Worker fired for disabling location-tracking app

Lawsuit via Ars TechnicaAfter researching the app and speaking with a trainer from Xora, Plaintiff and her co-workers asked whether Intermex would be monitoring their movements while off duty. Stubits admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she installed the app on her phone. Plaintiff expressed that she had no problem with the app's GPS function during work hours, but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours and complained to Stubits that this was an invasion of her privacy. She likened the app to a prisoner's ankle bracelet and informed Stubits that his actions were illegal. Stubits replied that she should tolerate the illegal intrusion…..

Assuming the allegations are true -- which is always somewhat questionable when you're looking at the initial stages of a lawsuit -- it seems that there are a lot of problems here. It's not reasonable to require that employees install particular software on their privately owned devices. It's not reasonable to track their movements during non-working hours if they choose to do so. And if you're willing to do that, why wouldn't you be willing to access and download phone records, address and contact information, personal email, facebook and other social media, and everything else a modern smartphone can access?

Mon May 25 11:43:47 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Putin political opponent assassinated

Gateway PunditBoris Nemtsov, a prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin was gunned down Friday night while walking near the Kremlin, according to news reports.

The evidence is that Putin is a tyrant and a thug. It's premature to blame this on him specifically, but the pattern is hard to deny.

I am thankful that we have some distance yet to fall into tyranny.

Mon May 25 10:43:47 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Not sure what to think of this one

Gateway PunditTwo students at a Pennsylvania high school wore Chick-fil-A T-shirts as protest to a LGBT event held at the school, causing offended classmates to chastise them on Twitter. Subsequently, the school issued suspensions, not for the wearers of the shirts surprisingly, but to the fifteen students who used social media, complete with vulgarities, during school hours.

Today's students are being taught to hate and attack those who have opinions different from the approved social consensus as pushed by the media, the education system, and the left in general. The reaction by teachers is interesting and surprising in that it was defending the unpopular opinion.

I do question whether any school intervention was appropriate, but given that the social media activity was apparently happening on school premises, during school hours, and at a school event, there's some room for benefit of the doubt.

I'm also a little disappointed that the school apparently did not anticipate problems from the event:

Truth Revolt via Gateway PunditThe week-long event was organized with the help of senior Erin Snyder, 18, member of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance group. According to The Morning Call, students were asked to wear different color shirts each day of the week for the various causes they were supporting, including suicide and disabilities. For the last day of the week, students were encouraged to wear rainbow colored T-shirts in support of LGBT issues.

This sort of thing seems like a perfect time to have a discussion prior to the event about polite disagreement and maintaining respect for an individual even when you disagree with their opinions.

Mon May 25 09:43:47 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another fake hate crime

Gateway PunditA St. Cloud mosque was vandalized by a Muslim member and not an “Islamophobe” over the weekend. Abdourahamane Diallo was drunk and upset he lost his phone earlier in the night so he took it out on the mosque.

Have any of these supposed Islamophobia cases turned out to be real? I can't think of any. And no, drawing cartoons of a religious figure is not Islamophobia; it's free speech.

Mon May 25 09:30:34 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

One of the secret details of the trade deal revealed

I have opposed the Obama trade agreement on the grounds that secret agreements are offensive to the principles of a free and self-governing nation, and doubly so because I do not trust Obama with any more power than he already has. But Senator Jeff Sessions gives us a more concrete reason:

American Thinker quoting Senator Jeff Sessions via Bill QuickIt creates a commission, another commission, consisting of representatives from each member nation, which has vast powers to govern the agreement, and govern, to some degree, the countries who participate in it. Among the power given to the commission is the authority to consider any matter relating to implementation and operation of the agreement and to consider amendments and modifications.

This is yet another end-run around the Constitution and the very idea of self-government. How will the representatives from the United States be selected? Not democratically. Will the commission's decisions be subject to Congressional review and consent? Not if they can avoid it. We should reject this agreement on those principles alone.

Mon May 25 09:17:19 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Comments on the recent gun rights victory in DC

Bill QuickDC will appeal, of course, and if they are defeated at SCOTUS, they’ll simply pass another restrictive law – maybe ban private ownership of ammunition, or something even more creative – but always to the goal of erecting an effective ban on the possession of firearms by private citizens in that city.

It may take years to finally bring the Second Amendment to the nation’s capital, unless Congress decides to step in and end the battle.

As far as I am concerned, and given that I do not need to live in DC combined with my knowledge of their track record in court on this issue so far, I am quite happy to let the DC city council help us set gun rights precedent for as long as they want to play the game.

Mon May 25 09:16:18 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Who are you going to believe, the FBI or your lying eyes?

Ars TechnicaThe FBI has released a statement regarding the use of stingrays, which apparently claims the opposite of what its nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with local law enforcement actually says.

I don't know about my readers, but personally, I'm tired of my government spying on me and lying about it. And they aren't exactly being careful to obtain a warrant before invading the privacy of everyone within reach of their device; while most records are secret, one particular country sheriff has made use of a stingray device over 300 times in a single year. If you do the math, the stingray was used almost every weekday. And without getting a warrant.

Mon May 25 09:01:00 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rand Paul wins on NSA surveillance for now

The HillMcConnell and the Republican leadership team had appeared confident even into Friday evening that they could kill the House-passed USA Freedom Act. They had planned to force the Senate into accepting a “clean” reauthorization of the provisions — set to expire at the end of the month — at least for a short while.

But Paul and other opponents of the “clean” renewal held firm, forcing McConnell to kick the can and adjourn the Senate without a clear path forward on how to prevent a shutdown of the NSA programs.

I'd like to claim this as a victory for our side, but I don't think we should let down our guard yet.

Sun May 24 18:05:22 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Surveillance compromise legislation loses in the Senate

Ars TechnicaIn the early hours of Saturday morning, the United States Senate halted the advance of a compromise bill that aims to end metadata collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

Given that the USA Freedom Act cannot seemingly advance in the Senate, there is a very strong possibility that the relevant portions of the law will expire as of the stroke of midnight on June 1, 2015.

The Senate voted 57-42 to reject the measure, and also immediately rejected a 60-day extension of the existing law on a 54-45 vote. The bill, which previously passed the House of Representatives just over a week ago, has the support of the White House.

Letting the provision expire is probably the best possible outcome for privacy-minded folk. The risk is that the NSA will just continue to collect information and ignore the lapse of their legal fig leaf. That's something we will simply have to find a way to deal with when it comes up. For the record, the administration has claimed it has already begun dismantling the surveillance programs, but I don't believe that for a second.

Sun May 24 17:59:22 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Wisconsin proposes to allow off-duty, retired LEOs to carry at school

Bearing ArmsWisconsin Representative Joel Kleefisch has revived his proposal which would allow off-duty, retired, and out-of-state law enforcement officers to carry guns on public school grounds. A similar proposal which would have allowed all legal WI CCP holders to carry on school grounds was shot down last session.

No special rights. That is all.

Sun May 24 12:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ace of Spades on the FCC decision to take over the internet

Ace pf SpadesWe are no longer a democracy, and as there is no longer even a fictive consent of the governed in our laws, there no longer exists any philosophical basis for obeying the government. Now obedience is simply required by practical considerations: because they will kill or imprison you if you don't obey.

What is truly shocking is the complete disdain this Administration has for the rule of law and for our constitutional processes. They understand that these are the moves of a fascist tyranny, and they're okay with that.

We no longer live in a democratic republic, in which the ordinary citizen can be said, at least constructively, to have consented to the laws which bind him; we now simply live under whatever laws the gangsters occupying our government have decided to inflict upon us.

I have nothing to add, save read the whole thing.

Sun May 24 11:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Left is seeking to rewrite history

InstapunditTHE OPPRESSION NARRATIVE: It’s coming to a high school near you, if it hasn’t already. The new AP US History (APUSH) exam is the product of the same progressive ideologues as Common Core. According to Stanley Kurtz, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the new exam rewrites U.S. history, deemphasizing American exceptionalism and constitutionalism, and exchanging it for a story of oppression, balkanization based on race, class and gender, and emphasizing “global” citizenship.

They try this every time they get into power. Every single time.

The genius of the federal system of the United States was that it would be practically impossible for the Left -- or any political faction, really -- to gain permanent control of the government in all the states. With each state controlling its own education locally, there will always be competing narratives.

That's what Common Core is for. In theory, there are some benefits to having a unified ideologically neutral educational system, like being able to test students against a single standard to see what approaches work best and gaining economies of scale. In practice, the virtues of competition and local control produce far superior results than a single unified system. And the local control also provides immunity to poisonous ideological indoctrination.

Sun May 24 10:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Making sense of Jade Helm

Jade Helm is a military exercise run by the US military special forces within US territory, and is designed to operate in populated areas rather than dedicated training grounds. The exercise designates Texas and Utah as hostile states, a designation that is uncomfortably close to political opposition to the President. This has raised concerns about the exercise sufficient to prompt the Texas governor to instruct the Texas State Guard to independently monitor the exercise. Hopefully, the concerns will turn out to be groundless and the exercise will run smoothly and conclude without any nefarious plots. However, even if it does, that does not mean that the concerns were necessarily unfounded:

Stately McDaniel ManorBill Clinton, during his second term, often talked about changing the Constitution so that he might become president for life. Even so, none seriously thought him capable of the kind of betrayal of which I speak. Barack Obama is another matter. None of our allies trust him, and no rational American believes anything he says. The Congress is probably less popular than venereal disease, and distrusted by most Americans. It is surely not unreasonable to believe that Mr. Obama and his worshipers could believe that creating their progressive utopia requires more serious measures than they have heretofore taken. After all, Mr. Obama has actually mused—out loud—that he envies the brutal Communist dictators that rule China their absolute power. There is even evidence that Secretary of State John Kerry, in 2015, told the Iranians he wished America was ruled by a tyrant like the Iranian leader.

That Americans properly fear Barack Obama’s intentions for America is Barack Obama’s fault.

Obama has said and done many things that give rise to legitimate concerns over his intentions when his second, and last, term ends. One of the most worrisome of those is the ongoing purge of military leadership. Purging military officers who oppose you is what dictators do before they seize power permanently. So is nationalizing police forces. And some Democrats are eager to embrace a Michelle Obama run for the White House.

Given those warning signs, it would be foolish indeed not to be at least somewhat concerned over the possibility that Barack Obama will pursue a way to retain power.

Sun May 24 09:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch files lawsuit seeking details of proposed church tax regulation

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch announced it has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to obtain the release of documents regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) recent decision, following a lawsuit by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, to reevaluate criteria for determining whether churches and other nonprofit organizations can claim tax-exempt status. The IRS also suggested that it may initiate investigations into church activities (Alliance Defending Freedom v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:15-cv-00525)). Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

It seems the Left is absolutely, positively determined to have some federal agency putting their thumb on the political scales, and keeping it as secret as possible.

Sat May 23 12:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Should we give up looking for a villian?

American SpectatorOn the two-year anniversary of revelations of the IRS scandal, perhaps it is time to leave behind the search for a villain and instead solve the problem. Until advocacy nonprofits have their First Amendment rights secured, the threat of future targeting lingers, no matter who is in charge.

I find it pretty interesting that the Spectator is calling for the search for a villain to be put aside just when the recovery of Lerner emails from the targeting period suggests we may actually get a villain.

Sat May 23 11:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So Hillary did have classified material on her email server... sort of

The BlazeThe Associated Press also revealed on Friday that Clinton received information on her private email server that has now been classified about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi.

OK, classified information on the server is bad for Hillary. But what's that bit about "has now been"?

The BlazeThe information was not classified at the time the email was sent but was upgraded from “unclassified” to “secret” on Friday at the request of the FBI, according to State Department officials. They said 23 words of the Nov. 18, 2012, message were redacted from the day’s release of 296 emails totaling 896 pages to protect information that could damage foreign relations.

So it wasn't classified at the time, but has now been classified in order to justify the redaction. Interesting.

But Hillary is still going to take some political damage:

New York TimesMrs. Clinton’s emails show that she had a special type of government information known as “sensitive but unclassified,” or “SBU,” in her account. That information included the whereabouts and travel plans of American officials in Libya as security there deteriorated during the uprising against the leadership of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011. Nearly a year and a half before the attacks in Benghazi, Mr. Stevens, then an American envoy to the rebels, considered leaving Benghazi citing deteriorating security, according to an email to Mrs. Clinton marked “SBU.”

So, that demonstrates that she knew -- or should have known -- about deteriorating security conditions before the attacks. It also demonstrates that her possession of the information on an unsecured server posed a national security threat if any attackers managed to access her emails on that server.

And Hillary herself seems to have involvement in the video story cover up. As we review the data that dribbles out, we must keep in mind that Hillary has likely deleted anything that portrays her in a bad light.

Sat May 23 10:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why is a Republican blocking campus carry in Nevada?

John LottI have been told that Senator Michael Roberson, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, is preventing Campus Carry from being passed in Nevada. If he thinks that enough voters in his district (#20) want the bill, he will change is position on it, so the question is whether enough people in Henderson, Nevada will let him know about how they feel about the bill.

Good question.

Sat May 23 09:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Radio Shack to auction customer data in violation of privacy policy

If the privacy policy is not legally binding, then there's no fucking point, is there? It's bad enough for websites to pretend you've agreed to their privacy policy because it is linked in the fine print at the bottom of every page, even if it says they can hack your computer and sell your kidneys online... but if the company isn't bound by the agreement, why even bother *posting* one?

Just accept that the company can do whatever they bloody well want to with whatever information you are foolish enough to give them and stop paying lawyers to lie to your customers.

Fri May 22 12:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Defense Distributed and 2nd Amendment Foundation sue over 3D firearms printing info

Second Amendment FoundationThe Second Amendment Foundation today joined Defense Distributed of Austin, Texas, in filing a federal lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry, the Department of State and other federal officials, seeking to stop the Government’s unconstitutional censorship of information related to the three-dimensional printing of arms.

What SAF doesn't call out in their press release is that there is already some fairly positive precedent on this issue. There were a number of free speech cases in the 90s related to encryption technology -- software source code that individuals wished to publish. The government regulated such software under the same regulations that covered export of physical armaments. The government lost those cases, though it wasn't a total loss; as I recall it took political pressure to relax the regulations as well as court rulings.

Although I don't know the details of current regulations in this area, with both the 1st and 2nd Amendments to draw upon and the fairly recent encryption precedents already in place, it will be difficult for the administration to maintain a legal ban on publication of 3D printed firearms designs.

Fri May 22 11:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Wisconsin voter ID law upheld

Scott Walker's reforms will likely remain intact for quite a while as a result of the decision.

Fri May 22 10:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House rep requests IRS probe of Clinton Foundation nonprofit status

The HillRep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is circulating a letter among her colleagues asking IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to review the tax-exempt status of the Clinton Foundation. In the letter, a draft of which was obtained by Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel, Blackburn says, “recent media reports have revealed that the Foundation failed to report millions of dollars in grants from foreign governments that it accepted while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and that it facilitated private business transactions between foreign entities” and as such, “given the substantial public interest involved, we feel a prompt review of the Foundation’s tax-exempt status is appropriate to determine whether it is acting within the scope of its charitable mission.”

I suspect this will interact in interesting ways with the ongoing investigation into IRS targeting. Does Koskinen refuse the request and try to claim the moral high ground? Does he accept it and invite charges that Republicans are now seeking to use the IRS to target their political opponents (which would be to his political advantage)?

I think the right answer is that the Clinton Foundation is an unusual case in a number of ways, and credible, specific allegations have been made concerning Hillary's time as Secretary of State and the donations flowing into her foundation; not to mention the very excessive overhead expenses the foundation occurs. We're not dealing with a whole class of political opponents seeking to participate in civic life; we're talking about a single organization that has legitimate questions raised and a close association with a cabinet member to draw additional scrutiny.

Fri May 22 09:45:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Texas campus carry legislation revived

Austin-American StatesmanA deal between Texas House and Senate members has revived legislation that would allow concealed handguns to be carried into university classrooms, dorms and buildings. After passing quickly through the Senate, legislation allowing “campus carry” has been bottled up for the past month in the House, raising questions about its viability with only three full weeks remaining in the legislative session.

It's hard to say for sure, but it sounds like the legislation was being held up by political infighting over who would get credit for passing it. That seems unfortunately typical of politicians.

Thu May 21 12:09:07 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama continues to push climate change as a national security threat

Jammie Wearing Fool“I am here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country,” Obama will tell the new Coast Guard officers, according to the White House. “And so we need to act — and we need to act now.”

He's doing it to justify using already scarce military funding to fund various "green" research projects, like growing gasoline from algae. But even the IPCC doesn't claim there is an immediate threat; they foresee serious impacts in about a century, not immediately. It's like Obaam doesn't even understand the words he is using; for him, "immediate" means "important".

Thu May 21 11:09:07 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Was Blumenthal the source for the Benghazi youtube video blame?

New York Times as quoted by Patterico's PontificationsThe day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on American outposts in Benghazi that killed Mr. Stevens and three other Americans, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a memo with his intelligence about what had occurred. The memo said the attacks were by “demonstrators” who “were inspired by what many devout Libyan viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America.”

He followed it up the next day with an email saying the "protest" was a cover and the attack had been planned for a month by Al Qaeda, but the White House narrative seems to have been established.

Does this make Hillary look better or worse? Hard to say. After that second email, it sounds like she remained silent while the White House lied to the people about the cause of the attack and put someone in jail for something completely unrelated.

Click through the link above to read the whole thing and decide for yourself.

Thu May 21 10:51:42 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

An explanation of the issues with disclosing Clinton's emails on Benghazi

TechdirtIn the end, there may turn out to be nothing much of interest in all of those emails (though, of course, the fact that Clinton's own staff went through them and got rid of a bunch first will keep conspiracy theorists in business for ages), but the way that Clinton has handled this whole thing is really ridiculous. Who the hell thinks it's a good idea to print out 55,000 pages of records that were original electronic unless you're trying to hide stuff and make life difficult for those going through it?

When you read the whole thing, you should notice a couple things.

First, Clinton has already claimed to have removed any purely personal emails from this collection before turning it over (which should represent a red flag to investigators, but never mind). The State Department is also claiming that part of their process is to remove purely personal emails. This work is being done twice by two separate sets of people with different incentives to remove emails they don't want the public to see, and they will both claim "purely personal" for any such emails they want to remove. Who will double-check the State department in this removal process? (It's impossible to double check Clinton's removal process, which is why you usually don't trust someone to search their own emails and instead make them use the official server).

Second, the State Department is making a big project out of putting the emails in a searchable database. Great, a searchable database is nice, but it's not required for document production. The process is simple. Scan the emails. Publish the images (redacting if necessary). Then OCR the images and release the results in text format. Viola. Searchable. If you want a fancy searchable web thing, do that later.

Third, there are a LOT of hand-processing steps here. In particular, I note that the email header fields (To, From, CC, Subject, etc) are being manually entered for indexing. This process is wide-open to potential errors, and combined with the "searchable database", I suspect emails that have the To or From address incorrectly entered -- manually, remember -- will not be discoverable easily because the search will run on the indexed fields rather than the full content of the emails. Which means that documents with incorrect index information will be effectively invisible, and it's very easy for that manual process to effectively remove emails from the "searchable database" and there appear to be no plans to release the entire archive as a simple text file.

This all adds up to both Hillary and the State Department doing everything they possibly can to make it possible to hide information while pretending not to.

Thu May 21 10:51:39 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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