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"I don't think the report is true, but these crises work for those who want to make fights between people." Kulam Dastagir, 28, a bird seller in Afghanistan

FISC OKs Section 215 Investigations of Americans, Despite First Amendment | Just Security
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:08 am EDT, Aug 29, 2014

For people who were reassured that section 215’s language would protect law abiding Americans from getting sucked into counterterrorism investigations, this is another tchotchke for your Curio Cabinet of Naïveté. But the FISC, to its credit, declassified this opinion and now Congress and the public have a chance to understand what “law” is actually being applied.

FISC OKs Section 215 Investigations of Americans, Despite First Amendment | Just Security


R.E.M. - Uberlin [Official Lyrics] - YouTube
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:35 pm EDT, Aug 28, 2014

...

R.E.M. - Uberlin [Official Lyrics] - YouTube


Lawfare › Yeah, But Is It a Good Bill? Thoughts on the Leahy FISA Reform Proposal
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:35 pm EDT, Jul 31, 2014

The positive side of the bill has several important elements we can sum up with the words “institutionalization” and “legitimization.”

Whether thats positive or not certainly depends on your perspective.

Lawfare › Yeah, But Is It a Good Bill? Thoughts on the Leahy FISA Reform Proposal


Lawfare › Who Is Saying What About the Leahy Surveillance Bill
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:31 pm EDT, Jul 31, 2014

The bill, negotiated during two months with extensive input from the intelligence community, and civil society, is a true compromise and a crucial step in the right direction.

Lawfare › Who Is Saying What About the Leahy Surveillance Bill


Alien Autopsy: William Barker on Schwa, two decades later - Boing Boing
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:19 pm EDT, Jul 29, 2014

Twenty years ago, William Barker's Schwa artwork revealed a world of alien abductions, stick figure insanity, conspiratorial crazy, and a hyper-branded surveillance state. It's now more relevant than ever.

Alien Autopsy: William Barker on Schwa, two decades later - Boing Boing


Security Challenges in an Ever-Evolving Cyber Realm - YouTube
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:05 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2014

Watch Deputy Director Richard Ledgett at Aspen Security Forum on Security Challenges in an Ever Evolving Cyber Realm

Richard Ledgett seems professional and thoughtful in his perspectives. The observations about transparency that start around 43:10 reflect what I think is the right balance.

Security Challenges in an Ever-Evolving Cyber Realm - YouTube


What Were They Thinking? Microsoft Seizes, Returns Majority of No-IP.com’s Business | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:48 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2014

Not only did Microsoft bungle the facts and the tech underlying its seizure of No-IP.com’s core business, its case against the provider was based on a downright dangerous legal theory. Microsoft argued that, as a provider of free network services, No-IP.com was negligent. Indeed, Microsoft claims that No-IP.com had a legal obligation to:

Require all users to provide their real name, address, and telephone number.
Put that information in a public database.
Use a “web reputation” service to identify bad actors.
And encrypt its customers’ usernames and passwords.

Every one of those points is rubbish, and none is a legal duty of service providers.

What Were They Thinking? Microsoft Seizes, Returns Majority of No-IP.com’s Business | Electronic Frontier Foundation


Some homeowners miss out on housing recovery - Chicago Tribune
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:44 pm EDT, Jul 20, 2014

In 2007, Congress passed a law, which was twice extended, exempting a homeowner from being taxed on debt that was forgiven as part of a short sale or a loan modification. Otherwise, canceled debt is treated as taxable income by the IRS.

Without the act and assuming a 28 percent tax bracket, every $10,000 in forgiven debt would make a homeowner liable for an additional $2,800 in taxes. The "extra" income could also push someone into a higher tax bracket.

But the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expired Dec. 31, and legislative efforts to extend the tax break and make it retroactive to Jan. 1 have faltered, stuck in committee.

Congress doesn't care about underwater home owners.

Some homeowners miss out on housing recovery - Chicago Tribune


The Political Typology: Beyond Red vs. Blue | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:38 am EDT, Jul 20, 2014

The latest Pew Research Center political typology, which sorts voters into cohesive groups based on their attitudes and values, provides a field guide for this constantly changing landscape.

The Political Typology: Beyond Red vs. Blue | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press


Americans Less Satisfied With Freedom
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:19 pm EDT, Jul 17, 2014

Among Americans, perceptions of widespread corruption in their government have been generally increasing over the past seven years.

Americans Less Satisfied With Freedom


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