Amy Alkon is an advice columnist and blogger who is just one of many people who has had a horrifying and traumatizing experience going through airport security lately. After being pulled aside for an “enhanced” search, she found the process to be so invasive and so in violation of her own rights that she was left sobbing. She wrote about the experience on her blog, noting that she didn’t think the search was just “invasive” in the emotional sense, but flat out physicallyinvasive:
Nearing the end of this violation, I sobbed even louder as the woman, FOUR TIMES, stuck the side of her gloved hand INTO my vagina, through my pants. Between my labia. She really got up there. Four times. Back right and left, and front right and left. In my vagina. Between my labia. I was shocked — utterly unprepared for how she got the side of her hand up there. It was government-sanctioned sexual assault.
Upon leaving, still sobbing, I yelled to the woman, “YOU RAPED ME.” And I took her name to see if I could file sexual assault charges on my return. This woman, and all of those who support this system deserve no less than this sort of unpleasant experience, and from all of us.
Among the treasure troves of recently released WikiLeaks cables, we find one whose significance has bypassed Swedish media. In short: every law proposal, every ordinance, and every governmental report hostile to the net, youth, and civil liberties here in Sweden in recent years have been commissioned by the US government and industry interests.
In an ongoing BitTorrent lawsuit of particular interest, in which the plaintiff’s lawyer has already refused to comply with a court order demanding to know how much money is being made from settlements, a judge has now dismissed all but one of the defendants. This welcome news for more than 5,000 John Does is further augmented by a wave of criticism from the presiding judge who clearly understands “copyright-troll” style lawsuits.
“Plaintiff, well aware of the difficulties out-of-state and out-of-district defendants would face if required to appear in San Francisco, has nonetheless sent them settlement demands which apparently inform them they have been sued in this District.” This, notes the Judge, is incompatible with “principles of fundamental fairness.”
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Judge Zimmerman added an interesting footnote to his ruling which shows that he has a very clear understanding of what these mass anti-filesharing lawsuits are all about.
“The Court’s concerns are heightened by plaintiff’s refusal to file under seal a copy of its settlement letter and related information about its settlement practices. The film sells for $19.95 on plaintiff’s website. According to public reports, plaintiffs in other BitTorrent cases, rather than prosecuting their lawsuits after learning the identities of Does, are demanding thousands of dollars from each Doe defendant in settlement,” Judge Zimmerman begins.
“If all this is correct, it raises questions of whether this film was produced for commercial purposes or for purposes of generating litigation and settlements. Put another way, Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to enact copyright laws ‘to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts’.
“If all the concerns about these mass Doe lawsuits are true, it appears that the copyright laws are being used as part of a massive collection scheme and not to promote useful arts,” he concludes.
It thoughtfully includes a built in ladder so you can dock your iPhone, iPad or iPod on the top – though how you control them from the couch once they’re up there is a bit of a mystery
With Representative Michele Bachmann’s victory in the Ames, Iowa straw poll, and Texas Governor Rick Perry’s triumphal entrance into the GOP presidential primary, there’s been a sudden spike of attention drawn to the extremist religious beliefs both candidates have been associated with – up to and including their belief in Christian dominionism. (In the Texas Observer, the New Yorker, and the Daily Beast, for example.) The responses of denial from both the religious right itself and from the centrist Beltway press have been so incongruous as to be laughable – if only the subject matter weren’t so deadly serious. Those responses need to be answered, but more importantly, we need to have the serious discussion they want to prevent.
Belgian security firm GlobalSign has temporarily stopped issuing authentication certificates for secure websites.
It comes after an anonymous hacker claimed to have gained access to the company’s servers.
If confirmed, it would be the second security breach at a European certificate authority in two months.
Hundreds of bogus DigiNotar authentications were issued following an intrusion into its systems.