Tech Giant IBM Is Suing Minnesota For Denying $33m In Tax Credits

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Brian Bakst, MPR

“IBM is seeking more than $33 million from the state of Minnesota over research tax credits the company says it was due.  In a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the New York-based technology giant contends that it qualified for more research tax credits than it was granted for a span of a few years.”

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Upcoming CodeSwitch Hackathon Seeks Social Impact

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CodeSwitch is happening again in Minnesota on September 23-24 at the historic Union Depot in downtown St Paul.

“CodeSwitch harnesses inclusion, data, and technology, empowering people to solve problems for their own communities in new ways. Creative minds come together at CodeSwitch to create smart, simple, sustainable solutions with positive social impact,” explains Casey Helbling of Software For Good, an event organizer.

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IoT Startup Veriaware Partners With St. Paul Police Department On Vitals App

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Via News Release

“The St. Paul Police Department has scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference to kick off a new partnership with Vitals – a cutting edge resource created to help law enforcement officers and first responders save lives.

Vitals is a new technology, a platform with two apps, designed to create safer interactions between law enforcement and people with behavioral, mental health and developmental disorders. A first of its kind, the Vitals first responder App, is a non-intrusive, real-time resource developed as a way to enhance policing, give families of vulnerable individuals more peace of mind and improve the quality of life for people living with “invisible” disabilities.”

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Minnesota’s CyberSecurity Operation Struggles To Keep Up

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By Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost

“On the third floor of an office building in St. Paul, a conference room has been turned into a makeshift command center, with cubicles and computer monitors looking toward a giant pull-down screen.

On a recent Tuesday, the room is dark except for the glow of computer monitors lighting a half dozen faces, all glued to their screens. One of the employees, Dave, who always wears a bowtie on Tuesdays, is sitting by his blue lava lamp and a unopened Obi Wan Kenobi figurine and trying to find any traces of “Petya.”

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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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