Big money — and big law — has followed. The opportunity could be huge: some Wall Street analysts say marijuana could become an $80 billion market in the US alone in the next decade, with the global market hitting close to $200 billion.
Publicly traded cannabis companies were on a dealmaking tear in 2019, scooping up competitors and signing multibillion-dollar tie-ups with pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco corporations. It’s a trend heating up this year.
In addition, many marijuana companies still directly flout US federal law, despite being publicly traded and posting multibillion valuations.
That’s an opportunity to a select group of lawyers who have cut a trailblazing path into the industry. Once reluctant, some of the biggest law firms, like Duane Morris, Baker Botts and Dentons, are building out specialized cannabis practice groups as the industry continues to grow in profitability and complexity.
What does an operator of a self-driving car do when they’re threatened or attacked by an angry motorist or pedestrian?
If you work for self-driving car company Waymo, you go to the nearest mall.
According to a spokesperson for Waymo, drivers feeling threatened on the road are instructed to find a secure location like a mall parking lot and decide whether or not to call 911.
Waymo has been testing its robo-cars on Arizona public roads for roughly two years. The cars have a Waymo employee in the driver’s seat, serving as a back-up driver who can take control of the vehicle when necessary (the self-driving car technology is still not perfect).
Not everyone is enamored with the self-driving cars however, and the Waymo back-up drivers often find themselves on the front lines of anti-robot road rage. According to recent reports, Arizona residents have thrown rocks, brandished guns at and slashed the tires of the self-driving cars.
Waymo’s training manual encourages drivers to “report suspicious behavior. When it’s safe to do so, pull into a secure location (E.g., a mall parking lot) and contact dispatch, or call 911 if you’re being threatened or feel that you’re in danger.”
Most drivers, however, find it easier and more effective to use the hands-free option of calling the company dispatch center, the spokesperson told us. A call to Waymo dispatch will alert the entire fleet when incidents occur.
The spokesperson would not say how many threats have been reported to Waymo’s dispatch center.
Ginsburg was only just hospitalized in November after shefractured several ribsin a fall. It was while she was being treated for those injuries that doctors identified two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung.
Ginsburg’s health has been an ongoing preoccupation for Democrats across the country in recent years. The court’s conservative-to-liberal ratio is now 5-4 after President Donald Trump appointed justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the seats vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Reality Winner’s mother wrote an op-ed in the Intercept describing the “maddening” experience of watching her daughter” languish” in prison while major figures connected to the Trump-Russia investigation receive what she calls preferential treatment.
The now 27-year-old former NSA contractor was sentenced to five years and three months in prison back in August for leaking an intelligence report.
Billie Winner-Davis compared the justice system’s handling of her daughter’s case to the treatment of Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen.
The mother of former NSA contractor Reality Winner is taking aim at some of the biggest names in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Billie Winner-Davis, who’s now-27-year-old daughter was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for “removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet,” published a scathing op-ed in the Intercept on Sunday.
“I am writing now because I am outraged: While my daughter languishes in prison, those actually responsible for threatening our election continue to get off easy,” Winner-Davis wrote.
Winner was accused of leaking an intelligence report about Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election to the Intercept. Winner’s sentence is, to date, the lengthiest ever given for such a federal crime. She was arrested June 3, 2017 and sentenced August 23, 2018.
Winner-Davis singled out a number of figures implicated in the Trump-Russia investigation, writing that it was “maddening to watch my daughter in prison” while Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Cohen received “drastically different” treatment from the justice system.
She specifically blasted the fact that Manafort was permitted to remain outside of prison on bond before he was accused of witness tampering. She also singled Papadopoulos’ 14-day prison sentence and highlighted indications that Flynn will not “receive a hefty sentence.”
“I would have thought that someone of his rank and position within our government, someone who lied about the lucrative work he had done for one foreign government and contacts with another, would be held to a much higher standard than a 25-year-old veteran airman,” Reality-Davis wrote.
Winner herself has spoken out from behind bars several times since her arrest. In August, she described watching the Russia investigation roll out from behind bars as “vindicating but also frustrating.”
But in her op-ed, Winner-Davis said that her daughter’s sentencing is proof of that the justice system protects the powerful.
“It sends the clear message that if you are poor and powerless in this system, you will be abused,” Winner-Davis wrote. “I am outraged. I hope you are too.”
The lawsuit accuses Epic Games of misappropriating Ribeiro’s iconic dance from the “Fresh Prince,” often known as “The Carlton.”
“The right of publicity claim that we have is that these celebrities have the right to control their likeness commercially,” Ribeiro’s lawyer told Business Insider. “This is the kind of movement — a dance — that is inextricably linked to individual artists.”
All three claim that Epic Games took dances from them, re-created said dances in “Fortnite” as emotes, and profited from the sale of those emotes without compensating the original creators of the dance moves. In the case of Ribeiro, his dance from “Fresh Prince” is often referred to as “The Carlton” — a reference to the name of his character on the classic NBC sitcom.
Ribeiro has become associated with the dance, and even performed it in 2014 when he was on “Dancing With the Stars”:
But it’s not just about the dance, Ribeiro’s lawyer David Hecht said in a phone interview with Business Insider on Thursday.
“The right of publicity claim that we have is that these celebrities have the right to control their likeness commercially,” Hecht said. “This is the kind of movement — a dance — that is inextricably linked to individual artists.”
More specifically: Ribeiro’s legal claim isn’t just to the choreographed dance moves, but to the performance of that dance being tied to his likeness as a celebrity.
That the dance is known in “Fortnite” as the “Fresh” certainly doesn’t hurt Ribeiro’s argument.
To buy the “Fresh” emote, you need 800 V-bucks. That’s $8 of real money, but V-bucks can also be earned through playing the game.
That the emote is sold directly — making it a quantifiable, unique revenue stream — is part of why Hecht is confident that Ribeiro’s claim is sound. “These are dances that are sold with a dollar tag associated with them,” Hecht said. “That to me stands out. That is why they essentially had targets on their backs. Not only were they doing it brazenly, but they’re putting a dollar price tag on it. It was V-bucks, but to do that — to copy something frame-by-frame and then to just sell it — that’s the issue.”
In addition to Ribeiro, Hecht’s firm represents rapper 2Milly and Instagram star Russell “Backpack Kid” Horning in suits against Epic Games. And more suits may be coming. In each case, the damages being sought are unknown; Hecht said that’s a measure of limited public information on how much money “Fortnite” is making.
“We’re flying blind at this point,” he said. “We know generally from public statistics how much ‘Fortnite’ has made off of these dances, but we don’t have a specific dollar amount until we have that information.”
One demand is clear in all three cases: “The artists wanna be credited. Without that, it’s very much cultural misappropriation.”
The Australian government has passed a law that forces tech companies to give law enforcement access to encrypted messages.
The law is widely disliked by the technology industry, especially Apple, because security experts believe that so-called “backdoors” weaken security for everyone, not just criminals.
The Economist highlights that of 343 comments Australian parliament received about the law, only one was in favor.
An Australian spy official issued a comment to “correct the record” on Wednesday.
Last month, Australia passed a controversial law that gives it the power to fine technology companies millions of dollars if law enforcement isn’t granted access to encrypted messages.
Tech companies use encryption technology to ensure that only the sender and recipient of a message can read its content. Services like WhatsApp and iMessage are encrypted, meaning if the police asked Facebook or Apple for message, the tech companies would not be able to provide it.
Australia is asking for a so-called “back door,” a feature that would allow a provider like Apple to decrypt specific messages for law enforcement. Most security experts believe that these kind of features weaken privacy for all users, not just criminals.
Australia’s law, the “Assistance and Access Bill 2018,” is the world’s first in recent years to threaten encryption — and a new report from the Economist highlights just how unpopular it is.
Citing a tally of public comments about the legislation before it was passed, only one was in favor of the law, according to the Economist, with a whopping 342 comments filed arguing against the bill.
Perhaps the loudest corporate voice among many against the law is Apple, which filed a comment against the bill in October calling it “vague” and “dangerous.” Apple famously faced off against the FBI when it asked it to create a similar back door feature in a criminal case about a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.
“This is no time to weaken encryption,” Apple said in its published testimony. “There is profound risk of making criminals’ jobs easier, not harder. Increasingly stronger — not weaker — encryption is the best way to protect against these threats.”
“For instance, the bill could allow the government to order the makers of smart home speakers to install persistent eavesdropping capabilities into a person’s home, require a provider to monitor the health data of its customers for indications of drug use, or require the development of a tool that can unlock a particular user’s device regardless of whether such tool could be used to unlock every other user’s device as well,” Apple continued.
In response to the global clamor over the law, Mike Burgess, the director-general of the Australian Signals Directorate — a spy agency — issued a rare public statement on Wednesday.
“Encryption is a good thing. It is an essential part of a safe, secure online experience. The government does not want to change that,” Burgess wrote. “But if two Australians are using a messaging app to plot a terrorist attack, it is clearly crucial for the relevant authorities to find out what they are saying. But law enforcement and security agencies can only do so in very specific circumstances – with a warrant for example.”
“Many of the claims about the ‘dangerous’ nature of the Act are hyperbolic, inaccurate and influenced by self-interest, rather than the national interest,” he continued.
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller is on the front lines as President Donald Trump’s administration butts heads with Democratic lawmakers over Trump’s wishes for a $5-billion border wall.
Miller was previously identified as the driving force behind the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies.
At 32 years old, he has been a rising star on the far right for years, making headlines because of his polarizing demeanor and statements long before his time in the administration.
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has once again emerged on the front lines as President Donald Trump’s administration butts heads with Democratic lawmakers over Trump’s wishes for a $5-billion wall along the US-Mexico border.
At 32 years old, he has been a rising star on the far right for years, often making headlines because of his polarizing demeanor and statements long before The New York Times reported June 16 that he was the origin of the controversial policy.
One of the few remaining staffers from Trump’s 2016 campaign, Miller also writes the president’s biggest speeches, including Trump’s first State of the Union address.
His hard-line positions and knack for policy have made him a force to be reckoned with. But before Miller became a major figure in the Trump administration, he was an outspoken, conservative activist in high school and college who worked on congressional campaigns.
Here’s how Miller became Trump’s right-hand policy man:
Stephen Miller was born in Santa Monica, California, on August 23, 1985, to a Jewish family whose ancestors fled persecution in what is now Belarus. His family was liberal-leaning, but Miller says he became a stalwart conservative at an early age.
In 2002, at age 16, Miller wrote in a letter to the editor that “Osama Bin Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School” because of the student body’s anti-war attitude after 9/11. Soon enough, Miller began appearing on conservative talk radio in the Los Angeles area.
A video emerged in 2017 of his giving a student-government campaign speech at Santa Monica High in which he argued that students shouldn’t have to pick up their own trash because there are “plenty of janitors who are paid to do it” for them. The audience quickly booed him off the stage.
“We are currently monitoring multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city,” the New York Police Department said on Twitter. “These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time.”
Infinity Ward parent company Activision has yet to confirm the evacuation; representatives didn’t respond to request for comment as of publishing.
According to a person at Infinity Ward, all employees were safely evacuated. It’s unclear if an explosive device was found following the evacuation.
Infinity Ward is one of several studios that creates new “Call of Duty” games for Activision, alongside Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games — all three are wholly owned by Activision. The latest game in the series, “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” was developed by Treyarch. The three studios rotate development of the annualized “Call of Duty” series; Infinity Ward is expected to be the studio in charge of 2019’s “Call of Duty” entry.
The group used a “honeypot” website to publish the names of 1,500 neo-Nazis they initially found, and then collected further information from right-wing extremists who searched the site for their names.
The organization wants to identify the thousands of far right nationalists who took part in violent protests this summer in Chemnitz, Germany.
A German art collective is trying to identify thousands of neo-Nazis who took part in violent protests this summer, using information they were able to trick people into providing about themselves.
The Washington Post reports that a left-wing art collective, called the Center for Political Beauty (or “ZPS” in German), has been able to identify a majority of the estimated 7,000 people who participated in far-right protests this summer in Chemnitz, Germany.
The organization says it was able to collect all this information using an online “honeypot” trap. The group created a website with a partial list of protest participants — about 1,500 names it found through a cursory online investigation — to lure other right-wing extremists.
The website attracted far right extremists, who searched the database for their own names, or names of people they knew. The website then collected their information, including networks and IP addresses that could be used to find where the person was searching from.
“We want to lift right-wing extremism out of anonymity in Germany,” the website read, asking people to denounce people they knew to be neo-Nazis.
Thousands of people descended on Chemnitz, Germany over the summer to participate in far-right protests. The demonstrations were first sparked by the killing of a German citizen allegedly done by two immigrants. But the protests attracted thousands of far-right extremists and neo-Nazis, who targeted immigrants with violent attacks and openly threw up Heil Hitler salutes (which are illegal in Germany).
In light of the violence, the art group wanted to “give a face to evil,” Philipp Ruch, ZPS’ founder, told the Post.
Yet ZPS’ “shock and awe” strategy wasn’t a traditional approach to doxxing, the tactic of finding and publishing a person’s private information. Doxxing has been used to expose people in white supremacist groups to their employers, but also to make certain people vulnerable to harassment by publicizing their phone numbers and home addresses.
ZPS’ use of data raises concerns that the group is in violation of GDPR, a strict policy in Europe aimed at protecting people’s privacy by regulating internet companies’ use of their data. The ZPS website does include a page outlining the group’s compliance with GDPR, which includes explaining how the data is being used.
The group has yet to share the information it’s collected, whether that’s providing it to authorities or journalists. But by setting a trap, ZPS essentially tricked nationalist protesters into doxxing themselves.
Ruch told the Post that he’s most interested in exposing public employees who “have a duty of loyalty to the constitution.”
“Nobody who’s into these anti-democratic forces should ever have a right to work in this society,” Ruch told the Post. “If you ask me, they should lose their jobs.”
ZPS on Wednesday removed from its website the list of the first 1,500 names it obtained without using the honeypot trap, the Post says. In its place is now an explanation of what ZPS was doing and a note that reads, “Thank you, dear Nazis.”