Let us now praise famous criminals: Cheng Chui Ping, who the Department of Justice described as the vicious "mother of all snakeheads" (she was a human smuggler), but is revered as a folk hero in NYC's Chinatown, has died in a Texas prison at the age of 65, prompting another look at her life.
Vlad the Mad: Russia keeps pushing in Ukraine, using its now well-tested formula of making invasion look like a popular mandate by sending in paramilitary "civilians" to take over buildings Occupy-style (except with guns) and wait for the official soldiers to arrive. Kiev says Russia is trying to provoke WWIII (they always start with Central European territory disputes, don't they?), while others wonder if Vladimir Putin has simply lost touch with reality. (Though, to be fair, people have been asking that question for years.) Meanwhile, Occupy activists must be feeling slightly uncomfortable that their successful tactics—kids in masks taking up space—have been quickly and effectively appropriated for such ugly ends.
White House announces sanctions against members of Putin's inner circle: "The Department of the Treasury is imposing sanctions on seven Russian government officials, including two members of President Putin’s inner circle, who will be subject to an asset freeze and a U.S. visa ban, and 17 companies linked to Putin’s inner circle, which will be subject to an asset freeze. In addition, the Department of Commerce has imposed additional restrictions on 13 of those companies by imposing a license requirement with a presumption of denial for the export, re-export or other foreign transfer of U.S.-origin items to the companies."
UK sends four fighter jets to the region: NATO members Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are nervous, but any Russian action against them would trigger an automatic NATO response. (Suddenly, and surely inadvertently, Putin is increasing NATO's relevance.)
If this is the end of net neutrality, what's next? From an NYT editorial: "The uproar is appropriate: In bowing before an onslaught of corporate lobbying, the commission has chosen short-term political expediency over the long-term interest of the country. But if this is the end of net neutrality as we know it, it is not the end of the line for fair and equitable Internet access. Indeed, the commission’s decision frees Americans to focus on a real long-term solution: supporting open municipal-level fiber networks." The editorial does not address what networks administered by cities—which get grants from and engage in information-swapping with federal law-enforcement agencies—will mean for concerns about state surveillance.