Editors’ Picks for Dec 29

191 Million Voters Have Personal Information Exposed Online, Big Water v. National Parks, De-Trumpify Your Browser, and More Picks

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PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org

Database of 191 Million US Voters Exposed on the Internet (Reader Pat)

Vickery, a tech-support specialist in Austin, Texas uncovered ‘names, addresses, birth dates, party affiliations, phone numbers and emails” from all 50 states and Washington. Aside from the potential risk of exposed information, there is also the mystery of who created the list. “The alarming part is that the information is so concentrated,” VIckery said.

Domestic Terrorism Goes International (Reader Pat)

Sovereign Citizens’ — “a loose network of individuals whose adherents believe the government is corrupt and out of control; therefore, they do not recognize local, state or federal authority or tax systems” — until recently were only an American problem. Now, according to a former Arkansas police chief, “It has gone international. We know they’ve been in Canada for several years, and now they’re organizing in Australia.” The results, whether it be Dylann Roof or Thomas David Deegan, usually involve gunfire.

Another Battle Between Big Water and National Parks (Dan)

Environmentalists oppose selling bottled water in national parks because the bottles pose a serious hazard of nonbiodegrable waste. A provision in the December budget bill required “the National Park Service to file a report justifying a ban on selling bottled water at a number of parks around the country.” This bottled water industry also “promoted a rider in the appropriations bill prohibiting use of federal funds to support banning bottled water in national parks.” However, earlier in December, 30 members of Congress pledged to the National Park Service director that they opposed efforts by Big Water to sabotage the banning-the-bottles movement. Welcome to the battlefield.

BP Oil Spill Money Used for Second Governor’s Mansion in Alabama, Not the State (Dan)

Rather than divert all funds to helping the storm-battered citizens of Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley is exhausting the 2010 BP Oil Spill grant to renovate the beachfront governor’s mansion. Never mind that this is governor’s second mansion, the damages came during the 2010 hurricane,  and Bentley recently lost two other beachfront properties in a divorce.

Too Much Trump on the Internet? There Is an App for That (Klaus)

A new extension for Google Chrome allows users to “Detrumpify” their online experience. A test shows that installing it removes most references of the billionaire from the screens of users.

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