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Demand Progress: U.S. responded to blackout protest with the middle finger

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The advocacy group Demand Progress condemned the Obama administration on Thursday after the FBI took down one of the most popular file sharing websites on the Internet, Megaupload.com.

“Unbelievable: After history’s largest online protest, the U.S. Government nonchalantly responds with the middle finger,” the group said in an action alert.

MegaUpload, which had more than 150 million registered users, was shut down by the FBI because of alleged copyright infringement. The site allowed registered users to upload files, which could then be downloaded by others.

The shut down of MegaUpload came after the largest online protest in history, where thousands of sites joined in a blackout protest on Wednesday against the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

“If SOPA and PIPA pass it’ll just broaden the government’s power to do things like this,” Demand Progress wrote, urging people to email the White House and tell Obama to rein in the Department of Justice.

Hacktivists affiliated with the “Anonymous” movement respond to the take down by launching a cyber attack against the Justice Department’s site.

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Along with seizing the site’s domain names, the FBI charged seven of its founders and employees with online piracy crimes. Four of those suspects have already been arrested in New Zealand.

“This kind of application of international criminal procedures to Internet policy issues sets a terrifying precedent,” the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a statement. “If the United States can seize a Dutch citizen in New Zealand over a copyright claim, what is next?”

Photo credit: Flickr user Jo Naylor.

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Republican lawmakers ask judge to destroy smoking gun documents proving GOP’s white supremacy

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Republicans on Monday sought a court order to block damning documents from being used against them in a lawsuit.

"North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Monday asked a court to make sure the files of the now-deceased GOP strategist Tom Hofeller are destroyed, or at least kept secret, instead of being used in a high-profile gerrymandering lawsuit," the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

"The filing comes after the groups behind the lawsuit, including Common Cause, accused Republican lawmakers of making false statements in court in a previous gerrymandering case, when the state’s 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional," the newspaper noted. "That blockbuster accusation made national headlines and was, it said, based on Hofeller’s files which had been secret until recently."

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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Trump seethes and calls Fox ‘fake news’ after seeing a story that made him mad

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Trouble appears to be brewing between President Donald Trump and the cable news station he loves: Fox News.

In a tweet Monday night, the president lashed out at the network over its polling and called it “fake news’ — an epithet he usually reserves for mainstream outlets:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140768516288782336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Media Matters for America Senior Fellow Matthew Gertz, who has previously noted that Trump appears to record news segments and watch them a few hours later, suggested that the president appeared to be reacting to an earlier segment from Special Report with Bret Baier. The segment showed that, even according to Fox News’ polling, Trump trails every single leading candidate in the Democratic field in head-to-head matchups.

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