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Posts Tagged ‘Panopticon’

It has become increasingly difficult for the public to move, assemble, and converse in public without being tracked and recorded.  –  Ed Markey

Where Are the Protests? 

I’m sure the “anti-trafficking” crusaders will be going after this any day now:

From industrial-scale scam centers in Southeast Asia, criminal syndicates have spent the pandemic perfecting an intricate romance-meets-investment fraud called Shāzhūpán (pig butchering scams).  Teams of scammers use sophisticated scripts to “fatten up” their targets, grooming individuals…and enticing them into investment schemes increasingly centered on cryptocurrency, before going in for the “slaughter” and stealing their money…the scale of human suffering sustaining pig butchering is unprecedented in the world of online scamming.  Propping up the industry are thousands of people trapped in a cycle of human trafficking, debt, forced labor, and violence; people from across the region lured by fake job adverts to scam centers in Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia…the structures underpinning pig butchering…[are] creating a “humanitarian crisis”…[for both] individuals robbed of their life savings and plunged into debt, as well as those on the other side of the screen, imprisoned victims forced to groom others and scam…

If Men Were Angels

This “youth pastor” had an assistant:

A former pastor and his wife [named]…Raymond…and…Sandra Swash, face several historical sexual assault charges involving minors as young as 13 years old when they were members of the Banfield Memorial Church in North York, [Ontario]…Raymond was a youth pastor and youth leader at the church in the late 80s and early 90s…[and] a woman told…police she had repeatedly been sexually assaulted by both suspects when she was 13 years old in 1987, until she was 17 years old in 1990…Another…woman alleged she had been sexually assaulted by Raymond Swash when she was 13 and 14, from 1992 to 1993.  Investigators…believe there may be more victims…

Panopticon (#914)

San Francisco pigs are no longer satisfied with waiting for useful idiots’ consent:

Three years after San Francisco passed a law requiring city departments to get approval for their use of surveillance technology…the SFPD [wants warrantless]…live surveillance when a misdemeanor or a vaguely defined “significant event” is in progress…[via] tap[ping] into private cameras…Under the new policy, the SFPD could live-monitor private cameras across the city, including residents’ Ring doorbell cameras, or those operated by private organizations or businesses…

A Moral Cancer (#1072)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

Alcohol carries significant health risks and no benefits for young people but some older adults may gain from drinking a small amount, according to…the authors of the Global Burden of Diseases study, a rolling project based at the University of Washington in Seattle…Four years ago the study said that even the occasional drink was harmful to health, and suggested governments should advise people to abstain entirely.  But after [they weren’t publicly humiliated enough for suggesting] a major new [theater in the] global [War on Drugs], the [puritans] behind the study have [been emboldened to make even more ridiculous statements]…

Panopticon (#1089)

No evidence will stop those more concerned about a few burglars than a massive police state:

The Amazon company…confirm[ed] that there have [already] been 11 cases in 2022 where Ring complied with police “emergency” requests…[and] handed over private recordings, including video and audio, without letting users know that police had access to—and potentially downloaded—their data.  This raises many concerns about increased police reliance on private surveillance, a practice that’s long gone unregulated…

Whither Canada? (#1133)

I’m skeptical this will accomplish anything, but it probably can’t hurt:

A sex worker in Nova Scotia is pursuing a claim for non-payment of services in small claims court, in a case she and her advocates hope will help shift the conversation about sex work in Canada…[whose version of the odious Swedish model] prevents sex workers from being able to easily create contracts for their services, as one cannot typically establish a contract in which one party is required to do something illegal…Jessica Rose, a staff lawyer for the Elizabeth Fry Society…who is representing [the sex worker, said]…”Without being able to easily contract for their services…[sex workers a]re really at a disadvantage in terms of getting paid the money that they are owed by their clients…it might be that we could argue that this kind of an illegal contract is still one that should be enforced, and that is what we will be arguing”…

Thought Control (#1253)

I never would’ve thought my first profession would become as much a target for authoritarians as my second:

Residents of a small Iowa town [persecut]ed their library’s LGBTQ staff and their displaying of LGBTQ-related books until most of the staff quit.  Now, the town’s library is closed for the foreseeable future.  After having the same library director for 32 years, the Vinton Public Library can’t seem to keep the position filled anymore…[in the last year] the…library has gone through two permanent directors and an interim director who has served in that role twice…the…issues s[tarted when]…a handful of locals whipped up a controversy first over the library displaying books about prominent Democrats, and later about it displaying LGBTQ books and [not illegally discriminating against] LGBTQ people…[in hiring.  The] attacks…[are] part of a nationwide trend sparked by [wannabe censors equating LGBT materials]…with pedophilia…Iowa has been no exception and public and school libraries have both in these crosshairs…

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None of us should be here.  –  Nicole Gililland

Counterfeit Comfort (#958) 

US sex laws are nothing but PR campaigns for cops:

Since 2006, the federal government has funneled millions into sometimes-massive operations to verify the addresses of those [condemned to] sex-offender registries…studies show they…do nothing to improve public safety…[and] programs with proven track records in preventing sexual violence…get little federal help…These mobilizations…funnel federal dollars to local police…but the…flood of money doesn’t appear to produce much…most [of the arrests during such sweeps are] for failure to report a change of address or vehicle…Sweep announcements often convey danger…[which] might explain why so many [are staged] on or around Halloween…Cops also use the raids to promote the m[yth] that police are all that stands between families and mayhem…And federal officials use the operations to denounce criticism of cops…

Imaginary Victims (#1000) 

The state’s pretended sympathy for “sex trafficking victims” applies only to imaginary “perfect” ones; real young women must fight for their lives:

…the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled…that a teenager who killed her sexual abuser may have the chance to be acquitted of all charges…Chrystul Kizer, now 22…has spent years fighting for the opportunity to show evidence…that her crimes were the “direct result” of the [exploitation]…she experienced at the hands of the man she killed: Randall Volar Jr.  She hoped to employ a never-before-used Wisconsin law that [claims]…to offer legal protection to [people classified as “]victims of trafficking[“, but prosecutors…[ha]ve argued…[that] her charge should only be lessened from first-degree homicide to second-degree — meaning she would still face up to 60 years in prison.  The court…[finally allowed] Kizer’s case, which has been stalled for years, [to] continue.  If [yet another] judge agrees there is “some evidence” her crimes were a “direct result” of trafficking, she will be able to present the same argument to a jury.  If the jury sides with her, she could be acquitted of some or all the charges against her…

Business As Usual (#1041)

Passive voice and obfuscation are used to divert blame for sexual assaults:

Two Flagstaff [cops lied] to [women in] massage parlors, took their pants off, and allowed themselves to be fondled eight different times….[which is] illegal according to state law [despite being approved] by [a gang composed of spooks, pigs, and]…prosecutors…Police a[bducted] 13 people…after…the [sexual assaults]…state law clearly outlines that what the [rapist pigs] detailed in their reports is illegal…[they also] repeatedly [claimed] they were looking into “sex trafficking” and then proceeded to pay for sex acts from [women they infantilized as “]victims[“]…

Panopticon (#1150)

A federal appeals court already ruled this kind of surveillance a 4th amendment violation, but I guess that doesn’t apply to the feds themselves:

[On June 30th], residents of Nogales, Arizona—a border-hugging town of about 20,000 people—awoke to find a large white blimp stationed in the sky.  Even [local politicians] had no idea the blimp was coming….[to] conduct…round-the-clock surveillance [for] U.S. Customs and Border Patrol…With the ability to provide surveillance both night and day, and a maximum [altitude] of 3,000 feet…the blimp is certainly capable of snooping on many people…There are now 17 blimps stationed over the U.S.-Mexico border.  The Nogales blimp is the first in eastern Arizona, though the CBP tentatively plans to launch another in that sector later this year…

It’d be a shame if locals started using this for target practice.

Permanent Record (#1200)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

An Oregon jury has awarded more than $1.7 million to Nicole Gililland, a former nursing student who sued her school for discriminating against her because of her adult performer past.  Although the jury declined to hold Southwestern Oregon Community College liable for Title IX violations, it did find SWOCC in breach of contract for derailing Gililland’s career and life after the school administration and instructors found out in 2017-2018 about her brief stint as an adult performer…for around 20 months between 2007 and 2009.  The jury…award[ed] Gililland $735,417 in compensation for the economic damage…plus $1 million in punitive damages…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives; some don’t stop with mere beating:

…a [typical and representative cop] in Virginia…[nam]ed…Richard Colon Crowder…[murdered] both his wife Diane…and stepdaughter Carrie Szaksz…[and also] fired…at [his fellow cops] in an approximately nine-hour standoff before surrendering…Diane was moving out of the home…to get [away from her husband’s] abus[e]…The movers were just taking care of the final two pieces when [Crowder started shooting, so they fled]…and called [the other cops]…

Still a Child (#1226) 

Japanese politicians decided to infantilize all adults rather than just young women:

Japanese p[orn]…performer…Sakura Tsukishima has revealed…that she was forced to give up her apartment due to unreasonable changes [politicians] forc[ed] on the local adult industry…the sudden precipitous decline in her projected income…[was] caused by the virtual shutdown of production while companies try to figure out how they can continue shooting now that the Japanese government has rendered adult industry contracts unenforceable…the new law empowers any performer of any age or gender to withdraw…their consent for companies to distribute adult material in which they appear [and were already paid for]…at any time before the film’s public release without conditions, as well as up to a year afterward…video vendors [would be] obliged to [somehow] recover the products and delete the footage, and cannot claim [to be repaid for the] compensation [paid to the cold-footed] performers…

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The decision of whether or not to install surveillance cameras at a business should be up to the owner.  –  Erica Smith Ewing

To Molest and Rape

Protecting and serving rapists:

A…Vicksburg, Mississippi…[cop named]…Derrick Dotson…resigned about a week after being [given a paid vacation for raping a woman.  Another cop named Jessie Harris]…who was already on probation from an earlier incident, was fired for [trying to cover up his buddy’s crime].  The [assault came to light when]…the…victim[, Ejeane Lewis, reported]…in a now-deleted Facebook post that she was sexually assaulted in the back of a p[igmobile]…behind an “abandoned hospital” by the [rapist cop], who “turned his cameras and radio off”…

Panopticon (#914)

Houston isn’t satisfied with waiting for useful idiots to grant them access:

…the Institute for Justice (IJ) calls on Houston officials to repeal an Orwellian ordinance that requires various businesses to install surveillance cameras at their own cost and turn footage over to the police without a warrant…Any business that does not comply…would be subject to fines of $500 per day.  The law requires “bars, nightclubs, convenience stores, sexually oriented businesses, and game rooms” to install surveillance cameras with sufficient lighting at all places where customers are permitted, keep the cameras running 24/7 and store all footage for at least 30 days.  Upon [demand] from police, businesses will be forced to turn their footage over within three days…some local bar owners raised concerns that it was arbitrarily targeting their businesses, and that many could not afford to comply if it becomes law…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

How long will America ignore the costs of its sick worship of state-sanctioned violence?

Police in the US have [murdered] nearly 600 people during traffic stops since 2017…including…a…disproportionate…[percentage of] people of color, according to data collected by Mapping Police Violence…About 10% of the roughly 1,100 people [murder]ed by police each year involve traffic violations, the group found…There has been renewed scrutiny of traffic stops since the 4 April killing of [Patrick] Lyoya…[who] was shot in the back of the head…for having a mismatched license plate…Daunte Wright…was [murdered]…for…a hanging air freshener; Sandra Bland…was [murdered] for failing to signal; and…Philando Castile [was murdered because a racist cop claimed he couldn’t tell black people apart]…Some of the deadly traffic cases tracked this year include a Miami man [murder]ed for an expired tag, a Milwaukee man [murdered for] failing to signal and an Oregon man…[murdered for pulling out of] a parking lot…

Creepy Coppers

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

A Daytona Beach [cop named]…Brandon Fox…is facing seven counts of possession of child pornography…[after he was caught] sharing…images and videos of sexual acts involving children under 10…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1214)

There won’t be any shortcut to stopping Clearview:

…Scraping publicly accessible data is legal, according to a…ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals…in a long-running legal battle brought by LinkedIn aimed at stopping a rival company from web scraping personal information from users’ public profiles. The…Court…found that scraping data that is publicly accessible on the internet is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act…which governs what constitutes computer hacking under U.S. law.  The…decision is a major win for archivists, academics, researchers and journalists…But there have been egregious cases of web scraping that have sparked privacy and security concerns.  Facial recognition startup Clearview AI claims to have scraped billions of social media profile photos, prompting several tech giants to file lawsuits

Torture Chamber (#1229) 

Your “leaders” refer to this as “correction”:

…For incarcerated persons, few experiences are as degrading as the strip search…a…humiliating…reminder of your total inability to control access to the most intimate parts of your body.  Even worse is what people in prisons call the “credit card swipe,” the practice of sliding a gloved hand between a person’s buttocks.  [It] is…indistinguishable from sexual assault…especially…[because] guards use this practice…as a form of punishment…a means of control…and provoking a reaction that might lead to pretext for a beating or other punishment…these degrading searches almost certainly undermine institutional security, to say nothing of rehabilitative goals.  Ultimately, rather than cowing the defiant, unnecessary strip searches are likely to inflame opposition and defiance of authority – exactly the opposite effect intended…

The Last Shall Be First (#1229) 

At least Florida’s anti-trans crusade isn’t as psychopathic as Texas’:

…the Florida Department of Health [has] released guidelines that advise no treatment of gender dysphoria for children and teenagers outside of counseling…[it advises] against…prescription of hormone therapy or puberty blockers…[and even] things like using a different name, pronouns or style of dress…It…[is un]clear what effect the state’s guidance could have on physicians treating children and teens with gender dysphoria…research shows that gender-affirming care like social transitions and hormone therapy can improve the mental health and well-being of transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents…

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You don’t exist if you can’t use the banking system.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

The Face of Trafficking

Note that even cases of actual coercion don’t look much like the myths:

A married couple was charged with sex trafficking young women into…prostitution…prosecutors [claim]…Kareem…and Sharice Mitchell…pushed at least eight women into prostitution, including at least two who were…[their wards]…none of the women was under 18.  In New York, young people can leave foster care once they reach the age of 18, but they can also choose to stay in care until they turn 21…

Decentralization (#818) 

There’s nothing in this article on sex workers accepting bitcoin that will surprise any sex worker, except the claim that escorts typically charge upwards of $1700/hour.  Unfortunately, even the reporter’s incredibly-naive acceptance of the government’s claims about the intent of FOSTA, Operation Choke Point, and various other anti-whore policies is nothing new.  But what is new is the way most non-local news media (the local ones are way too busy licking cops’ boots to stay up with the rest of their industry) are now treating sex work as normal and sex workers as sympathetic.  Prohibitionists are still winning most of the battles which involve the players in the fascist Establishment, but we’re winning the war.  And in the long run, there’s absolutely nothing the whore-haters can do about it.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1001)

Undermining of civil liberties only starts with “undesirables”; it never stops there:

A tech firm is offering police a capability to identify and pull up information on [homeless] people…[via] facial recognition…“Police [can] use ODIN…to identify even non-verbal or intoxicated individuals,” the [company’s] brochure…reads…a section called “What’s The Problem?” [includes this graphic]:

…after [scann]ing…a person police would be provided with a slew of information on the individual, including their date of birth, prior contacts, labels such as “needles,” “assaultive,” or “registered sex offender,” their warrant status, notification of who their probation officer or parole agent is, contact information for therapists or social workers, their arrest history, and their temporary housing history…

Panopticon (#1012)

Another government scheme to normalize constant surveillance:

[Politicians] in Iowa introduced a bill…that would require cameras to be installed in nearly every K-12 school classroom across the state, allowing parents to s[py on classes in order]…to censor classrooms and intimidate educators …[as part of the “]critical race theory[” witch hunt]…teachers, administrators and other school staff members who fail to keep the cameras active and in working order or who “obstruct” the camera’s views could be fined up to 5 percent of their weekly salary per infraction…Meanwhile…in…Nevada [a pro-censorship group]…recently proposed placing body cameras on teachers to ensure they aren’t teaching critical race theory…[politicians] in Florida introduced a bill similar to the Iowa proposal…that would require cameras in classrooms and require teachers to wear microphones…and…Missouri [politician] Cindy O’Laughlin…[also] called for…teachers to wear body cameras as a way for parents to [spy on them]…

I sincerely doubt teachers’ unions will agree to this kind of Maoist surveillance, but the very fact that it’s being seriously proposed does not bode well for the future.

Negative Secondary Effects (#1122)

It’s rare for an article on sex work in the UK press to be so free of dysphemisms:

Women who work in Bristol’s two s[trip clubs]…have threatened a judicial review against the city council, if it goes ahead with a proposal to close the venues down.  The United Voices of the World trade union, which represents the dancers at Urban Tiger and Central Chambers, has warned Bristol City Council that…the “nil cap” policy…constitute[s]…gender discrimination and [thereb]y break[s] the law…“The [policy would]…prevent…strippers from working in an occupation, city, and venue of their choice.  This…poses a serious threat to the…livelihoods, safety, and health of over 100 individuals”…[especially given] that other venues that host male stripper nights do not [suffer] the same level of regulation and are not included in the fresh attempts to close down their venues…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1164) 

Victoria has become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

…This historical move makes the Australian state of Victoria only the fourth jurisdiction in the world to decriminalise sex work…provid[ing] sex workers with access to the same workplace health and safety protections as other Victorians…The…bill…repeal[s] over the next two years criminal laws associated with consensual adult sex work.  This is an important first step in acknowledging sex work as work…Crucially, and uniquely, the bill strengthens anti-discrimination protections available to sex workers…

To Molest and Rape (#1189)

Why are reporters so unable to comprehend that forced sex is still rape when the rapist is a cop?

The detective [rap]ing…the woman he’d just a[bduc]ted in the toilets at Charing Cross Police Station didn’t react when Sue opened the toilet door…During Sue’s time at the Central London station in the 2000s the building’s toilets and cells were often used by some officers for [rape]…“It was a place to go and [commit rape] before they went home to their girlfriends or wives”…[victims] were [usually either] highly intoxicated [or] in vulnerable situations.  Sex workers in the area were [often the victims]…details of an investigation into…a…[cop who raped] a drunk [woman]…revealed other incidents of “abhorrent behaviour”…Text messages between [cops] at the station…discussed raping [other cops], [murder]ing black children and beating up girlfriends, with one [cop] nicknamed “McRapey Raperson“…

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Whether we like it or not, the 1st Amendment protects both vaccine misinformation and hate speech.  –  Mike Masnick

Quiet Genocide (#1023)

In which the UN throws away what little credibility it had left:

The Chinese government’s violent oppression of the…Uyghur[s]…is no longer a secret…[its] actions…have been…[properly identified as] genocide…[b]y…the human rights community…[yet] the United Nations, the very institution created to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,” is assisting China in its violent efforts to wipe out the Uyghurs by helping the CCP cover its tracks…UN human rights officer-turned whistleblower Emma Reilly…[report]s that prior to every UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in recent years, China has requested the names of Uyghur and other Chinese dissidents who were scheduled to speak.  And despite this being explicitly forbidden by the UN’s own rules, the UN…has [betrayed them so]…Chinese authorities…[can] use [the information] to harass the dissidents’ families who are still based in China…Reilly…first discovered the practice in 2013…when [her] superior, Eric Tistounet…advis[ed] staffers t[o obey because he was scared of China]…But while the UN has at times acknowledged this indefensible practice, it has simultaneously provided contradictory statements denying it.  When asked about the allegations in March 2017, Tistounet…[barfed out the magic word] “wing” [as though it constituted an excuse]…

Tissue of Lies (#1109)

The latest pig fad: collecting a bunch of unrelated raids, arrests & record updates and calling the resulting dog’s breakfast a “sex trafficking sting”:

Five…teenage [runaways were arrested in New Orleans and] their families [alerted.  In an unrelated record review] 30 [people condemned to the “]sex offender[” registry were also arrested] after…U.S. Marshals [accused them] of violating their…registration requirements…One of the [ar]res[t]ed teens was a 16-year-old girl…suspected of stealing a relative’s car and handgun…[three others appear to have been engaging in survival sex work, and the fifth] was…a[ccused of “]felony human trafficking[“]…

These “operations” were innovated in Georgia after the pandemic made actual “stings” much more difficult, and have since become popular with cop shops all over the US.

Lack of Evidence (#1120) 

Only a prohibitionist could claim banning armed thugs from attacking women for merely existing in public is a “thorny issue”.  And the writer of this piece of trash is definitely a prohibitionist; her assumptions are lurid and puritanical, her heavy use of moronic dysphemisms cringeworthy, and her attempts to prejudice the reader so transparent it’s difficult to believe she thought anyone would fail to see what she was doing (“who are just past their teenage years but looked young enough to be on their way to a high school dance” is used to mean “youthful-looking twentysomethings”).  Most nauseating of all is that the LA Times has such a low opinion of its readers’ intelligence that they believe a pretense of objectivity can be maintained while printing straight-up anti-sex propaganda from people who sound as though they’re making furtive movements in their pants while sharing their ugly masturbatory fantasies with this delusional parrot.

The Widening Gyre (#1136)

More innocent people accused of “sex trafficking” by attention-hungry loons:

“Child luring incident!” read the warning that appeared last Friday on several Teaneck, New Jersey, social media pages.  “A man in a car pulled up and tried to get a child in around 11 am on 12/31/21…[in reality, the “child”]…was…the…14-year-old [son of Debra Passner], who wanted to leave [a family gathering] early (as 14-year-olds often do).  He started walking home, with his parents’ blessing.  Later, when they were driving home themselves, they saw him on the street and slowed down to offer him a ride.  “My son, being a wiseass, says, ‘I don’t take rides from strangers,'” Debra Passner recalls. So she leaned over and called out, “Don’t you like candy? We have candy!”  When their son shook his head, his father said, “Okay, then I’ll follow you.”  But moments later, they drove on.  Once the Passners saw this online, they immediately called the police…[who still felt compelled to invade the family’s privacy before they] issued a press release stating…no attempted luring [of a young man] had occurred…

You Were Warned (#1156)

The bipartisan war on the internet moves us another step closer to idiocracy:

…both [US ruling parties]…want to control the internet in a manner that helps “their team.”  But both approaches involve unconstitutional desires to interfere with 1st Amendment rights.  For Republicans, it’s often the compelled hosting of speech, and for Democrats, it’s often the compelled deletion of speech.  Both…are unconstitutional.  On the Republican side, we’ve already seen states like Florida and Texas [enact] content moderation bills — and both have been blocked for being wholly unconstitutional…some other Republican-controlled states have shelved plans for similar bills, [but]…it looks like the message has not made its way to Democratic-controlled states.  California has been toying with unconstitutional content moderation bills, and now NY has one as well.  Senator Brad Hoylman…has proudly introduced a hellishly unconstitutional social media bill….[to] “hold tech companies accountable for promoting vaccine misinformation and hate speech”…[but] it is unconstitutional to punish anyone for that speech, and it’s even more ridiculous to punish websites that host that content, but had nothing to do with the creation of it.  Believe it or not, the actual details of the bill are even worse than Hoylman’s description of it…

Panopticon (#1171)

Cops will continue to do this until there are criminal penalties for it:

[Cop shops] throughout San Diego County continue to spend thousands of dollars every year on technology that tracks the location of people’s cars, even though the information collected most often has nothing to do with solving crime or protecting the public…five [of these] have been violating state law by sharing this information with agencies all over the United States…that don’t have a…right to access it…including Border Patrol and [ICE]…

To Molest and Rape (#1202) 

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

A female Pittsburgh [cop was raped by a fellow cop after]…a cookout at the station…she was too drunk to drive home, so [the rapist] drove her to her house…[and] raped her…he later [tried to get her]…not t[o report him, and though]…she [did report him]…no charges were filed…[internal affairs] ultimately recommended the [rapist] be fired…[but] instead [he was given]…a…three day [vacat]ion and [the result was called “public safety”]…

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Prosecutors are not allowed to just randomly tie defendants to heinous crimes they’re not on trial for…and yet here we are.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

To Molest and Rape (#941)

Rapist cop is still a rapist cop:

A Border Patrol [cop named Steven Holmes] who was released from jail after being charged in multiple [violent rapes]…two years ago is…now being held without bond​ in [Tucson]…He is being [protected] from other inmates due to his [being a cop]…Holmes was p[reviously…released [on bond]…with a GPS tracking device…[but a woman he has been fucking] for the past 3 months…[reported that] on Aug. 26, they were having sex [when]…”something changed” and…Holmes…[suddenly started strangling her until she] los[t]…consciousness…Holmes [then] continued [raping]…her after she had asked him to stop…She managed to leave and…called the [local] police…the[y now admit the]re may be more potential victims out there…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops will continue to do this until there are criminal penalties for it:

…the Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission has [sued]…the Oakland Police Department…[for] violat[ing] the city’s surveillance technology vetting ordinance, the city charter and multiple state laws…[by] retaining data for two years [when they’re allowed only 6 months, and by]…giving the FBI “unfettered access” to the license plate data…the police department [has] fail[ed] to audit the use of its surveillance technology…and [refused to] provid[e] information…requested under the state’s public records act…the police department has [also] used surveillance technology such as drones without a search warrant or prior approval…

I Spy (#1098)

Encryption won’t protect you if providers are willing to hand metadata to the cops:

ProtonMail is a well-known and well-regarded mail service…[which] was recently forced to cooperate with Swiss authorities in providing user data (date of account creation), which was subsequently handed over to American security authorities…That ProtonMail made its home in Switzerland has previously been a point of praise for the mail service.  However…the country is by no means a bastion of digital privacy…due in no small part to new laws passed in response to the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris…

Dangerous Speech (#1159)

US “authorities” keep pretending “because sex” is an excuse for any tyranny:

[In] the federal trial of Backpage.com’s founders and former executives…prosecutor Reggie Jones misrepresented Backpage ads and the law, while harping on specific crimes of which the defendants aren’t even accused.  Defense lawyers are already calling for a mistrial…the…motion [states]…”The opening…consisted of inflammatory, unproven, and unprovable assertions that fail in any event to address what the government must prove to convict any defendant”…

I Spy (#1167)

“Delayed” isn’t good enough:

Apple has delayed plans to roll out its [new surveillance]…technology …citing [criticism] from customers and policy groups…The Electronic Frontier Foundation…amassed more than 25,000 signatures…[and] close to 100 policy and rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, also called on Apple to abandon plans to roll out the technology.  In…[reply], Apple [bloviated about how allowing governments to spy on everyone is]…”critically important”…Apple’s so-called NeuralHash technology…could [easily] be abused by…governments…to implicate innocent victims or [enforce criminalization of thought]…researchers…were [even] able to…trick…the system into thinking two entirely different images were the same…

A Broker in Pillage (#1170)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

Ameal Woods was driving near Houston in May 2019 when he was pulled over by a Harris County [cop using the common pretext that he was suppos]edly…driving too close to a semi-truck.  The [cop used this an excuse to rob]…Woods’ and his wife’s life savings…$43,200 in cash…that Woods and Davis say they planned on using to…purchase a tractor-trailer for Woods’ trucking business…Now Woods and his wife, Jordan Davis, are the lead plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit…against Harris County…by the Institute for Justice…Harris County prosecutors have a pattern of seeking civil forfeitures based on boilerplate [fantasies] written by [cops] who were not…the[re]…at least 113 forfeiture petitions since 2016…used stock language and identical phrases…[which] led to errors…such as contradictory dates and incorrectly stating what property was s[tolen by the cops]…Harris County’s forfeiture practices fail to provide owners with prompt hearings to challenge property seizures, require owners to prove their own innocence, and create perverse profit incentives for law enforcement, all of which violates the Texas constitution…

To Molest and Rape (#1170)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Mohave County (Arizona) [cop] is facing a felony charge of s[tatutory rape]…after he was arrested on…Aug[ust 31]…when Kingman police…[discovered] Andrew Jacob Sundberg…[had intentionally gotten] a 15-year-old girl [drunk so as to seduce her]…

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The only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused…is to never create it.  –  Apple in 2016

See No Evil

Moral panics really spin out of control as they age:

Spencer Elden, the man whose unusual baby portrait was used for…the…cover…of…Nirvana’s Nevermind, filed a lawsuit…[pretend]ing that the nude image constituted child pornography…[despite the fact that] non-sexualized nude photos of infants are…not considered child pornography under law.  [To circumvent this plain fact in order to cash in on “child porn” hysteria], Robert Y. Lewis, Elden’s [shyster, fantasizes]…that the inclusion of currency in the shot makes the baby appear “like a sex worker”…[Lewis demands] at least $150,000 from each of the defendants, who include…the…original Nirvana drummer…even though he had been replaced…before the album was recorded or the cover photography shot.  Elden has repeatedly recreated the pose as a teenager and adult, diving into pools to pose (with swim trunks on) on the occasion of the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries…

“A sex worker”.  Seriously.  I reckon he’s supposed to be one of those hundreds of thousands of infant hookers needed to bring the average debut age down to 13.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#648)

What “legal but heavily regulated” looks like in action:

On August 11, the Nagpur police put [up] a large number of barricades completely sealing the Ganga-Jamuna area….without any prior notice or reason [thu]s drastically affect[ing] the livelihood…of over a thousand sex workers who have been living and working for decades in the area…over 100 [cops] have been [sent to swagger around] the area at all times…Sex workers in India are one of the groups that are consistently at the receiving end of…state-sponsored police brutality…[even though] the profession is not illegal…brothel areas are repeatedly raided and their workers are harassed by the police…A petition by the National Network of Sex Workers, India (NNSW) demanding “Unseal Ganga Jamuna” has been put online and signed by more than 2700 people and organisations…

License to Rape (#720)

“Search” is the most common government euphemism for “molest”:

A Raleigh mother has filed a federal lawsuit against the TSA…a[fter] the[y]…violated her transgender teenager’s rights by [demanding] a strip-search at the airport.  Jamii Erway, 15 at the time, had a valid boarding pass [but] when [t]he [equipment regist]ered a “false positive”…a TSA [goon demanded]…to [leer at] her genitals…[and lied] “that she was not free to leave until she submitted to [the humiliation], in violation of TSA policy, the Fourth Amendment, and…the boundaries of civil and decent society”…the [goon further called the cops on the teenager]…and the[ir threatening] presence…[unsurprisingly] triggered…a…panic…[attack].  Rather than submit to the [molestation]…her mother, Kimberly Erway, rented a car and [they] drove 600 miles.  The Erways seek unspecified damages and an injunction preventing such a scenario from happening again…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops even get their equipment to lie for them:

Michael Williams…was [locked in a cage for almost a year], accused [by cops] of killing a young man from [his] neighborhood who asked him for a ride during a night of unrest over police brutality in May…the [supposed] evidence against Williams didn’t come from an eyewitness or [snitch, but rather]…from a clip of [silent] security video showing a car driving through an intersection, and a loud bang [separately] picked up by a network of surveillance microphones.  Prosecutors [pretende]d…a secret algorithm that analyzed noises detected by the sensors indicated Williams shot and killed the man…ShotSpotter [claims have] increasingly been admitted in court cases…[as evidence despite the fact that] it…can miss live gunfire right under its microphones, or misclassify the sounds of fireworks or cars backfiring as gunshots.  F[antasy stories written]…by ShotSpotter’s employees have been used in court to [lie] that a defendant shot at police, or provide [lies about] the number of shots allegedly fired by defendants…the…system…[i]s a…black box largely inscrutable to the public, jurors and police oversight boards…[but] the company…fully admits that]…employees can and do modify the location or number of shots fired [on their own whims or] at the request of police…in the past, city dispatchers or police themselves could also make some of these changes

Stalkers in Blue (#987)

Once in a while, there are witnesses to the way cops act toward women:

Florida [cop]…Naci Tuzcuoglu…approached a woman singing karaoke at…[a] sports bar…[and] put his hands on her hips.  The woman…t[old] him she was married and not interested [but he kep harassing her, so she]…went outside and spoke to her husband…Tuzcuoglu [followed her]…and punched the man in the face…multiple times…[while] taunt[ing him]…“I’m a cop…What are you gonna do about it?”…

Choke Point (#1150)

“Progressives” are finally deigning to notice financial discrimination vs some sex workers:

OnlyFans…has faced widespread backlash from sex workers after it announced…that it will ban sexually explicit content starting Oct. 1.  Some LGBTQ OnlyFans creators say the changes could jeopardize one of their primary sources of income during the Covid-19 pandemic…

OnlyFans reversed its position the day after this article appeared, but I still featured it because it illustrates a disturbing trend I’ve seen lately: some “progressives” only seem to think sex workers deserve rights if they’re queer (especially trans).  Now, since the majority of sex workers are some flavor of LGBT, fighting for their rights will still help straight, cisgender sex workers as well.  But I think it’s pretty sad that some people don’t think human rights are worth supporting unless they’re the “correct” people’s rights.

I Spy (#1161)

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

Apple’s own employees have been expressing alarm [about its plans to snoop in customers’ phones].  The company [pretend]s reservations about the system are rooted in “misunderstandings.”  We disagree.  We wrote the only peer-reviewed publication on how to build a system like Apple’s — and…we’re not concerned because we misunderstand how Apple’s system works.  The problem is, we understand exactly how it works…Our system could be easily repurposed for surveillance and censorship.  The design wasn’t restricted to a specific category of content; a service could simply swap in any content-matching database, and the person using that service would be none the wiser.  A…government could, for example, compel a service to out people sharing disfavored political speech…WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, already uses content matching to identify dissident material.  India enacted rules this year that could require pre-screening content critical of government policy.  Russia recently fined GoogleFacebook and Twitter for not removing pro-democracy protest materials[, and US politicians are pressuring social media companies to censor anything they declare “misinformation”]…We warned against our own system design…[an]d planned to discuss paths forward at an academic conference this month…[but] the week before our presentation, Apple announced it would deploy its nearly identical system…

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[Tit censorship laws] sexually objectify women rather than treating them as people in their own right.  –  Judge Roger Gregory

To Molest and Rape

Cops constantly demonstrate exactly what they are:

A [typical and representative Pennsylavania cop]…was [riding around] in his p[igmobile] on Aug. 1, 2019, when he signaled to a woman he knew and when she walked over, he exposed himself to her and then grabbed her arm and put her hand on his penis…after the 22-year-old woman pulled away from [him] in [disgust and shock]…he told her, “You better not fucking tell anyone”…[but unfortunately for molester cop William Lance] there was a witness in the victim’s car…[the complaint was buried until June, when a social media post entitled “Officer Lance is a PERV” asked other victims to come forward]…Lance…[w]as [then rewarded with a paid vacation and]…charge[d with]…official misconduct…

Little Boxes (#748)

Puritans claim a law that only applies to women is “non-discriminatory”:

A federal appeals court…refused to strike down an ordinance banning women but not men from going topless on public beaches in Ocean City, Maryland, [prete]nding that the law does not violate the Equal Protections Clause of the Constitution [by belching out the magic words]…“protection of public sensibilities” [and claiming that a gland specifically activated during motherhood is somehow anti-family]…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a man house-shopping”?

[Out-of-control cops assaulted] a Black man, his teen son and his real estate agent as they were touring a home for sale in a Michigan neighborhood after a white resident falsely accused them of breaking into the house.  Roy Thorne…and his 15-year-old son, Samuel…[were] with Eric Brown, a Realtor who is also Black…Samuel was the first to notice…[cops playing soldier a]round…the ho[use with guns drawn]…Thorne, an Army veteran, told his son and Brown to get down and stay away from the windows…the [cops threatened the]…three…with [loaded weapons and demanded they perform acts of obeisance.  Fortunately]…the [cops weren’t as paranoid as many are]…and…subsequently released [their victims after] about 10 minutes…The [Cop Excuse-making] Department [claimed it was perfectly reasonable for armed thugs to go around threatening to murder ordinary people doing mundane things] and [absurdly claimed] race “played no role” in their [deranged] response…

Panopticon (#1078)

Tell me again how my work is degrading?

…As many workers have shifted to performing their duties at home, some companies are pushing for increasing levels of…staff [surveillance] in an effort to [magnify] the oversight of the office at home…[law professor] Veena Dubal [said]…“the reality is that it’s much more intrusive than surveillance conducted by a boss.”  [Customer service company] Teleperformance spokesman Mark Pfeiffer said…“We are committed to [excusing our dehumanizing practices with a lot of buzzwords]”…However…in March, members of Teleperformance’s global workforce…were sent an eight-page addendum to their existing employment contracts that asked them to agree to new home surveillance rules…[which include] having video cameras installed in their home…pointing at their workspace, to record and monitor [them] in real time…They must also agree to sharing data and images related to any children they have…and to sharing biometric data including fingerprints and photos…Pfeiffer…said that cameras were used for spot checks of the company’s clean desk policy and [belched out the word “]security[” multiple times]…

“Clean desk policy” sounds like the kind of rule nuns imposed on us in grammar school.

End Demand (#1122)

Another good argument against criminalization from my friend Savannah Sly:

…criminalization efforts are like when you’re going after sharks:  You’re going to catch a lot of dolphins in your net…we are the dolphins, and we don’t want to suffer from the laws that should punish only the sharks…We want to stop all traffickers, but we want people who freely choose this work to be treated with respect and not criminalized.  Likewise, we don’t think our clients should be criminalized, because we as sex workers are adults who consent to seeing them.  Criminalizing our clients puts us under economic stress…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1141)

Cops want everyone to share their hysteria:

San Diego [cop]…David Faiivae [had a panic attack]…seconds after [another cop] finished testing a white powder he’d [found while rooting in someone else’s property] was…fentanyl.  The [hysterical cop’s panic attack]…was the subject of a 4-minute video…th[at]…became part of the latest [copaganda campaign against] fentanyl, a [life-saving] drug [that is not an aerosol and is so difficult to absorb through the skin that fentanyl patches for pain treatment rely on patented technology that took years to develop, but]…which [cops keep pretending can] kill [by casual exposure]…the body camera video [of Faiivae’s hysterical reaction] prompted internal discussions about…how [the video] could be used in a p[ropaganda] campaign to [spread] d[isinformation about] fentanyl…

The Next Target (#1142)

Pro-censorship sleazebags are embracing nuisance lawsuits as their latest weapon:

Leading [pro-censorship] crusader Laila Mickelwait — until last year a mouthpiece for the religious ministry Exodus Cry — has completed her rebranding with the full launch of a website called “Justice Defense Fund,” promoting “civil litigation and legislation” against adult content websites…late last year she incorporated herself as “Justice Defense Fund” through a PO Box in a Colorado strip mall…Mickelwait [is] us[ing] her personal Twitter account to direct people who have had issues with online billing to the new website for information on a class action suit…

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Less than two years ago I broke up the “Pyrrhic Victory” tag by repurposing two existing tags and creating a new one, “Panopticon“.  But surveillance has become such an all-pervasive phenomenon in the 21st century, it even creeps into tags that originally had nothing to do with it.  One of these is “Between the Ears“, which originally grew from a column about how not to handle women’s sexual problems; once sex gadgets started connecting to the internet, though, it was inevitable they’d start spying on people, and that has expanded far beyond sex gadgets.  So I’m starting this new tag, under which items about internet-connected devices surreptitiously eavesdropping on people’s private conversations will be listed in the future; references back to “Between the Ears” #545, 674, 722, 791, 858, 959, 966, 984, 986, and 1152 will also be listed under this tag from now on, as will references back to I Spy (#1069) and #1144.  Items about other kinds of surveillance will continue to be filed under “Guinea Pigs“, “I Spy“, “Micromanagement“, “Panopticon“, “Pyrrhic Victory“, and “Welcome to the Future“, as before.

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The police are…seen as outside the law.  –  Nicole Van Cleve

Schadenfreude

Yet another rescue industry “hero” is revealed as an opportunistic fraud:

A private foundation is suing [rescue industry profiteer group] Unlikely Heroes and its [owner] Erica Greve…[because]…it misrepresented its rescue home operations and breached its contract involving an online education program, among other [abuses].  The Human Investment Foundation, a Dallas-based private family foundation focused on sexual violence education and prevention…seeks declaratory relief and a re[fund] of the more than $100,000 it [was scammed into] donat[ing] to Unlikely Heroes…[which] claims to have recovered over 500 children and [indoctrin]ated more than 80,000 people [i]n human trafficking [propaganda]…since 2011.  The organization is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, but has an office in Hollywood…[despite claims to the contrary] Unlikely Heroes does not actually own or operate its rescue homes in Thailand, the Philippines and Mexico, nor does it have any staff outside the U.S.  Instead, it extends a small donation to [other prohibitionists who] own [gingerbread houses] in their respective countries and claims the work as its own…

How Many Will It Take?

How many mass graves before people stop believing in the goodness of religion?

…Canad[ian]…investigators have found hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of…the Marieval Indian Residential School, which operated from 1899 to 1997 where the Cowessess First Nation is now located…[in] Saskatchewan.  A search with ground-penetrating radar resulted in 751 ’’hits,″ indicating that at least 600 bodies were buried in the area…the numbers will be verified in coming weeks…the graves were marked at one time, but that the Roman Catholic Church that operated the school had removed the markers…Last month the remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were found buried on the site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school near Kamloops, British Columbia…until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools, the majority of them run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, in a campaign to assimilate them into Canadian society…physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages…

Panopticon (#746)

It only took the courts five years to recognize the obvious this time:

The use of surveillance planes in Baltimore to track people’s movement for long periods without a warrant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, a federal appeals court [has finally] ruled…The case revolved around a…surveillance program run by the Baltimore Police Department…[euphemized as] Aerial Investigation Research…beginning in 2016…The program was [temporarily] discontinued in response to [rightful] public anger over the snooping.  But in 2019, the program [quietly] returned as…a [fascist collaboration] between BPD and a private company…During daylight hours, the planes would fly over the city recording images…of about 90 percent of Baltimore…[which] could be used to track the movements of [any] individual…co[ps decided to brand a]…crim[inal, without need for]…a warrant…

Disaster (#1000)

Even the government itself recognizes what a disaster FOSTA is:

…the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing how federal prosecutors have rarely used…FOSTA…[against any] act[ual]…criminal[s]…”because…prosecutors have had success using other criminal statutes.”  “The GAO report confirms…FOSTA-SESTA was a complete disaster,” said Sarah Roth-Gaudette…[of] Fight for the Future.  “Lives were put in danger…[yet] the law has only been used once in its three-year history”…

Choke Point (#1007)

The ACLU has finally deigned to notice financial discrimination vs sex workers:

Using financial intermediaries such as PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo can make or break one’s ability to work or survive in our increasingly virtual society.  In spite of this, platforms like PayPal and Venmo continue to boot sex workers and other users off their platforms…criminalization…makes sex workers more vulnerable to financial censorship…platforms like PayPal and Venmo, who should offer their services to all users without discrimination, will randomly…shut down the accounts of sex workers…without warning or due process…harm[ing] workers relying on that income…pushing sex work deeper into the shadows and enabling more abuse…In addition…PayPal routinely targets users for speech protected by the First Amendment…and…stall[s] efforts to provide bail support…The censorship of sex workers is just one piece of the puzzle…

Predictably, ACLU only seems concerned about discrimination against LGBT sex workers.  But since we make up the majority, that will help straight sex workers as well.

The Cop Myth (#1053)

Is there any non-troglodyte who still denies police violence is epidemic?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that since 2015, more than 400,000 people have been treated in emergency rooms because of violent interactions with police or security guards.  But there’s almost no nationwide data on the nature or circumstances of their injuries.  Many of the [US]’s roughly 18,000 [cop shops] don’t [bother to] tally…the number of people who need medical care after [thug cops] break their arms, bruise their faces or shock them with Tasers…”police…get to decide who is worthy or unworthy of an ambulance,” said Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve…[of] Brown University…“It is absolutely an undercount”…

Tissue of Lies

The latest pig fad: collecting a bunch of unrelated raids, arrests & record updates and calling the resulting dog’s breakfast a “sex trafficking sting”:

…Georgia [cop shops pretend] they recovered 20 endangered children, 16 of which are [fantasized] to be victims of sex trafficking…[by combining mundane record updates] over a two-week period in May around Atlanta…The [publicity stunt] is the third of its kind…

These “operations” have become popular with cop shops all over the US, but were innovated last year in Georgia.

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