Thoughts And Prayers

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Mike Luckovich)

In other news, an unreleased, internal report from the White House's coronavirus task force dated July 14th says 18 states are in the "red zone" for virus infections and may need to shut down to contain it. This is obviously contradictory to the Trump White House's public message that everything is fine.

Meanwhile, a review conducted by Reuters found that 14 corporations that recently declared bankruptcy paid out bonuses to their executives just before filing to avoid a ban on bonuses during bankruptcy. That includes the likes of J.C. Penney and Hertz rent-a-car, among others.

Finally, the European Union's top court has struck down the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield that's suppose to protect the privacy of EU citizens because the United States can't be trusted.

The decision promises to have major repercussions for the more than 5,300 companies covered by the framework, ranging from banks to social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter. Under the Privacy Shield, implemented in 2016, self-certified companies that comply with the agreement's requirements are considered to have met the EU's higher standard for data privacy.

The ECJ disagreed with that conclusion, however. In its ruling, the court found that surveillance laws in the U.S. "are not circumscribed in a way that satisfies requirements that are essentially equivalent to those required" under EU law.

In other words, the deal's principal flaws rest not so much with its member companies' practices, as with the U.S. government itself. Justices found that federal laws such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act "cannot be regarded as limited to what is strictly necessary" and fail to meet "minimum safeguards" guaranteed by the EU.

It's amusing in a bad way that while the Trump and Johnson regimes claim Huawei has a secret backdoor built into their equipment, the EU's top court just ruled that the United States has an obvious, not-secret frontdoor built into our software.

Programming note... I'm having my father over for dinner tonight so I have to sign off earlier than usual to prepare for that. Have a good weekend.