Court Rules NSA Phone Data Collection That Is Now Changing Anyway Is Still Legal

Court Rules NSA Phone Data Collection That Is Now Changing Anyway Is Still Legal

After several years of back-and-forth rulings, an appeals court in Washington, D.C. has ruled today that the NSA’s controversial bulk phone data collection program can indeed continue… at least until November, when it gets shut down anyway because Congress changed the law in June. [More]

Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet

Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet


If your credit card information gets stolen in a data breach, there are certain rules in place that limit your liability and protect you from fraud. But if a hack makes personal, potentially very embarrassing, information public — as in, say, the Ashley Madison hack — there’s not much anyone can do to stop others from seeing or writing about it. [More]

Servicemembers At Failing For-Profit Schools Not Protected By Veterans Affairs

Servicemembers At Failing For-Profit Schools Not Protected By Veterans Affairs

When a for-profit college closes its doors, students are often left with hefty student loan tabs and little recourse. Some of those borrowers may be eligible for a discharge of their debts through the Dept. of Education, but others – like the thousands of veterans who used their GI Bill benefits to finance their education – are simply out of luck, often losing their chance to obtain a degree, thanks in part to failures within the Department of Veterans Affairs. [More]

Court: NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection Program Is Illegal

Court: NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection Program Is Illegal

A federal appeals court has ruled this morning that the NSA’s controversial bulk phone data collection program is in violation of federal law. [More]

Congress Has One Month Left To Change Or Renew Controversial Bulk Phone Data Surveillance Program

Congress Has One Month Left To Change Or Renew Controversial Bulk Phone Data Surveillance Program

It’s been two years since we found out that the NSA has been quietly scooping up basically everyone’s phone records, willy-nilly, without warrants. The revelations of widespread surveillance freaked plenty of people out, but under existing law, the agency has acted legally. To get change, then, you’d need to change the law… and Congress has 33 days remaining in which to do exactly that. [More]

There Are Two Things That Could Stop The Comcast/TWC Merger, And We Might Get Both

There Are Two Things That Could Stop The Comcast/TWC Merger, And We Might Get Both

Update: Comcast is reportedly planning to back out from the merger deal as early as tomorrow in the face of the likely opposition from both the FCC and Justice Department. [More]

( SarahMcGowen)

More Than 100 National Consumer Groups Urge The CFPB To Issue Rules Over Forced Arbitration Clauses

Just weeks after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report showing that tens of millions of Americans have clauses in their credit card, checking account, student loan and wireless phone contracts that take away their rights to sue those companies in a court of law, more than 100 consumer groups have signed a letter urging the Bureau to address the use of forced arbitration clauses by issuing rules forbidding the clauses. [More]

(Rich Renomeron)

Can A Website Get You Out Of A Traffic Ticket?

It’s scary to get a traffic ticket, especially if you drive for a living or there’s a hike to your insurance on the line that you can’t afford, not to mention paying the fine. It makes sense to pay a service advertising that it can help get you out of a ticket for a modest fee that’s less than your fine. Or does it? [More]

(frankieleon)

4 Ways Copyright Law Actually Controls Your Whole Digital Life

We all know that copyright law means you shouldn’t download copies of movies from shady torrent sites, and that you should pay for the music you listen to. We know it means people and companies have rights to stuff they make, like photos and music and books, and that there are legal and illegal ways of sharing those things. [More]

How Corporations Got The Same Rights As People (But Don’t Ever Go To Jail)

Josh Bassett

In every common-sense, everyday way, a corporation is not a person. Corporations don’t date, don’t have families, don’t go catch a movie on Friday night. They also don’t go to jail when they do something criminal. But in the eyes of the law, corporations enjoy many of the same rights — including free speech and religious expression — and protections afforded to individuals. [More]

Law Barring People In Los Angeles From Living In Their Cars Struck Down, Deemed Discriminatory

Law Barring People In Los Angeles From Living In Their Cars Struck Down, Deemed Discriminatory

People who call their vehicles home in Los Angeles no longer have to worry about being cited or arrested, now that a federal appeals court stuck down a 31-year-old law. [More]

(RockaWolf)

Not Everyone Is Disappointed With De Beers Class Action Checks

Yesterday, we shared the news that people have started to receive their settlement checks from the class action lawsuit that accused diamond merchants De Beers of price-fixing. (Gasp!) The first reader we heard from, Sean, was upset that he only received $48 back on a $3,000 claim, or about 1.6%. Other readers are happier with their settlements…but, to point out the obvious here, people with larger settlements are a lot happier, and people who spent more on shiny rocks in the first place received larger checks. [More]

You Can Get $500 If An Autodialer Calls Your Cellphone

You Can Get $500 If An Autodialer Calls Your Cellphone

Your cellphone rings from a number you don’t recognize. You pick it up. At first there’s silence. Then the sound of a call center kicks in and a person asks, “Hello, can I speak to Karen?” It’s a telemarketer, or a debt collector, using an autodialer. And they just broke the law. And just for funsies, you can collect $500 or $1500 with just a few hours of work if you go after them. [More]

Despite Their Protests, Airlines Are Indeed Liable For Lost Luggage

Despite Their Protests, Airlines Are Indeed Liable For Lost Luggage

Many airlines have inserted “checked baggage limitations of liability” into their contracts which try to act like it’s not their fault if jewelry or gadgets somehow go missing during transit from your luggage. They’re bunkum. [More]

Judge Spices Up Order With Corn-Pone Comedy

Judge Spices Up Order With Corn-Pone Comedy

A Kentucky judge’s order in a tense malpractice suit went viral this week after folks were amused by the corn-pone humor and mixed metaphors that he used to enliven a normally straight-forward legal document. Among the colorful phrases, the judge wrote that he was glad the case was settled as he would have preferred to “have jumped naked off of a 12-foot step ladder into a 5 gallon bucket of porcupines” than to preside over it. [More]

Calm Man Successfully Buys TV And Denies Walmart Receipt Checkers

Calm Man Successfully Buys TV And Denies Walmart Receipt Checkers

Rick is the Gandhi of receipt-check deniers. He writes in with a story of how he bought a 37 inch TV from Walmart and was able to successfully say no to the receipt checker blocking his way with his body. Rick did this by calmly and reasonably explaining his position to the assistant manager who showed up and by ignoring everyone around him who was trying to provoke him. Sometimes the quietest voice speaks the loudest. [More]

Student Uses Smart Phone To Beat Speeding Ticket

Student Uses Smart Phone To Beat Speeding Ticket

A student describes how he was able to get out a speeding ticket by whipping out his Android. [More]

Understand Common Contract Terms So You Don't Get Screwed

Understand Common Contract Terms So You Don't Get Screwed

There’s a bunch of terms and provisions that keep showing up in the contracts you sign throughout life, but do you know what they mean? Who exactly are these “Heirs, Successors, and Assigns” coming over for the contract party? Do they have dietary restrictions? What is “separability?” Will it hurt? Well, we’ll tell ya! [More]