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First POST: Accomplishments

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, January 2 2014

Accomplishments

  • Happy New Year! If you were, like me, mostly offline for the holiday break, here's a list of must-read links to catch up on:

  • Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, one of the first reporters contacted by Edward Snowden, traveled to Moscow to profile his subject. Snowden told him he believed his "mission's already accomplished" because he "wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself" in response to the NSA's mass surveillance programs. Gellman writes that "Snowden succeeded beyond plausible ambition" with his leaks. Read the whole thing.

  • Ruth Marcus, a Washington Post columnist, finds Snowden's statements to Gellman to be "insufferable" and a host of similar adjectives. Worth reading to get a taste of how DC insiders still view him.

  • Jay Rosen sums up the "three things I learned from the Snowden files."

  • The New York Times editorial board calls for clemency for "Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower."

  • Der Spiegel rolled out the latest Snowden Files scoop with a detailed story on the NSA's TAO (Tailored Access Operations) hacking unit, which focused on "getting the ungettable."

  • A sidebar written by Jacob Appelbaum and five co-authors details the technical tools that TAO's analysts can draw on, including computer bugging devices that look like normal USB plugs.

  • Applebaum gave a critical talk at the annual Chaos Communications Congress in Berlin building on the revelations in these articles, which BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow describes as "extraordinary."

  • Wired reports that the GlobalLeaks network is thriving, powering whistleblowing platforms in Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary and the Netherlands.

  • Benjamin Bratton sticks another knife in TED, calling the conference "middlebrow megachurch infotainment" and writing that "astrophysics run on the model of American Idol is a recipe for civilizational disaster."

In other news around the web:

  • Contributoria, a new platform enabling collaboration between journalists and readers, launches.

  • The New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute released Commotion 1.0, a mesh networking toolkit which enables users to connect to each other without having to route through traditional communications infrastructure. The project has been more than 12 years in the making. Beta versions are working in Brooklyn, NY; Detroit, Tunisia, Somaliland and India.

  • The Columbia Journalism Review's Michael Meyer profiles internet critic Evgeny Morozov and does a fairly decent job of capturing his contradictions.

  • Uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan reports that The Daily Dish finished 2013 with nearly 34,000 subscribers producing gross revenue of $851,000, about enough to cover the site's editorial budget.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

Mark Pesce on "Hypercivility" at @CivicHall

A week ago, digital ethnologist Mark Pesce gave a talk here at Civic Hall on the topic of "Hypercivility." As you will see from watching the video, it's an extension of years of research and thinking he has done on the effects of hyperconnectivity on our world. Be forewarned, this is not an "easy" talk to watch or digest. While Pesce definitely has our social-media-powered "Age of Outrage" on his mind, he grounds his talk in a much more serious place: post-genocide Rwanda, which he recently visited. GO

First POST: Impossibles

The FCC vote; a proxy Democratic primary battle in Chicago; Gov Andrew Cuomo begins deleting all state employee emails more than 90 days old; men talking about women in tech; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Off the Books

Chicago's "black site"; The New York Times reports "little guys" like Tumblr and Reddit have won the fight for net neutrality but fails to mention Free Press or Demand Progress; Hillary Clinton fan products on Etsy to inspire campaign slogans?; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Challenges

How Silicon Valley donors are thinking about Hillary Clinton 2016; Yahoo's security chief locks horns with the head of the NSA; Instagram location data catches a Congressman with his hand in the till; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Bows

CitizenFour wins best doc; Ken Silverstein resigned from First Look Media and took to Facebook to vent; why we need more Congressional staffers; who profits from the net neutrality debate; banning PowerPoint presentations; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Sim Pickings

Using stolen encryption keys, the NSA and GCHQ can intercept and decrypt communications between billions of phones without notifying the service provider, foreign governments or users; get to know Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks editor who helped Snowden gain asylum in Russia; a profile of the Fight for the Future leaders; how the new wave of black community organizing is not hashtag activism; and much, much more. GO

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