Google Faces $5 Billion Lawsuit in US for Tracking ‘Private’ Internet Use

The Mount Vernon Police Tapes ; The Grand Old Trees of the World Are Dying ; and More Picks

Google, lawsuit, data, privacy
The author writes, “Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in ‘private’ mode. The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc. unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls ‘Incognito mode.’” Photo credit: Hobvias Sudoneighm / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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It’s a Class War Now Too (Chris C.)

The author writes, “The protestors who descended upon the streets of Los Angeles to voice their collective anger over the murder of George Floyd, were, like Los Angeles itself, a diverse crowd with diverse intentions. The people who became known as the looters were a fraction of those who stayed behind after the earlier protests dispersed. They are now deemed ‘thugs’ and ‘thieves’ by those who find it easy to write off their palpable frustration … Writing it off, however, not only ignores America’s systemic racism, but also neglects to address our dire social stratification.”

The Mount Vernon Police Tapes (DonkeyHotey)

From Gothamist: “Caught on tape by a whistleblower cop … officers said they witnessed or took part in alarming acts of police misconduct, from framing and beating residents to collaborating with drug dealers, all as part of a culture of impunity within the department’s narcotics unit. The Mount Vernon police tapes, obtained exclusively by Gothamist/WNYC, were recorded from 2017 to this year by Murashea Bovell, a 12-year veteran of the department who has been blowing the whistle on misconduct for years.”

Vallejo Police Mistakenly Shoot, Kill Robbery Suspect (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Vallejo police revealed Wednesday that a shooting by police a day earlier had resulted in the death of a 22-year-old robbery suspect who had a hammer in his waistband amid a chaotic night of looting. The man, identified as Sean Monterrosa, was killed outside a Walgreens store by a Vallejo officer, whom Police Chief Shawny Williams declined to name, describing the officer only as a veteran of the force.”

How Germany Avoids Mass Unemployment While Spending Less Per Person Than the US (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “[A] difference in approaches has helped contribute to wildly different levels of economic fallout and social upheaval in response to the same pandemic. In Germany, the unemployment rate has increased from 5% to 5.8% from March to April. In the U.S., it surged from 4.4% to 14.7%.”

Governments and WHO Changed COVID-19 Policy Based on Suspect Data From Tiny US Company (Russ)

The authors write, “A Guardian investigation can reveal the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees appear to include a science fiction writer and an adult-content model, has provided data for multiple studies on Covid-19 co-authored by its chief executive, but has so far failed to adequately explain its data or methodology.”

The Grand Old Trees of the World Are Dying, Leaving Forests Younger and Shorter (Dana)

From National Geographic: “California’s giant sequoias can live for more than 3,000 years, their trunks stretching two car lengths in diameter, their branches reaching nearly 300 feet toward the clouds. But a few years ago, amid a record drought, scientists noticed something odd. A few of these arboreal behemoths inside Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were dying in ways no one had ever documented — from the top down. When researchers climbed into the canopies, they discovered that cedar bark beetles had bored into a few branches. By 2019, at least 38 of the trees had died — not a large number, but ‘concerning because we’ve never observed this before,’ says Christy Brigham, the park’s chief of resource management.”

Repeating the ‘F’ Word Can Improve Threshold for Pain During an Ice Water Challenge (Dana)

The author writes, “Reciting made-up swear words showed no such pain-reducing effects.”

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