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Posts Tagged ‘I Spy’

Requiring a pinky promise of a court order [i]s woefully insufficient [to prevent surveillance abuse].  –  Ron Wyden

Stalkers in Blue

Just protecting and serving:

The Department of Justice has charged [Adrian O. Pena,] a Deputy U.S. Marshal for…using access to a controversial phone tracking service offered by a company called Securus to track the physical location of people he had personal relationships with as well as their spouses…between September 2016 and October 2017…He did this by uploading fake documents to the Securus platform that he claimed gave him authority to obtain requested location data…Securus is a massive prison and law enforcement contractor that, among many other things, previously offered a service for geolocating nearly all phones in the United States called Location Based Services…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#916) 

All prohibitionism is the same:

According to [fantasists at] the…DEA…teens simply message a sequence of emojis that symbolize the substance they’re after so that their dealer can avoid any kind of digital detection.  The secret codes also help youngsters keep their habits a secret from their parents, who likely have no idea what the emojis actually represent.  Now, the DEA has released a chart titled “Emoji Drug Code: Decoded ” to [spread disinformation] about the [reasons for]…the soaring number of adolescent overdose deaths

Crying for Nanny (#1037)

The only winners are the ambulance-chasers:

A [professional “survivor”] who brought a civil lawsuit seeking [to cash in with a FOSTA-enabled nuisance “]sex trafficking[” lawsuit]…against Craigslist [is out of luck, as he lawyers should’ve told her, because]…the online service is immune from the claims under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…

Creepy Coppers

Seems like a significant fraction of child porn is spread by cops:

Maryland [cop] Daniel Morozewicz…has…pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing over 12,000 files of child pornography…on the BitTorrent file sharing network.  Morozewicz also used multiple electronic devices to download and distribute child pornography involving [toddlers] and infants…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1208)

Media stenographers are always happy to indulge cops’ violent fantasies:

The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department is [spread]ing [moronic copaganda] about…fentanyl…[an important medicine which, despite a fantasy popular among cops, is not an aerosol and cannot be absorbed through casual] exposure…[a hysterical pig named] Dallas Thompson [suffered a panic attack when he thought he was exposed, and] his [gang wasted] five rounds of Narcan [despite that medicine only being effective vs opiates, not panic attacks.  But] the [prohibitionist gang] is still e[ager to tell tall tales about drugs and brag about what might heroes they supposedly are]…

Hint: if five doses of Narcan doesn’t help, you’re not overdosing on opioids.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1230)

Journalism is slowly dying of gullibility:

The New Yorker…staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar wrote a lengthy feature detailing horrific allegations of child sexual abuse material allegedly uploaded to Pornhub…[and] spend[ing] thousands of words praising #Traffickinghub creator…Laila Mickelwait for [supposedly] helping women…Kolhatkar…describes Mickelwait designating Pornhub a sex-trafficking ring before highlighting her supposed mission: holding Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek “accountable”.  The problem is that despite Mickelwait’s protestations, her goal isn’t to save victims.  It’s to abolish the porn industry…

Goodbye, ACLU; Hello FIRE

Here are FIRE’s first new ads; there are five in all and they’ll play in sequence.

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Prostitution is a profession and sex workers are entitled to dignity and equal protection under the law.  –  The Supreme Court of India

Follow Your Bliss

The naive believe that “child predators” are creepy dudes who hang out at playgrounds; in reality, they are largely people in positions of authority over their preferred targets:

A [Missouri] man [named Scott F. Burow]…who spent more than 30 years working as a deputy juvenile officer in Missouri state court has been indicted in United States District Court on a felony charge of sex trafficking of a minor…[for paying a] 15 year…old…ward of the state of Illinois…[for sex] and…secretly videotaping her…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

A [gang] of [cops] conducted illegal searches and arrests in New Jersey as a pretext to rob residents out of cash…On May 26, a federal jury convicted Michael Cheff on…conspiracy…and…falsification of a police report…Cheff supervised a [gang] of [thugs who] worked together…between 2016 and 2018, [the gang regularly]…conducted illegal stops and searches of individuals in their vehicles, on the streets or in their homes and [robbed] them…Cheff…[got] a cut [in exchange for]…approving false reports…that…lied about…the…[armed robber]ies…

If Men Were Angels

The problem isn’t Catholicism, Christianity or even religion; it’s blind submission to authority:

A community rabbi from Jerusalem w[as]…indicted…for repeated sexual crimes against newly religious women.  Rabbi Moshe Yazdi…rap[ed], sexually assault[ed] and sodomiz[ed]…women while fraudulently obtaining their “consent” by telling them these were religious acts and therefore they had to submit to his demands.  He is also suspected of exploiting them financially.  So far, 10 women…have filed complaints against him…[revealing that] he presented himself to them as one of the 36 righteous people who, according to Jewish tradition, ensure the world’s continued existence at any given moment…Some of the crimes were committed against brides on their wedding day…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#568)

Looks like the judge didn’t buy his “porn addiction” excuse:

Josh Duggar, former director of the lobbying arm of the…anti-porn Family Research Council, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for downloading child sexual abuse material…Duggar was known as a reality TV figure for his role on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, a show highlighting his extended family…[which] TLC canceled…in 2015 after it was revealed that Duggar had molested members of his family and a babysitter…The Arkansas trial also exposed the failure of…”porn filter” Covenant Eyes, a business highly ballyhooed by anti-porn crusaders…federal investigators found that Covenant Eyes had been installed on Duggar’s computer so that it could monitor and report his internet use to his wife, Anna…however, an investigator reported that “Covenant Eyes was unable to detect Duggar’s internet usage after a password-protected network was installed on his computer”…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#737)

Indian sex workers have awaited this ruling for years:

The Supreme Court…told police that they should refrain from interfering and taking criminal action against…sex workers…[who] should not be arrested, penalised, harassed, or victimised through raids on brothels because…sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful.  A sex worker’s child should not be deprived of her mother’s care “on the ground that she is in the sex trade”…The court also instructed cops not to discriminate against sex workers who lodge a complaint, if the offence against them is of sexual nature…The bench observed that use of condoms “should not be construed by the police as evidence of offence by sex workers”…[but unfortunately will still allow cops to abduct] sex workers [under the pretext of “]rescue[“] and [lock them in cages] “for not less than two-three years”…The apex court also ad[monished media to take] “utmost care not to reveal the identities of sex workers, during arrest, raid and rescue operations, whether as victims or accused and not to publish or telecast any photos that would result in disclosure of such identities”…[pointing out that] voyeurism is a criminal offence…

The Last Shall Be First (#1151) 

Laws like this have already been declared unconstitutional by the 4th Circuit:

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt…signed into law a bill that requires students at public schools…[including] charter schools to use restrooms and locker rooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates…Transgender students who decline to use the restroom required under the measure would have to use “a single-occupancy restroom or changing room” provided by the school.  The measure, which cleared the state Legislature last week, will take effect immediately because it was passed with an emergency clause.  School districts that [refuse] to comply…could be sued by school parents

The Next Target (#1151)

Prohibitionists’ real goal is to completely ban online sex work:

[Tobias Schmid, ] the local official behind the crusade for Germany to require age verification for viewing sexual content…is now seeking to expand to all of Europe the use of his new [surveillance] tool, KIVI, which automatically scans all online content to determine which images are not compliant with the law…KIVI was developed by Berlin-based Condat under…Schmid’s supervision and is now reportedly being used by all 14 state media authorities in Germany…to detect [images in] categories like “extremism, hate speech, swastikas or the glorification of drugs,” Schmid also included “pornography” as a target for the new surveillance engine

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The viewpoints…individuals and businesses hold are real, even if they differ from the views of…government officials.  –  Judge Aleta A. Trauger

Surplus Women

The BBC feeds stigma just as much as the Russian media this story criticizes:

On the day she was murdered, 20 July 2020, Olga had a profile on an online escort site where she went by the name Margo.  A 53-year-old former convict, Oleg Tochilkin – who had been released on parole after serving part of a 20-year prison sentence for crimes including murder…b[eat] and strangled Olga…then [dump]ed her naked body…at the entrance to [his apartment] building…One headline read, “Do you feel sorry for this kind of victim of violence?”  Another was, “The bloody details of how a prostitute from Bryansk was killed”.  And there was the one that called Olga a “whore” and referred to her killer as “grandpa”…

Instant Criminal

This guy is lucky his evil wife wasn’t smarter:

…on April 18…Angel Moore [told cops in]…Wynnewood [Oklahoma that]…she’d [somehow] seen a man using his phone to download child [porn.  She claimed]…the man’s wife, Lacey Hucks, managed to get the phone away from her husband and gave it to Moore so she could alert police.  The man was swiftly arrested, and…over 800 child sex abuse images [were found] on that phone…[but] deputies noticed that the phone that the husband had on him at the time of his arrest didn’t have any content similar to what was on the phone Moore had given them.  They only kept the husband in jail overnight, and got a warrant for Hucks’ phone—which showed that she and Moore had been discussing plans to make the police report before April 18…Moore quickly folded under questioning…an[d]…told a deputy that Hucks had…coached her…to deliver the false report against her husband…in hopes of winning a child custody battle…Hucks and Moore…were arrested on charges of conspiracy and knowingly reporting a false crime.  Hucks faces an additional charge of aggravated possession of child sex abuse material; if convicted on that charge, she faces up to life in prison…

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes (#770)

I’m not sure who Bindel thinks she’s convincing with this tedious claptrap, but I’ve got to hand it to Liz Brown for being far more patient with her than I could possibly manage.

I Spy (#1015)

Are there really sane adults gullible enough to swallow this?

The NSA — which has undermined encryption standards in the past — says it won’t undermine the next strain of encryption, one being built to withstand the inevitable arrival of quantum computing…“There are no backdoors,” said Rob Joyce, the NSA’s director of cybersecurity…Pardon my cynicism, but that’s exactly the sort of thing someone planning to backdoor encryption would say…While it’s true the NSA has spent less time agitating (at least publicly) for encryption backdoors than, say, the FBI, its troubling past strongly suggests it should not be taken at its word this time around…Quantum computing has the capacity to be the pipe wrench that makes security efforts mostly irrelevant.  The sooner a new standard can be put in place, the better.  If the NSA can help achieve this more quickly, it should.  But it should never be assumed the NSA’s intentions are pure…

The Last Shall Be First (#1140)

One small victory against a rising tide of bigotry:

A federal judge struck down a Tennessee law…that would have [forced] businesses in the state to post warning notices on their public restrooms if they have policies allowing transgender patrons to use the facilities that match their gender identities…Judge Aleta A. Trauger…wrote…that the law violates the First Amendment of the Constitution because it compels speech that is controversial and with which the plaintiffs disagree.  “It would do a disservice to the First Amendment to judge the Act for anything other than what it is: a brazen attempt to single out trans-inclusive establishments and force them to parrot a message that they reasonably believe would sow fear and misunderstanding about the very transgender Tennesseans whom those establishments are trying to provide with some semblance of a safe and welcoming environment,” Trauger wrote…

Out of Control (#1173)

The next level beyond spooge-based sexual assault:

An Arby’s manager…urinated in the milkshake mix…for his own “sexual gratification” on at least two occasions…Stephen Sharp, who was being investigated for child pornography, admitted to police that he enjoyed relieving himself in the restaurant’s milkshake mix while working as a night manager at a Vancouver, Washington, location…[cops found] dozens of [child porn] photos and videos…as well as the urine video on his digital devices…Investigators are looking for any unlucky customers who bought and drank the urine-contaminated shakes…

To Molest and Rape (#1230)

So many rapist cops, so many underage victims:

A Dallas [cop who was] arrested last summer [for] sexual assault of a child is now facing a second charge after more victims came forward…Tyrone William Jr….[h]as [been on paid vacation since…June [of last year]…

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In its attempts to target an ever-growing number of people for detention and deportation, ICE has reached into the private homes and lives of almost every person in America.  –  Nina Wang

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Allowing Clearview to continue arming those who claim the “right” to spy on you, violently assault you, and destroy your life, is nothing like a “big win”:

Under a legal settlement filed in court today, Clearview AI…has agreed to a new set of restrictions that ensure the company is in alignment with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…Clearview will be permanently banned from granting paid or free access to its gargantuan face recognition database to private entities [but not to governmental entities, including ICE, CBP, the FBI and local cop shops]…except…in Illinois [and even that restriction is only]…for a [mere] five years…Clearview will maintain an opt-out request form on its website, allowing Illinois residents to [give this unscrupulous business yet another] photo [in exchange for a politician’s promise that]…their faceprints will be blocked from appearing in Clearview’s search results…

Quiet Genocide (#1105)

Here’s another firsthand account of the ongoing genocide of the Uighur people by the Chinese communist regime, told in comic strip form.  Since finally escaping after years of brutalization, Zumrat Dawut has bravely told her story despite attempts by the Chinese government to terrorize her even though she now resides in the US.  Please read her story, edited by Anthony Del Col and illustrated by Fahmida Azim; it is imperative Westerners stop looking away and pretending these atrocities are not happening.

I Spy (#1155)

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than private affairs that are none of their business:

…the European Commission [is] seeking to end encrypted communications…[using the popular excuse] of child sexual abuse imagery…messaging services and web hosts would be required to search for, and report, child abuse material – even in the case of encrypted messaging services…that cannot be scanned in such a way…[politician] Ylva Johansson…[bloviated a lot of self-contradictory nonsense about] “strong safeguards guaranteeing privacy of all”…[while constantly harping on the word] “children”…But the plans [are in reality]…an attack on privacy…Joe Mullin of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[pointed out that because what the politicians demand is literally impossible in encrypted messaging…“This would be a massive new surveillance system…[which] would require the infrastructure for detailed analysis of user messages”…It is a similar approach to that proposed…by Apple…Patrick​ ​Breyer, German MEP for the​ ​Pirate​ ​party, called the proposals “fundamental​ ​rights​ ​terrorism​ ​against​ ​trust,​ ​self-determination​ ​and​ ​security​ ​on​ ​the​ internet”…

To Molest and Rape (#1178)

Not even a rapist cop’s own daughters are safe:

A 10-year-old girl called police in March [to report that] her father, a Chicago [cop, had]…sexually abus[ed] her…but when he was [arrested and] charged…it was only for domestic battery, a misdemeanor…

I Spy (#1200)

All federal cop shops and spook houses are part of the police-state blob:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement…has built a vast digital surveillance system that gives it access to the personal details of almost every person in America, a two-year investigation by Georgetown University law center…conclud[ed] that the…organisation has strayed well beyond its [official] duties as an immigration body to become…a domestic surveillance agency…[with] capabilities that allows its agents to “pull detailed dossiers on nearly anyone, seemingly at any time”…includ[ing]…driver’s license data…utility records…[license plate reader data and] facial recognition [data on roughly 75% of US adults]…and…weaponised through the use of powerful algorithmic tools for searching and analysing data…all…[secretly and] in the absence of warrants…

The Implosion Begins (#1211)

The New York Times uses terms like “far-right conspiracy theory” to describe the moral panic they’ve aggressively promoted for 18 years:

Jason Frank…and his [QAnon] group…have been camping out near Sasabe, Ariz., as a self-appointed border force [in an elaborate fantasy roleplay]…of protecting the thousands of migrant children who have been arriving from the evils of sex trafficking — a favorite QAnon theme…wh[ich developed] over the years [from fantasies about]…pedophilia rings [heavily promoted by cops, fanatics, politicians, and journalists – especially the New York Times – since the early Oughts despite mountains of evidence that organized]…sex-trafficking schemes [of the sort featured in these fantasies are highly] unusual…migrant children [and adults are]…overwhelmingly people who paid to be smuggled…

Policing for Profit (#1230)

I reckon Empyreal felt letting this crime boss save face was a cheap way to get their property back:

Empyreal Logistics…has reached a settlement with the San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Department, which had [robbed] more than $1 million from Empyreal’s armored cars.  The Justice Department, which was holding the money pending federal forfeiture, agreed to return all of it last month…Empyreal a[lso agreed to endorse a statement] the sheriff’s department issued on Friday, [absurdly claiming that the sheriff and his henchmen were]…”acting in good faith when the[y conducted pretextual traffic] stops w[ith the specific intent of robbing a corporation conducting business that was 100% legal under California law]”…

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Unless you’ve been incommunicado for the past week, I’m sure you’ve heard the news about the draft SCOTUS opinion which would overturn Roe v Wade, written by the court’s arch-authoritarian, Samuel Alito.  I’m not going to attempt to analyze the opinion myself, because others who are far better at such things than I am have already done so.  I will, however, point out that, given that the government has been undermining civil rights for decades and has repeatedly refused to recognize women’s right to self-ownership in any matter related to sex or reproduction; and given that so-called “feminists” have been fighting against women’s sexual autonomy in every way but abortion since the 1980s; and given the increasingly-barbaric manifestations of Americans’ collective descent into child-cultism; and given the unrelenting efforts to use women’s biology as a means of subjugation; that this is hardly surprising, platitudes about “settled law” notwithstanding.

Predictably, the leak has already spawned a wave of opportunistic authoritarianism, some examples of which didn’t even wait for the annoucement:

The Oklahoma House approved a…bill…that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.  The law would take effect immediately, cutting off access for patients from Texas who have flooded into Oklahoma since a similar law passed there last fall.  Coming ahead of a highly-anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion…the Oklahoma measure shows that states are not waiting for the high court to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision enshrining abortion rights before acting to restrict the procedure within their own borders…

Naturally, my native state couldn’t allow anyone else to outdo it in totally bat-shit-crazy violent authoritarianism:

…the Louisiana House advanced a bill…that would classify abortion as homicide and [encourage] prosecutors to criminally charge patients…the bill could also restrict in vitro fertilization and emergency contraception because it would grant constitutional rights to a [zygote] “from the moment of fertilization.”  Discussing the legislation less than 48 hours after the leaked Supreme Court draft proposing to overturn the 1973 ruling that has protected abortion rights, [politicians and other authoritarians] who spoke in support of the bill appeared energized by the prospect of a long-sought imminent victory [against women’s bodily autonomy]…

And of course, “sex trafficking” fetishists are attempting to hitch their collapsing fantasy to this dramatic expansion of the police state by reviving a long-moribund myth that never gained much traction:

A Florida [politician fantasized aloud] at a town hall meeting that a ban on abortion can help victims of human trafficking escape their captors…Ileana Garcia…[wa]s seen [making furtive movements in her crotch while] answering a question on why she didn’t support an exception to the state’s new 15-week abortion ban for women who are victims of rape, incest or human trafficking…“When the girl or the woman gets pregnant, and they can’t make her get an abortion or she doesn’t want to get an abortion or they can’t get her to a place to get an abortion, they…release her from the human trafficking ring,” Garcia [pant]ed…

And how could any expansion of the police state succeed without a corresponding expansion of fascist surveillance?

A location data firm is selling information related to visits to [abortion] clinics…including Planned Parenthood facilities, showing where groups of people visiting the locations came from, how long they stayed there, and where they then went afterwards…customers could include [the cops, governments of oppressive states, opportunists looking for people to target with Texas-style lawsuits, and] anti-abortion vigilantes as well…The company selling the data is [called] SafeGraph…[it] obtains location data from [spyware secretly included in ordinary apps installed on peoples’ phones…[among its existing customers is] the CDC, [who] bought $420,000 worth of SafeGraph data for a laundry list of COVID-[excused surveillance schemes]…Google banned SafeGraph from the Google Play Store in June

Obviously, this is just the beginning; expect a lot more stories under this heading in the next few months.

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Following a person’s movements 24 hours a day, day after day, will tell you where they live, where they work, who they spend time with, and who they are.  –  Nate Wessler

Bullies With Badges

Big heroes prove their manhood by terrorizing women:

[British cops] have been…ignoring the law in order to…bully, harass and intimidate…sex workers…[they have] raid[ed] sex workers’ premises [without warrants] and [refused] to identify themselves…In one [case, the cops]…shouted that “prostitution was illegal in the UK, told [their victim] that she was mentally ill, [ransack]ed the flat and [stole] her phones…a personal book containing her email address, passwords and phone numbers”…and [her] towels…claiming they needed to check them for semen…“After this aggressive and unreasonable behaviour officers then bizarrely asked Ms B if she was trafficked,” [Niki] Adams [of ECP] wrote…A spokesp[ig claimed the cops]…did not need a warrant as they were carrying out a routine welfare check…They [lied that their victim voluntarily] invited [them] inside…[the spokespig also oinked out the word “]safeguarding[“, which is a UK cop euphemism for arrest]…

To Molest and Rape

In which “child” is used to mean “teen” and “gang-like group” is used to mean “gang”:

[Cops] in an exclusive Santa Ana Police [gang]…who share…skull tattoos have [repeatedly brutalized and molested citizens]…both [while wearing their magical clown costumes] and [not, and unsurprisingly] faced no [consequences of any kind]…Five of…[them] were [observed by numerous witnesses] verbally harassing [and molesting] two teenage girls…at a…restaurant [in 2020].  In a 2021 incident, [a politician named] Johnathan Hernandez reported seeing…[two of them] holding a struggling woman [down] in a parking lot…[while] groping…and [verbally abusing]…her…

While I sympathize with the desire to make these thugs look as bad as possible, infantilizing victims of sexual assault does not help them.

Stalkers in Blue

Even seemingly-consensual sex with a cop may be something else:

A…Belchertown [Massachusetts cop named]…Michael Beaupre…pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of unlawful wiretapping and 10 charges of photographing an unsuspecting nude person…Beaupre’s [girlfriend]…discovered a thumb drive at his home, which contained a folder of images of her naked, including performing sexual acts.  Those videos were taken without her knowledge…[and] permission [and directly against her] consent…Beaupre had previously asked her if he could film their sexual activities and that she “emphatically stated no”…[cops also] discovered…”approximately 60 folders with women’s names,” and that those folders contained hundreds of videos…13 [of the] folders…[contained] surreptitious recordings…[and] they were able to identify seven of those women…filmed from several devices in Beaupre’s bedroom and downstairs in his living room…between 2017 and 2021…

I Spy (#1064)

Modern fascism has spun a terrifyingly-extensive surveillance net:

According to Brendon Clark of Anomaly Six…the combination of its cellphone location-tracking technology with the social media surveillance provided by Zignal Labs would permit the U.S. government to effortlessly spy on Russian forces…or…track Chinese nuclear submarines.  To prove that the technology worked, Clark pointed A6’s powers inward, spying on the National Security Agency and CIA, using their own cellphones against them…there’s a good chance that A6 knows an immense amount about you.  The company is one of many that purchases vast reams of location data, tracking hundreds of millions of people around the world…without [thei]r knowledge or informed consent, relying on disclosures buried in the legalese of the sprawling terms of service that the companies involved count on you never reading…

To Molest and Rape (#1189)

Remember when the UK claimed it could protect women from predatory cops by paying other predatory cops to lurk in clubs?

A [Scottish cop] is to go on trial facing charges of sexual assault in Aberdeen and Dundee.  Ross Campbell…a[ssaulted seven women]…at various nightclubs…in 2019 and 2020…He [claims they either all wanted it or are lying]…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1202)

At least some reporters are finally getting skeptical of this popular excuse for bad behavior:

Daniel Andrew Karas…confessed to [talking dirty online to a cop fantasy role-playing online as a 13-year-old girl, but blamed it on an imaginary “]crippling adult porn addiction[“.  In court, he self-indulgently went on at great length about his religious beliefs]…and…bizarre[ly claimed that]… “pornography can even be a source of domestic violence, because if they don’t get what they see on porn from their partner then they could get violent”…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1208)

Politicians are always happy to indulge cops’ violent fantasies:

…Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost is [attempt]ing [to panic citizens about]…Nitazenes, [moronically labeled] “Frankenstein Opioids” [by prohibitionists.  The drugs are supposedly]…more than 40-times [as potent as]…fentanyl…Nitazines are not approved for medical use anywhere in the world but are currently being made in secret labs [due to the Iron Law of Prohibition.  But rather than telling the truth, that the War on Drugs is to blame, Yost preferred to repeat childish campfire tales about how cops] who just touched a little fentanyl immediately fell out, overdosed and were rushed to the hospital…[even though fentanyl cannot be absorbed through the skin]…

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[Your data is] pretty much all available to the government in one form or another.  –  Jennifer Lynch

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

…the state of New Hampshire [is still trying to hide]…the disciplinary records of a [rapist cop who was] fired for misconduct…Haden Wilber…[pretend]ed [that]…a Maine woman…had drugs hidden inside her body [as a pretext for repeatedly sexually assaulting] her[, filing false criminal charges against her, abducting her and keeping her locked in a cage for] 13 days…The charges were ultimately dropped…Last year, the state paid the [victim] $212,500 to settle a lawsuit [over] Wilber[‘s gross] violat[ion of] her [person and] rights…A State Police internal investigation found Wilber had also illegally searched the woman’s phone without a warrant and [lied to cover his crimes]…

A Woman’s Point of View

In Rhode Island’s case, this would be re-decriminalization:

Rhode Island is the latest locale to mull decriminalizing prostitution, with two different bills…getting hearings in the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee…S2713, drafted by…COYOTE RI…[and sponsored by politicians] Cynthia Mendes…and Jeanine Calkin…would [actually] decriminalize selling sex, paying for sex, and a number of other [related] consensual activities…[meanwhile,] S2716…would [actually create somehing closer to legalization.  Buying and selling sex would be]…civil violation[s] punishable by…fine…and [forced subjection to]…”examin[ation]…for venereal disease”…

To Molest and Rape (#1138)

High union rank is another thing rapist cops often have in common:

The vice chairman of the D.C. Police Union is currently under investigation [for sexual assault] and has been stripped of his police powers…Medgar Webster…committed the crimes twice at a Southeast, D.C. Whole Foods…one of those a[ssaults]…took place on April 2…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#1185)

I’m sure THE CHILDREN!!!™ are safer now:

Former boxing champion Mike Tyson has been capitalizing off his notorious 1997 ear-biting incident, in which he chomped down on opponent Evander Holyfield’s ear, by selling THC-infused edibles shaped like ears with a bite chomped out of them.  His company, Tyson 2.0…plans to expand these “Mike Bites” to more states this year. But that won’t include Colorado [because] a 2016 state law prohibits marijuana edibles from being shaped like humans, animals, fruit or other objects that could attract children…

Because everybody knows that every person under 18 is so irresistibly drawn to any exposed body part, they will instantly run up and attempt to eat that part, and the only way to prevent it is for everyone over 18 to wear burqa-like garments that expose absolutely no flesh whatsoever.

Creepy Coppers

This one really was a “former” cop:

Andrew Vernon…a retired [cop], paid a 14 year old girl to pose in sexually explicit positions and uploaded these to a pornographic website…[other cops] found images on his laptop of teenage girls…[and] an adult woman who[m] he secretly recorded taking a shower…Vernon has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment…he…claim…to [the girl that he had] erased them all, when in reality, he had…uploaded some to an amateur porn…website…police recovered a total of 441 images from his laptop, USB and SD cards…

I Spy (#1206) 

In mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

It was revealed last week that hackers obtained the information of some Apple and [Facebook] users by forging an emergency legal request, one of several mechanisms by which [cop shops] can…demand that tech companies hand over data such as location and subscriber information…privacy advocates [explain]ed [that] the forgery was a warning sign that the system is in need of reform…An emergency legal request, like the one the hackers forged…doesn’t require a subpoena or warrant, [and judges tend to rubber-stamp the ones that do]…Here are some of the main ways [cops] can get hold of your data [without your consent]…

You Were Warned (#1224)

These attempts to destroy the internet are just going to keep getting worse:

…the Kids Online Safety Act of 2022 (KOSA)…would [invent]…a new legal duty for platforms to [censor]…a wide collection of content [and establish] that platforms can be sued…if young people encounter it…[the law would create] an elaborate age-verification system, likely run by a third-party provider…[and demands platforms create] parental controls, turned on and set to their highest settings [by default]…The parental controls would…require a vast number of online platforms to create systems for parents to spy on—and control—the conversations young people are able to have online, and…likely result in further tracking of all users…in order to avoid liability…nearly every online platform would [be forced to] hide or remove huge swaths of content…KOSA would apply to anyone under sixteen—an age group that child rights organizations agree have a greater need for privacy and independence than younger teens and kids…KOSA’s incredibly broad definition of a covered platform would include…everything from Apple’s iMessage and Signal to web browsers, email applications and VPN software, as well as platforms like Facebook and TikTok…

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Scapegoating Gen Z…belies the enduring hold of sex-negativity on our culture.  –  Asa Seresin

To Molest and Rape

It’s gradually becoming slightly less rare for reporters to describe the actions of rapist cops as rape:

A [typical and representative Kansas cop] is facing over two dozen charges…[for] raping a woman while [wearing his magical clown costume]…Jonathan Gardner…[is mostly being] charged with…official misconduct…[because he stalked potential victims using] Kansas [cop shop computer]…systems…

Disaster (#996)

A timid but possibly important challenge to FOSTA from inside Congress, take 2:

…a few members of Congress are…at least willing to consider the possibility that they messed up in passing FOSTA.  To this end, they’re backing legislation that would further study [its] effects…and of the Justice Department’s shutdown of websites—like Backpage and Rentboy—popular for sex worker advertising.  First introduced in 2019, these measures promptly flopped.  Now, their sponsors—Ro Khanna…Barbara Lee…Elizabeth Warren…and Ron Wyden…are trying again…In the findings section of the bill, the [politicians] explain (with a shocking lack of moral panic) how the government’s war on sex work advertising has caused a number of reported harms, and how FOSTA…increased it…Khanna—one of just 25 House members and two senators who voted against FOSTA—[said that]…he hoped getting more data on FOSTA’s effects would be unobjectionable—and useful for eventual repeal…Techdirt editor Mike Masnick…is skeptical. When it comes to sex trafficking, Congress just “wants to pretend to care about these issues so it can get headlines and go on TV to look serious about how it’s ‘solving’ these problems”…

I’m at least as skeptical as Masnick is, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Ron Wyden actually tweet that “Sex workers deserve equal and full labor protection and dignity under the law.

Disaster (#1151)

They’ve chased this ambulance from Austin to Washington and back:

The [US] Supreme Court declined…to settle a question presented by a[n opportunist and her lawyers] looking to [cash in on a novel theory of] Facebook’s [legal] liability in a case where she [claim]s that she was “sex trafficked as a minor” because the social media platform “[allowed her to communicate with someone she now says was] a sex trafficker.”  The case had already gone all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court, although that tribunal’s decision pointed out the issues with trying to determine Section 230 protections, particularly in a case that also invoked FOSTA-SESTA.  [Though] the Supreme Court denied the request to take up the question…Justice Clarence Thomas added a statement opining that “although the case was not appropriate for court review, Congress should revisit the scope of Section 230”…

I Spy (#1166)

It looks as though at least one court is attempting to grow a spine:

[So-called “geofence”] warrants reverse the expectations of probable cause by turning everyone in a[n]…area into a suspect before investigators work backwards from the location data to generate a list of most likely suspects…[cops] have used these for years…[but] courts are paying more attention now…cops were investigating shootings at a motel in Fairfax County [Virginia, and]…had no suspects so they asked Google to generate them a list of people who had been in the area at the time of the shooting…[including] identifying data…the court…reject[ed] this warrant…Probable cause is the baseline and geofence warrants don’t even try to approach that constitutional guideline…Law enforcement either needs to do a whole lot better crafting these so-called warrants or, better yet, go back to the basics and start looking for suspects first, rather than trying to blunder their way into them by sifting through tons of unrelated data.

Why I Wait (#1177)

Somebody whose name isn’t Maggie McNeill is actually applying critical thought to this claim:

…a widely-held belief [holds] that…Gen Z, like the porn-sceptic feminists of the 70s and 80s, is a sex-negative generation.  Evidence routinely cited to support this belief includes the so-called “sex recession”…and the annual intergenerational battles over kink at Pride.  The idea that young people are abstaining from sex has even crystalised into a neologism: the Puriteen…young people who profess to avoid sex [do so] for a number of reasons: because they find it “objectifying”, “dangerous”, “uncomfortable”, “fucked up and scary”; because they are “exceptionally concerned with trauma and consent”; because casual sex makes them feel “used”…such statements have a political history…that risks falling from view when sex-negativity is treated as if Gen Z invented it.  By invoking objectification, instrumentalization, trauma, and consent, these young people – consciously or not – are using terms handed down to them by feminism…While it might seem like a paradox that [even] some young queers are expressing sex-negative views, the historical legacy of lesbian feminism proves that it isn’t paradoxical at all…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

Another cost of America’s sick worship of state-sanctioned violence:

…more than 7,600 [cops’ violent incompetence]…has more than once led to payouts to resolve lawsuits…[the] Washington Post…collected data on nearly 40,000 payments at 25 of the nation’s largest [cop shops] within the past decade, documenting more than $3.2 billion spent to settle claims…The total amounts further confirm the broad costs associated with police misconduct, as reported last year by FiveThirtyEight and the Marshall Project…more than 1,200 off[enders]…had been the subject of at least five payments.  More than 200 had 10 or more.  The repetition is the hidden cost of [police] misconduct: [cops] whose conduct was at issue in more than one payment accounted for more than $1.5 billion, or nearly half of the money spent by the departments to [sweep reports under the rug]…

To Molest and Rape (#1209)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate kids:

A [cop paid by the state to stalk, harass, and spy on students] at Auburn High School [in New York molested]…a student…William T. Morrissey, III has been charged with first-degree sexual abuse, official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child…Auburn [politicians found out about the molestation via]…an anonymous written complaint in the mail…

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By and large, the [state’s] reaction is, “Who cares? A child is dead. Let’s put her in prison for the rest of her life.”  –  Karla Fischer

Bad Girls

I don’t usually think ages are an important detail, but this is an exception:

…two Thai sex workers…Nualpan Coxon, 67, and Pornthip Phonkoed, 63, both of Auckland, have been on trial…[for defrauding] and…blackmail[ing three elderly men]…between August 2015 and February 2018…prosecutor Rebecca Mann…described the pair’s behaviour as “psychological coercion”…but…defence counsel Russell Boot told the jury…”They were not deceived in any way…It wasn’t until their wives and daughters found out … that it became an issue”…

Micromanagement

Any information you give to cops can and will be used against you:

The San Francisco police crime lab has been entering sexual assault victims’ DNA profiles in[to] a database used to identify suspects in crimes…District Attorney Chesa Boudin…said his office was made aware of the practice last week, after a woman’s DNA collected years ago as part of a rape exam was used to link her to a recent property crime.  If DNA from a rape kit was used without consent for purposes other than investigating the underlying rape case, it may be a violation of constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures as well as California’s Victims’ Bill of Rights, Boudin said.  Such a practice could also create another deterrent to sexual assault victims coming forward…Boudin said his office was investigating the scope of the practice…the database potentially includes thousands of victims’ DNA profiles, with entries over “many, many years”…

For comparison: roughly 60% of prostitution charges in the US result from the charged sex worker becoming the victim of some crime.

Property of the State

The state wants vengeance for the loss of future tax revenue:

[On] New Year’s Eve…2019, Rebecca Hogue, then a 28-year-old cocktail waitress, arrived home in Norman, Oklahoma, around 4 a.m. and went to check on her 2-year-old son…Ryder…her boyfriend, Christopher Trent…had put him…in his crib, where he appeared to be sleeping…when she woke up again a few hours later, Trent was gone.  And her toddler, still in the crib, was…dead…Days later, [police] found [Trent] hanging from a tree in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, where he’d killed himself…he’d [apparently] beaten the boy while Hogue was away at work…[because] they found the words “Rebecca is Innocent” carved into a tree…But in the ultimate act of victim-blaming against a grieving mother, the state of Oklahoma…convicted [her] of first-degree murder, even though she never laid a hand on the boy…Hogue was convicted under Oklahoma’s “failure to protect” law, which requires parents to [magically] shield their kid from physical harm if [a jury decides] they…[“]should[“] have been [clairvoyantly] aware…that another adult [wa]s abusing the child…

Broken Record (#747) 

There’s something especially pathetic about a politician who fails to realize a prohibitionist trope is long past its sell-by date:

…In a city council video that reads like sketch comedy…[Hudson, Ohio] mayor [Craig Shubert]] warns that if you open up the lake to ice fishing, ice shantytowns will follow, and the​​n commercial sex…”If you open this up to ice fishing, while on the surface it sounds good, then what happens next year—does someone come back and say I want an ice shanty?…And if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution.  Just data points to consider,” he added. (Apparently, Shubert doesn’t understand what “data points” means)…

At least Shubert had the sense to realize he had become a laughingstock, and resigned the following week.

I Spy (#1154) 

The government thinks you shouldn’t be allowed any privacy whatsoever:

…the U.S. Postal Service…is violating the privacy and civil liberties of the American people by using sophisticated tools to break into hundreds of citizens’ cellphones and collect their social media posts…the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) admitted in its 2020 annual report that it not only employed top-of-the-line technology hundreds of times to hack into mobile phones but also planned to expand its use of…Cellebrite…and GrayKey…to break into phones, unscramble otherwise unreadable encrypted data, and copy it for [pigs] to [root] through.  This technology is dangerous and prone to abuse…

The Implosion Begins (#1189)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

…Troy Burke…admitted to killing his wife, Jessica…by shooting her three times in the head in their [Michigan] home…a judge allowed Burke to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, after psychiatric evaluations by both the state and independent experts concluded that he was not fit to stand trial…Burke believed his tablet device was sending him signals from QAnon members who told him that his wife was working for the CIA…the messages directed him to kill his wife to save the world from child sex trafficking…it’s unclear if the messages Burke was speaking about were real or imaginary, but…QAnon…was built on…false claim[s about]…child sex-trafficking [spread for the past two decades by politicians, cops, the news media (including Vice), sex work prohibitionists, and amoral profiteers]…

Permanent Record (#1200)

Coverage of these incidents is growing more sympathetic:

Cami Strella…tried to tune out distress about being outed until a classmate who discovered her online identity broached a conversation about sex and Strella’s online content.  That encounter signified to Strella that her time as a student in occupational therapy with a neurological rehabilitation track was nearing a close…she…sought the advice of a trusted academic adviser who told her it would be best if she left the program…[so] she followed that advice and submitted her intent to unenroll from the only graduate program to which she had been accepted…Lutheran-affiliated Lenoir-Rhyne University has no policy against digital sex work, [and] a university spokesperson…said the school encourages Strella to communicate her concerns to university leadership…

“Communicate her concerns”?  What sanctimonious bullshit.  Note also that despite the generally-sympathetic tone, writer Lateshia Beachum still felt compelled to include dysphemisms such as “earning a living in society’s underbelly” and sophomoric tee-hee attempts at wit such as “pull themselves up by their garter belts to attain financial stability”.

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Any suggestion that we allow or encourage illegal content…defies…reason, from both a moral and business standpoint.  –  Feras Antoon

Advice for Clients (#738)

Another good little article on interacting with sex workers on Twitter:

…If you’re new to Twitter, you may feel a bit overwhelmed when deciding whether to follow, like, comment, or retweet.  You might worry about saying the wrong thing, or accidentally making a bad impression.  I recently reached out to ask sex workers on Twitter for their best etiquette advice.  The result: some real gems on how to interact with your favourite providers in a ways that will help you enjoy the platform without jeopardizing your future booking success…As with everything in the sex industry, workers each have their own preferences.  But the advice that’s generously offered here is a great place to start…Mistresse Matisse has the perfect metaphor to describe the social media experience.  “Twitter is a cocktail party, not a one-on-one date”…

Not To Be Taken Internally (#886)

How many times must I say, “Do NOT let non-doctors inject filth into your body“?

A man…had been inserting various objects into his urethra for some time as an aid for erectile dysfunction.  During one such occasion, he and his partner had decided to use a straw attached to a can of weatherproofing spray, when the partner “inadvertently pressed the button deploying the foam.” The foam then shot through his entire urethra, even filling up his bladder.  The man waited three weeks before seeking medical attention at an emergency room, during which time he increasingly had difficulty urinating and urinating blood when he did…

Predictable Consequences (#1134)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system, but this kinda shitty hit piece in Vanity Fair pretends otherwise.  Rather than simply admit the obvious  –  that increasingly-emboldened members of the growing anti-sex cult burned down the property of the owner of a website their leaders had selected as the next target of their attentions after the wanton destruction of Backpage  –  the author prefers instead to repeat prohibitionist fantasies, wallow in dysphemisms and deny the agency of every single person in an entire industry while sharing weird, evidence-free conspiracy theories about possible perpetrators while pretending that there was no evidence pointing toward the obvious culprits  –  you know, those who had for weeks been literally calling for the place to be burned down.

Policing for Profit (#1158)

Cops seem to be moving toward discarding even the pretense that this is about anything other than pillage:

Because the continued federal prohibition of marijuana makes banks and payment processors leery of serving state-licensed cannabis suppliers, many of those businesses rely heavily on cash, which exposes them to a heightened risk of robbery…includ[ing by gangs of] cops who use federal civil forfeiture laws to steal money earned by state-legal marijuana businesses.  Five times since last May, [cops have held up]…armored cars operated by Empyreal Logistics, a Pennsylvania-based company that serves marijuana businesses and financial institutions that work with them.  The cops made off with…a total of $1.2 million…Empyreal, which is represented by the Institute for Justice, argues that…it is “entitled to protection from highway robberies, regardless of whether they are conducted by criminals or by the Sheriff and federal law-enforcement agencies acting under color of law”…

You Were Warned (#1175)

Much more of this, please:

OnlyFans…has hired its first federal lobbyists as poli[ticians] continue t[heir deranged crusade]…to [censor the internet and empower ambulance-chasers to destroy]…tech companies…OnlyFans is the latest player in the adult content ecosystem to turn to K Street as [politicians try to eviscerate] Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…Last year the Free Speech Coalition…enlisted a bipartisan pair of lobbyists at Clarity Consulting, becoming the first group to register to lobby on behalf of the porn industry in Washington…

Torture Chamber (#1186)

They’ll use any excuse to protect their own:

Bronx prosecutors have dropped all charges against a Rikers Island doctor’s assistant…[who repeatedly] rap[ed caged] women…Sidney Wilson…skated on a 43-count indictment filed in 2017…Bronx District Attorney Darcell Clark…touted the case in a press release and in testimony as part of her crackdown on sexual abuse in the troubled jail…But in…quietly dropped all charges against Wilson and is now blaming the discovery reform law requiring prosecutors to disclose a wide range of evidence earlier in the trial process [despite the case being filed over two years before the law came into effect]…

Never forget that a prosecutor is just another kind of cop; they are not interested in prosecuting their own.

I Spy (#1205)

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than private affairs that are none of their business:

…a new propaganda campaign…is…the latest salvo in the UK’s decades-long war against encryption…[it] include[s] “a striking stunt — placing an adult and child (both actors) in a glass box, with the adult looking ‘knowingly’ at the child as the glass fades to black”…as…David Thiel observed, an opaque box with people inside is what’s otherwise known as “a house.”  On one level, the opaque room represents encrypted messaging.  The audience’s inability to see what happens inside is meant to provoke sympathy for the child, who, it’s leeringly implied, is about to be victimized by the adult…But…on a different level, the opaque room isn’t a metaphor at all.  It is just what it seems to be: an opaque room — that is, a house.  A home.  The audience isn’t meant to sympathize with the people inside the home, people just like them, who can shield themselves from prying eyes.  Rather, they’re meant to sympathize with the would-be watcher: the UK government.  On this level, it’s the frustrated voyeurs who are the victims.  Their desire to watch what happens inside has been stymied by that demonic technology known as “walls.”  Wouldn’t it be better if someone could see in?…By portraying the transparent room as desirable and the opaque room as a sinister deviation from the norm, the government is peddling the idea that it is suspect for people to have our own private spaces in the physical world…

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