[Plura-list] Uber for evicting people; Facebook threatens to leave EU; Brick House

Cory Doctorow doctorow at craphound.com
Tue Sep 22 09:17:45 EDT 2020


The Kickstarter campaign to presell the audiobook for ATTACK SURFACE
(the third Little Brother book) crossed 5,000 backers yesterday! My goal
is to break 10k, and show that audiobooks can be bestsellers without
Audible/Amazon and its mandatory DRM. If you haven't backed yet, please
consider doing so!



Today's links

* Uber for evicting people: Civvl, a gig economy company, will pay you
to evict people.

* Part 15 of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town: Returning to my
serialized podcast reading.

* Facebook threatens to leave EU: It wants to export Europeans' data to
the USA...or else.

* Brick House: Kickstarting an independent, "wolf-proof" media co-op.

* This day in history: 2005, 2010, 2015, 2109

* Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming appearances, current writing
projects, current reading


🌬 Uber for evicting people

Civvl is a gig economy company that pays you to evict people. They're
running nationwide recruiting ads.

eviction crew."


The company boasts "flexible hours," the chance to "be your own boss,"
opportunities for "self-motivated individuals with positive attitudes"

It's (apparently) not a prank - rather, it is a division of Onqall,
another gig economy bottom-feeder that makes special-purpose gig apps
like Lawnfixr, Cleanqwik, and Moveqwik.

Though Onqall isn't very successful, it did manage to hire Ice T to star
in one of its ads, where he says, "It's basically Uber, for side hustle
jobs. You dig it?" (It appears Ice T was recruited through the Cameo

In a delicious grifts-all-the-way-down twist, the Civvl app also preys
on the people who sign up to get paid to evict people, levying a hidden
and deceptive $35 signup fee.

When Ashwin Rodrigues contacted Civvl/Onqall for comment on behalf of
Motherboard, they blocked his IP address from visiting their website.

Though there is a federal eviction moratorium on, many landlords are
breaking the law and evicting their tenants.

To avoid eviction, you must fill in this form. Tell your friends:



🌬 Part 15 of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

This week on my podcast, I return to my reading of "Someone Comes to
Town, Someone Leaves Town," my 2006 novel that Gene Wolfe called "a
glorious book unlike any book you’ve ever read."


This week, for Part 15, there's a lightly fictionalized version of
Toronto's legendary Suspect Video, which is, incredibly, still a going


You can catch up on the whole series here:


Here's a direct link to the MP3 (hosting by the Internet Archive -
they'll host your stuff to, for free, forever):


And here's the podcast feed:



🌬 Facebook threatens to leave EU

The Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems - whose grad school project
kicked off the process that led to the passage of the GDPR - has been
hounding data-hungry US tech companies around and around the EU.

Back in May, Schrems brought a complaint against Google for its tracking
practices, arguing (convincingly) that it was violating EU privacy law
by spying on us:


And in July, the EU's top court upheld Schrems's earlier assertion that
the US-EU "Data Shield" agreement was incompatible with EU privacy rules
and that tech companies should be barred from sending Europeans' data to
the US for processing:


In the wake of this, the Irish Data Protection Commission - which has
jurisdiction over all the Big Tech giants who planted a flag of
convenience in Ireland because it operated an illegal tax-haven - has
ordered Facebook to process Europeans' data in the EU, not the US.

The preliminary order was released in August, though it had been in the
works for many years, and it gave Facebook only 3 weeks to respond.


Citing this short timeframe, Facebook has now threatened to pull out of
the EU altogether, cutting off 400m+ European users of Facebook,
Whatsapp, Instagram, etc. The company is suing to reverse the order.


(And though FB's spokeslawyer clearly, publicly, threatened to pull out
of the EU, another spokesperson denied the company was making this
threat when contacted by David Gilbert for Motherboard)

Gilbert cites experts who say that FB will not leave the EU,
irrespective of whether the judgment is upheld. GB's longstanding
project to replace the federated internet with a corporate total
surveillance walled garden is not compatible with abandoning a 500m
person market.

And the EU clearly has the political will to push Big Tech around, in
part because of Europeans' resentment of US hegemony and in part because
of the tech giants' disgusting conduct - tax cheating, spying, monopolizing.


🌬 Brick House

Brick House is a new "wolf-proof" co-op of journalists late of such
organs as The Awl, Splinter, Deadspin, Gawker, etc - sites that
delivered amazing news and commentary, but which were ultimately
poisoned by corporate owners and vindictive billionaires.

They vow to put aside the idea of "media as a business" in favor of
"media as a public trust" and they want to avoid "geeks bearing grifts"
- Silicon Valley types with plans to "save journalism" - in favor of a
journalist-owned co-op press.

They propose to publish nine separate publications:

I. AWRY:  "a new hub for comics edited by Jason Adam Katzenstein, with
an emphasis on new voices, critiques of power, and specific stories
never before seen in cartoon form"


II. FAQ NYC: "a podcast that tries to make sense of the only city in the
world, brought to you by Professor Christina Greer, Harry Siegel, and
Alexandria Lynn. It features interviews with some of the most powerful
and interesting people in New York City"

III. HMM WEEKLY:  "By editor Tom Scocca"


IV. OLONGOAFRICA: "Opinion, literature, travelogue, journalism, and
topical writing"


V. NO MAN IS AN ISLAND: "focused on the connections between everyday
life and politics, writing on Taiwan and other peripheral places in the


VI. POPULA: "Alt-global audience: humanist, egalitarian perspectives on
news and culture"

VII. THE SLUDGE REPORT:  "Unfiltered view of the swampiest politicos
behind the week’s headlines"


VIII. TASTEFUL RUDE: "Art, literature, celebrity, and politics,
eschewing the white cishet male gaze in favor of every other gaze"

IX. PREACHY: "A new space to write and think critically about
spirituality, religiosity, and modes of peace and introspection"

The founders are raising cash and offering merch (zines, tees, etc) in
return, and will use the money to build the platform for these publications.

The co-op promises to be structured with "no owners, no executives, and
no investors, only cooperative members holding shares in common; shares
can't be sold or transferred."

I like the sound of that enough to have backed the project, but I also
fear that this sounds like they have no graceful way for people to bow
out of the project, retire, etc. I hope they think this through, as
ensuring that there can be equitable divorces in future is key.

Their Kickstarter has raised the $75k they were seeking and is on track
to raise far more:



🌬 This day in history

#15yrsago Record industry releases malware that deletes your P2P

#10yrsago Bank of America forecloses on a man who has no mortgage

#10yrsago Evercookie: a tracking browser cookie you can’t delete

#10yrsago William Gibson talks writing-craft

#10yrsago Top UK spies revealed as wankers

#5yrsago Why is it so easy to believe that the UK super-rich have sex
with pigs?

#5yrsago Litigation Finance predators: champerty loves company

#5yrsago Bitcoin Ponzi operator pleads guilty over $150M fraud

#1yrago Ian McDonald’s “Luna: New Moon” – the moon is a much, much
harsher mistress

#1yrago Authenticating a video showing hundreds of kneeling people in
shackles and blindfolds on a Chinese railroad platform

#1yrago The lost audiobooks of Roger Zelazny reading the Chronicles of


🌬 Colophon

Today's top sources: Slashdot (https://slashdot.org/), Kottke

Currently writing: My next novel, "The Lost Cause," a post-GND novel
about truth and reconciliation. Yesterday's progress: 573 words (63868

Currently reading: Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir

Latest podcast: IP https://craphound.com/podcast/2020/09/14/ip/

Upcoming appearances:

* Keynote for Law Via the Internet conference, Sept 22,

* DWeb Meetup — If Big Tech Is Toxic, How Do We Build Something Better?
Sept 22,

* Cornell Tech Digital Life Seminar, Sept 23,

* Stanford Human-Computer Interaction Seminar, Sept 25,

* Writing into an Uncertain Future, Afterwords Festival, Oct 1,

* 3 Big Ideas To Fix the Internet, Oct 7,

Latest book:

* "How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism": an anti-monopoly pamphlet
analyzing the true harms of surveillance capitalism and proposing a

* "Little Brother/Homeland": A reissue omnibus edition with a new
introduction by Edward Snowden:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774583; personalized/signed copies

* "Poesy the Monster Slayer" a picture book about monsters, bedtime,
gender, and kicking ass. Order here:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626723627. Get a personalized, signed
copy here:

Upcoming books:

* "Attack Surface": The third Little Brother book, Oct 20, 2020.

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*When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla* -Joey "Accordion Guy"

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