So I was in the shower this morning, and started wondering:
Do you think the people implicated in Jeffrey Epstein's book had a general "Dead men tell no tales" slush fund?
Or did they have to separately organize his assignation?

I'm just imagining that on August 10th there's a big traffic jam of hired killers all running into each other like
some guy's sneaking out of a vent when a guard walks in, sees him, and goes "HALT!" and the vent guy goes "SHIT!", then notices the guard's ill-fitting suit. "Wait, ...Steve? Is that you?"
"Alex! I haven't seen you since the Reno heist! What are you doing here?"
"Same thing as you, looks like."
"I'll be damned. Well, I've already knocked out the guard, you want to let me finish this?"
"Yeah, go ahead. I'll get paid either way."
there's a knock on the door.
"Hello boys... Don't worry about it. I did it an hour ago."
"Damn it Scarlet, you're too fast! Leave some jobs for the rest of us, you know?"
"Good to see you, though, I thought you got killed in Barcelona a couple years ago?"
She chuckles "Yeah, you were supposed to think that. Have a good night, and keep quiet on the way out."
probably at least one of the guys who got the assignment accepted it more than once.
They're just getting off the encrypted phone setting up the hit, when it rings again.
"I need you to do a job: They're in a prison, it needs to happen fast, by the end of the week. Make it look like an accident."
"Sorry, I'm all booked up this week, maybe next week? Wait, no, I've got that conference. How about Septemb... wait, in a prison? I'm doing some business that way anyway, what's the name? Epstein? OK, but since I'm busy, it'll be double my usual fee..."
They hang up and only have a moment to feel pride at their con when it rings again. "Hello?"
"I've got a job for you... it needs to be fast, Sunday at the latest"
"I'm a bit busy, but I might have time to pencil that in. Lemme guess, a prisoner?"
Then they wake up late on Sunday morning, and they're getting all their equipment together. Garotte, cyanide pills, silenced weapons, fake guard uniform, camera hacking device (spray paint), rubber duck (you don't want to know), night vision goggles, fake IDs...
CNN's on in the background, and they spit coffee all over their freshly dry-cleaned guard uniform when Epstein's name comes up.
"well I'll be goddamned."
Their phone buzzes. It's a notification from their swiss bank account... and a text from an unlisted number.
"Here's the second half of your fee. Well done, and it's a pleasure doing business with you."
Although the really amusing thing would be if the assassins are all work friends and keep meeting up for years after the event and going "tell me straight, on your mother's honor: did you do Epstein?"
"No! I was hired too, but someone else did it first"
No one can figure out who did it, no one admits to it. Plenty have alibis, but most are "I was in a hotel room in Manhattan, getting ready to assassinate (or assignate) Epstein"
Decades on the debate rages. Who did it? A lot of people don't believe Samuel the Tapir's story about how he definitely didn't do it, but was in the building when it happened... and no one has seen The Yellow Dart since that fateful night.
A lot of killers believe in a mythical super-assassin, nicknamed The Crimson Shadow after one (later proven false) account. Someone they never met, who was never caught, or seen... but there's no evidence.
He (or she, or they) are just a scary story assassins tell each other around the metaphorical campfire. A couple young upstairs take it on as a moniker to try to get some unearned infamy, but it's transparently a gimmick.
a tiny minority of hired goons inevitably bring up the unthinkable theory that maybe... no one did it. It was just Epstein.

But they're laughed out of the room every time.
A surprising amount of the traffic jam of assassins was literal.
The NYC Traffic Copter 1 reported heavy traffic on the Brooklyn bridge that night, unusually so.
It turns out if you've set up a 20 minute window with your guy on the inside when you can sneak past the cameras, you should leave extra early in case there's traffic.
even if that traffic is just you and all the other assassins in the NorthEast area, all trying to make it to the MCC on the same night.
It's a little-reported fact that one of the guards who was supposed to be on duty that night was later found unconscious in the bathroom, with a blowgun dart in their next and 7 different envelopes of unmarked bills stuffed down their pants.
one of the envelopes had bills marked as Sardinian Scudos, but no one can exactly figure that one out.

Sardinia hasn't been an independent nation since the mid-19th century? and all their currency was coins, not banknotes.
They were well made bills, too, with anti-counterfeiting measures and printing dates in the late 90s, early 2000s.
So no one is sure if the guard was bribed by an eccentric numismatic with a dark secret, or one of the assassins had to commute in from a parallel universe.
It's certainly the ultimate alibi.

"I didn't exist in your universe at the time of the murder."
Some suggest that might be the answer to the Epstein Quandary. It's long been theorized in the assassin circles that the ultimate untraceable way to do their job would be to hire versions of your target from alternate universes
It makes DNA evidence, and possibly fingerprints, useless!
All the biological remnants point to the target being there, which everyone knew in the first place.
It's the perfect crime.
It's a long con, though.
You gotta spend the time to recruit them, then years carefully training them, and when they're finally ready for their first real job, they ask "So who's my target?"
and you slide a folder across the table, containing a picture of themselves.
It's even worse when the plan gets called off.
Just imagine!
You've spent the last 5 years in the alternate universe (getting into nearly 3 Zeppelin crashes in the meantime), training someone who looks exactly like your target (but with a goatee) to be the ultimate killer...
and you get a message on your interdimensional telegraph that the target in your home universe just died under "mysterious circumstances".

What do you do now? All that time, all that money, all that WORK!
Nothing you can do, really. Pull the mission, get out. Leave them there, to contemplate revenge...
wait I just described the plot of Star Trek: Nemesis
I met one guy (he had an eyepatch, so you know he's been around for a long while) who said that wasn't the worst ending to that particular con.
No, there's worse things than spending half a decade planning the perfect interdimensional murder only to be too late...
The worst thing is when you put in all that time and money, you send them out on the mission, and while you're hanging out in their flat waiting for news, they come in the door, dressed in stealth gear but without a goatee
Turns out you spent 5 years training them to cross over into your home universe and murder their alternate, while someone from THIS universe spent just as long training their alternate to come into this universe and murder them.
the assassins passing each other in the interdimensional hallway
although given that they're two versions of the same person, it's probably more like
WAIT... there. fixed it.
The two most important alternate universe tropes are:
1. alternate versions of yourself have a goatee
2. alternate universes have zeppelins
rule #1 brings up the obvious question of "what if you have a goatee in the prime universe?"

There are two obvious possibilities, both equally plausible but equally silly: Your alternate has no goatee, or they have two goatees
I imagine that'd look something like this.
and the zeppelin one brings up a different dilemma:
Our universe has had zeppelins before. Does that mean we were in an alternate universe during those times?
this joke apparently dates back to the RPG designer Kenneth Hite:
"From this premise, it is not outside the realm of Plausibility that our history between 1900 and 1936 was, in fact, an Alternate History. It would, at least, explain a lot."
also I've yelled about it before... the age of zeppelins is now!
"The Goodyear Blimp" is none of those three things, and the reason it's not a Blimp is that it's a Zeppelin!
that thread was over here:
ANYWAY this was a weird rant. I need to go get coffee.

Feel free to steal my stupid ideas for your next story about potentially multiversal assassins trying to kill convicted pedophiles in prison before they could spill the beans.
and sorry for misspelling "assassination" as "assignation" in that first post. I can't spell at the best of times and I had just put on my glasses this morning and couldn't see very well.
I trusted spell check, and it failed me.
Anyway since at least one person mentioned not knowing who Epstein was... quick tl;dr:
He was a guy who got arrested for sex trafficking and it turned out he'd been hanging out with rich and powerful people for decades, and had many of them in his contacts list.
Before he could possibly do a plea deal where he snitched on a lot of very powerful and rich people who he'd done horrible things with... he was found dead in his cell.
Officially it was a suicide, but that claim is widely distrusted.
Someone with a lot of potential blackmail material on a lot of very powerful people is in a situation where their own hope is to snitch on them?

Yeah, no one is surprised he didn't survive.
And the guards who were supposed to be checking on him every 30 minutes were indicted on charges of falsifying records and conspiracy. I think that trial is still ongoing.

But it's become a internet meme that "Epstein didn't kill himself", because of this.
I hope my earlier mention of "suicide" caused the thread to be blocked by wordfilters by people who have them configured. I'll stick a "cw suicide" here to be sure, I guess?
cw pedophilia too. Sorry if this accidentally evaded safe-browsing filters.

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Recently, the @CNIL issued a decision regarding the GDPR compliance of an unknown French adtech company named "Vectaury". It may seem like small fry, but the decision has potential wide-ranging impacts for Google, the IAB framework, and today's adtech. It's thread time! 👇

It's all in French, but if you're up for it you can read:
• Their blog post (lacks the most interesting details):
• Their high-level legal decision:
• The full notification:

I've read it so you needn't!

Vectaury was collecting geolocation data in order to create profiles (eg. people who often go to this or that type of shop) so as to power ad targeting. They operate through embedded SDKs and ad bidding, making them invisible to users.

The @CNIL notes that profiling based off of geolocation presents particular risks since it reveals people's movements and habits. As risky, the processing requires consent — this will be the heart of their assessment.

Interesting point: they justify the decision in part because of how many people COULD be targeted in this way (rather than how many have — though they note that too). Because it's on a phone, and many have phones, it is considered large-scale processing no matter what.