Tech Companies Ask Lawmakers to Rein In Digital Surveillance

A Closer Look at Federal COVID Contractors ; The 70-Step Rube Goldberg Basketball Trick Shot ; and More Picks

digital surveillance, legislation, big tech
The author writes, “Tech companies are asking Congress to strengthen the privacy protections around search engines and web browsers as lawmakers enter the late stage of negotiations on a bill about government surveillance. Mozilla, Reddit and Twitter — as well as a coalition that includes Facebook and Google — were among those that signed on to a letter released Friday asking House leaders to require the Justice Department to get a warrant before obtaining someone's search or browser history, even in national security cases. The letter comes as the House is considering a reauthorization of key surveillance laws.” Photo credit: Pxhere
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A Closer Look at Federal COVID Contractors (Reader Steve)

From ProPublica: “A firm set up by a former telemarketer who once settled federal fraud charges for $2.7 million. A vodka distributor accused in a pending lawsuit of overstating its projected sales. An aspiring weapons dealer operating out of a single-family home. These three privately held companies are part of the new medical supply chain, offered a total of almost $74 million by the federal government to find and rapidly deliver vital protective equipment and COVID-19 testing supplies across the U.S.”

US Media Failed to Fact-Check Sweden’s Herd Immunity Hoax (Gerry)

The author writes, “Last week, a piece of news put another dent in the Swedish government’s claims that it’s been able to get Covid-19 under control without stay-at-home orders. Swedish officials had previously said that their capital city of Stockholm could be approaching ‘herd immunity,’ where so many people had contracted and survived the virus that their natural resistance could make the coronavirus begin to disappear on its own (CNBC, 4/22/20). But testing in Stockholm found that, in fact, only 7.3% of residents had SARS-COV-2 antibodies.”

Local Sinclair-Owned Stations Push Same Amazon-Scripted Segment (Celia)

Eight Sinclair stations ran an Amazon-produced segment on how Amazon was keeping its warehouse workers safe, without bothering to tell its viewers where the segment came from. (Only the Toledo Sinclair outlet disclosed the origin of the piece.) 

Antarctic Algal Blooms: ‘Green Snow’ Mapped From Space (Mili)

The author writes, “UK scientists have created the first wide-area maps of microscopic algae growing in coastal Antarctica. Satellite observations were used to count nearly 1,700 patches where large blooms had turned snow cover green. The team says the photosynthesising organisms are an important ‘sink’ for pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. They are also key actors in the cycling of nutrients in what is one [of] the most remote regions on Earth.”

VIDEO: This 70-Step Rube Goldberg Basketball Trick Shot Is Hilariously Complicated (Chris)

From Mashable: The 70 steps it takes to get to the swish are incredible, involving everything from a rolling bike tire, to a model train, to a marble zipping down a track running over a babbling brook.”

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