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ICE Finally Gets The Nationwide License Plate Database It's Spent Years Asking For

ICE is finally getting that nationwide license plate reader database it's been lusting after for several years. The DHS announced plans for a nationwide database in 2014, but decided to rein that idea in after a bit of backlash. The post-Snowden political climate made many domestic mass surveillance plans untenable, if not completely unpalatable.

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Engineers 3-D Print Shape-Shifting Smart Gel

Rutgers engineers have invented a “4D printing” method for a smart gel that could lead to the development of “living” structures in human organs and tissues, soft robots and targeted drug delivery.

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Wal-Mart has announced thousands of layoffs since publicizing bonuses and benefits expansion

Since Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it would hand out bonuses and expand benefits to more than 1 million associates thanks to new tax reform measures, the retail giant has also laid out plans for store closures and thousands of layoffs at both the store and corporate level.

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Facebook Just Banned All Cryptocurrency Advertising

Facebook, the largest social media network on the planet, is banning all advertising having to do with cryptocurrencies, according to a blog post the company shared on Tuesday.

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One Dead After Train Carrying Republican Lawmakers Collides With Dump Truck

A chartered train carrying dozens of Republican lawmakers to a Republican retreat in West Virginia collided with dump truck near Charlottesville, Virginia on Wednesday - but fortunately no lawmakers are believed to have been injured in the accident. "We’re fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck," Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., wrote on Twitter.

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Now even YouTube serves ads with CPU-draining cryptocurrency miners

YouTube was recently caught displaying ads that covertly leach off visitors' CPUs and electricity to generate digital currency on behalf of anonymous attackers, it was widely reported.

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Progressive: Joe Kennedy III, picked for Dem response to SOTU, voted to allow the DEA to arrest and prosecute medical cannabis patients

On Tuesday night, Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts will deliver the official Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address. Some observers see the young Kennedy, 37, as a rising political star. But he is starkly out of step with his party — and a majority of U.S. voters — on a key issue now emerging at the forefront of mainstream American politics: Marijuana.

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Flaws in Gas Station Software Let Hackers Change Prices, Steal Fuel, Erase Evidence

Two security researchers discovered vulnerabilities in an automated gas management that allowed them to shut down fuel pumps, hijack credit card payments, and steal card numbers.

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Australian government's worst-ever state-secrets leak: accidentally selling filing cabinets full of classified docs in a surplus store

Australian national broadcaster ABC has gotten hold of a massive trove of state secrets that were inadvertently sold off in a pair of cheap, locked filing cabinets purchased from a Canberra junk-shop that specialises in government surplus furniture. ABC has inventoried and summarised the intelligence to be found in these cases, including memos detailing the mass-scale loss of hundreds of (different) secret files by the Australian Federal Police, which apparently was covered up with no meaningful effort to recover them.

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Saudi releases detainees as corruption purge raises $106bn

Saudi media sources yesterday confirmed the release of all detainees held on corruption charges at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the capital Riyadh. Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman is reported to have raised $106 billion from the purge. Assets handed over to the state include real estate, commercial entities, securities and cash, said Attorney-General Sheikh Saud Al-Mujib according to the Financial Times.

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Minnesota Supreme Court Says Unlocking A Phone With A Fingerprint Isn't A Fifth Amendment Issue

When it comes to the Fifth Amendment, you're better off with a password or PIN securing your device, rather than your fingerprint. Cellphone manufacturers introduced fingerprint readers in an effort to protect users from thieves or other unauthorized access. But it does nothing at all to prevent law enforcement from using their fingerprints to unlock seized devices.

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Darpa: ACTUV “Sea Hunter” Prototype Transitions to Office of Naval Research for Further Development

DARPA successfully completes technology demonstration vessel, a highly autonomous unmanned ship that could revolutionize U.S. maritime operations.

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US Surpasses Cayman Islands to Become Second Largest Tax Haven on Earth

Proving its role in the global race to the bottom on tax avoidance and  contributing to a multitude of abuses around the world, the United States is now second-largest tax haven on the planet, according to an updated international index. The Tax Justice Network found that the U.S. has surpassed the Cayman Islands as the number-two place where corporations can easily stash their money to avoid tax liabilities. Switzerland retained its top place on the list.

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Las Vegas judge orders unsealing search warrants regarding the 1 Oct. massacre, suspects named

A Clark County District Judge issued an order Tuesday to unseal search warrant pertaining to the 1 October massacre which left 58 people dead. However, key portions listing an additional suspect or suspects is expected to be redacted. The girlfriend of Stephen Paddock and a man by the name of Douglas Haig were named as ‘persons of interest’

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CDC director resigns after report of trades in tobacco company investments

President Trump's director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resigned Wednesday after a report that she was trading in tobacco company investments. 

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Unintended Consequences Of EU's New Internet Privacy Rules: Facebook Won't Use AI To Catch Suicidal Users

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, which was approved two years ago and is set to go into force on May 25th of this year. There are many things in there that are good to see, in large part improving transparency around what some companies do with all your data, and giving end users some more control over that data. Indeed, we're curious to see how the inevitable lawsuits play out and if it will lead companies to be more considerate in how they handle data.

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The in-depth tale of Bylock, the Turkish messenger app whose 1x1 tracking GIF was the basis for tens of thousands of treason accusations

A group of exiled Turkish human rights lawyers have published an in-depth history of how Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkish government has described Bylock, an encrypted messenging app, whose 1x1 analytics pixel was used as the basis for accusing tens -- if not hundreds -- of thousands of Turks of treason, with consequences ranging from loss of employment and ostracization to imprisonment, to torture, to suicide.

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Private Censorship Is Not the Best Way to Fight Hate or Defend Democracy: Here Are Some Better Ideas

From Cloudflare’s headline-making takedown of the Daily Stormer last autumn to YouTube’s summer restrictions on LGBTQ content, there's been a surge in “voluntary” platform censorship. Companies—under pressure from lawmakers, shareholders, and the public alike—have ramped up restrictions on speech, adding new rules, adjusting their still-hidden algorithms and hiring more staff to moderate content. They have banned adsfrom certain sources and removed “offensive” but legal content.

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Last Two FBI Heads Downplay US Surveillance Capability

In recent months, law enforcement and intelligence communities have downplayed the government’s surveillance capability. The last two FBI heads Christopher Wrey and James Comey are among those insisting US surveillance isn’t nearly what people fear. Meanwhile, both advocated for sweeping surveillance bills while preaching against encryption.

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The surveillance society is here, and what you can do to protect yourself

George Orwell’s 1984 featured a dystopian England, and indeed, a world, of three superstates that all ran according to the same principles.  Eternal war, eternal ignorance, and eternal subservience, whether realized or not.  BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU was this book’s addition to the American lexicon for many, many people.

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