Alty News: China's "Great Cannon" of Censorship; Utah's First Bad Cop Database | Buzz Blog
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Alty News: China's "Great Cannon" of Censorship; Utah's First Bad Cop Database


A new report says China's "Great Cannon" is the latest tool used to censor the Internet by intercepting and redirecting web traffic.

Top of the Aly World

"China's 'Great Cannon' can intercept and redirect web traffic"—The Verge

California's drought has more economists calling for water markets to change how water rights are regulated.—High Country News

BuzzFeed deleted a social media post from one of its staffers that criticized a BuzzFeed advertiser.—Gawker

While a white police officer shown to have shot a fleeing black man in South Carolina is the third officer in the state to be charged in the past year for shooting unarmed suspects, data shows that legal consequences for cops who kill remain rare.—Mother Jones

Top of Alty Utah

A high-tech initiative by Utah's defense lawyers seeks to improve police accountability in the legal system by creating a kind of "bad cop database" for defense lawyers.—Salt Lake City Weekly

A poll shows Sen. Mike Lee would have a tough campaign if he squared off against former Democratic Representative Jim Matheson.—Utah Policy

The Utah Transit Authority joined other transportation agencies in calling on Congress to pass a long-term transportation funding bill.—SL City News


Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi looks at how cell phone videos can change the problematic "He said/ cop said" narrative of police misconduct cases.

Judges don't like showing up cops in court. There are even cases on record when judges admit out loud to being reluctant to discredit the testimony of police, no matter how clumsy their testimony.

"I don't like to jeopardize their career and all the rest of it," a federal judge named John Sprizzo said a few years back, after ruling that two cops had "tailored" their testimony to justify an illegal search.

Minus video, a defendant on the wrong side of a police fabrication typically has to hope the arresting officer is so dumb and such a maladroit liar that he leaves a judge no choice but to override his natural inclination to buy the testimony of a sworn officer. Those are pretty long odds.—Rolling Stone

The Long View

Propublica and The New Orleans Advocate look at the rape spree of NFL star Darren Sharper and the simple ways law enforcement could have stopped him.

This was a "heater" — police shorthand for a high profile case. Prosecutors were hesitant to move too quickly on a local football hero with deep pockets and savvy lawyers, according to two individuals with knowledge of the investigation. They held off on an arrest warrant.

"If his name was John Brown, he would have been in jail," one criminal justice official with knowledge of the case said. "If a woman says, 'He's the guy that raped me,' and you have corroborating evidence to show they were together and she went to the hospital and she can identify him, that guy goes to jail."

Sharper did not — and continued an unchecked crime spree that ended only with his arrest in Los Angeles last year after sexually assaulting four women in 24 hours. In March, Sharper owned up to his savagery. He agreed to plead guilty or no contest to raping or attempting to rape nine women in four states. The pending deal allows his possible release after serving half of a 20-year sentence — a strikingly light punishment that has drawn widespread criticism.

Sharper's rampage of druggings and rapes could have been prevented, according to a two-month investigation by ProPublica and The New Orleans Advocate based on police records in five states, hundreds of pages of court documents and dozens of interviews across the country.—ProPublica