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First POST: Yum, Cookies!

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, December 11 2013

Yum, Cookies!

  • Cookies placed by Google on the web browsers of users of its services are also being used by the NSA to track the web behavior of its targets, reports The Washington Post's Ashkan Soltani, Andrea Peterson and Barton Gellman. Their story presents a new dilemma for the big tech platforms, which just two days ago issued a new call to limit government surveillance. They could make their browsers less cookie-friendly, and stop sending unique IDs from them, but that could make their own advertising business models suffer.

  • Soltani and Gellman also reported yesterday on how the NSA using mobile location data to develop detailed information about people it may target. While the program is focused on overseas, it does "incidentally" collect and retain information about Americans.

  • Vice President Joe Biden is going to be taking live questions from the public today via Skype at 3:45pm ET, reports Alex Howard. The topic: immigration reform.

  • Also worth putting on your calendar for today from 3-4pm ET: Peter Murray of Accelerate Change, Dave Karpf, author of The MoveOn Effect, and Nicco Mele, author of The End of Big engage in a Google Hangout conversation on how to scale up social change efforts, hosted by Echoditto.

  • Slate's David Weigel explains how the netroots, in the form of the PCCC, still has some punch left--enough to get the upper hand (with an assist from the media) in the fight it picked with centrist Third Way.

  • Former President George H.W. Bush just joined Twitter. HIs first tweet expressed his and Barbara Bush's regret at not being able to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral.

  • Rightwing blogger/media personality Michelle Malkin is selling her Twitter curation platform Twitchy to Salem Communications, which will fold it into Townhall.com, Buzzfeed's Benny Johnson reports.

  • Salem is also in talks to buy Eagle Publishing, which owns RedState and HumanEvents, reports Dylan Byers for Politico.

  • The country's largest free outdoor public WiFi network was announced yesterday in Harlem by outgoing NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

  • If you want to see what the "long tail" of the web may have to say about something, try searching on "Million Short," a new search engine that lets you filter as many as the top one million website OUT of your search."