One essential question has received little attention: Is amassing mountains of privacy-sensitive "metadata" technically necessary for effective, lawful electronic tracking and surveillance of legitimate targets? The answer is emphatically no.
If you haven't heard of Lavabit or Levison, then you've certainly heard of Lavabit's most famous user -- Edward Snowden. America's notorious whistleblower used Lavabit to invite reporters to Moscow, which caught the attention of the Feds.
That history repeats itself is a known truth borne from both philosophical reminders and from experience, for humanity has a way of forgetting its most important lessons, even those from fewer than three decades ago.
America's cultural turn toward a glorification of the private and a denigration of the public has coexisted with what quite obviously is a deterioration in privacy. As individuals, we have dramatically less capacity than in earlier decades to control information about even the most personal aspects of our lives.
Unless you've spent the past week underwater looking for Flight 370's black box, you probably know enough to score well on our latest Week to Week news quiz.
What if I told you that the most pertinent social science subject -- one that affects every single one of us every single day -- is taught to only a select few? That would be absurd, right? Well, unfortunately this is no fiction. It is the state of legal knowledge in America, and it is profoundly troubling.
On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," the German ambassador to the United States, Peter Ammon, talks about the need for Washington and Berlin to rebuild trust following recent revelations about U.S. surveillance on German officials.
Key players in the public and private sector are now working to protect their interests in a world that is shifting from government to "Googlement"-- driven by the unprecedented ability of companies to gather, store, and evaluate vast amounts of personal data. Adding to the challenge will be unabated progress on more invasive technologies such as biometrics, household robotics, smart homes, and connected cars, coupled with widespread adoption of cloud computing.
Unfortunately, with so much of the public attention focused on the NSA's misdeeds, there is a tendency to forget that the NSA is merely one of a growing number of clandestine intelligence agencies tasked with spying on the American people.
"To be clear, I am not saying that citizens should trust the NSA. They should not. Distrust is essential to effective democratic governance. The NSA should be subject to constant and rigorous review, oversight, scrutiny, and checks and balances."
The U.S. has spent billions on cyber security, yet the problem is worsening. America's political leaders worry about a cyber "Pearl Harbor." Secretary of Defense Hagel, in his first major speech on the subject, is promising to triple the staff working to combat cyber terrorism. But will it work?
There is no credible party within the Executive branch or outside it to oversee implementation of any restrictive rules -- old or new. For at least twelve years, neither the Department of Justice, the federal courts nor the Congress has shown the will, aptitude or conviction to even attempt doing so.
Bob Shrum and Torie Clarke diagnose Obamacare on April deadline. Growing from six enrollees on website's first day to nearly seven million now, is the biggest comeback since Kentucky, down 31, beat LSU by 2 in 1994?
House Republicans now say it's just too late to pass an extension of unemployment benefits. This, after they spent time this week trying to strip President Obama of the power to create national monuments. Way to prioritize, guys...
The reforms, even if enacted exactly as proposed or even slightly strengthened, only alter the security state in some minor and superficial ways. Our Fourth Amendment rights against unwarranted search and seizure remain jackbooted.
Engaging in counterfactual, what-if history can be uselessly speculative, but here are three demonstrable ways the Obama administration -- and America too -- have been hurt by not prosecuting Bush officials for the crimes of torture and fraudulent war.