Angela Merkel rebukes US and Britain over NSA surveillance – Telegraph

“Actions in which the ends justify the means, in which everything that is technically possible is done, violate trust, they sow distrust,” she said. “The end result is not more security but less.”

“Is it right to act this way because others in the world do the same?”

“Billions of people living in undemocratic states today are looking very closely at how the democratic world responds to security threats – whether it acts with self-confidence and prudence, or whether it cuts off the branch that makes it so attractive in the eyes of billions: the freedom and dignity of the individual.”

Source: Angela Merkel rebukes US and Britain over NSA surveillance – Telegraph

TSA Agent Confession – POLITICO Magazine

Confessions of an ex-TSA agent: Jason Edward Harrington

I quickly discovered I was working for an agency whose morale was among the lowest in the U.S. government. In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds.

The scanners were useless. The TSA was compelling toddlers, pregnant women, cancer survivors—everyone—to stand inside radiation-emitting machines that didn’t work.

Source: TSA Agent Confession – POLITICO Magazine

The Story of Globalization in 1 Graph – The Atlantic

A crystal-clear picture of the world’s winners and losers in the last generation

Source: Milanovic, B., Lead Economist, World Bank Research Department, Global income inequality by the numbers. Annotations by James Plunkett.

Source: The Story of Globalization in 1 Graph – The Atlantic

 

Sometimes a graphic inspires us not by its creative animations or mesmerizing interactive elements, but by how much it can explain with how little. That’s why we like this chart from Branko Milanovic, lead economist at the World Bank’s research department (as annotated by James Plunkett, policy director at U.K. think tank Resolution Foundation). Milanovic likes to call it, “How the world changed between the fall of the Berlin wall and the fall of Wall Street.”

Source: Chart of the Week: How two decades of globalization have changed the world | Pew Research Center

 

RE: https://twitter.com/jamestplunkett/status/425909152217444352/photo/1

Pando: The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages

In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple’s Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google’s Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators.

Source: Pando: The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages

Court Upholds Willy-Nilly Gadget Searches Along U.S. Border | WIRED

A federal judge today upheld a President Barack Obama administration policy allowing U.S. officials along the U.S. border to seize and search laptops, smartphones and other electronic devices for any reason.

Source: Court Upholds Willy-Nilly Gadget Searches Along U.S. Border | WIRED

 

This is a very interesting case which brings up a lot of interesting questions:

  • When does technology sufficiently constitute our “person” such that we must be legally secure in it, in order to have a functioning democracy of citizens?
  • To what extent should citizens be required to trust the government to only enforce laws “reasonably”?
  • To what extent should government be required to trust citizens to be acting reasonably, without suspicion otherwise? Or to what extent should the government act to find reasonable suspicion?

The Rise and Rise of Television Torture :: Interpret This

Scully and Mulder from the X-Files did not go around torturing people. And neither were they (at least not very often) tortured themselves.

But this prevalence of torture that you see in otherwise very comparable shows is not limited to Fringe. It is everywhere in American entertainment now.

Everywhere you see it it promotes the lie that torture works.

Source: The Rise and Rise of Television Torture :: Interpret This