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First POST: New Bosses

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 14 2014

New Bosses

  • The emergency surveillance bill being pushed thru the UK Parliament this week would expand the government's power to force overseas companies to hand over user data, in addition to expanding the types of data covered, and privacy campaigners are worried, report Alan Travis and James Ball for the Guardian.

  • Talking to Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian, Edward Snowden also questioned the rush to pass the legislation, saying it could have been written by the NSA.

  • Here's a detailed critique of the proposed legislation from Open Rights Group and several other privacy organizations.

  • MSNBC talker Ronan Farrow takes to the Washington Post to call on social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to police the speech of "violent terrorists" on their sites the same way they block child pornography.

  • In Capital New York, Blake Zeff explores the possibility that net neutrality campaigner Tim Wu could give Kathy Hochul, Governor Andrew Cuomo's handpicked lieutenant governor candidate, a real scare in the September primary.

  • The online activist group Color of Change is targeting ten members of the Congressional Black Caucus for opposing net neutrality and "doing the bidding of big phone and cable companies."

  • Political sites are getting a big boost from Facebook's latest tweak of its news feed algorithm, reports Jason Abbruzzese for Mashable.

  • Wonkblog's Emily Badger takes a look at data from Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco that suggests--but doesn't prove--that the appearance of transportation services like Uber and Lyft, that are popular among younger people, may be reducing the number of people arrested in those cities for driving while intoxicated.

  • Researcher Seth Stephens-Davidowitz analyzed tens of thousands of profiles of members of, the online white supremacy site, which gets 200,000-400,000 visits a month from Americans, and found--based on members' self-reportings--that site users tend to be young, mostly male, and from predominantly white states like Montana, Alaska and Idaho.

  • This "NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life" data-visualizaton by Christopher Whong, built on top of taxi trip data from 2013 obtained under a freedom of information request, is hypnotically engaging.

  • Food for thought (1): Seth Godin predicts that self-driving cars "are going to be a huge transformational disruption, and they're probably going to happen faster than most people expect."

  • Food for thought (2): Reflecting on the rise of Amazon, VC Fred Wilsonwrites, "For all of its democratizing power, the Internet, in its current form, has simply replaced the old boss with a new boss."

  • In case you missed it: Our Rebecca Chao reports on how Lawrence Lessig is planning to use the $12 million his MayDayPAC is raising to shift the battle for campaign finance reform.