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Is There Enough Evidence For a Criminal Investigation Into Hillary Clinton's Email?

July 24, 2015 Federal overseers are urging an inquiry into whether Hillary Clinton illegally mishandled classified documents during her four-year tenure as secretary of state, according to an article published late Thursday in The New York Times. At issue is her decision to conduct official business via private email. “Two inspectors general have...

Do Encrypted Phones Threaten National Security?

July 16, 2015 In Washington, D.C., where a growing chorus is demonizing end-to-end encryption that permits people to have conversations that the government can never see, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has aired a particularly extreme anti-privacy position: The Rhode Island Democrat suggested last week that selling well-encrypted smartphones to Americans should be treated like...

Should Google Ever Lie to Us?

July 7, 2015 What is Google’s responsibility to its searchers? In a Thursday panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Ashkan Soltani, the Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist, offered a hypothetical that captured why that question is so difficult to answer. Before getting to that hypothetical, let’s assume that Google commits––whether formally or informally––to...

Why the Government Should Destroy -- Not Store -- Employees' Sensitive Information

June 15, 2015 Imagine a piece of information that would be useful to store digitally if it could be kept secure, but that would do more harm than good if it ever fell into the wrong hands. With Friday’s news that “hackers have breached a database containing a wealth of sensitive information from...

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When Security Screening Crosses the Line

April 15, 2015 How intrusive is airport security these days? For ten or eleven male passengers, normal TSA screening protocol was so indistinguishable from a predatory stranger arbitrarily groping their genitals that none of them even complained when that happened. An anonymous airport worker exposed the story on November 18, 2014, telling TSA...

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Utah May Bring Back the Firing Squad to Kill Death-Row Inmates

March 11, 2015 In Utah, where nine inmates are on death row, their would-be executioners face an obstacle. To kill them by lethal injection, they need a cocktail of drugs. But a European campaign to stop one of those drugs from reaching U.S. executioners has worked well enough to create a shortage. And...

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Can California Textbooks Criticize Slave Traders?

February 23, 2015 In California, the state laws that govern education require very specific kinds of diversity. For example, the curriculum must include "a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans,...

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The Danger of Being Neighborly Without a Permit

February 22, 2015 Three years ago, the Los Angeles Times published a feel-good story on the Little Free Library movement. The idea is simple: A book lover puts a box or shelf or crate of books in their front yard. Neighbors browse, take one, and return later with a replacement. A 76-year-old in...

How Hillary's Hawkishness Could Cost Her the Presidency

February 19, 2015 Hillary Clinton's Iraq War vote cost her the election in 2008. During that campaign, she touted her experience and judgment to distinguish herself from Democratic rivals. "It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep," her most famous ad said. "But there's a phone in the White House and...

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The CIA's Most Important Overseer Is Abetting Its Torture Coverup

January 22, 2015 Senator Richard Burr is acting like a man who doesn't understand the role or duties that he now has. With the Republican Party assuming control of Congress, the North Carolinian is chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, the body charged with overseeing the CIA. His responsibilities are momentous. All senators...