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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.

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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.

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?”

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Photo credit: Flickr user Jo Naylor.


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Alaska’s Senate race gains national attention — and lots of cash — after death of RBG

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On Monday, The New York Times reported that following the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the big recipients of Democratic campaign cash was Alaska Senate candidate Dr. Al Gross.

"For much of 2020, Al Gross’s Senate campaign in Alaska has proceeded as something of an afterthought for most Democrats, a distant contest that was off the radar in terms of determining control of the U.S. Senate. After all, Mr. Gross is not even technically running as a Democrat, an affiliation that might doom him in a conservative state," reported Shane Goldmacher and Jeremy W. Peters. "But in the hours after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday, Dr. Gross’s campaign as an independent saw an infusion of attention and cash that could reshape the race: Nearly $3 million has poured into his coffers — about as much total money as the campaign had in the bank at the end of July."

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‘Sweep that weasel out’: Cory Gardner triggers outrage by supporting Supreme Court power grab

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On Monday, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for re-election in the Senate, made clear he will support President Donald Trump filling the Supreme Court vacancy.

His announcement triggered immediate outrage on social media.

Cory Gardner effectively just conceded his election. https://t.co/hOvzXsp9bc

— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) September 21, 2020

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2020 Election

Democrats reveal huge fundraising hauls in Senate races after RBG’s death

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Small donor contributions to Democratic Senate campaigns have skyrocketed after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"From Alaska to Maine to the Carolinas, Democratic strategists working on Senate campaigns described a spontaneous outpouring of donations the likes of which they had never seen, allowing Democrats the financial freedom to broaden the map of pickup opportunities, or press their financial advantage in top battlegrounds already saturated with advertising," The New York Times reported Monday.

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