We cover the breaking reports of the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the latest on impeachment. We also discuss the #PressPause campaign against facial surveillance, Zuckerberg’s disastrous Facebook hearing in Washington, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos being held in contempt of court and fined.
The news lately is full of the warning signs of surveillance capitalism. We discuss Cambridge Analytica’s use of the private data of friends and family of people who took a personality quiz. We note the CEO’s approach of finding the “emotional center” of voters. We also discuss why you should delete Facebook, Uber’s self-driving car killing a pedestrian in Arizona, and Cynthia Nixon challenging Andrew Cuomo for Governor of New York (and bringing lefty politics to the crazy corporate Human Rights Campaign gala!)
Two Acting Directors enter, one Acting Director leaves? We break down what’s going on at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and why it matters who runs it. We also discuss a very important privacy case that will be argued before the Supreme Court on November 29 called United States v. Carpenter. We talk the latest on the Trump tax scam and Ajit Pai’s plan to kill net neutrality, and read some great listener mail!
We talk Equifax: the data breach, the company’s insane response, and what to do about it. We also discuss the recent cowardice of Harvard University when it comes to who is and isn’t allowed to remain a fellow. And Kade tells us about a lawsuit the ACLU and EFF filed on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without warrants at the U.S. border.
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This week the Republican-led Senate voted on party lines to allow internet service providers to sell our private internet records. We talk about what we can do to stop this horrible proposal from becoming law, and why it matters. We also discuss the latest nomination to Trump’s Incompetent Cabinet, Jay Clayton, a lawyer who works at one of Wall Street’s favorite law firms, Sullivan and Cromwell.
Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators, and tell them: I am asking you to vote NO on the nomination of Jay Clayton to the SEC. We shouldn’t have a Wall Street lawyer running one of the regulators who oversee Wall Street. How does Senator _____ plan to vote on Jay Clayton? [IF THE ANSWER ISN’T NO:] I urge you to vote no.
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Donald Trump said that President Obama wiretapped him. Like most things that Trump says, that’s a lie. But the law that authorizes the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens is up for reauthorization this year. We talk about why that matters, and what we can do about it. We also discuss how the Trump Administration wants to delay (and kill) a rule that helps prevent Wall Street from stealing your money through conflicted retirement advice.
Finally, we have a discussion with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio (@ChaseStrangio) about the legal details of Gavin Grimm’s case, the underlying law that protects him and other trans students (Title IX), and also get an update on the ongoing legal battle against the anti-LGBT bill HB2 in North Carolina. We also reminisce about how isolating it was to be young queer kids, and hope things are at least a little better for the young queers today.
Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators (or your Representative), and tell them: I am very concerned about the reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA amendments act. My understanding is that this law put Congress’s stamp of approval on Bush Admin’s warrantless wiretapping program, and I do not believe that warrantless spying makes us any safer. In fact, it threatens the core liberties that this country should be the most proud of. So you should vote against it!
Humorless Queers tackle the horror show that is Trump’s choices for the cabinet, including Jeff Sessions for the Department of Justice, Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary, and Betsy Devos for the Department of Education. We also discuss the Boston police department’s plan to spend $1.4m on social media spying software. And finally, we’ll have an interview with the co-founder of DemocrEC.org, who are demanding that Republican members of the Electoral College honor the popular vote.
Humorless Queers tackles post-election 2016. We talk action: What are we going to do now? And what is the future of surveillance and financial reform under the weight of a Donald J. Trump presidency? And we also dive into what just happened. How on earth did we get here? And how can we learn from this recent history?