Controversies

1 to 16 of about 3205 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next

NSA’s Chief Technical Officer Cleared to Moonlight for Private Firm Founded by Former NSA Director Keith Alexander

To say that Patrick Dowd has competing loyalties is putting it mildly. The chief technical officer for the National Security Agency (NSA) has taken a second job working for his old boss at a company engaged in the same kind of work as the spy agency. Dowd did get permission from his NSA supervisors to work up to 20 hours a week for IronNet.   read more

Honda Accused of Hiding Death and Injury Claims

Since 2000, automakers have been required to file quarterly Early Warning Reports (EWRs) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to give the agency a heads-up on trends of deaths and injuries. According to a letter CAS Executive Director Clarence M. Ditlow sent to NHTSA acting administrator David Friedman, Honda has not reported all the incidents of death and injury caused by exploding air bags in its cars.   read more

Alarming Rise in Temperatures in U.S.’s Northernmost Town

Research into weather records by the University of Alaska Fairbanks shows that the average temperature in Barrow rose by 2.7 degrees Celsius (about 5 degrees F) from 1979 to 2012. October average temperatures increased by an amazing 7.2 degrees Celsius (about 13 degrees F) over the same period. November’s averages climbed by nearly as much.   read more

Local Police Team with Charitable Foundations and Wealthy Donors to Keep Controversial Purchases in Shadows

Some police departments around the country have used private foundations to buy controversial technology not subject to public discussion or official review. The Atlanta Police Foundation bought citywide surveillance cameras and the monitoring center that controls them. Elsewhere, foundation money has been used to buy license plate readers, which can gather information on every vehicle, and Sting Ray devices, which track mobile phone usage.   read more

FBI Upgrades Animal Cruelty to Class A Felony

Animal rights advocates have applauded the FBI's decision to upgrade animal cruelty crimes, putting them in the same category as murders. Going forward, anyone caught abusing animals will risk being charged with a Class A felony. That’s the same grouping of felonies for violent crimes, including homicides and assaults. Previously, animal cruelty was in an “other” crimes category, making them less important. The changes are expected to result in more convictions for those harming animals,   read more

Should “Stand Your Ground” Laws Apply to Domestic Abuse Cases?

Eric Lee was seen by witnesses pulling Whitlee Jones down the street by her hair before he later blocked her attempt to flee their residence. Jones’ attorney claims she attacked Lee with a knife only as a last resort, and that the state’s stand-your-ground law protects her from prosecution. A judge agreed with Jones. But the state appealed the ruling, insisting the law was never intended to apply to people involved in domestic violence.   read more

Wildlife Put at Risk from Dumping of Pharmaceuticals

Hundreds of millions of pounds of pharmaceuticals are dumped into wastewater systems each year, posing serious threats to many species and ecosystems, researchers say. They are often disposed of by hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and other facilities where people are on medication. There’s currently no rule that forbids this practice and as a result, some facilities dispose of 1,000 or more pills a month in this way. Even trace amount of drugs can have a negative effect on wildlife.   read more

Young Black Men are 21 Times More Likely than White Ones to Be Killed by Police

An analysis of more than 1,200 fatal police shootings over a two-year period "certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population,” ProPublica reports. Not all law enforcement agencies report their shootings to the FBI, so it’s likely that the numbers actually understate the number of people killed by police.   read more

For the First Time, U.S. Acknowledges Individuals’ Inclusion on No-Fly List

For the first time since the no-fly list was set up after the 9/11 attacks, officials in Washington have publicly acknowledged to some who had been prohibited from getting on a commercial airliner that they were on the list. Seven people were officially identified as being on the list and removed from it, but only after Homeland Security lost a court fight to keep those names a secret. One of those seven, Abe Mashal, declared: “Today, I learned I have my freedoms back.”   read more

TV Nielsen Ratings were wrong for 7 Months, Raising Ire of TV/Ad Industries

For network executives, the news was both shocking and unsettling, given that the ratings system can make or break a show—or a vice president’s career. “This is the equivalent of an earthquake. When you can’t trust the ground you’re standing on, it’s disorienting,” a network insider told CNN. “These ratings are the currency of the business,” said NBC's Alan Wurtzel. “Any time that currency is under suspicion it’s a concern.”   read more

Texas Judge Strikes Down Voter ID Law in 150-Page Ruling That Recounts State’s History of Discrimination

Texas’ latest attempt to restrict minority groups from exercising their right to vote was a law that required certain forms of ID to cast a ballot. That law has now been struck down by a judge who provided a lesson in Texas’ long history of discrimination. Judge Gonzales Ramos ruled that Texas’ voter ID law had the same chilling effect on voting as a poll tax. Literacy tests and gerrymandering have also been employed to depress turnout of black and Hispanic voters, she wrote.   read more

Federal Judge on Track to Order Release of Guantanamo Force-Feeding Videos

Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the government to coordinate the release of videos showing the force-feeding of a Guantánamo inmate. “I want Americans to see what is going on at the prison today, so they will understand why we are hunger-striking,” inmate Syrian Abu Wa’el Dhiab wrote in a petition. Kessler rejected the government’s claim that the video would harm national security. "Most of [their justifications] are unacceptably vague, speculative, ...just plain implausible,” she wrote.   read more

Your Negative Reviews Banned by Sneaky Non-Disparagement Clauses...Except in California

Some companies have inserted a clause into those service contracts you agree to that can cost you money if you give them a negative review. One online retailer, KlearGear, slapped a couple with a $3,500 suit after they’d complained online about poor customer service. The Union Street Guest House will fine event organizers at the inn if any of their guests post negative reviews online. But in California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill prohibiting such clauses in the state.   read more

U.S. Diplomatic Security Unit Said to Lack the Authority and Staffing to Be Effective

After the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the State Department established a directorate to focus on the security of U.S. missions abroad. Now, a report has found that the High Threat Programs division doesn’t have the tools it needs to protect diplomats. Several units of the directorate were found to be understaffed. In addition, the directorate doesn’t have the authority to force other bureaus to do what it says.   read more

Obama Administration Sets Deportation Record

Since Obama was sworn in, federal immigration authorities have removed more than 2 million undocumented immigrants. In fact, in just five years his administration managed to process as many deportations as officials under President George W. Bush did in eight. Most of the more recent deportations are happening before the immigrant even has a chance to go before a judge. In the 2013 fiscal year, 83% of those deported were kicked out without a court hearing.   read more

FTC Investigation of Phone “Cramming” by Wireless Providers Leads to Hefty AT&T Settlement

Millions of AT&T wireless customers should soon see refunds on their bills after the FTC found that the phone provider was illegally billing customers for unwanted horoscopes, ringtones and other third-party services. AT&T will pay $105 million for the practice of “cramming,” in which charges for third-party services are billed to unaware customers. The settlement is the largest ever reached by the government with a wireless carrier engaged in cramming.   read more
1 to 16 of about 3205 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next

Controversies

1 to 16 of about 3205 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next

NSA’s Chief Technical Officer Cleared to Moonlight for Private Firm Founded by Former NSA Director Keith Alexander

To say that Patrick Dowd has competing loyalties is putting it mildly. The chief technical officer for the National Security Agency (NSA) has taken a second job working for his old boss at a company engaged in the same kind of work as the spy agency. Dowd did get permission from his NSA supervisors to work up to 20 hours a week for IronNet.   read more

Honda Accused of Hiding Death and Injury Claims

Since 2000, automakers have been required to file quarterly Early Warning Reports (EWRs) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to give the agency a heads-up on trends of deaths and injuries. According to a letter CAS Executive Director Clarence M. Ditlow sent to NHTSA acting administrator David Friedman, Honda has not reported all the incidents of death and injury caused by exploding air bags in its cars.   read more

Alarming Rise in Temperatures in U.S.’s Northernmost Town

Research into weather records by the University of Alaska Fairbanks shows that the average temperature in Barrow rose by 2.7 degrees Celsius (about 5 degrees F) from 1979 to 2012. October average temperatures increased by an amazing 7.2 degrees Celsius (about 13 degrees F) over the same period. November’s averages climbed by nearly as much.   read more

Local Police Team with Charitable Foundations and Wealthy Donors to Keep Controversial Purchases in Shadows

Some police departments around the country have used private foundations to buy controversial technology not subject to public discussion or official review. The Atlanta Police Foundation bought citywide surveillance cameras and the monitoring center that controls them. Elsewhere, foundation money has been used to buy license plate readers, which can gather information on every vehicle, and Sting Ray devices, which track mobile phone usage.   read more

FBI Upgrades Animal Cruelty to Class A Felony

Animal rights advocates have applauded the FBI's decision to upgrade animal cruelty crimes, putting them in the same category as murders. Going forward, anyone caught abusing animals will risk being charged with a Class A felony. That’s the same grouping of felonies for violent crimes, including homicides and assaults. Previously, animal cruelty was in an “other” crimes category, making them less important. The changes are expected to result in more convictions for those harming animals,   read more

Should “Stand Your Ground” Laws Apply to Domestic Abuse Cases?

Eric Lee was seen by witnesses pulling Whitlee Jones down the street by her hair before he later blocked her attempt to flee their residence. Jones’ attorney claims she attacked Lee with a knife only as a last resort, and that the state’s stand-your-ground law protects her from prosecution. A judge agreed with Jones. But the state appealed the ruling, insisting the law was never intended to apply to people involved in domestic violence.   read more

Wildlife Put at Risk from Dumping of Pharmaceuticals

Hundreds of millions of pounds of pharmaceuticals are dumped into wastewater systems each year, posing serious threats to many species and ecosystems, researchers say. They are often disposed of by hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and other facilities where people are on medication. There’s currently no rule that forbids this practice and as a result, some facilities dispose of 1,000 or more pills a month in this way. Even trace amount of drugs can have a negative effect on wildlife.   read more

Young Black Men are 21 Times More Likely than White Ones to Be Killed by Police

An analysis of more than 1,200 fatal police shootings over a two-year period "certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population,” ProPublica reports. Not all law enforcement agencies report their shootings to the FBI, so it’s likely that the numbers actually understate the number of people killed by police.   read more

For the First Time, U.S. Acknowledges Individuals’ Inclusion on No-Fly List

For the first time since the no-fly list was set up after the 9/11 attacks, officials in Washington have publicly acknowledged to some who had been prohibited from getting on a commercial airliner that they were on the list. Seven people were officially identified as being on the list and removed from it, but only after Homeland Security lost a court fight to keep those names a secret. One of those seven, Abe Mashal, declared: “Today, I learned I have my freedoms back.”   read more

TV Nielsen Ratings were wrong for 7 Months, Raising Ire of TV/Ad Industries

For network executives, the news was both shocking and unsettling, given that the ratings system can make or break a show—or a vice president’s career. “This is the equivalent of an earthquake. When you can’t trust the ground you’re standing on, it’s disorienting,” a network insider told CNN. “These ratings are the currency of the business,” said NBC's Alan Wurtzel. “Any time that currency is under suspicion it’s a concern.”   read more

Texas Judge Strikes Down Voter ID Law in 150-Page Ruling That Recounts State’s History of Discrimination

Texas’ latest attempt to restrict minority groups from exercising their right to vote was a law that required certain forms of ID to cast a ballot. That law has now been struck down by a judge who provided a lesson in Texas’ long history of discrimination. Judge Gonzales Ramos ruled that Texas’ voter ID law had the same chilling effect on voting as a poll tax. Literacy tests and gerrymandering have also been employed to depress turnout of black and Hispanic voters, she wrote.   read more

Federal Judge on Track to Order Release of Guantanamo Force-Feeding Videos

Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the government to coordinate the release of videos showing the force-feeding of a Guantánamo inmate. “I want Americans to see what is going on at the prison today, so they will understand why we are hunger-striking,” inmate Syrian Abu Wa’el Dhiab wrote in a petition. Kessler rejected the government’s claim that the video would harm national security. "Most of [their justifications] are unacceptably vague, speculative, ...just plain implausible,” she wrote.   read more

Your Negative Reviews Banned by Sneaky Non-Disparagement Clauses...Except in California

Some companies have inserted a clause into those service contracts you agree to that can cost you money if you give them a negative review. One online retailer, KlearGear, slapped a couple with a $3,500 suit after they’d complained online about poor customer service. The Union Street Guest House will fine event organizers at the inn if any of their guests post negative reviews online. But in California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill prohibiting such clauses in the state.   read more

U.S. Diplomatic Security Unit Said to Lack the Authority and Staffing to Be Effective

After the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the State Department established a directorate to focus on the security of U.S. missions abroad. Now, a report has found that the High Threat Programs division doesn’t have the tools it needs to protect diplomats. Several units of the directorate were found to be understaffed. In addition, the directorate doesn’t have the authority to force other bureaus to do what it says.   read more

Obama Administration Sets Deportation Record

Since Obama was sworn in, federal immigration authorities have removed more than 2 million undocumented immigrants. In fact, in just five years his administration managed to process as many deportations as officials under President George W. Bush did in eight. Most of the more recent deportations are happening before the immigrant even has a chance to go before a judge. In the 2013 fiscal year, 83% of those deported were kicked out without a court hearing.   read more

FTC Investigation of Phone “Cramming” by Wireless Providers Leads to Hefty AT&T Settlement

Millions of AT&T wireless customers should soon see refunds on their bills after the FTC found that the phone provider was illegally billing customers for unwanted horoscopes, ringtones and other third-party services. AT&T will pay $105 million for the practice of “cramming,” in which charges for third-party services are billed to unaware customers. The settlement is the largest ever reached by the government with a wireless carrier engaged in cramming.   read more
1 to 16 of about 3205 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next