The Daily Wrap: November 18th

Break.com Staff by Break.com Staff on Nov. 18, 2013

Let’s all give Monday a big kiss good morning and then head on to read the news before getting to work.

Kleargear.com Wants to Blackmail You

Back in 2008, Jen Palmer gave a store called Kleargear.com a bad review on the website RipoffReport.com.  Why?  Her husband ordered her a gift that never shipped. After 30 days, Paypal refunded her money and she wrote about her bad experience trying to contact the company.  Apparently they’re not so good at answering phones over there and she was never able to talk to anyone at the company regarding her order.

Three years later, Jen gets a notice saying she needs to remove that negative review or face a $3500 fine.  In the Kleargear Terms of Sale they tossed in a clause which states, in so many words, you can’t say anything negative about your experience with the company or you will be fined.  After contacting Ripoffreport they were told removing the review would cost $2000.  They didn’t have the money for either so Kleargear followed through and sent the delinquent fine to credit bureaus, the result of which is ruined credit for Jen and her husband.

The local news looked into the situation and discovered that, in 2010, Kleargear had an F rating with the Better Business Bureau for not sending out product.  They did this habitually.  Techdirt looked further into the situation and determined that the $3500 clause didn’t even exist when Jen and her husband placed their order, it was added years later, potentially to counteract the company’s terrible ratings with the Better Business Bureau and giving them a foothold to blackmail their way to a better rating.

Now that the word is out, the company has taken down the page that listed the clause, which included this wording;

In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.

Should you violate this clause, as determined by KlearGear.com in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.

Do yourself a favor this Christmas and do not shop at Kleargear.com.

 

Swamping the NSA

Those poor, hardworking kids at the NSA are being swamped with FOIA requests from citizens wanting to know if the organization is spying on them.  A nearly 1000% increase in requests has bombarded the NSA since the Snowden scandal went public, chiefly from private citizens wanting to know if the NSA is listening to their phone calls and reading their emails.  And of course, everyone who makes the requests is given the same form letter response which basically says “we’re not telling you anything.”

 

The Death of Hollywood Porn

Since a law in LA requiring condoms in porn went into effect, permits for porn shoots have dropped by about 95 percent, costing the county about $456,000.  Balance that against the potential money saved by actors not getting STDs and who knows which one makes more financial sense, but in any event, porn has moved out of LA and is not likely being produced chiefly in neighboring counties that don’t require condoms because apparently porn shoppers don’t want to see rubbers.

 

Cuffed to the Porch with a Chicken Around his Neck

A social services worker and a nurse are in jail in North Carolina after a deputy went by their property and saw their 11 year old foster child handcuffed to the porch with a dead chicken around his neck.  The boy and four other foster kids have been taken away and the couple have been charged with intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment, and cruelty to animals.  The wife also faces additional charges since she’s somehow a supervisor with the county department of Social Services.

 Sex Criminal?  Nope, Evil Twin

In what may be the first case ever in real life of this happening, a man accused of numerous sexual offenses is blaming his evil twin for the crimes. Aaron Lucas, a decorated soldier in the US Army, is being allowed to defend himself against a number of charges on the grounds that any witness or DNA evidence against him can also be used against his identical twin brother Brian, who he says committed the crimes.

Prosecution notes that, while Lucas as deployed to Afghanistan the crimes stopped, but a judge is allowing it as a defense solely on the grounds that DNA evidence would support it, given that identical twins would have identical DNA.  Doesn’t mean he buys it, but he’s going to let a jury decide.  The fact that no one can find the identical twin brother could be an issue, however.