US Government Condemns Cyber-snooping — Except When They’re Doing it. To us.

❝ The American Civil Liberties Union, along with Privacy International, a similar organization based in the United Kingdom, have now sued 11 federal agencies, demanding records about how those agencies engage in what is often called “lawful hacking.”

The activist groups filed Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and nine others. None responded in a substantive way.

“Law enforcement use of hacking presents a unique threat to individual privacy,” the ACLU argues in its lawsuit, which was filed Friday in federal court in New York state…

❝ “…the public does not know when law enforcement agencies believe they can use hacking without obtaining a warrant or other judicial authorization. The public does not even know whether many of the defendant agencies have internal rules or protocols governing hacking. Without more information, the public is not able to exercise meaningful democratic oversight of this new and intrusive law enforcement capability.”

Once again, practices condemned by our papier-mâché politicians when practiced by foreign governments are perfectly legit when it’s Uncle Sugar pulling the trigger.

Trump’s shutdown lets Violence Against Women Act expire


Capitol Rotunda empty as Trump’s heartAP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

❝ The partial shutdown of the U.S. government, which is affecting more than 800,000 federal workers and numerous government agencies, also has consequences for the Violence Against Women Act, which expired at midnight on Friday…

❝ VAWA funds and administers numerous programs assisting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Its expiration does not prevent all of these programs from being administered — according to The Washington Post, grants already awarded under the law will not be affected. But future payment requests from programs that receive VAWA funding will be delayed until the law is reauthorized.

…A bill introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, in July would have extended and expanded VAWA, introducing additional measures that prohibit the sale of firearms to people subject to protection orders and to persons convicted of stalking…so, of course, Republicans couldn’t vote YES without offending the NRA.