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9/11’s Legacies: Fewer Civil Liberties and Bigger Banks »

September 11, 2016, marks the fifteenth anniversary of a calamity that shook America to its core. I remember vividly to this day being riveted by the constant video replays of the two Boeing 767s plowing into the World Trade Center, people leaping from office windows to their deaths, the collapses of the twin towers,...
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Politics and American Surveillance »

Editor: Today is the publication date of the Independent Institute’s newest book, American Surveillance: Intelligence, Privacy, and the Fourth Amendment, by Anthony Gregory (Research Fellow, Independent Institute). Published for Independent by the University of Wisconsin Press, this widely acclaimed new book traces the history of government surveillance in the U.S. that transcends party divides,...
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Black Lives Matter »

My initial reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, like many old white guys, was that All Lives Matter. But recent events have changed my thinking on this. My old thinking: Racial discrimination is a reality, but race is just one of many personal characteristics on which people discriminate. Good-looking people tend to be...
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NSA Spying: Another Foreign Intervention Come Home »

The Washington Post recently ran an article titled, “Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism.” In the article, journalist Radley Balko explains that provisions in the Patriot Act have allowed the National Security Agency to share information with a variety of other agencies,...
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Should People Be Allowed to Reveal What Their Government Is Doing to Them? »

If the government does something to you, should they also have the power to require you not to tell anyone? That’s the issue in a lawsuit Microsoft is bringing against the federal government. Microsoft claims that over the past 18 months it has had 2,576 orders from the federal government to turn over customer...
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Apple Encryption and the Erosion of Privacy »

In the wake of the terror attack in San Bernardino late last year, the FBI and other government agents set out to uncover as much information about the attackers as possible. After searching the suspects’ home, speaking with the families of the perpetrators, and looking for other clues, authorities had uncovered a great deal...
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Apple Shrugs? »

Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, tells a story about what happens when the men of the mind go on strike. [Spoiler Alert: Plot details revealed ahead.] The book’s protagonist, John Galt, is an engineer who decides he is no longer willing to live in a society where others assert a claim over the...
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Apple vs. the FBI: Three Reasons to Side with Apple »

When the story about the FBI wanting Apple to provide it with software to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino killers came out, I considered blogging about it but decided against it. The case was too clearly in Apple’s favor, I thought. Nobody would side with the government. But now I see that...
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Right Problem; Wrong Solution. Obama’s Push for Reduced Prison Sentences »

President Obama is pushing for reductions in prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders. As this article notes, the federal prison population is more than eight times higher today than in 1980, before the Reagan administration’s War on Drugs. The United States has a larger share of its population behind bars than any other nation...
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Love Gov: “Too Real”? »

As part of our recent exhibit at the FreedomFest conference, we continuously screened our new online video series Love Gov. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, each of the approximately 5-minute episodes deals with one of the five key issues that the Harvard Institute of Politics, Pew Research, and other...
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