Consumer Protection, Crime & Lawsuits, Government & Politics, Rights

The real fraud in voter registration

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A rash of new voter registration laws—also known as voter ID laws—across the country purport to protect the democratic process from fraud. At first glance, it makes sense for the voter registration process to include proof of eligibility to vote. But the reality is that disenfranchisement is the most likely outcome.

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Consumer Protection, Government & Politics, Privacy, Technology

Can the ‘Dark Net’ be policed? Should it be?

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In the popular imagination, the dark net has come to represent all of the unpleasant and insidious activities on the web, from child porn to terrorism and money laundering, but in reality, many of the activities that take place there are completely legal—sometimes even benevolent.

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Business, Consumer Protection, News, Technology

Amazon sues over fake reviews

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For all of Amazon’s data-collection prowess, their attempts to track down and eliminate fake reviews look more like a game of whack-a-mole. In fact, fraudsters are proving so hard to catch that Amazon has resorted to legal action.

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Consumer Protection, Crime & Lawsuits, Safety

Are energy drinks a public health risk?

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In 2014, global energy drink sales reached $50 billion, and energy drinks are quickly gaining on coffee as the most popular caffeinated kick in the United States. But unlike coffee, which is generally consumed slowly, energy drinks are consumed more quickly. They’re also marketed to teens, and often mixed with alcohol—a perfect storm for a risk to public health.

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Business, Consumer Protection, Crime & Lawsuits, News

Volkswagen and the failure of corporate ethics


The VW scandal, in which Volkswagen engineers intentionally manipulated internal software to rig emissions-test results for their diesel vehicles, has taken a toll on the carmaker’s stock price and corporate value—not to mention infuriating consumers who thought they were buying an environmentally friendly automobile. How can this well-funded, well-respected multinational manufacturer have such a breakdown in basic corporate ethics? And why aren’t we more surprised?

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Celebrity, Consumer Protection, Healthcare, News

The shadowy world of “gluteal enhancement”

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Since 2013, buttocks implants have more than doubled and buttock lifts have gone up over 40%. This might be at least partially explained by the popularity of stars like Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Niki Minaj, and Beyoncé, whose curvier body types are consistently plastered across magazine covers and ogled online. Whatever is driving the interest, it’s clear butts are big right now, both figuratively and literally. But are “gluteal enhancement” operations safe?

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Consumer Protection, Privacy

Does Facebook own everything you post?

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You may have noticed recently that your Facebook friends—maybe even some that aren’t always among the more gullible—started blowing up your news feed with wordy copyright disclaimers, supposedly protecting your privacy and intellectual property rights. The disclaimers certainly look official, with lots of legal jargon, but the fact of the matter is that they mean absolutely nothing. And they’ve been around before.

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Consumer Protection, Freedom, Government & Politics, Privacy

How to find out what the government knows about you

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The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been around since 1967. This law gives U.S. citizens the broad right to access information from all federal government agencies. What interesting info can you get your hands on?

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Consumer Protection, News

Lots of people got food poisoning this summer. Why?

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As fall moves into full bluster, we look back on the summer months with wistful fondness. But there are some aspects we’ll not miss: the summer of 2015 was defined by a remarkably high amount of disturbing news for those of us who eat food.

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Consumer Protection, Crime & Lawsuits, Money

Can you go to jail for being in debt?


Once upon a time, if you couldn’t pay a debt, you would find yourself passing the days in a debtors’ prison—or even auctioned off to a life of indentured servitude. A lot of men and women of renown found themselves serving time in jail for failing to pay debt, including several heroes of the American Revolution. This was one of the factors leading to the abolition of debtors’ prisons in the United States by the 1830s. But in recent years, there has been a resurgence in jail sentences involving everything from unpaid traffic tickets to child support and credit card debt. Should you be worried?

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