Ring asks police not to tell public how its law enforcement backend works | Ars Technica

Ring device owners are often unclear on what information, specifically, police can see and how they can use it. That secrecy is entirely by design, CNET reports today, as Ring has a list of features its police partners are explicitly not supposed to share with the public.Documents security researcher Shreyas Gandlur obtained through a FOIA request include a communication from Ring to police in Bensenville, Illinois, saying that “Neighbors Portal back-end features should not be shared with the public, including the law enforcement portal on desktop view, the heat map, sample video request emails, or the video request process itself as they often contain sensitive investigative information.”

Source: Ring asks police not to tell public how its law enforcement backend works | Ars Technica

Elsevier Tries To Lie About University Of California’s Contract Negotiation; UC Shows Its Receipts | Techdirt

You may recall that, back in March, we were excited to hear the news that the University of California had cancelled its Elsevier subscription, after Elsevier was unwilling to support UC’s goal of universal open access to all of its research (while simultaneously cutting back on the insane costs that Elsevier charged). Apparently the fight between Elsevier and UC has continued, and it’s getting nasty.

Source: Elsevier Tries To Lie About University Of California’s Contract Negotiation; UC Shows Its Receipts | Techdirt

Court: No Immunity For SWAT Team That Hurled A Flash-Bang Grenade In The General Direction Of A Two-Year-Old Child | Techdirt

It usually takes very extreme behavior from law enforcement officers to punch holes in the qualified immunity shield. Fortunately/unfortunately, there’s seems to be no shortage of extremely-badly-behaving law enforcement officers.

Source: Court: No Immunity For SWAT Team That Hurled A Flash-Bang Grenade In The General Direction Of A Two-Year-Old Child | Techdirt

FAA Reportedly Delegated Oversight of Critical 737 Max Flight System to Boeing

The Times wrote that after “intense lobbying to Congress by industry” resulted in the FAA delegating more authority to manufacturers in 2005, an approach that FAA officials believed would streamline approvals, some staff became concerned that they were no longer able to track what was happening inside Boeing. According to the Times, interviews with over a dozen current and former FAA and Boeing employees have shown that regulators “never independently assessed the risks of the dangerous software known as MCAS [Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System] when they approved the plane in 2017.”

Source: FAA Reportedly Delegated Oversight of Critical 737 Max Flight System to Boeing

Small Towns In Alaska Are Staffing Their Police Departments With Convicted Criminals | Techdirt

In Stebbins alone, all seven of the police officers working as of July 1 have pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges within the past decade. Only one has received formal law enforcement training of any kind.The current police chief pleaded guilty to throwing a teenage relative to the ground and threatening to kill her after drinking homebrew liquor in 2017. (Alcohol is illegal in the village.) He was hired a year later. He declined to answer questions in person and blocked a reporter on Facebook.Two men who until recently were Stebbins police officers pleaded guilty to spitting in the faces of police officers; one was the subject of a 2017 sexual assault restraining order in which a mother said he exposed himself to her 12-year-old daughter.

Source: Small Towns In Alaska Are Staffing Their Police Departments With Convicted Criminals | Techdirt

Appeals Court Says No Rights Were Violated When A Cop Shot At A ‘Non-Threatening’ Dog But Hit A Kid Instead | Techdirt

“while the children were lying on the ground obeying [Vickers’s] orders . . . without necessity or any immediate threat or cause, [Vickers] discharged his firearm at the family pet named ‘Bruce’ twice.” The first shot missed, and Bruce (a dog) temporarily retreated under Corbitt’s home. No other efforts were made to restrain or subdue the dog, and no one appeared threatened by him.

Eight or ten seconds after Vickers fired the first shot, the dog reappeared and was “approaching his owners,” when Vickers fired a second shot at the dog. This shot also missed the dog, but the bullet struck SDC in the back of his right knee. At the time of the shot, SDC was “readily viewable” and resting “approximately eighteen inches from . . . Vickers, lying on the ground, face down, pursuant to the orders of [Vickers].”

Source: Appeals Court Says No Rights Were Violated When A Cop Shot At A ‘Non-Threatening’ Dog But Hit A Kid Instead | Techdirt

Border Patrol Chief Was Member of Secret Facebook Group

WHEN NEWS BROKE that thousands of current and former Border Patrol agents were members of a secret Facebook group filled with racist, vulgar, and sexist content, Carla Provost, chief of the agency, was quick to respond. “These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out,” Provost said in a statement. “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”For Provost, a veteran of the Border Patrol who was named head of the agency in August 2018, the group’s existence and content should have come as no surprise. Three months after her appointment to chief of the patrol, Provost herself had posted in the group, then known as “I’m 10-15,” now archived as “America First X 2.” Provost’s comment was innocuous — a friendly clapback against a group member who questioned her rise to the top of the Border Patrol — but her participation in the group, which she has since left, raises serious questions.

Source: Border Patrol Chief Was Member of Secret Facebook Group

Prenda Law porn-troll saga ends with prison for founder | Ars Technica

Former attorney John Steele was sentenced this week to five years in prison for his role in the Prenda Law porn-trolling scheme, putting an end to a years-long legal drama wild and stupid enough to be prime-time TV.Steele pleaded guilty in 2017 to federal charges of fraud and money laundering and then cooperated with authorities in the investigation into his former legal partner Paul Hansmeier. That cooperation weighed heavily in Steele’s favor at his sentencing, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.US District Judge Joan Ericksen said federal guidelines recommended a sentence of 10 to 12-1/2 years for Steele’s “vile scheme” but agreed that given Steele’s extreme willingness to cooperate, his defense attorney’s recommendation of five years was “eminently fair.”

Source: Prenda Law porn-troll saga ends with prison for founder | Ars Technica

Applied Cryptography is Banned in Oregon Prisons – Schneier on Security

Applied Cryptography is on a list of books banned in Oregon prisons. […] it’s that the prisons ban books that teach people to code. The subtitle is “Algorithms, Protocols, and Source Code in C” — and that’s the reason.

Source: Applied Cryptography is Banned in Oregon Prisons – Schneier on Security

We Can’t Wait Until the 2020 Election to Close Border Camps

“YES, WE DO have concentration camps,” began the stinging critique of the Trump administration’s immigration detention facilities. It was written earlier this week by the editorial board of the Salt Lake Tribune, in the reliably conservative state of Utah.Andrea Pitzer, author of the definitive book on the global history of concentration camps, agrees. So do people who were once forced to live in another era’s concentration camps.But amid the debate about what to call immigration detention facilities, few people have disputed the truly terrible conditions that exist within them. Migrants have long reported awful experiences in immigration custody, but in recent months, an increase in the number of people, especially families and children, crossing the border and being detained has led to severe overcrowding.Dr. Dolly Lucio Sevier was granted access to a Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, and wrote in her report about it that “the conditions within which they are held could be compared to torture facilities.” They “felt worse than jail.” The kids she examined were forced to endure “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.”

Source: We Can’t Wait Until the 2020 Election to Close Border Camps