New York Times: Prosecutors Struggle to Catch Up to a Tidal Wave of Pandemic Fraud

New York Times: Prosecutors Struggle to Catch Up to a Tidal Wave of Pandemic Fraud. “As the virus shuttered businesses and forced people out of work, the federal government sent a flood of relief money into programs aimed at helping the newly unemployed and boosting the economy. That included $3.1 trillion that former President Donald J. Trump approved in 2020, followed by a $1.9 trillion package signed into law in 2021 by President Biden. But those dollars came with few strings and minimal oversight. The result: one of the largest frauds in American history, with billions of dollars stolen by thousands of people, including at least one amateur who boasted of his criminal activity on YouTube.”

BuzzFeed News: Snake Oil Medicine And Fake Vax Cards Are Among $149 Million In Alleged COVID Fraud

BuzzFeed News: Snake Oil Medicine And Fake Vax Cards Are Among $149 Million In Alleged COVID Fraud. “Forging vaccine cards, passing off fake medicine as the Moderna vaccine, and billing hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent tests are among the criminal activity alleged by the Department of Justice Wednesday as it unveiled a slew of COVID-related fraud charges. The government is charging 21 people across the country in cases totaling $149 million in alleged COVID fraud. Charges include taking kickbacks, exploiting the Telehealth system, and misusing aid from the CARES Act.”

The Worst Timeline: A Printer Company Is Putting DRM in Paper Now (EFF)

EFF: The Worst Timeline: A Printer Company Is Putting DRM in Paper Now. “Dymo’s latest generation of desktop label printers use RFID chips to authenticate the labels that Dymo’s customers put in their printers. This lets Dymo’s products distinguish between Dymo’s official labels and third-party consumables. That way, the printers can force their owners to conduct themselves in the ways that serve the interests of Dymo’s corporate owners – even when that is to the owners’ own detriment.”

New York Times: A Nation on Hold Wants to Speak With a Manager

New York Times: A Nation on Hold Wants to Speak With a Manager. “The meanness of the public has forced many public-facing industries to rethink what used to be an article of faith: that the customer is always right. If employees are now having to take on many unexpected roles — therapist, cop, conflict-resolution negotiator — then workplace managers are acting as security guards and bouncers to protect their employees.”

Techdirt: Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers

Techdirt: Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers. “Missouri Governor Mike Parson is nothing if not consistent in his desire to stifle free speech. As you’ll recall, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discovered that the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website was programming in such an incompetent fashion that it would reveal, to anyone who knew where to look, the social security numbers of every teacher and administrator in the system (including those no longer employed there).”

CNN: Violent airline passengers fined more than $200,000 by FAA

CNN: Violent airline passengers fined more than $200,000 by FAA. “Federal authorities have slapped 10 violent airline passengers with nearly a quarter-million dollars in new fines for shouting, spitting, screaming, shoving and throwing punches onboard commercial flights. The Federal Aviation Administration fines total $225,287, the second biggest announcement of fines for unruly passengers since the agency enacted a no-tolerance policy earlier this year.”

Ars Technica: “Hacker X”—the American who built a pro-Trump fake news empire—unmasks himself

Ars Technica: “Hacker X”—the American who built a pro-Trump fake news empire—unmasks himself. “For two years, he ran websites and Facebook groups that spread bogus stories, conspiracy theories, and propaganda. Under him was a dedicated team of writers and editors paid to produce deceptive content—from outright hoaxes to political propaganda—with the supreme goal of tipping the 2016 election to Donald Trump. Through extensive efforts, he built a secret network of self-reinforcing sites from the ground up. He devised a strategy that got prominent personalities—including Trump—to retweet misleading claims to their followers. And he fooled unwary American citizens, including the hacker’s own father, into regarding fake news sources more highly than the mainstream media.”

Axios: Unruly customers threaten economic recovery

Axios: Unruly customers threaten economic recovery. “The pace of the economic recovery hinges in part on workers returning to jobs that involve dealing with an unpredictable public. But many of those workers say increasingly combative customers — angry about everything from long wait times to mask mandates — have prompted them to quit.”

NBC News: Tennessee teen talking about grandma who died of Covid heckled by adults at school board meeting

NBC News: Tennessee teen talking about grandma who died of Covid heckled by adults at school board meeting. “Grady Knox, a junior at Central Magnet School, was mocked and shouted down while speaking at a Rutherford County School Board meeting Tuesday night. A clip of the moment made the rounds of social media, showing adults telling the teenage boy to ‘shut up’ as he gave a personal story to relay his views in favor of mask mandates.”

Texas Tribune: Verbal and physical attacks on health workers surge as emotions boil during latest COVID-19 wave

Texas Tribune: Verbal and physical attacks on health workers surge as emotions boil during latest COVID-19 wave. “The pandemic-related rise in tensions across the U.S. is not unique to the hospital industry. Airlines are reporting an increase in aggressive passengers as flight attendants take self-defense classes. Police are reporting an increase in violent crime and road rage incidents…. But unlike airlines, which can permanently ban passengers, hospitals are more limited in how they can respond or prevent those instances.”

NBC News: Don’t duct tape unruly passengers, United Airlines says in memo to employees

NBC News: Don’t duct tape unruly passengers, United Airlines says in memo to employees. “Unruly passengers may have been duct taped to their seats on other carriers, but United Airlines officials want to make clear that they do not endorse the practice. ‘Please remember that there are designated items onboard that may be used in difficult situations, and alternative measures such as tape should never be used,’ John Slater, senior vice president of inflight services, told employees in a Friday memo.”

Motherboard: People Buy Custom Baby Monkey Torture Videos on World’s Worst Forum

Warning: this is very disturbing. I’m not kidding. You may want to skip it. Motherboard: People Buy Custom Baby Monkey Torture Videos on World’s Worst Forum. “People are setting up private group chats and forums to purchase and share custom baby monkey torture videos, an investigation by animal advocacy groups Action for Primates and Lady Freethinker has found.”

Vice News: This Woman Secretly Runs One of the World’s Biggest Anti-Vax Websites From Her House

Vice News: This Woman Secretly Runs One of the World’s Biggest Anti-Vax Websites From Her House. “OpenVAERS, a site set up in early 2021 to spread vaccine misinformation by misusing federal data, is being operated by Liz Willner, 55, who lives in the wealthy enclave of Piedmont, a community completely surrounded by Oakland, California, according to new research conducted by AI-powered misinformation tracking group Logically, and shared exclusively with VICE News.”