All I Want for Winter Solstice is a CIA-Trained Sea Weasel.
Poppets! Happy Wednesday. The internet is still happening, despite our close proximity to the holiday.
Today, in THIS IS NOT NORMAL: The “charitable” foundation of a sitting U.S. president will be disbanded under a new agreement with the New York Attorney General for illegal conduct. In her lawsuit, NY AG Barbara Underwood states that the Trump Foundation was “little more than an empty shell” and alleges that Foundation money was used for nefarious purposes. The agreement also bans his eldest children from “serving on the boards of New York charitable organizations” for a year.
Woof: a New York Times report based on internal documents and interviews with fifty former employees of Facebook and its partners says that Facebook gave those partner technology companies access to personal data, including friends lists and direct messages, “effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules.” Meanwhile, a Gizmodo article finds that Turning Off Facebook Location Tracking Doesn't Stop It From Tracking Your Location. coolcoolcoolcoolcool.
And speaking of privacy issues, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released its ever-so-helpful “What’s Creeping Us Out” gift guide. Included are Facebook’s portal, Verizon phones with spyware, smart home hubs, and Elf on a Shelf (“Making surveillance part of a holiday tradition is essentially setting up a plush police state in your own home.”) That last sentence made me nearly snort coffee onto my laptop.
Nothing to see here: Egyptian officials found an “elaborately carved tomb that they estimate is 4,400 years old.”
And finally, did you know that a recent FOIA-acquired document on the CIA MKUltra training program for super spies included a dossier on my favorite of aquatic rodents, the otter? Nuggets from said dossier include facts like: “Transporting otters is exceptionally difficult”; “Usually sleeps on back with ‘arms’ folded”; and that it cost $75-$250 per annum to keep the little cuties alive. But why, pray tell, did the CIA feel it needed to have this report? Considering these newly released documents include evidence that the CIA may have been trying to create spy dogs, we otter view this project with suspicion.
I love you all. Be kind to each other, and yourselves.