Tag: Technology

The Fictionalized Surveillance State »

Recent polling conducted by Amy Zegart at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation reveals an unsurprising degree of public uncertainty and confusion regarding the NSA. We should expect that, flooded with news reports, most Americans don’t know the exact contours of the program. What caught my eye, however, was this little nugget,...
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Can You Hear Me Now? We Have Too Much Health Insurance »

Hearing aids have been expensive—until now. An interesting story in the New York Times a little over a year ago related the journey of a woman who had broken the shell of one of her hearing aids. Shocked at the price of hearing aids from private audiologists—at least $2,000 for a set, and usually...
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New California Regulation on Political Bloggers Will Chill Free Speech »

Yesterday the California Fair Political Practices Commission approved a dangerous regulation that will subject political bloggers to disclosure rules. The regulation forces campaign committees to report on their campaign finance statements the names of people they pay to post “favorable or unfavorable” political messages about “a candidate or ballot measure” on a website, blog,...
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NSA Spying Threatens Law-Abiding Americans »

I was talking with an older German citizen about the NSA’s data collection program that has recently been the subject of much debate. He worked for the East German government during the Cold War and viewed the NSA’s activities as similar to the Stasi’s under communist rule, but potentially more threatening. The argument often...
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NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication »

It has been interesting to me that the most frequent question that I have been asked in the aftermath of our, “Civil Liberties and Security in an Age of Terrorism,” is regarding my description of our cell phones as a government listening device. Even though the information that U.S. surveillance agencies can remotely turn...
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Government Claims It Can Legally Prevent People from Telling Others What It Is Doing to Them »

Among the many facts recently revealed about the NSA’s constitutionally questionable collection of personal information, one that I find especially troubling is the government’s claim that it can legally prevent people from telling others what government is doing to them. The NSA has apparently ordered Microsoft to turn over some information to them, but...
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Neither Snow nor Rain nor Dark of Night Will Prevent the Post Office from Spying on You »

It’s no wonder the federal government is having to spend $2 billion to build a new facility to hold 5 zettabytes of data (for context, according to Wikipedia, the entire World Wide Web contains one-half zettabyte of information). It has now been revealed that in addition to capturing and indefinitely storing everyone’s email and...
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Modern Communications Technology—Savior or Soma? »

In recent years, I have noticed that many—seemingly a great majority—of my libertarian friends express an optimistic outlook that sooner or later freedom will triumph against tyranny, even in the United States of America, because of technological developments, especially the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web, along with all the hardware...
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Stupid Regulations »

I received a postcard in yesterday’s mail. The first paragraph reads: “The City of Tallahassee’s Office of Cross-Connection Control monitors actual or potential backflow via cross connections with non-approved water sources. We are committed to the quality of water delivered to our customers, and your drinking water remains clean and free of contaminants [sic]....
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Can the Internet Save Us? »

Many of my freedom-loving friends have great confidence that communication via the Internet and the World Wide Web will prove to be a game-changer in the fight against the disinformation and propaganda disseminated by the state and its running dogs, and that the greater ease of spreading the truth will shift the balance in...
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