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Joe Netro, who authors the Santa Cruz, CA: Keepin' It Real hate blog anonymously as 'Big Joe 77', has admitted to creating a fake news story over the course of multiple blog posts about California State Assembly Bill 516 (AB 516). Netro apologized to his followers on August 22 for the "confusion", calling the multiple false posts he made a "mistake". "If you have lost the trust and would like to track this Bill for yourself, here's the link," Netro wrote.
Sun Apr 8 2018 (Updated 04/17/18)
Facebook CEO Faces Government/Public Scrutiny
When Facebook security tried to shut them down, protesters at the social media giant used their best delaying tactics and continued shouting and singing in front of the "Like" sign at the entrance of the corporate campus on April 5. Under pressure from lawmakers, the media, and the public, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress about Cambridge Analytica’s breach of Facebook data. Meawnwhile, buried in a company announcement, Facebook admitted that most of its 2 billion users have had their personal data scraped by "malicious actors."
Wed Mar 14 2018 (Updated 03/15/18)
Santa Cruz Sentinel and Sheriff's Office Cozy Up
Chief Deputy Craig Wilson of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has been appointed to the new editorial board of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. The process was initiated by the Sentinel's new managing editor, Kara Meyberg Guzman. The appointment raises serious questions concerning the Sentinel's journalistic independence, and the news organization's ability to adequately respond editorially to issues of police brutality and brutality within the Santa Cruz County jail system. Wilson oversees Santa Cruz County's corrections Bureau, a department he has managed as deaths spiked at the jail.
Thu Jan 4 2018 (Updated 02/07/18)
KPFA Radio at Risk
On January 8, Berkeley's KPFA radio may have its money and property seized by the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) because of a 1.8 million dollar debt accumulated by sister station WBAI in New York. At that point, KPFA's building and bank account may no longer be under their own control, potentially taking not only WBAI off the air, but the entire Pacifica Network which includes KPFA in Berkeley, KPFK in Los Angeles, KPFT in Houston, and WPFW in Washington D.C. The Pacifica National Board has yet to take decisive action to protect the assets of the foundation, leaving the future of the network uncertain. How aggressive ESRT will be regarding Pacifica's assets remains unknown.
Fri Oct 6 2017 (Updated 10/20/17)
Memorial for Bay Area Activist Kaye "Nana" Griffin
Kaye "Nana" Griffin, an Indybay co-founder, passed on in early August. Nana was involved in the Bay Area activism scene for decades, including queer liberation, housing and many other local struggles. Nana also carried one of the first Indybay press passes. Her memorial service is on Saturday, October 21, 2:00 PM, at the Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission St. in San Francisco. Keith McHenry recalls, "Kaye spent many hours volunteering with San Francisco Food Not Bombs and reported on the arrests and court cases posting on Indybay. She participated in nearly all the huge protests with her pet rat on her shoulder and I remember her insightful comments about a wide range of issues."
On September 21, the French Ministry of Interior ordered two Indymedia websites — Indymedia Nantes and Indymedia Grenoble — to take down a communiqué claiming responsibility for a fire at a Grenoble police depot the previous night. According to the government, the hosted text constitutes a "provocation to terrorism". Both Indymedia collectives decided to take down the communiqué to avoid being put on a secret blocking list sent by the government to major ISPs in France. Indymedia Grenoble says, "this request (...) directly echoes the attack which took place in Germany on the 25th of August against Indymedia Linksunten, an attack which resulted in the police raid of four households and a self-administered social service center, citing similar pretexts."
Despite the fact that he froze services to low-income internet users soon after taking office, Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai came to San Francisco to talk to tech executives about bridging the digital divide for underserved communities. Pai was named by President Trump as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in January. When he visited San Francisco on September 12, protesters demonstrated at the site of the meeting in the city's financial district, saying net neutrality is a racial justice issue.