I Love It

Biometric intelligence company strikes deal with U.S. border sheriffs; group of Twitter users sue Trump, Sean Spicer; and more.

  • Late to the party: AT&T has announced that they’re joining the Day of Action to defend net neutrality, even though the company has gone so far as to sue the FCC to quash existing net neutrality rules, Tony Romm reports for Recode.

  • And no, the FCC isn’t terribly curious about the groups or individuals filing spammy anti-net neutrality comments in other people’s names, Kate Cox reports for Consumerist.

  • Trump watch: “All along, the truth was right there in the emails — Donald Trump Jr.’s emails, that is, which he released publicly on Twitter Tuesday morning after learning that The New York Times was about to publish their contents,” writes The New York Times’ Editorial Board. “In language so blunt and obvious it would make a Hollywood screenwriter blush, the emails confirm what the president, his son and others have denied repeatedly for more than a year: that top members of the Trump campaign met with representatives of the Russian government in the expectation of help in damaging Hillary Clinton and getting Donald Trump elected.”

    “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Junior wrote in response to the offer of damaging info on Clinton as part of the Russian “government’s support” for Trump.

  • Robert Mueller is looking for ties between the Trump campaign and the army of trolls and pro-Trump bots of Russian origin that flooded Twitter during the campaign, Darren Samuelsohn reports for Politico.

  • A group of Twitter users have sued President Trump, Sean Spicer, and Dan Scavino for blocking them on Twitter, Charlie Savage reports for The New York, arguing that he has violated their First Amendment rights by restricting them from participating in a public forum, blocking access to government statements, and preventing them from petitioning the government for “redress of grievances.”

  • Brody Mullins and Jack Nicas report for The Wall Street Journal that Google has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars funding research papers that support business practices facing regulatory challenges, in some years even writing wish lists of working titles and abstracts that they would then seek out authors to write. [paywall]

  • Brave new world: Biometric Intelligence and Identification Technologies made an offer that sheriffs in counties along the U.S.-Mexico border couldn’t refuse: a free three-year trial of iris recognition devices for identifying unauthorized immigrants, George Joseph reports for The Intercept. The biometric technology company will get a whole lot more iris data in exchange, making their product that much more valuable for other law enforcement agencies.

  • Earlier this week The New York Times’ editorial board also considered the responsibilities of commercial vendors of mass surveillance tools, after it was revealed that activists and government critics in Mexico, as well as the international team investigating the disappearance of 43 students, were spied upon via software acquired by the Mexican government. “A lot more should be done to monitor and control commercial spyware,” the Board writes. “The temptation for governments to misuse it is intense, and the proscriptions of manufacturers like the NSO Group are obviously insufficient.”

  • This is civic tech: Founder and CEO of ResistX (and Civic Hall member) Sara Nason gets profiled by Alleywatch.

  • A new study shows that college students might be better off with desktop computers, or at least leaving their laptops in their dorms during class, Cindi May reports for Scientific American.

  • Luke Savage identifies Silicon Valley’s latest disruptive innovation: feudalism.

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