Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

First POST: New Year's Eve

BY Nick Judd | Monday, December 31 2012

The politics of the Internet

  • Just for First POST readers: We thought about doing a year-in-review post, but decided to stick with chronicling the entire political history of the Internet instead. In time for the new year, we've added more than 30 entries, from Douglas Engelbart's 1968 "mother of all demos" to the Pope's arrival on Twitter on Dec. 12, 2012. We'll have a post up soon listing all of the additions.

FISA passed

  • In case you missed it, Alex Pareene explains why the passage of the FISA Amendments Act — you know, the one about warrantless wiretapping — is so troubling. While "fiscal cliff" talks continue with frustrating incrementalism, only two senators — Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, emerged to challenge the renewal of the federal government's ability to monitor electronic communications under very limited judicial oversight. Americans are probably caught up in skeins cast, law enforcement says, for terrorists abroad — but the law does not permit the public to know how many or under what circumstances. So Congress has demonstrated less concern for the shape of the Fourth Amendment in the 21st century than for how to balance the national checkbook across the next 15 or 20 years, and, at least so far, has gotten away with it. So long as the cat videos are safe, apparently, most of the Internet will remain politically dormant.

    It's not only this: Federal regulators are pushing to install "black boxes" in private vehicles. Recall that the Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement officials need a warrant to install GPS tracking devices in a suspect's car. In this other arena, Wired's David Kravets writes, it's still the "wild west."

Could be worse

The Massachusetts move

2012 in review

Around the web

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

First POST: Scary Monsters

Facebook opens up about its experiments on tweaking voting behavior; breaking news in the FCC net neutrality battle; getting hard data on civic tech's impact on political efficacy; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: System-Gaming

Why techies interested in political reform are facing challenges; the latest data on Democratic voter contacts in 2014; Hungary's anti-Internet tax demonstrations are getting huge; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Gimme Shelter

The link between intimate partner violence and surveillance tech; the operational security set-up that connected Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden; how Senate Dems are counting on tech to hold their majority; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Tribes

Edward Snowden on the Internet's impact on political polarization; trying to discern Hillary Clinton's position on NSA reform; why Microsoft is bullish on civic tech; and much, much more GO

monday >

First POST: Inventions

How voter data-sharing among GOP heavyweights is still lagging; why Facebook's News Feed scares news publishers; Google's ties to the State Department; and much, much more. GO

More