Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers Edward Snowden speaks via video link with members of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters The US has spied on the staff of prominent human rights organisations, Edward Snowden has told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Europe's top human rights body. Giving evidence via a videolink from Moscow, Snowden said the National Security Agency – for which he worked as a contractor – had deliberately snooped on bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. He told council members: "The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organisations … including domestically within the borders of the United States."
Alice Goffman: How we're priming some kids for college — and others for prison Close Help with subtitles Desktop / laptop users: please make sure you have the most updated versions of your browser and Flash player, and that Flash is enabled when you visit TED.com. iOS users: to access subtitles, start playing the video, then tap the speech bubble icon that appears in the bottom row of video controls. Android users: although Android devices do not support subtitles, you can download the TED app from the Google Play store. Snowden: UK government now leaking documents about itself (Updated below) The Independent this morning published an article - which it repeatedly claims comes from "documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden" - disclosing that "Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies." This is the first time the Independent has published any revelations purportedly from the NSA documents, and it's the type of disclosure which journalists working directly with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have thus far avoided.
TOP 10 IMPOSSIBLE INVENTIONS THAT WORK « Revolutionizing Awareness Searl Effects Generator by Jeane Manning When Leonardo da Vinci sketched out an impossible invention, fifteenth-century scholars probably put him down. Instagram hacked by 10-year-old boy Image copyright Getty Images A 10-year-old Finnish boy named Jani has been given $10,000 (£7,000) after he found a security flaw in image-sharing social network Instagram. The boy, who technically is not allowed to even join the site for another three years, discovered a bug that allowed him to delete comments made by other users. Chris Hedges: Edward Snowden’s Moral Courage In this still image from video footage released by WikiLeaks on Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks in Moscow during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award. (AP)Last Thursday Chris Hedges opened a team debate at the Oxford Union at Oxford University with this speech arguing in favor of the proposition “This house would call Edward Snowden a hero.” The others on the Hedges team, which won the debate by an audience vote of 212 to 171, were William E. Binney, a former National Security Agency official and a whistle-blower; Chris Huhne, a former member of the British Parliament; and Annie Machon, a former intelligence officer for the United Kingdom.
Snowden’s Secure Email Service UPDATE: On Tuesday, August 13, Ladar Levison made his first public appearance since he announced the shut down of Lavabit. In a 20-minute interview with Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and Aaron Maté, Levison explained more of his philosophy in creating the secure email service in the wake of the birth of the Patriot Act, but stopped himself (and was stopped by his lawyer, Jesse Binnall) from elaborating on the specific laws that limited him from sharing details about the governmental request he received. 8 math talks to blow your mind Mathematics gets down to work in these talks, breathing life and logic into everyday problems. Prepare for math puzzlers both solved and unsolvable, and even some still waiting for solutions. Ron Eglash: The fractals at the heart of African designs When Ron Eglash first saw an aerial photo of an African village, he couldn’t rest until he knew — were the fractals in the layout of the village a coincidence, or were the forces of mathematics and culture colliding in unexpected ways? Here, he tells of his travels around the continent in search of an answer. How big is infinity?
Why leaving Facebook has made me happier According to new research this week, by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, giving up Facebook for even just seven days boosts happiness and reduces anger and feelings of loneliness. I can’t remember the last time my nine-year-old pleaded with me to get off my phone, or accused me of loving my mobile more than I do her The report suggests that Facebook distorts our perception of reality – we buy in to the oh-so-fabulous commentary on other people’s lives to such an extent that we can’t help but evaluate our own less than perfect lives as being inadequate. These findings don’t come as a surprise to me.
After Edward Snowden's revelations, why trust US cloud providers? 'It's an ill bird," runs the adage, "that fouls its own nest." Cue the US National Security Agency (NSA), which, we now know, has been busily doing this for quite a while. As the Edward Snowden revelations tumbled out, the scale of the fouling slowly began to dawn on us. Outside of the United States, for example, people suddenly began to have doubts about the wisdom of entrusting their confidential data to cloud services operated by American companies on American soil. As Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president responsible for digital affairs, put it in a speech on 4 July: "If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust the cloud and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out. Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?
Introduction to Global Energy Transmission Project aka Global Energy Transmission As of today, at least 40% of the world’s electric power still comes from coal, despite scientific and technical achievements that have been made so far. So, coal yet plays a very important role in modern life. Many countries all over the world realize that they are not able to give up the use of coal. This concerns European countries as well, despite their recent achievements concerning eco-friendly energy and the environment. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to give away 99% of shares Image copyright Getty Images Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan say they will give away 99% of their shares in the company to good causes as they announce the birth of their daughter Max. Mr Zuckerberg made the announcement in a letter to Max on his Facebook page.
EFF: "Everything we know about NSA spying" from 30C3 The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Kurt Opsahl -- a brillliant digital civil liberties attorney who has been suing the US government and the NSA over spying since 2006 -- took to the stage at the 30th Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg this week to explain in clear and simple language the history of NSA spying. Kurt lays out the tortured legal history of American bulk surveillance, showing how an interlocking set of laws, policies, lies and half-truths have been used to paper over an obviously, grossly unconstitutional program of spying without court oversight or particular suspicion. If you're mystified by the legal shenanigans that led up to the Snowden and Manning leaks, this is where you should start. And even if you've been following the story closely, Opsahl gives badly needed coherence to the disjointed legal struggle, connecting the dots and revealing the whole picture.