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First POST: Not Clapping

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, August 14 2013

Not Clapping

  • The White House now says that the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, won't be running the review of government surveillance programs that President Obama has called for.

  • Peter Maass has posted the full transcript of his encrypted interview with Edward Snowden.

  • Coming late to this: EFF's Micah Lee's "Encyrption Works: How to Protect Your Privacy in the Age of NSA Surveillance," is must-reading.

  • The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is asking the federal government to investigate Bitcoin, following on the heels of subpoenas sent to several Bitcoin businesses by NY Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky.

  • After decades of official denials, Foreign Policy magazine has unearthed documentary proof that the CIA kept a file on noted antiwar activist Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT.

In other news around the web

  • Among the many political figures and celebrities lined up behind and cheering on Newark Mayor Cory Booker's resounding victory in yesterday's New Jersey Democratic Senate primary was California Lt. Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. It's a long way off, but by 2020, will these two ambitious young politicians still be allies or rivals?

  • Here's one way to find out when lobbyists for big trade groups secretly craft letters that then get circulated by Members of Congress? Check the metadata in the document file. That's how Mother Jones discovered that this letter, sent by a group of progressive Democrats opposing new Department of Labor rules protecting retirement accounts, was actually drafted by a lobbyist for the Financial Services Institute.

  • What does a male-dominated school for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have in common with Neil Strauss' guide for pick-up artists, The Game? Cathy O'Neill, who blogs as Mathbabe, writes, "it’s fundamentally a confidence-boosting ritual, where a bunch of guys convince themselves that their prospects are good, their goals are attainable, their narcissistic world view is honorable, and it’s just a question of acquiring the right magic tricks to entrap their prey. It just happens to be about money instead of sex in this case."

  • The Nation investigates why some major civil rights organizations support deregulation of the (already lightly regulated) cell phone industry.

  • The Chicago Department of Public Health has begun monitoring Twitter for comments about food poisoning. Once spotted, a volunteer tweets the person back and asks them to file an official report. In just its first month, the program, called Foodborne Chicago, has led to 33 restaurant inspections. Chalk up another win for the Smart Chicago Collaborative!

  • Will some New York City police officers start wearing video cameras in order to document their own behavior? That's one likely outcome of a Federal court ruling that held that the "stop-and-frisk" policy so heavily relied on my NY cops was unconstitutionally discriminatory.

  • Need more evidence that serious policy wonkery can reach a mass audience if you pay attention to analytics? Read this piece about PolicyMic's success.

  • Ahmed Al Omran of has a tantalizing look at the glimmerings of civil society in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where an aspiring 23-year-old poet was recently arrested and jailed for tweeting about an imaginary meeting with the Prophet Mohammed.

  • A human rights group in France is suing Twitter for propagation of anti-gay hate speech.