Whistleblower, Leaker, Traitor, Spy by Eyal Press Traitor, hacker, high-school dropout, narcissist: Edward Snowden has been called many things since coming forward as the source who gave documents to The Guardian showing that the National Security Agency has been collecting telephone and Internet data on hundreds of millions of Americans, revelations that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee pressed the NSA to explain at a contentious hearing in Washington last week. The one thing that Snowden’s detractors have insisted he does not merit being called is a whistleblower. “I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Why is media using sympathetic word ‘whistleblower’ 4 Edward #Snowden, who leaked secret #NSA program?”
United States of Secrets How AT&T Helped the NSA Spy on Millions August 17, 2015, 4:23 pm ET · by Jason M. Breslow 40 maps that explain the world Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. So when we saw a post sweeping the Web titled "40 maps they didn't teach you in school," one of which happens to be a WorldViews original, I thought we might be able to contribute our own collection. Some of these are pretty nerdy, but I think they're no less fascinating and easily understandable. All sent and received e-mails in Gmail will be analyzed, says Google Google added a paragraph to its terms of service as of Monday to tell customers that, yes, it does scan e-mail content for advertising and customized search results, among other reasons. The change comes as Google undergoes a lawsuit over its e-mail scanning, with the plaintiffs complaining that Google violated their privacy. E-mail users brought the lawsuit against Google in 2013, alleging that the company was violating wiretapping laws by scanning the content of e-mails. The plaintiffs' complaints vary, but some of the cases include people who sent their e-mails to Gmail users from non-Gmail accounts and nonetheless had their content scanned.
If No One Wants Them, Where Do We Resettle The World's Refugees? The drought in Somalia has gone from bad to worse. At least 29,000 children have died in the worst famine in 60 years. If that weren’t enough, the provisional authority governing Somalia has virtually no control outside Mogadishu (where a cholera outbreak is spreading), while Al-Shabbab insurgents controlling the southern arm of the country are both blocking aid groups from entering and preventing refugees from leaving. Twelve million people across the Horn of Africa are in need of food, the U.N. says. Those who can flee, are.
How advertising cookies let observers follow you across the web Back in December, documents revealed the NSA had been using Google's ad-tracking cookies to follow browsers across the web, effectively coopting ad networks into surveillance networks. A new paper from computer scientists at Princeton breaks down exactly how easy it is, even without the resources and access of the NSA. The researchers were able to reconstuct as much as 90% of a user's web activity just from monitoring traffic to ad-trackers like Google's DoubleClick. Crucially, the researchers didn't need any special access to the ad data. They just sat back and watched public traffic across the network. Tor was the only tool that escaped the researchers' dragnet
Pfizer Fights Backlash From U.K, U.S. on AstraZeneca Bid Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s record of job cuts after acquisitions is now drawing heat from both sides of the Atlantic. U.S. and state politicians have joined their U.K. counterparts in questioning the economic impact of the drugmaker’s push to buy AstraZeneca Plc. (AZN) It’s Complicated: Facebook’s History of Tracking You For years people have noticed a funny thing about Facebook's ubiquitous Like button. It has been sending data to Facebook tracking the sites you visit. Each time details of the tracking were revealed, Facebook promised that it wasn't using the data for any commercial purposes. No longer.
Harvard Scientists May Have Just Solved One of the Biggest Environmental Issues of Our Time For years, researchers have been attempting to find a viable, biodegradable alternative to plastic. Plastic is all around us, in the containers we store our food and in the bottles we drink our beverages from. Our groceries and shopping purchases are all brought home in plastic bags, which have earned the distinction of being "the most ubiquitous consumer item in the world," according to the Guinness World Records. That's all great, except for the fact that plastic is not a biodegradable product. It takes years for plastic to turn into smaller pieces, but it never breaks down into simple compounds that can be harmlessly reabsorbed by the environment. What the Proposed NSA Reforms Wouldn’t Do Ten months after Edward Snowden's first disclosures, three main legislative proposals have emerged for surveillance reform: one from President Obama, one from the House Intelligence Committee, and one proposal favored by civil libertarians. All the plans purport to end the bulk phone records collection program, but there are big differences – and a lot they don't do. Here's a rundown.
Follow the Money If you follow the debates about Ukraine, you can see three trends: those who use the crisis for humor, those who use it to reinforce preconceived views and those trying to figure out if it’s telling us something new about today’s world. For humor, I like Seth Meyers’s line: “Despite the fact that the Ukraine has been all over the news for the past few weeks, a survey found that 64 percent of U.S. students still couldn’t find Ukraine on a map. Said Vladimir Putin, ‘Soon nobody will.’ ” For self-reinforcement, the op-ed pages are full of the argument that Putin’s seizure of Crimea signals a return of either traditional 19th-century power politics or the Cold War — and anyone who thought globalization had trumped such geopolitics is naïve.