Tag: Technology

Believe It: NSA Collects and Stores Content, Not Just “Metadata” »

President Obama has repeatedly attempted to obfuscate the issue of NSA’s actively spying on Americans by repeatedly referring to “metadata”: information about where, when and to whom people make phone calls, but not the actual phone conversations. Most recently, he garnered wide press coverage by promising to limit the collection of phone metadata. But...
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If Obamacare Lost Your Personal Data, Would You Even Know? »

David Kennedy is a cybersecurity expert who runs a computer security firm called TrustedSec, LLC. He is in the news because of his expert testimony to Congressional committees on the security of healthcare.gov, the website to which people go to apply for Obamacare health insurance if they are in a state with a federal...
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Entitlements »

Here is a story about a recent court case in which a federal judge blocked the State of Georgia from charging $5 per month charge to low-income recipients for federally-subsidized cell phone service. One reason I find this interesting is that as recently as 1999 only 32% of Americans had cell phones, according to...
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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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