....LMB: "Homework Assignment"....

December 03, 2002

This shit is GENIUS.

As I've mentioned here before, the recent Homeland Security Act authorizes the government to create an amazingly huge database to be used to spy and collect data on American citizens. [Insert your own horrified "1984" allusion here] It's called "Total Information Awareness," a program of the Information Awareness Office. And this office will be run by all-around scumbag John Poindexter, the dude who brought us the Iran-Contra affair. Violations of privacy will become legion.

But blogger John Gilmore has an idea (which he says was inspired by SF Weekly columnist Matt Smith): the Total Information Awareness Demonstration for Poindexter.

"The SF Weekly's column by Matt Smith in the Dec 3 issue points out that there may be some information that John M. and Linda Poindexter of 10 Barrington Fare, Rockville, MD, 20850, may be missing in their pursuit of total information awareness. He suggests that people with information to offer should phone +1 301 424 6613 to speak with that corrupt official and his wife...

"Matt Smith at matt.smith@sfweekly.com has offered to 'publish anything that readers can convincingly claim to have obtained legally.'"

In other words, these fellas have made the brilliant call to action to gather all possible personal information about John Poindexter and his wife Linda. If Poindexter wants to take away all our privacy rights, let's make sure he gets the first taste. Find everything you can on the motherfucker, and get it to Smith.

[Thanks to Politics in the Zeros]

Posted by Jake at 12:29 PM

ahhhh yessss, finally I can put my googlestalking skills to good use....it's been years, YEARS I tell you....

Posted by: michele at December 3, 2002 01:22 PM

This is really quite wise. Nothing will help John Poindexter make the step from theoretical knowledge to practical implications like this.

Plus, I admit I would relish seeing a leading offender in the "secret government" of Iran-Contra learn a lesson in law and liberty.

Posted by: Case at December 4, 2002 07:52 AM

Poindexter lives by a golf course. That's cool. I'd like to find out what his handicap is.

Posted by: dack at December 4, 2002 12:07 PM

k, am i missin some shit here or what?! theyre aint no fuckin thing written there thats useful! fuck that shit...

Posted by: eminem at May 24, 2003 04:55 AM

k, am i missin some shit here or what?! theyre aint no fuckin thing written there thats useful! fuck that shit...

Posted by: eminem at May 24, 2003 04:55 AM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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