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Blog Post
8/26/2015
By Carmen Balber
The future of the Earth, and California's dependence on Big Oil, could be determined in these last three weeks of the Legislative session.     That’s one of the reasons we launched Capitol Watchdog, our new project to pull back the curtain on corporate corruption in the Capitol. These are some of the questions that will be...
Blog Post
8/21/2015
By John M. Simpson
Many of us worry that companies with an abundance of cash and a willingness to use it can unfairly influence elections and politicians.  Google — or do we call it Alphabet these days — has demonstrated a willingness to throw around big bucks to achieve its goals, but two researchers have shown how the Internet giant poses an even...
Blog Post
8/11/2015
By Carmen Balber
A Sonora family doctor arrested in July for overprescribing controlled substances is now accused of working “so high on narcotics” that she would nod off during appointments and pass out in the office, according to the Union Democrat. A Newport Beach doctor had his license suspended in July after being caught stealing narcotics from...
Blog Post
8/5/2015
By Cody Rosenfield
NextGen Climate Founder and businessman Tom Steyer joined Consumer Watchdog today to release a new report on California oil refiner price gouging. The new report used corporate and state data to analyze refiner profits in the state, which have grown exponentially since California's price spike began in February. If calls on elected officials...
Blog Post
7/31/2015
By Liza Tucker
When the confirmation of California’s top toxics regulator was over, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon addressed the audience: “You saw democracy working…” But was this really democracy at work? The overwhelming majority of those in the room did not support the confirmation of Ms. Barbara Lee, a former air...
Blog Post
7/29/2015
By John M. Simpson
Promoters of self-driving vehicles tout the supposed benefits the robot cars will bring such as improved road safety if all the technological challenges are solved.  They appear to assume adoption will be widespread once the robot technology is perfected. There is a long way to go. Google’s self-driving cars, now being tested on public...
Blog Post
6/17/2015
By John M. Simpson
The Federal Communications Commission looks like it means business when it comes to enforcing open Internet rules.  It just slapped AT&T with a whopping $100 million fine, one of the largest ever, for improperly slowing, or “throttling” Internet speeds for people who purchased what the company had described  as “...
Blog Post
6/15/2015
By John M. Simpson
Consumer Watchdog has joined eight other privacy advocates and quit the so-called “multi-stakeholder process” being run by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications Administration to develop a code of conduct for companies using facial recognition technology. Frankly, the the process was doomed from the start....
Blog Post
6/4/2015
By John M. Simpson
I have just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Mountain View, CA, to ask questions at the annual Google Shareholders’ meeting. This year I focused on privacy and safety issues involving the Internet giant’s robot cars. Three quick takeaways — besides the fact that Google’s executives know who we are:  Sergey Brin...
Blog Post
5/22/2015
By John M. Simpson
It looks as though Google is muscling into a position where it can gather even more information about us as we increasingly connect “smart” devices to the Internet, creating the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) As first reported by The Information, the Internet giant is  developing a “light” version of its Android...