Hacktivist Breaks Into Minnesota Government Databases to Protest Philando Castile Verdict

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By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

“On Friday, a jury found that the cop who shot and killed a black man in the summer of 2016 in Minnesota during a seemingly routine traffic stop was not guilty of manslaughter. The verdict prompted thousands of people to protest in the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota.

A hacker calling himself Vigilance decided to seek justice in his own way, by hacking a database belonging to the Minnesota state government, and stealing email addresses and passwords. The hacker contacted Motherboard on Sunday, claiming the hack and providing a sample of stolen data to back up his claims.”

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Digi-Key Sees Secretive Welfare Handout Amidst New State Budget

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Minnesota’s $1.5 billion dollar/year electronics e-commerce distributor Digi-Key first announced the potential for a Thief River Falls expansion of operations back in March, 2017.

The pending one million square foot facility, possibly constructed adjacent to current headquarters, could cost between $200m to $300m and might employ up to 1,000 people within ten years. Maybe?

The uncertainty in this expansion comes down to the contingencies, as the lobbyist aptly noted, based on money from the public (accounts of the many) transferred to the private owners (accounts of the few) at Digi-Key, it was reported:

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EFF Is Suing The Justice Department Over Reputed GeekSquad Spies

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Via Star Tribune

“The Justice Department was sued Wednesday by a privacy group seeking information on the FBI’s alleged recruitment of Best Buy employees to search consumer computers for child pornography during repairs.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department, demanding access to records about any FBI training and payment to Geek Squad workers to search customer computers without a court warrant.”

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Popular Internet Privacy Measure Dies At Minnesota’s Capitol

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By Tim Nelson, MPR News

“Internet privacy was a popular idea earlier in the Minnesota legislative session — getting 200 of the 201 votes in previous votes in both the House and Senate.  Lawmakers didn’t want internet service providers to be able to sell information about their customers’ web browsing history.  But that provision didn’t make the final cut in the final jobs budget bill hammered out in the early hours Monday morning at the Capitol.”

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Internet Privacy Measure Removed As MN Lawmakers Debate Budget

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By Erin Golden , Star Tribune

“An internet privacy measure that won broad backing from Minnesota lawmakers has been yanked from consideration at the Capitol with little explanation.

The provision had been crafted in response to a recent action by the U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump to loosen online privacy regulations, potentially opening the door for internet service providers to sell the browsing data of customers. It would have prohibited internet providers in Minnesota from collecting personal information without permission from customers.”

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Internet Privacy Effort In Flux At Minnesota Legislature

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By Kyle Potter, Star Tribune

“ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers’ attempts to safeguard residents’ internet privacy are in limbo.

Long-simmering privacy concerns about personal information and browsing history bubbled up across the nation after Congress moved to loosen regulations that could potentially allow internet providers to sell customers’ data. The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly earlier this session to bar that data collection in separate bills.”

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St. Paul and Minneapolis Consider Regulating Airbnb & VRBO

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By Jessie Van Berkel, Star Tribune

“Strangers occupy Doug Beasley’s retreat-like home, tucked in St. Paul’s northwest corner, for much of the year.

“I love my neighborhood and I love being able share that with other people,” said the photographer, who uses Airbnb to rent his St. Anthony Park house when he’s traveling the world for work or staying at his cabin.

Hundreds of Twin Cities residents use online companies like Airbnb and VRBO to temporarily fill spare rooms or empty homes. These “hosts” have been renting spaces for years without city regulations. That is about to change.”

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Minnesota Races To Protect Internet Privacy Protections As Trump, Congress Undo Them

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By Judy Keen, Star Tribune

“Legislators in Minnesota and at least nine other states are racing to enact online privacy protections after President Donald Trump signed a law that allows internet providers to collect and sell information about customers without their consent.”

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Veteran Led Tech Startup Intervotion Targets First Responders

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Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 10.36.17 AMWe’ve all seen futuristic sci-fi movies that depict sophisticated law enforcement operations, the ones where commanders pull up 3D holographic layouts of a building’s interior while outlining the team’s strategic plan.

While current methods are nowhere near that level of advancement, you might not realize just how big the gap is.

Michael O’Leary says that in his discussions with police, paramedics and firefighters across the country, he has been told that Google Maps often provides better location logistics than the antiquated systems used by departments.

In the information age, emergency services are lagging behind, and O’Leary sees that as a major problem.

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