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First POST: Premonitions

BY Nick Judd | Monday, July 29 2013

Around the web

  • Ron Wyden, prophet of privacy's apocalypse — Privy to information about NSA surveillance that shocked him but unable to share it, Ron Wyden occupied a strange place in the Senate — the Oregon Democrat issued repeated warnings, but could not explain what he was warning against. Until Edward Snowden told the world what America's intelligence community was up to.

    "So he was right," writes David A. Fahrenthold in the Washington Post. "But that is not the same as winning."

  • We're just now seeing Dave Weigel's take on the House amendment that, last week, set NSA officials and their supporters on their heels by only narrowly failing on the floor.

  • Protesters in Germany wear tinfoil hats to protest NSA surveillance.

  • Slate caught the Pew Research Center for People & The Press' recent experiment in temperature-taking around the NSA disclosures: Pew's polling finds that how you frame the government's secret spying on Americans dramatically changes how acceptable people find it to be.

  • Little brother: Meet Dronestagram, a website for sharing pictures taken by (hopefully civilian, hobbyist) aerial drones. Just no overhead creepshots of the neighbors, okay?

  • Dispatch from digital Republicans: Media Group of America, the project of veteran pollster Phil Musser and up-and-coming Republican digital strategist Alex Skatell, is building what its founders say is a one-stop voter data interface for Republican campaigns.

    Skatell has told me in the past that what his company is building on the software side is meant to be a layer on top of data provided by the Republican Party's selected vendors through Data Trust, a legal entity created for the purpose of managing the party's voter data. So their success hinges in large part on Data Trust building a functional and reliable product for them to work with.

    Based on the Republican Party's history with technology, if that ever happens, it will come later than expected. Maybe that's why MGA also has businesses in media and digital consulting.

  • Flashback: The Washington Post is running an excerpt of Dan Balz's book on the 2012 election in which Balz retells the story of Obama for America's data analysis and technology infrastructure teams. We're still buying books about this you guys?

  • White House social media staffers have become the target of phishing attacks, Nextgov reports.

  • Hackers over the weekend mourned the death of famed white-hat Barnaby Jack, who was found dead Thursday evening at an apartment in San Francisco. Jack was 35.

  • A new beginning: Nancy Scola, our former colleague from these parts, has started a new blog at Next City. Called "Shared City," Nancy promises the causes and consequences of an emerging phenomenon: "The hard-and-fast roles that once organized city life — citizen, government, business — are increasingly fuzzy."

  • An ending: Readers, this is my last week writing your First POST and my last week at techPresident. Since 2009, it has been my great privilege to be a writer and editor here, exploring how technology has changed and been changed by political campaigns, city government and federal bureaucracy from my keyboard at our New York City headquarters.

    Thanks for your patience, comments, your tips, and, especially, your support of our work by subscribing to First POST and Personal Democracy Plus. It has been a great pleasure to write the mid-morning briefing for you.

    I will be relocating to Chicago, and while I will take a little vacation time, my byline will not disappear and my reporter's notebook is not going onto a high shelf. You'll see me out there on the Internets, and, of course, you can stay in touch on Twitter.

    Nick Judd

Miranda Neubauer and Antonella Napolitano contributed to this post.