Jul 112013

Here are some of the most interesting news from the people I follow on Twitter.

Fremont offers pay-to-stay jail for wealthy criminals. – as reported by the Fremont Police Department, not The Onion as you might expect.

Are you a successful criminal? If so, surely you don’t want to mix with those who couldn’t burglarize a home without getting caught.  The Fremont PD is here to rescue you. Now, you can pay them $155 a day and stay at their much nicer facilities.

Yep, it’s finally happen. Now they get to arrest us and pay them for the privilege.  I have a feeling that arrests in Fremont will be going up soon.  This also helps explain why earlier this week a woman was arrested for not wearing her seat belt while driving.

– More revelations about how widespread and never-ending the NSA spying is:

  • The guardian shows how Microsoft has basically opened all its so-called encrypted networks to the NSA.  This includes:• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

    • The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

    • Microsoft also worked with the FBI’s Data Intercept Unit to “understand” potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

    • In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

    • Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a “team sport”.

  • Bloomberg reports that US allies in Latin America Colombia, Mexico and Brazil are pretty pissed off at how the US has been freely spying in their countries.
  • Argentina’s President Christina Kirchner has made her anger clear in Tweeter.

– Here in the Bay Area, Democrats are planning to picket a fundraiser for Nancy Pelosi, who long ago traded any principles she had for power.

– No protests planned for Barbara Lee’s Birthday celebration fundraiser. It’s this Saturday, 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Z-Cafe in Oakland. Tickets are $75, discounts for seniors/students/disabled.

– The ACLU reports that unless you opt out, AT&T will not only give all your private information and records of where you go and whom to to talk to, to the government, but they will also /sell/ it.

– The EB Express reports that BART hired a firm with a history of union-busting and illegal behavior to do their negotiating.

– The Oakland Tribune and others reported how Ro Khanna raised another million in the last quarter – the first reporting period since he announced he was running against Mike Honda.  A lot of the money came from Silicon Valley big wigs, the question is what they expect from him in return for that dough.

And finally, Josh Richman also had a slew of local politic stories on his Political Blotter blog

  • Despite the fact that she’s all but invisible, Corbett is still planning to run against Swalwell for CD 15.  Swalwell raised $233,000 in the second quarter, while Corbett won’t say how much yet, though the numbers will become public soon enough.
  • Google is once again showing that its actual motto is “First, do evil” by hosting a fundraiser for Republican Senator and Global Warming denier Jim Inhofe.
  • Barbara Lee met with Obama and a Menlo Park girl lunched with the first lady


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