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People Censor Themselves Online for Fear of Being Harassed

November 23, 2016 When somebody famous gets harassed online, it usually makes a stir. The comedian Leslie Jones logged off Twitter this summer after being barraged with racist and sexist tweets. Last year, Zelda Williams walked away from her account when she was brutally harassed about the death of her father, the actor...

Trump’s CIA Director Wants to Return to a Pre-Snowden World

November 21, 2016 Mike Pompeo, the man President-elect Donald Trump chose Friday to lead the CIA when he becomes president, has long been a vocal supporter of expanding the government’s surveillance powers. As Congress worked to wind down the National Security Agency’s bulk data-collection program last summer, rolling back one of the secret...

How Light Bulbs Watch You Buy Groceries

November 18, 2016 In an enormous grocery store in northern France, the lights above the aisles aren’t all they seem to be. They look ordinary—more than a mile and a half of fixtures exuding bright light, folded into a grid overhead—but they’re actually flickering faster than the human eye can see. The unique...

Trump’s CIA Director Wants to Return to a Pre-Snowden World

November 18, 2016 Mike Pompeo, the man that President-elect Donald Trump chose on Friday to lead the CIA when he becomes president, has long been a vocal supporter of expanding the government’s surveillance powers. As Congress worked to wind down the National Security Agency’s bulk data-collection program last summer, rolling back one of...

The Dark Web Isn’t All Dark

November 3, 2016 Drugs, child porn, hitmen for hire: The dark web doesn’t have a particularly glowing reputation. When the leader of a illegal-drug marketplace called the Silk Road was arrested in 2013, many were introduced to the hidden side of the internet for the first time as the home of the notorious...

Inside a Hacking Competition to Take Down a Water-Treatment Plant

October 28, 2016 Just before 2:30 p.m. last Friday, the water-treatment plant lost power. For minutes, as technicians scrambled to bring it back to life, it was still, its pumps quiet, its purifying chemicals inactive, its ultraviolet lamps dark. The plant had been attacked by hackers, who had bombarded its power-control system with...

Who’s Responsible When Your DVR Launches a Cyberattack?

October 25, 2016 On Friday, millions of connected devices—webcams, routers, DVRs—banded together to attack a fundamental cornerstone of the internet’s infrastructure. It happened suddenly, without the knowledge of the gadgets’ owners, and it kept going for hours. Using a virus called Mirai, hackers commandeered insecure internet-connected devices worldwide and instructed them to throw...

Incessant Consumer Surveillance Is Leaking Into Physical Stores

October 21, 2016 You just wanted to shop for a birthday cake in peace—instead, you got ads that follow you around the internet, and coupons in your email that remember exactly which products you clicked on. So you shut down your computer, stick your hands into your pockets, and walk to the store....

Half of American Adults Are in Police Facial-Recognition Databases

October 19, 2016 If you’re reading this in the United States, there’s a 50 percent chance a photo of your face is in at least one database used in police facial-recognition systems. Police departments in nearly half of U.S. states can use facial-recognition software to compare surveillance images with databases of ID photos...

Half of American Adults Are in Police Facial-Recognition Databases

October 19, 2016 If you’re reading this in the United States, there’s a 50 percent chance that a photo of your face is in at least one database used in police facial-recognition systems. Police departments in nearly half of U.S. states can use facial-recognition software to compare surveillance images with databases of ID...