All posts by Midnightschildren

Protesters Block Palantir’s Cafeteria To Pressure Big Data Company

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Originally published in Business Insider August 9, 2019

Protesters blocked the entrance to Silicon Valley tech company Palantir’s cafeteria on Friday, denouncing its work aiding the US government’s immigration crackdown and urging employees to speak out.

About 70 protesters swarmed Palantir’s Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters in the early afternoon, bearing signs criticizing the company for doing business with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and chanting slogans.

“Immigrants are welcome here, time to cancel Palantir,” the protesters shouted. “Dirty data company, drop ICE contracts, that’s our plea,” they sang.

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Politico Pro: Privacy Bills Go Straight to Senate Floor

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This report first appeared on POLITICO California Pro on Aug. 15, 2019.

SACRAMENTO — Soon after lawmakers returned to the Capitol this week, a slate of Privacy Act bills originally set to be heard by the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee instead went straight to the Senate floor, closing off a well-worn backchannel for end-of-session deal-making.

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Le Show With Andres Soto: Police Killings in Contra Costa County

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30 minute discussion with the Oscar Grant Committee on police killings in Contra Costa County, the Bay Area County with the highest level of law enforcement use of force against people of color. The committee recently met with new “progressive” DA Diana Becton to discuss the Terry Ammons death in Pittsburg and discovered the new DA is a lot like the old DA. With Gerald Smith and Michael Goldstein of the Oscar Grant Committee Against State Repression and MA ED Tracy Rosenberg

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Big Telecom Tries Another Deregulation Scam

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by Chris Witteman and Tracy Rosenberg. Originally published in 48 Hills

They’re at it again.  After losing in their attempt to torpedo net neutrality protections in California, Assembly members are back with a new and better way to make life easier for AT&T and Comcast.

VOIP may be a thing, but every message ultimately goes over wires controlled by a small number of corporations that don’t want regulations

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’ AB 1366 would effectively keep California’s telecommunications network beyond the oversight of the California Public Utilities Commission or any other regulatory agency in California. The trick is to say that the CPUC can’t touch anything running with Internet Protocol, which now means pretty much all of the modern telecom network.

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80 Groups Demand Passage of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act

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80 consumer groups across the country (including Media Alliance) have called for the passage of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (H.R. 3375).

In a July 23rd letter, the consumer protection groups state “Robocalls are en ever-increasing plague. They harass us, disrupt our peace of mind, interrupt important time with family, and interfere with important communications. They enable scams to enter our homes. True Caller found that consumers had lost an estimated $10.5 billion dollars to phone scams in a single 12-month period”.

Read the full letter below.

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Oakland Becomes Third U.S. City to Ban Facial Recognition

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By Caroline Haskins. Published in Vice 7-16-2019

Oakland, California just became the third U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition in public spaces.

A city ordinance passed Tuesday night which prohibits the city of Oakland from “acquiring, obtaining, retaining, requesting, or accessing” facial recognition technology, which it defines as “an automated or semi-automated process that assists in identifying or verifying an individual based on an individual’s face.”

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