Category Archives: Accountability and Representation

When the media does us wrong and community accountability

The Downfall of Roundup

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By Darian Carrow

The world’s most popular yet most controversial weed killer, Roundup, has been under severe scrutiny as consumers allege that the product has caused their various health issues and cancers. The active ingredient that reportedly causes these complications, glyphosate, has been deemed “probably carcinogenic for humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Since this classification, thousands of consumers have sought legal assistance to go against manufacturer Monsanto, newly acquired by pharmaceutical giant Bayer, for selling a product they knew could be dangerous to their customers.

It was recently revealed that more than 13,400 consumers have filed lawsuits against Bayer and its subsidiary Monsanto for its Roundup product. So far, three heavily covered lawsuits have gone through American courts, all resulting in huge losses for the manufacturing company. These notable cases have paved the way for the rest of the pending suits and for consumers who have suffered because of Roundup.

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Privacy Groups Preserve CA Consumer Privacy Act

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The CA Legislature passed the California Consumer Privacy Act in a heated rush a year ago and just beat the clock for a planned statewide ballot initiative by a matter of hours. Consumer privacy advocates grumbled that the bill could be a bit better, industry groups promised to challenge it in 2019, and the one thing everyone agreed on was that some changes would happen. But on July 9th, the best efforts of the business lobby …. failed.

SF Chronicle: Fight To Change CA’s Landmark Privacy Law Fizzles

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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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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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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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Astroturf Nonprofit Group Guns For Privacy-Friendly State Senator

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In a shocking letter, a newly incorporated group calling itself the Nonprofit Alliance has called for the removal of jurisdiction over statewide privacy legislation from the California State Senate’s Judiciary committee, chaired by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.

The request, which Senate Speaker Toni Atkins says “is not being considered”, called for the realignment due to the committee’s amendments of industry bills to weaken California’s consumer privacy act. CCPA is the only comprehensive statewide consumer privacy legislation in the country. Often referred to as America’s GDPR, the CCPA is scheduled to go into effect in 2020.

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Close The Camps at Palantir 9/13

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Bay Area activists continue to picket and protest at the headquarters of Palantir Technologies, the Palo Alto software company powering the Trump Administration’s deportation regime.

On one of the hottest days of the year, protestors rallied at the company’s Palo Alto building, covered the ubiquitous security cameras with umbrellas, and marched to (one of) Palantir CEO Alex Karp’s houses in Palo Alto to deliver a petition with 140,000 signatures asking Palantir to stop working for ICE.

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Strengthening CCPA

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15 prominent privacy groups (including Media Alliance) sent a letter to the CA Legislature encouraging them to strengthen California’s state privacy law (CCPA), the only statewide comprehensive consumer privacy legislation in the county, and prevent industry gutting it prior to 2020, when the law is scheduled to take effect.

The privacy groups stated “We urge you to keep the focus on strengthening protections for your constituents, and to reject
efforts to diminish Californians’ privacy and security protections.” Continue reading Strengthening CCPA

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