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First POST: Inclemency

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, January 3 2014

Inclemency

  • The New York Times editorial calling for clemency for Edward Snowden continues to make waves, with Buzzfeed reporting on the news that several Members of Congress have said they are open to its conclusion, Firedoglake blogger Kevin Gosztola asking why the paper hasn't applied the same whistleblower label to Chelsea Manning, and former NSA director Michael Hayden telling the Daily Beast that clemency for Snowden would be "outrageous."

  • Matthew Keys rounds up responses from Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other tech companies whose services and products were reportedly (per Der Spiegel) compromised by the NSA.

  • Glenn Greenwald thinks most tech companies were hypocritical, telling Salon's Natasha Lennard that they were "completely content to cooperate with the NSA, far beyond what the law required," until the extent of the NSA's activities became public.

  • Bob Swartz, Aaron's father, can't walk through MIT without feeling that the university "betrayed his son," Janelle Nanos writes in a moving portrait for Boston Magazine. “I see Aaron on every corner,” he says. “I pass by the building. I see MIT police. I remember, I remember him…” he sighs. “We spent a lot of time here. There are all sorts of painful aspects of what happened. They come back.”

  • Alexis Madrigal's deconstruction of Netflix's internal tagging system for movies is a must-read (as are some of the reader comments trying to explain the "Perry Mason" effect). One wonders, if Netflix's data about its users' predilections can be used to help it fine-tune what movies or series it should make, could a similar data set about voters and their preferences in politicians tell a political party what kind of candidates it should recruit?

  • Ravi Somaiya reports for the New York Times that Ezra Klein, the multimedia policy maven, is exploring taking his Wonkblog site independent after his proposal to expand it to a more general explanatory journalism site was rejected by the Post's publisher Katharine Weymouth and owner Jeff Bezos.

  • NY's Gothamist reports that students across the city peppered Dante de Blasio's Facebook page with requests that he convince his dad, the new mayor, to declare a rare snow day for the city's public schools.