Elon Musk is trying to wriggle out of the Twitter deal
When U.S. marshals shot and killed a 32-year-old black man named Winston Boogie Smith Jr. in a parking garage in Minneapolis on June 3, 2021, the city was already in a complete police crisis. George Floyd had been murdered by a member of the police force in May before. When protests repeated throughout the city, police were unable to keep up.
Private security groups entered the void, employed primarily to prevent damage to property. But the organizations often ended up directing protest activity – a task that is usually reserved for the police, and one for which most private security guards are not trained.
According to documents obtained by the MIT Technology Review, during the protests in the wake of Smith’s death, several private organizations provided security services at and around the parking garage where the murder took place. One company, the Conflict Resolution Group (CRG), regularly provided Minneapolis police with information about activists who were at times untrue and deeply politicized. Read the whole story.
—Tate Ryan-Mosley and Sam Richards
Digital repression across national borders is on the rise
Around the world, activists have fled authoritarian states for their safety. But in their new home, the intimidation continues, albeit in the digital realm, through phishing attacks, zero-click spyware hacking, social media removal, SIM card hacking and fake conference invitations.
Although physical threats to activists tend to make headlines, digital harassment, which can be done with the click of a mouse button, often occurs behind the scenes – and seems to increase. Read the whole story.
– David Silverberg
They must be read
I have scoured the internet to find today’s most funny / important / scary / fascinating stories about technology.
1 Elon Musk is desperately trying to retire from buying Twitter
But the terms of the agreement mean that it will not be easy for him to walk away. (WP $)
+ Twitter is reportedly “willing to go to war” to get the deal done. (FT $)
+ Musk himself seems pretty set on shutting down at this stage. (slate)
+ He will speak at Silicon Valley’s elite Sun Valley Retreat tomorrow. (Bloomberg $)
+ Twitter, for its part, says it removes one million spam accounts every day. (Reuters)
2 license plate readers make it difficult to travel to have an abortion without supervision
Even if you take an Uber, rent a car or take the bus. (Cable $)
+ Abortion data submissions can get extremely messy, extremely fast. (Bloomberg $)
+ Anti-abortion activists are collecting the data they need for prosecution after Roe. (MIT Technology Review)
3 The James Webb Space Telescope is ready to send its first images next week
Prepare to be dazzled. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ NASA has criticized Russian cosmonauts for posing with anti-Ukrainian flags. (The Verge)
4 Charging the electric car at home is a luxury
And it’s one not everyone can afford. (Reverse)
+ The United States has only 6,000 fast charging stations for electric cars. (MIT Technology Review)
5 How Chinese Influencers Make Millions on Racist Videos in Africa
Reflects the extent of the demand for this type of nauseating content. (The rest of the world)
6 Netflix technology workers’ complaints fall on deaf ears
The power giant was once known to be receptive to feedback from employees. Not any more. (The Verge)
+ Showrunners are also kept in the dark about the future of their shows. (gribb $)
7 One way to get a new job: announce being laid off on social media
Make the perfect post and wait for the recruiters to arrive. (WSJ $)
8 NFT startups hire managers to promote positive vibes
Crisis? What crisis ?! (Forget it)
+ All crypto banks are out of money. (NY Mag $)
+ A former manager has accused cryptocurrency lender Celsius of running a Ponzi scheme. (Reuters)