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News Story
9/20/2017
Posted by Mark Reback
No origin story of the internet would be complete without mentioning one of its legal pillars: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 21-year-old law that shields tech companies from liability for content posted by users. Silicon Valley has long argued that any change to the law would hamper free speech and destroy the internet as we...
News Story
9/18/2017
Posted by Mark Reback
In its next step to amend a federal law which allows websites such as Backpage.com to host ads for child sex-trafficking, the Senate is holding its first hearing Tuesday on a bill entitled the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. But big Internet companies such as Google, Facebook and a host of others say the bill is a bad idea — “a...
News Release
9/18/2017
Posted by Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog, Food & Water Watch, DWP ratepayers and other advocacy groups rally today in front of City Hall to urge the Los Angeles City Council to fire DWP ratepayer advocate Fred Pickel for selling out ratepayers instead of protecting their interests. “Pickel is an energy consultant whose bread has always...
News Story
9/18/2017
Posted by Mark Reback
Several groups have gathered at Los Angeles City Hall today to call for the firing of an official watchdog charged with fighting for the interests of Department of Water and Power customers. Representatives of Consumer Watchdog and other groups say the utility’s official “ratepayer advocate,” Fred Pickel, has not been working on...
News Story
9/18/2017
Posted by Mark Reback
Gov. Jerry Brown’s two latest nominees to the California Public Utilities Commission were confirmed by state lawmakers in the closing hours of the legislative session despite a campaign to stop one of the nominations. The confirmations of Commissioners Clifford Rechtschaffen and Martha Guzman Aceves were announced Saturday by commission...
News Story
9/18/2017
Posted by Mark Reback
Dozens of water agencies and millions of families and farmers could be on the hook for building two giant tunnels to carry Northern California's water southward under new plans to shore up funding for the $16 billion project. SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dozens of water agencies and millions of families and farmers would be on the hook for...
News Release
9/14/2017
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today called upon the executives of Google and Facebook to testify at a Senate hearing next week – rather than hide – and explain their position that a key Internet law should not be amended so websites that facilitate online sex trafficking, like Backpage can be held accountable. “Tech...
News Story
9/14/2017
Posted by Mark Reback
According to Natural Resources Defense Council, which backs the move towards regionalization of western energy markets, Holden has said the issue will likely be revisited in January during the second half of California’s two-year session. For now, the conservation group sees a lost opportunity. A quarter of the country's power flows...
News Story
9/14/2017
Posted by Mark Reback
Why does Oracle support SESTA? Since the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate in August, tech companies and advocacy groups have been mobilizing in a battle to control its message. Digital rights organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation have called it “disastrous for free speech online,”...
News Story
9/14/2017
Posted by Mark Reback
One victim of sex trafficking began her ordeal when she was 15. She was sold through the website Backpage.com for sex to men across Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine. She was raped over 600 times over the course of four months. Another victim was sex trafficked through Backpage for three years — starting when she...