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First POST: Gimme Shelter

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 29 2014

Gimme Shelter

  • Must-read: Sarah Jeong in Forbes on the connection between intimate partner violence and surveillance technology. "As women's shelters across the country have learned," she writes, "privacy tools are not just for journalists, whistleblowers, spies and criminals."

  • This two-minute video from Hollaback shows how much street harassment a woman walking through New York City experiences in a single day. (I'd share the original link but the page appears to be down.)

  • The actress who volunteered to be in Hollaback's videa is now getting rape threats online, and the organization is fighting back by asking supporters to report the threats to get them deleted, reports Sheila Anne Feeney for Newsday.

  • Cops in California and elsewhere are illegally seizing and sharing naked photos from the personal devices of women in their custody, Amanda Hess reports for Slate. In court documents, one California Highway Patrol cop accused of the practice described it as a "game" he learned in the patrol's Los Angeles office, saying officers across the state play along, she reports.

  • Another must-read: In the Intercept, security expert Micah Lee shares the details of his behind-the-scenes role helping Edward Snowden make secure contact with Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald. It's a detailed and fascinating account of the complexities of operational security. Also its publication is a sign of how much has changed since Snowden went public: arguably, Lee abetted Snowden's purported violations of the Espionage Act, and yet he clearly has little reason to fear government action.

  • Henry Farrell, whose writing is almost always a must-read, goes after three liberal heavyweights--Michael Kinsley, George Packer and Sean Wilentz--for, in his view, getting Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden all wrong. He writes, in the National Interest, that "Each has manacled himself to an intellectual identity forged in decades-old combat with the Left. Each, as a result, is apparently incapable of understanding the actual challenge that Greenwald and Snowden pose to American politics."

  • The British government has admitted that GCHQ "can access raw material collected in bulk by the NSA and other foreign spy agencies without a warrant," reports The Guardian's James Ball. The admission comes in documents submitted to a UK surveillance watchdog agency, in response to a joint legal challenge by leading privacy groups.

  • "Code Red," a new strategic think tank and campaign clearinghouse to support human rights groups and battle government surveillance, has been announced by by Privacy International's founder Simon Davies.

  • Top investigative reporter Matt Taibbi has resigned from from Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, according to a statement from Omidyar. This news started to break yesterday with a report by Andrew Rice for New York magazine, about Taibbi going on leave "after disagreements with higher-ups inside Omidyar's organization." Taibbi has been leading the development of The Racket, the second of two online magazines (the first being The Intercept) that are meant to be First Look's flagships.

  • Telco giant Verizon is launching a tech news site called SugarString.com whose reporters will be "forbidden from writing about American spying or net neutrality around the world," reports Patrick Howell O'Neill for The Daily Dot. His proof: recruiting emails being sent prospective hires by the new site's editor-in-chief.

  • Facing tight races to hold their edge in the Senate, Democrats have invested heavily in voter targeting technology and the attendant tricks of the data-driven GOTV trade, reports Darren Samuelsohn for Politico.

  • The White House's computer network has been under a sustained cyberattack, Ryan Grim reports for The Huffington Post.

  • Democrats and Republican like different things on Facebook, per this "exclusive" given to Evan McMorris-Santoro of BuzzFeed. Who knew?

  • New York City politicians, led by the Public Advocate Letitia James and City Councilman Ben Kallos, are pressing Comcast to provide free broadband to all city public housing residents and in a wide range of community centers as a condition for approving the company's giant merger with Time Warner Cable, Emily Steel reports for the New York Times.

  • The president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is targeting journalists who are Twitter users, not only demand that their accounts be taken down, but that the company also prevent them from opening accounts in the future, reports Verivan Orucoglu for Foreign Policy.

  • Protesting the re-arrest of Egyptian democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and his sister Sanaa Seif's jail sentence, their family is hunger-striking at the High Court in central Cairo.