"We’ve seen our fair share of federal government attempts to keep records about stingrays secret, but we’ve never seen an actual physical raid on state records in order to conceal them from public view."

U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records to Keep Them From the ACLU | Threat Level | WIRED

"The rich exist for the sake of the poor. The poor exist for the salvation of the rich….

I am often reproached for continually attacking the rich. Yes, because the rich are continually attacking the poor. But those I attack are not the rich as such, only those who misuse their wealth. I point out constantly that those I accuse are not the rich but the rapacious. Wealth is one thing, covetousness another. Learn to distinguish."

— St John Chrysostom (via antonyofva)

(via skinandtragedy)

theatlantic:

Legalized Corruption and the Twilight of Campaign-Finance Law

In McCutcheon v. FEC , the Supreme Court finds that those whose lack of money stifles their voices are simply losers in a fair democratic system.
Read more. [Image: Gary Cameron/Reuters]

theatlantic:

Legalized Corruption and the Twilight of Campaign-Finance Law

In McCutcheon v. FEC , the Supreme Court finds that those whose lack of money stifles their voices are simply losers in a fair democratic system.

Read more. [Image: Gary Cameron/Reuters]

newsweek:


When I heard that my 21-year-old son, a student at Harvard, had been stopped by New York City police on more than one occasion during the brief summer he spent as a Wall Street intern, I was angry.
On one occasion, while wearing his best business suit, he was forced to lie face-down on a filthy sidewalk because—well, let’s be honest about it, because of the color of his skin. As an attorney and a college professor who teaches criminal justice classes, I knew that his constitutional rights had been violated.
As a parent, I feared for his safety at the hands of the police—a fear that I feel every single day, whether he is in New York or elsewhere.
Moreover, as the white father of an African-American son, I am keenly aware that I never face the suspicion and indignities that my son continuously confronts. In fact, all of the men among my African-American in-laws—and I literally mean every single one of them—can tell multiple stories of unjustified investigatory police stops of the sort that not a single one of my white male relatives has ever experienced.
What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son - The Atlantic

newsweek:

When I heard that my 21-year-old son, a student at Harvard, had been stopped by New York City police on more than one occasion during the brief summer he spent as a Wall Street intern, I was angry.

On one occasion, while wearing his best business suit, he was forced to lie face-down on a filthy sidewalk because—well, let’s be honest about it, because of the color of his skin. As an attorney and a college professor who teaches criminal justice classes, I knew that his constitutional rights had been violated.

As a parent, I feared for his safety at the hands of the police—a fear that I feel every single day, whether he is in New York or elsewhere.

Moreover, as the white father of an African-American son, I am keenly aware that I never face the suspicion and indignities that my son continuously confronts. In fact, all of the men among my African-American in-laws—and I literally mean every single one of them—can tell multiple stories of unjustified investigatory police stops of the sort that not a single one of my white male relatives has ever experienced.

What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son - The Atlantic

(via theatlantic)

"We could have been more skeptical of NSA’s intentions," RSA Chief Technologist Sam Curry told Reuters. "We trusted them because they are charged with security for the U.S. government and U.S. critical infrastructure."

Exclusive: NSA infiltrated RSA security more deeply than thought - study - Yahoo News (via infoneer-pulse)

(via infoneer-pulse)

prostheticknowledge:

CONSTI2GO

Tech project by Thibault Brevet can connect to receipt printers to quickly provide a copy of the US constitution - video embedded below:

Hijacking the existing network of standard receipt printers, CONSTI2GO is a portable device that allows, on the press of a button, to print copies of the US Constitution.

Commissioned by Jeff Goldenson for LABRARY.bike

The project is to be shown during SXSW Interactive 2014.

Link

sunfoundation:

Nice deep-dive on ‘shadow lobbying’ from the folks over at The Nation. 
Sunlight has also written on the subject recently: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/11/25/how-much-lobbying-is-there-in-washington-its-double-what-you-think/
thenationmagazine:

“Lobbying isn’t dying; instead, it’s simply going underground.”

sunfoundation:

Nice deep-dive on ‘shadow lobbying’ from the folks over at The Nation

Sunlight has also written on the subject recently: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/11/25/how-much-lobbying-is-there-in-washington-its-double-what-you-think/

thenationmagazine:

Lobbying isn’t dying; instead, it’s simply going underground.

"

Spokesmen for the eavesdropping organizations reassured The Post that we shouldn’t bother our heads with all of this. They have “checks and balances built into our tools,” said one intelligence official.

Since the Snowden leaks began, the administration has adopted an interesting definition of that term. It used to be that “checks and balances” referred to one branch of the government checking and balancing the other branches — like the Supreme Court deciding whether laws are constitutional.

Now the NSA, the CIA and the White House use the term to refer to a secret organization reviewing the actions it has taken and deciding in secret by itself whether they were legal and constitutional.

"

— the New York Times, via Schneier on Security: NSA Harvesting Contact Lists

boy, Nick Carr really nailed it here - if you primarily get your news or conversation from people who have a similar viewpoint to yourself, and dismiss those who disagree without taking the time to seriously consider *why*, you are doing yourself (and indirectly, your country) a disservice. mea culpa: I’m as guilty of this as anybody (well, maybe not as *anybody*, but I could definitely stand to broaden the range of serious-minded news sources I consume.)

futurejournalismproject:

Glenn Greenwald v The BBC: How Journalism Works Edition

The BBC’s Newsnight interviewed The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald about the Edward Snowden NSA leaks last week.

Many of the questions are strange. On a scale of did-she-really-ask-that to facepalm, most fall somewhere in the middle. Take, in a paraphrased instance, “How do you know that your reporting isn’t helping terrorists?”

Because, terrorism.

Greenwald’s been in this seat many times before (think: Meet the Press’ David Gregory asking him why he shouldn’t be arrested along with Snowden for the leaks) and goes through his laundry list of what journalism is, how it works and why just because the government says it’s true doesn’t necessarily make it true.

NYU’s Jay Rosen has a good rundown on the exchange. In particular, the journalist’s strawman tick of beginning questions with something along the lines of, “Some people say… .”

Via Rosen:

I’ve been talking about this interview on Twitter today because to me this is a weak form of journalism. It takes common criticisms made of the subject and simply thrusts them at him one after the other to see how he handles it. The basic format is: “People say this about you. What is your response?” Questions 1-7, 9 and 13 are all of that type.

Defenders of this style always say the same thing: Hey, that was a tough interview! People in the public eye should be made to answer their doubters. You may not like it, especially if you’re a fan of the person in question, but that’s our job as journalists: to be tough but fair.

No, your job as a journalist is to decide which of the common criticisms have merit, and ask about those, leaving the meritless to chatrooms. It is also to synthesize new criticisms, and ask about those. It is to advance the conversation, not just replay it. People say these bad things about you– what is your response? is outsourcing the work to other interested parties. It doesn’t make for a tough interview; it makes for a predictable one, easier for the subject to handle. It’s also the cheapest and simplest way to manufacture an “adversarial” atmosphere

Video runtime: ~14 worthwhile minutes.