enforcement from using facial recognition in body cams.

      Following San Francisco’s historic ban on police use of the technology—which can invade privacy, chill free speech and disproportionately harm already marginalized communities—California lawmakers are considering SB 1215, proposed legislation that would extend the ban across the state.

      Face recognition technology has been shown to have disproportionately high error rates for women, the elderly, and people of color. Making matters worse, law enforcement agencies often rely on images pulled from mugshot databases. This exacerbates historical biases born of, and contributing to, over-policing in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors and other Bay Area communities have decided that police should be stopped from using the technology on the public.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 2 Men In Plain Clothes Took Him: Wife Of Journalist Arrested By UP Cops

      Mr Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside Yogi Adityanath’s office, claiming that she had sent him a marriage proposal.

      He is currently lodged in Lucknow Jail.

    • Journalist Prashant Kanojia arrested for ‘objectionable’ social media post about Yogi Adityanath; charged with defamation, sections of ITA

      Lucknow police issued a press release confirming the arrest. He has been charged under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 505 (public mischief) and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act.

    • UP police arrest Delhi man for ‘objectionable’ tweet on Yogi Adityanath

      Prashant Kanojia, who says he is a freelance journalist, had allegedly uploaded a video on Twitter in which a woman is heard making some claims about Adityanath. Kanojia had posted a comment with the video.

      The head of a Noida-based news channel that had broadcast the video that Kanojia posted has also been arrested, along with one of the editors of the channel.

    • Strong-arm tactics have cast a chill on the media

      The judgement mentions the pressure that the Dawn and Geo media groups are being subjected to. As somebody who has been writing in this newspaper for years, I can testify to the self-censorship contributors and editors are forced to currently exercise. Gen Musharraf, for all his faults, never exerted this kind of crude pressure to block criticism.

      Critical bloggers, even though they have a limited readership, have been picked up by unidentified men, and allegedly subjected to torture before being released. In fact, some have fled the country. Journalists have reported similar tactics. Many newspapers have been deprived of government advertisements, and have been forced to slash costs by making many of the staff redundant.

    • Instagram’s ‘Solicitation’ Policies Are Exposing Porn Performers to Harassment—and Financial Exploitation

      The adult industry takedown problem is such that earlier this year an Instagram employee independently decided to start helping out, according to a source who spoke with Jezebel on condition of anonymity. In January, the employee, who has since voluntarily left Instagram, began internally flagging dozens of porn performers’ accounts for a secondary review, after which many were reinstated, according to the source. (Instagram confirmed that it conducted an investigation regarding Omid, partly in response to this employee’s concerns, but alleged that only a small number of accounts were restored after having been removed in error.)

      The employee also allegedly raised concerns about how Instagram’s moderation policies could routinely lead to wrongful takedowns of adult performers’ accounts. (Instagram did not comment on this allegation.) That warning, it seems, was not seriously heeded.

    • DHS Agents Treat Undocumented Immigrants as Criminals in Hospitals, Shackling Them to Beds and Impeding Care, Study Finds

      A new report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) revealed Monday that although most of these migrants have broken no laws other than the misdemeanor of crossing the border without going through a designated entry point, the agents frequently shackle them to beds, insist on standing guard in their rooms, and interfere with their care in a number of ways.

      “Doctors, who have a moral and ethical obligation and duty to care for patients, are actively being prevented from carrying out the practice of medicine as they’ve been trained to practice it,” Kathryn Hampton, a program officer for PHR and a co-author of the report, told the New York Times.

      The study details a number of cases of agents intimidating doctors and hospital staff as they refused to leave physicians with patients for private exams and attempting to pressure doctors into discharging immigrants early.

      PHR described the case of one critically ill patient who was shackled to a bed by agents who refused to give his doctor a reason for the restraints after repeated questioning.

      “I couldn’t think of the rationale of chaining someone who is so sick he almost died,” the physician told PHR.

    • ICE Shackles Terminally Ill Patients, Uses Therapy Sessions Against Children During Immigration Hearings

      When a man in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who had metastatic cancer, was brought to a hospital in Houston, a doctor was not able to conduct a proper examination. ICE would not let the doctor remove restraints that ran across his body, and he died after a few weeks.

      In another case, a doctor asked ICE agents to remove shackles from a patient, who was critically ill. The agents would provide no information on why the restraints were necessary. “I couldn’t think of the rationale of chaining someone who is so sick he almost died,” the doctor recalled.

      The two examples represent some of the cruelty individuals are experiencing as President Donald Trump’s administration carries out and intensifies a harsh anti-immigration policy. They were highlighted in a report from the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) on how attacks on immigrants are making it difficult for medical professionals to provide patient care.

      ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “refuse to disclose information about detention sites, which contributes to a lack of accountability for violations.” PHR was unable to determine how frequent certain incidents are.

      Regardless, PHR’s report offers a portrait that shows how U.S. immigration enforcement has become savage in its implementation. It is based on interviews with medical professionals from June to September 2018.

    • Why We Need a Fashion Revolution

      Under what conditions were your clothes made? More likely than not, slavery has touched at least part of the outfit you’re wearing today.

      According to the Global Slavery Index, roughly 40.3 million people were in slavery worldwide as of 2016, and 24.9 million of them were in forced labor. The GSI’s latest report, which came out in summer 2018, expanded upon this research, breaking down the data to show the top five products most at risk of modern slavery.

      Garments were number two on the list, coming in second only to technology.

    • Trump’s Mexico Tariff Deal Is Fake News. Mexico Has Been Enforcing U.S. Immigration Policy For Years

      In a last-minute move to stave off what would have been economically catastrophic tariffs threatened by President Donald Trump, the American government announced Friday that Mexico had agreed to deploy its brand-new national guard to patrol its own southern border and to house migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. on its own soil.

      In other words, Mexico agreed to nothing that it hadn’t agreed to before Trump’s threats.

      The response to the latest tirade by the most anti-Mexican president since maybe James Polk (the 19th-century one-termer who literally started a war with the country) was perhaps to be expected; much of Trump’s own party opposed his plan. Still, he had said that he was ready to raise tariffs up to 25 percent on Mexican imports — starting with a 5 percent increase on Monday — unless Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador helped him win re-election by stemming the seemingly unstoppable flow of migrants.

      The power dynamics were just too clear: In 2018, imports from Mexico were $346.5 billion, a 60.5 percent increase since 2008, and a 768 percent jump since 1993. Mexico’s total global exports are about $409 billion. The economies of the U.S. and Mexico are deeply tied

    • ‘Shenanigans’ on Progressive Kat Brezler in White Plains NY Democratic Primary Endemic of Intraparty Struggle

      Kat Brezler, a first grade teacher in White Plains, New York and a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during his 2016 presidential bid, is running for one of three seats on the city’s Common Council. Her presence in the race as the fourth candidate for three positions has triggered a primary, despite the efforts of the White Plains City Committee of Democrats—where Brezler is the recording secretary.

      The committee and Brezler’s three opponents in the race turned to litigation to try and knock Brezler off the ballot, claiming that enough of the signatures on Brezler’s ballot drive were invalid as to deny her a place on the Democratic line. The committee finally accepted defeat on June 7 when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit refused to hear their case, effectively ruling in Brezler’s favor.

      Brezler told Common Dreams that while she was surprised at the lengths to which her opponents went in their hostility to her candidacy, she gets why they did it: she’s challenging the existing power structure.

    • Court: Arresting A Driver For Shouting ‘Fuck You’ Out The Window At A Nearby State Trooper Is Unconstitutional

      Slowly but surely, law enforcement officers are being made to understand that speech they don’t like isn’t illegal speech. I mean, several of them likely already know this but they’re willing to roll the dice on a lawsuit rather than endure a minimal hit to their self-image.

      This isn’t to say it’s a good idea to give cops the finger or tell them to go fuck themselves. This is just to say that doing these things isn’t a crime. It’s protected speech. Cops aren’t obliged to serve and protect citizens. That’s just a cool slogan to paint on the side of cruisers. But they are obligated to uphold Constitutional rights, which is something they seem to have a hard time doing.

      Courts have reminded cops that flipping the bird isn’t an arrestable offense. It’s protected speech. They’ve also reminded cops that this is a form of protected criticism, as crude as it is. The very heart of First Amendment protections is the right of citizens to criticize their government. Sometimes criticism takes the form of a fleeting f-bomb from a passing vehicle.

    • Discussing Alaska’s Long History of Sexual Violence Is One Step Toward Seeking Solutions

      Tia Wakolee is a mother, grandmother and an artist. She also is a survivor of multiple rapes and sexual assaults.

      Wakolee recently self-published a book about her experiences. But until Thursday, she’d never told her story publicly in Kotzebue, where several of the assaults took place, starting in her early childhood.

      “I don’t want any children to go through the things that I grew up dealing with,” Wakolee said at an event sponsored by ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News in this coastal hub town of about 3,200. The event in some ways represented a homecoming — and her town’s moment of reckoning.

    • Court: Planning To Get A Warrant Is As Good As Actually Having A Warrant When Searching A House

      The beginning part says the lower court came to the same conclusion: a warrant in mind is as good as a warrant in hand. The second part just confirms the facts of the case: the DEA agents searched a house before obtaining a warrant.

      The facts of the case don’t help. They don’t really explain two consecutive courts’ decision to treat a warrantless search as a Constitutional search. The DEA was working with a cooperative drug dealer it had already arrested, using him to set up drug buys with its target, Paul Huskisson. DEA agents listened in on phone calls their informant made, building up plenty of probable cause to support the arrest of Huskisson and the search of his house. Agents listened in on nine calls over the course of a day discussing a drug purchase.

      The DEA wanted corroboration Huskisson had illegal drugs inside his house. Agents sent their informant into the house to complete the purchase. The informant gave the drug task force team (DEA agents plus local drug warriors) the signal that he’d seen the methamphetamine inside the house. At that point, law enforcement entered the house and arrested everyone inside. Huskisson refused to consent to a search of his house, but the meth was out and plainly visible to officers.

      A few hours after this search, the DEA finally applied for a search warrant.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Small Idaho City Shows The Benefits Of Open Access Broadband Networks

      In 2009, the FCC funded a Harvard study that concluded (pdf) that open access broadband networks (letting multiple ISPs come in and compete over a central, core network) resulted in lower broadband prices and better service. Of course when the FCC released its flimsy, politically timid “National Broadband Plan” back in 2010, this realization (not to mention an honest accounting of the sector’s limited competition) was nowhere to be found. Both parties ignored the data and instead doubled down on our existing national telecom policy plan: letting AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast do pretty much whatever they’d like.

      Since then, “open access” has become somewhat of a dirty word in telecom, and even companies like Google Fiber — which originally promised to adhere to the concept on its own network before quietly backpedaling — are eager to pretend the idea doesn’t exist.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The winner of the ‘battle royale’ of FTC v. Qualcomm expert witnesses: Richard Donaldson (ex-Texas Instruments)

      The FTC v. Qualcomm trial in the Northern District of California in January was a colossal clash of expert witnesses opining on licensing terms, negotiation dynamics, component-level licensing, ultimate consumer harm, and various related issues. A recent op-ed by a notoriously 100% Qualcomm-aligned “analyst” may serve as an indication that Qualcomm’s Ninth Circuit appeal will accuse Judge Koh of not having paid enough attention to Qualcomm’s economic theories (I disagree because I think she was underwhelmed by that nonsense for all the right reasons).

      It’s not just that Qualcomm’s experts failed to impress. Judge Koh also declined to subscribe to parts of FTC expert Michael Lasinski’s methodology–and she didn’t mention the FTC’s economic expert witness, Professor Carl Shapiro (UC Berkeley), at all in her ruling. That doesn’t mean that Professor Shapiro’s efforts didn’t contribute to the outcome. What he explained about how Qualcomm’s different anticompetitive tactics resulted in supra-FRAND royalties and how those were ultimately passed on, at least in part, to consumers (and affected consumers indirectly by reducing competition at the chipset level) made a lot of sense. He also dismantled Qualcomm’s experts’ testimony very effectively, such as pointing out the “bankruptcy” of Professor Aviv Nevo’s argument. By not mentioning Professor Shapiro at all, Judge Koh made it impossible for Qualcomm to argue on appeal that she relied on Professor Shapiro’s testimony in any way (Qualcomm accused him of failing to take an empirical perspective, but whether or not his approach was too theoretical is mooted by Judge Koh’s ruling). The strong parts of the evidence and testimony supporting the FTC are actual industry testimony and Qualcomm-internal communications, and that combination–not economic theories–is going to complicate matters for Qualcomm on appeal.

    • Bob Murphy Show: Law Without the State, and the Illegitimacy of IP

      Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 268. I was a guest on Episode 39 of the excellent podcast The Bob Murphy Show, discussing “Law Without the State, and the Illegitimacy of IP (Intellectual Property)”. A few people have told me this particular discussion of IP was one of my best–thorough and systematic. No doubt aided by Bob’s excellent prompting, questions, and guidance. Bob and I had planned to also discuss argumentation ethics, but the discussion of IP ran longer than we expected so we’ll save AE for next time. From Bob’s show notes: Bob talks with Stephan Kinsella about the basis of libertarian law, and how we could have justice without a coercive State. They then discuss Stephan’s pathbreaking work making the case that property must be in tangible things, rendering “intellectual property” an incoherent and dangerous concept.

    • SCOTUS Ruling in Return Mail Delivers Blow to Government Use of IPRs [Ed: Watchtroll misses the point that PTAB and IPRs squash bad patents, not any patents; but then again these people also promoted a tribal scam to protect bogus patents from PTAB.]
    • Return Mail: Government is Not a “Person” and Therefore Cannot File AIA Review Petitions

      In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has decided the U.S. Government is not a “person” capable of petitioning for institution of AIA review proceedings.

      Under the statute, a “person” other than the patent owner may petition for AIA Review (IPR, PRG, or CBM). See 35 U.S.C. 311 (for IPR).

      In the case, Return Mail sued the US Postal Service (part of the US Federal Government) for infringing its address processing patent and USPS petitioned for CBM review. The PTO agreed that the patent claimed ineligible subject matter and cancelled the claims. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed. Now, the Supreme Court has reversed – holding that the Government is not a person under the statute and therefore cannot petition for AIA review.

      The overall outcome here is that the Federal Government is more likely to have to pay royalty fees when it uses someone’s patented invention.

      The decision does not address an important background issue of the status of state and foreign governments. Also Companies are still people; but not monkeys.

    • Intellectual Ventures II, LLC v. Sprint Spectrum, L.P. (E.D. Tex. 2019)

      In April, in Intellectual Ventures II, LLC v. Sprint Spectrum, L.P., U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a Report and Recommendation that Defendants’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment that Certain Disputed References are Prior Art should be granted in part and denied in part. In particular, Judge Payne recommended that summary judgment should be denied for four references (i.e., Hwang, Liebetreu, CATT, and LG) and granted for one reference (i.e., Yang).

      In arriving at his recommendation, Judge Payne noted that an important fact question in determining whether a reference qualifies as a printed publication under 35 U.S.C. § 102 is the public accessibility of the reference. Citing Jazz Pharm., Inc. v. Amneal Pharm., LLC, 895 F.3d 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2018), for the proposition that “[a] reference is considered publicly accessible if it was ‘disseminated or otherwise made available to the extent that persons interested and ordinarily skilled in the subject matter or art, exercising reasonable diligence, can locate it,’” Judge Payne pointed out that several factors are used by courts to determine whether a reference was publicly accessible. Such factors include “how widely circulated the reference was, whether the reference was indexed in a manner that would have made it accessible to interested persons with a reasonable degree of effort, and whether the reference was distributed with a pledge or understanding that the contents would remain confidential”; another factor to be considered is the expertise of the target audience.

      Judge Payne addressed the Yang reference first, noting that Plaintiff Intellectual Ventures did not contest the public accessibility of this reference. Judge Payne therefore concluded that the Yang reference was publicly accessible before the priority date of the asserted patents, and as a result, recommended that Defendants’ Motion be granted with respect to this reference.

    • State Immunity and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

      Since Congress’s enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the power and influence of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board as an adjunct to (or substitute for) patent litigation has steadily grown. And just as the PTAB and district courts both face difficult questions of substantive patent law, many of the difficult jurisdictional and procedural issues that have presented in district court litigation have found counterparts in the PTAB, too. One category of such challenges regards the power of the PTAB to hear claims involving other governmental entities. Are the states immune from the power of the PTAB?

      I conclude that they are not. State sovereign immunity jurisprudence suggests at least three reasons why this is so. First, state sovereign immunity is primarily a limit on Article III’s federal judicial power. But the PTAB does not exercise such power. Second, the Supreme Court has explained that the Eleventh Amendment’s penumbras may also shield states from nonjudicial proceedings that closely resemble an ordinary lawsuit. But inter partes review differs from ordinary litigation in several significant, relevant respects. And, third, these distinctions suggest a more novel basis for subjecting states to the PTAB’s jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the federal government’s power to sue the states to protect federal interests. And the federal government has a clear, compelling interest in ensuring that public rights, such as patents, are kept within their legitimate scope. Hence, because inter partes review is instituted by the Director of the Patent Office to cancel patents that may have been granted in violation of federal patent law, the Patent Office may review state-owned patents, state immunity notwithstanding, no less than it can review private patents. Such review helps assure balance between public and private patentees.

    • Overbreadth in Canadian Patent Law

      Under the overbreadth doctrine, a claim that exceeds the scope of the invention disclosed in the specification is invalid. While the doctrine is well established, it is redundant in the great majority of cases in which it is invoked, as an overbroad claim typically encompasses subject-matter which is not new, lacks utility, or is obvious. When overbreadth is not redundant, a puzzle arises: what is the principled justification for striking down a claim to an invention which is in fact new, useful, non-obvious and sufficiently disclosed? In such a case, how can it be said that the claim is broader than the invention? This article argues that overbreadth properly arises as an independent ground of invalidity in the context of the “roads to Brighton” problem, in which the question is whether the first inventor to achieve a result known to be desirable may claim the result itself or may claim only their particular method of achieving it, but the answer to this question is controversial. Overbreadth was also applied as a truly independent ground of invalidity by the Federal Court of Appeal in Amfac Foods Inc v Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd. This article argues that Amfac was wrongly decided, both on its facts, and in its approach to overbreadth. The article warns that the Amfac approach, if widely adopted, risks invalidating patents for inventions which are new, useful and non-obvious, on the basis of an arbitrary parsing of the disclosure, in a manner reminiscent of the promise doctrine.

    • FTC v. Qualcomm: New Frontiers in the Antitrust-IP Interface

      The Federal Trade Commission recently scored a substantial victory in its antitrust suit against Qualcomm. The case represents a novel confluence of standard-setting and IP licensing issues with bedrock antitrust subjects: tying and exclusive dealing. It also takes a surprising turn in resuscitating the long-dormant doctrine of the antitrust “duty to deal.” In this short essay, I review and evaluate the court’s decision in FTC v. Qualcomm. The analysis of Qualcomm’s exclusive dealing is sound and very likely correct. However, the court’s duty-to-deal analysis sits on shakier ground, omitting consideration of potential immunity under the Patent Act and sidestepping thorny questions on the appropriate source of law.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Welcome the Official Spanish Language Translation of CC0! (¡Les damos la bienvenida a la traducción oficial de CC al idioma castellano!)

        The official Spanish language translation of the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0) is now available. This means almost 500 million users of CC0 will be able to read and understand the terms of CC0 in their first language.

        First started in 2013, this multi-jurisdictional, collaborative translation effort has involved dedicated individuals from more than a half-dozen countries on two continents. The translation represents a significant accomplishment by members of the CC Spanish-speaking community, who worked to unify and bridge differences in terminology and drafting conventions across the many countries where Spanish is recognized as an official language.

        More details about the CC0 translation process are available on the Creative Commons wiki, where you can also find information about the Spanish translation process for the 4.0 licenses and their publication last September.

      • One Amazon Copyright Complaint Costs Torrent Site its Domain

        A torrent site losing its domain over a single copyright complaint from Amazon seems an unlikely scenario. However, when one views the complaint as a trigger, one that’s able to set off a chain reaction at the domain’s registry, everything begins to fall into place.

      • Mathew Higbee Cuts And Runs When Finally Challenged On A Questionable Shakedown

        Last month, we wrote about a declaratory judgment lawsuit that had been filed against a client of Mathew Higbee. As we’ve discussed at length, Higbee runs “Higbee & Associates” which is one of the more active copyright trolls around these days, frequently sending threatening shakedown-style letters to people, and then having various “paralegals” demand insane sums of money. In some cases, it does appear that Higbee turns up actual cases of infringement (though, even in those cases, the amount he demands seems disconnected from anything regarding a reasonable fee). But, in way too many cases, the claims are highly questionable. The lawsuit mentioned last month represented just one of those cases — involving a threat against a forum because one of its users had deeplinked a photographer’s own uploaded image into the forum. There were many reasons why the threat was bogus, but as per the Higbee operation’s MO, they kept demanding payment and dismissing any arguments for why the use was not infringing (and, relatedly, why it was against the incorrect target).

        Paul Levy and Public Citizen filed for declaratory judgment that the use was non-infringing, and in the process, pondered publicly whether or not Higbee had warned his various clients that they might end up in court in response to Higbee’s aggressive tactics. Apparently, in the case of photographer Quang-Tuan Luong, the photographer was not particularly happy about ending up in court, and Higbee and his client quickly agreed to cut and run, despite Higbee’s insistence that he was ready to take this matter to court.

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