NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations explained Two factors opened the way for the rapid expansion of surveillance over the past decade: the fear of terrorism created by the 9/11 attacks and the digital revolution that led to an explosion in cell phone and internet use. But along with these technologies came an extension in the NSA’s reach few in the early 1990s could have imagined. Details that in the past might have remained private were suddenly there for the taking. Chris Soghoian
Big data with farmers To feed the world's rapidly-expanding population in the coming decades, agriculture must produce more. Big data holds one of the keys for farmers, but it's also a weapon that could be used against them. Dusty wooden stairs lead up to the barn office, which overlooks miles of green fields and giant combines parked on gravel drives. It's a cool April day in Palmyra, Indiana, and there is a high chance of rain. Six men huddle around a table, hunched over computers. A transaction is finishing up. The N.S.A. and Its Targets: Lavabit Shuts Down Not every suspension-of-service notice for an e-mail company comes with a link to a legal-defense fund. Ladar Levison, the owner and operator of Lavabit, whose clients, reportedly, have included Edward Snowden, made it sound today as though he could use the help. “I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit,” Levison wrote in a note posted on his site. As Kevin Poulsen and others have pointed out, our collective experience has prepared us to guess what is going on here: Levison got either a national-security letter “or a full blown search or eavesdropping warrant.” In the weeks since the Guardian and Washington Post first began publishing stories with Snowden’s documents, the picture of the National Security Agency’s domestic-surveillance practices that’s come together is different from the one most everyone held before we’d ever heard Snowden’s name.
If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel - A tediously accurate map of the solar system Mercury Venus Earth The Visual Leap - About Visual Thinking >> Home • About Visual Thinking About Visual Thinking Visual thinking, also called visual learning, is a proven method of organizing ideas graphically - with concept maps, mind maps and webs. Scientifically based research demonstrates that visual learning techniques improve memory, organization, critical thinking and planning. Visual thinking is an intuitive and easy-to-learn strategy that works for many academic and professional projects. The more complex the task or idea, the more useful this approach can be.
Algorithms and Future Crimes: Welcome to the Racial Profiling of the Future Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Viappy February 28, 2014 | Like this article? Join our email list: Big Data Services like social networks, web analytics, and intelligent e-commerce often need to manage data at a scale too big for a traditional database. As scale and demand increase, so does Complexity. Fortunately, scalability and simplicity are not mutually exclusiverather than using some trendy technology, a different approach is needed. Big data systems use many machines working in parallel to store and process data, which introduces fundamental challenges unfamiliar to most developers. Big Data shows how to build these systems using an architecture that takes advantage of clustered hardware along with new tools designed specifically to capture and analyze web-scale data. It describes a scalable, easy to understand approach to big data systems that can be built and run by a small team.
The NSA’s phone-call database: A defense of mass surveillance Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters You can also listen to William Saletan read this piece. Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.