Trump Appointee Is Turning Voice of America Into Partisan Outlet, Lawsuit Says

WASHINGTON — Five officials suspended from the government’s global media agency sued its chief executive and top aides on Thursday, claiming they broke the law in repeatedly seeking to turn a news service under its purview into a mouthpiece for pro-Trump propaganda.

The 84-page lawsuit asserts that Michael Pack, the chief executive of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, or his aides have interrogated journalists at the Voice of America who have censured Mr. Pack or written articles top officials believed were critical of President Trump, instilling fear across the agency.

Mr. Pack’s aide, Samuel E. Dewey, for example, began a retaliatory investigation against the Voice of America’s White House bureau chief, Steve Herman, after he signed a letter in August saying Mr. Pack risked “crippling” the news outlet.

As part of that investigation, Mr. Dewey and another aide scrutinized Mr. Herman’s “private social media activity for any hint of

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Case closed: California judge ends SpaceX’s lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force

The judge said the Air Force’s actions were not arbitrary, capricious, or in violation of the law, and that SpaceX was not entitled to any relief in this action.”

WASHINGTON — A California judge Oct. 2 officially ended SpaceX’s 18-month-long lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force. Following a Sept. 24 ruling denying SpaceX’s claim, the judge on Friday ordered the case to be closed. 

U.S. District Court Judge Judge Otis Wright II of the Central District of California on Sept. 24 ruled against SpaceX in its legal complaint over contracts the U.S. Air Force awarded in October 2018 to United Launch Alliance, Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin. 

The judge’s Sept. 24 order, first reported by Reuters, was sealed by the court because it contained sensitive information.

In the Oct. 2 motion to close the case, the judge noted that his Sept. 24 order denied SpaceX’s claim, “concluding that the

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Google parent agrees to $310M misconduct lawsuit settlement

NEW YORK (AP) — Google’s parent company has reached a $310 million settlement in a shareholder lawsuit over its treatment of allegations of executives’ sexual misconduct.

Alphabet Inc. said Friday that it will prohibit severance packages for anyone fired for misconduct or is the subject of a sexual misconduct investigation. A special team will investigate any allegations against executives and report to the board’s audit committee.

Thousands of Google employees walked out of work in protest in 2018 after The New York Times revealed Android creator Andy Rubin received $90 million in severance even though several employees had filed misconduct allegations against him. Shareholder lawsuits followed, and in 2019 Google launched a board investigation over how it handles sexual misconduct allegations.

In January, David Drummond, the Alphabet’s legal chief, left without an exit package, following accusations of inappropriate relationships with employees. The company didn’t give a reason for his departure,

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LAPD says it has found no body-camera video in wounding of plaintiff in BLM protest lawsuit

The Los Angeles Police Department’s investigation into a woman’s claim that her jaw was fractured by a police projectile during summer protests has so far turned up zero police video of the shooting — possibly because many of the officers at the scene weren’t wearing cameras, LAPD officials said Wednesday.

“There are limited body worn videos for this incident due to officers and detectives responding from assignments that do not issue body worn cameras,” the LAPD said in a video released online Wednesday.

Instead, police released footage that they said was from the general time and area where the injured was suffered by Abigail Rodas — one of several named plaintiffs in a sprawling class-action lawsuit over the LAPD’s protest tactics.

The video they released shows officers complaining of rocks, bottles and other projectiles being lobbed at them near the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Edinburgh Avenue. At one point,

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A new lawsuit may force YouTube to own up to the mental health consequences of content moderation

For big tech platforms, one of the more urgent questions to arise during the pandemic’s early months was how the forced closure of offices would change their approach to content moderation. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all rely on huge numbers of third-party contract workers to police their networks, and traditionally those workers have worked side by side in big offices. When tech companies shuttered their offices, they closed down most of their content moderation facilities as well.



a close up of a logo


© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge


Happily, they continued to pay their moderators — even those who could no longer work, because their jobs required them to use secure facilities. But with usage of social networks surging and an election on the horizon, the need for moderation had never been greater. And so Silicon Valley largely shifted moderation duties to automated systems.

The question was whether it would work — and

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Epic refutes Apple’s claim ‘Fortnite’ lawsuit was marketing exercise

Epic Games has responded to Apple’s latest filing in the ongoing “Fortnite” lawsuit, denying a claim that the lawsuit was instigated as a marketing campaign for the iOS version of the game.

On September 16, Apple filed legal documents with the US District Court for the Northern District of California ahead of a hearing for the legal saga scheduled for September 28. In that filing, Apple suggested the lawsuit was an attempt by Epic to revitalize “Fortnite’s” popularity via an elaborate marketing campaign.

In the new filing, Epic counters Apple’s statement that it had seen a near 70% drop of interest by July 2020 compared to October 2019, on the belief that Apple “cherry-picked” the data. Epic claims Apple used Google Trends data about search volumes, one that started from a “one-week spike” that took place in October that coincided with a popular in-game event.

“Fortnite users

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iPhone camera and iOS 14 at crux of Facebook & Instagram spying lawsuit

Facebook allegedly spied on Instagram users through unauthorized use of iPhone cameras, a new lawsuit claims.

Back in July, an iOS 14 privacy feature revealed that Instagram appeared to be activating the iPhone camera and microphone even when they weren’t in use. The specific feature was an indicator dot that showed up when the camera wasn’t active, such as when a user was scrolling the feeds.

At the time, Facebook said that the behavior was unintentional and caused by a bug that was quickly fixed. In the complaint, lodged Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, plaintiff Brittany Conditi contends that it wasn’t.

“Instagram is constantly accessing users’ smartphone camera feature while the app is open and monitors users without permission, i.e., when users are not interacting with Instagram’s camera feature,” the lawsuit alleges.

The complaint contends that Facebook is surveilling users to collect “lucrative

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Lawsuit accuses Instagram of peeping with iPhone camera

Instagram on an iPhone

Angela Lang/CNET

A lawsuit filed Thursday accuses Instagram of using iPhone cameras to spy on people. The issue appears to be related to a bug discovered in July, when Facebook said the app didn’t actually use the camera, even though Apple’s iOS 14 software indicated it did.

“Instagram is constantly accessing users’ smartphone camera feature while the app is open and monitors users without permission,” says the suit, filed in US District Court in San Francisco by New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi. Instagram and its owner, Facebook, “have been able to monitor users’ most intimate moments, including those in the privacy of their own homes, in addition to collecting valuable insight and market research on its users,” the suit says.

Facebook declined to comment on the lawsuit. But in July

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