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First POST: Rumblings

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, May 30 2014


  • The NSA has released an internal email from Edward Snowden to its general counsel's office that it says shows he didn't raise concerns about mass surveillance, contrary to his claims, but Snowden says this release is "incomplete" and doesn't include other correspondence about "indefensible collection activities," Ellen Nakashima and Barton Gellman report for the Washington Post.

  • Google's chief legal officer David Drummond is calling on the U.S. Senate to fix the loopholes that were added to the USA Freedom Act as it passed through the House, telling recipients of a mass email that the current bill "will not prevent bulk Internet data collection." He notes, "as the bill stands today it could still permit the collection of email records from everyone who uses a particular email service."

  • Drummond's email went to a list that reportedly numbered in the 2-4 million range back when it was first built during the anti-SOPA/PIPA battle, but is now likely a quarter to a third that size.

  • New York City councilor Ben Kallos has introduced the Free and Open Source Software Act that would require the city to use open source software before purchasing proprietary software.

  • 73% of MoveOn's New York State members say they want a progressive challenger to run against incumbent Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo. The Working Families Party state committee will decide Saturday on whether it will put up its own candidate, with polls showing that more than one in five New Yorkers would back such a candidate. The party is considering nominating Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, who was the director of online organizing for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential run, The New York Times reports.

  • A slate of tech entrepreneurs have emerged as backers of Lawrence Lessig's MayDay SuperPac, matching the first $1 million-plus raised in small donations. They are Chris Anderson of TED, Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Peter Thiel of PayPal/Facebook, and Brad Burnham and Fred and Joanne Wilson (the first two are partners at Union Square Ventures). MayDay is now trying to raise another $5 million by the end of June.

  • Relying on Labor Department data he obtained under FOIA, Mother Jones' Josh Harkinson reports that the workforce at Silicon Valley's top ten firms are disproportionately white and male.

  • Your correspondent is at Transparency Camp today; nearly 600 people from across the US and 20 countries are in attendance. Follow #TCamp14 for news from the unconference.