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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.

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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