What Are The Orwellian Dystopias Of The 21st Century?

07 08 dystopiaFictional metaphors matter, and in the battle to safeguard our civil liberties few metaphors matter more than George Orwell’s 1984. Although first published almost 70 years ago, the lasting salience of this most archetypal dystopia is undeniable.

Why We Welcome Poetic Justice And Despair At Poetic Injustice

Why We Welcome Poetic Justice And Despair At Poetic InjusticeRecently it was reported that a hunter who had shot an elephant was crushed when it fell over dead on top of him. A friend emailed the story to me with one word in the subject line: “Justice!”

Body Cameras Show Police Are Politer To White Drivers

Body Cameras Show Police Are Politer To White DriversPolice officers consistently use less respectful language with black community members than with white community members, the first systematic analysis of body camera footage shows.

Why What You Post Online Can Wreck Your Life

Why What You Post Online Can Wreck Your LifeHarvard recently rescinded admission offers for some incoming freshmen who participated in a private Facebook group sharing offensive memes.

Why FBI Directors Are Forbidden From Getting Cozy With Presidents

Why FBI Directors Are Forbidden From Getting Cozy With PresidentsHow are U.S. presidents and FBI directors supposed to communicate? A new FBI director has recently been nominated, former Assistant Attorney General Christopher Wray. He will certainly be thinking carefully about this question as he awaits confirmation.

How On The Internet, You Are Always The Product

Anyone who spends much time online knows the saying: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product”. That’s not exactly correctAnyone who spends much time online knows the saying: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product”. That’s not exactly correct. The Conversation

How The Internet Knows If You're Happy Or Sad

happy or sad 5 28Think about what you shared with your friends on Facebook today. Was it feelings of “stress” or “failure”, or perhaps “joy”, “love” or “excitement”?

The Left-Right Challenge to the Failed War on Drugs

The Left-Right Challenge to the Failed War on DrugsMore and more conservatives and liberals, from the halls of Congress to people in communities across the country, are agreeing that the so-called “war on drugs” needs serious rethinking.

Why Banning Laptops From Airplane Cabins Doesn't Make Sense

Why Banning Laptops From Airplane Cabins Doesn't Make SenseRecent reports suggest that terrorists can now create bombs so thin that they cannot be detected by the current X-ray screening that our carry-on bags undergo.

How To Protect Yourself From Ransomware

How To Protect Yourself From Ransomware What would it mean if you lost all of your personal documents, such as your family photos, research or business records?

How The US Immigration Court System Is Broken?

How The US Immigration Court System Is Broken?In the U.S. today, a single immigration case takes an average of 677 days simply to get to the initial scheduling hearing.

Crimes and Punishments That Fit The Crime?

Crimes and Punishments That Fit The Crime?The remarkable feature of this judicial sentence was how it clashed conceptually with the customary default question that suffuses our judicial system as a whole

Private Prisons, Explained

Private Prisons, ExplainedThe year 2016 was a wild one for the private prison industry. The Conversation

Tor Upgrades To Make Anonymous Publishing Safer

Tor Upgrades To Make Anonymous Publishing SaferIn the coming months, the Seattle-based nonprofit The Tor Project will be making some changes to improve how the Tor network protects users’ privacy and security.

Why Prison Building Is Booming In Rural America

Why Prison Building Will Continue Booming In Rural America

The election of Donald Trump signals an end to the recent optimism about reducing the mass imprisonment of two million U.S. citizens each year.

Can Customs and Border Officials Legally Search Your Phone?

Can Customs and Border Officials Legally Search Your Phone? A NASA scientist heading home to the U.S. said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where Customs and Border Protection officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents.

When Will We Learn Almost Everything Is Potentially Hackable?

When Will We Learn Almost Everything Is Potentially Hackable?This week’s WikiLeaks release of what is apparently a trove of Central Intelligence Agency information related to its computer hacking should surprise no on.  

Why We Should Not Know Our Own Passwords

Why We Should Not Know Our Own PasswordsSince 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been allowed to search electronic devices carried by citizens or noncitizens as they cross the border into the United States from other countries.

Could Your Fitbit Data Be Used To Deny You Health Insurance?

Could Your Fitbit Data Be Used To Deny You Health Insurance?Wearing a fitness tracking device could earn you cash from your health insurance company. At first, this sounds lucrative for the people who participate, and good for the companies, who want healthier insurance customers.

How To Identify And Stop Fraudsters

How To Identify And Stop FraudstersA common stereotype of fraudsters is that they are psychopaths. That fraudsters are considered manipulative, callous and remorseless is understandable, considering the consequences of fraud.

How Right To Be Forgotten Puts Privacy And Free Speech On A Collision Course

How Right To Be Forgotten Puts Privacy And Free Speech On A Collision CourseThe age of digital technology, in which we can search and retrieve more information than we could in any previous era, has triggered a debate over whether we have too much information. Is the cure to “unpublish” things we think are wrong or out of date? Ought we have a “right to be forgotten”?

Why Victims Are Always The Harmless, Easy Targets Of Dirty Politics

Why Victims Are Always The Harmless, Easy Targets Of Dirty PoliticsThe word “scapegoat” is being used a lot in discussions about politics in 2016. The new US president-elect, Donald Trump, appealed to some voters with rhetoric that appeared to scapegoat Mexicans and Muslims for various social and economic problems.

Why Every American Deserves a Guaranteed Minimum Income From Common Wealth

Why Every American Deserves a Guaranteed Minimum Income From Common WealthThe big, rarely asked question about our current economy is who gets the benefits of common wealth? Common wealth has several components. One consists of gifts of nature we inherit together: our atmosphere and oceans, water­sheds and wetlands, forests and fertile plains, and so on (including, of course, fossil fuels).

Backdoors And Spyware On Smartphones Is The Norm In China

Backdoors And Spyware On Smartphones Is The Norm In ChinaKryptowire, a security firm, recently identified several models of Android mobile devices that have preinstalled permanent software, known as firmware, that serve as backdoor that collects sensitive personal data, including text messages, geolocations, contact lists, call logs and transmits them to a third-party server in Shanghai, China.

How California, Nevada And Washington Tightened Firearms Regulations

How California, Nevada And Washington Tightened Firearms RegulationsAbout 1.5 million people have been shot by a gun, 468,758 fatally, in the United States over the past 15 years. The majority, nearly two-thirds of gun deaths, are suicides; more than a third are gunshots due to assault.

People Are Racist Against Black Places, Too

People Are Racist Against Black Places, TooNew research shows that racial biases affect more than how we treat individual black people. Biases also lead us to devalue black homes and neighborhoods, and to subject them to potential health hazards.

Marijuana Legalization Is Bringing Big Changes

Marijuana Legalization Is Bringing Big ChangesThis year’s election season was historic in more ways than one. An unprecedented nine states considered liberalizing cannabis laws, and here’s how it broke down: California, Massachusetts and Nevada saw their ballot measures pass.

Why Corruption Looks Different In China Than In The West

Why Corruption Looks Different In China Than In The WestThere has been significant suspicion in Australia and elsewhere on the wealth of particular business people, investors and companies from China. There’s always the suggestion that there is something unacceptable about it...

Millions More Voters Legalizing Marijuana Won't Clear Up Regulatory Haze

Millions More Voters Legalizing Marijuana Won't Clear Up Regulatory HazeCongress continues to resist decriminalizing marijuana even as a popular crusade to legalize its use state by state may soon mean almost a quarter of Americans can smoke up at will, not including the many more who can use the drug medicinally.

6 Things You Can Do To Prevent Online Theft

 6 Things You Can Do To Prevent Online TheftWhen it comes to theft online, “you’re only protected by other, easier victims,” says Hsinchun Chen, an expert in cybersecurity.

How To Make Criminal Justice Less Biased

How To Make Criminal Justice Less BiasedMany experts and politicians believe there is, as Hillary Clinton has said repeatedly, “systematic racism throughout the criminal justice system.”

Data Surveillance Is All Around Us, And It's Changing Our Behavior

Data Surveillance Is All Around Us, And It's Changing Our BehaviorEnabled by exponential technological advancements in data storage, transmission and analysis, the drive to “datify” our lives is creating an ultra-transparent world where we are never free from being under surveillance.

What Is Brainjacking And Is It A Cyber-security Threat?

What Is Brainjacking And Is It A Cyber-security Threat?We live in an interconnected age where wirelessly controlled computing devices make almost every aspect of our lives easier, but they also make us vulnerable to cyber-security attacks. Today, nearly everything can be hacked, from cars to lightbulbs

Corporations Want Your Digital Data and the FCC Must Stop Them

Corporations Want Your Digital Data and the FCC Must Stop ThemWhen Yahoo! confirmed that it had experienced a massive online attack from hackers who stole personal information from more than 500 million people — including names, emails and phone numbers — it revealed a disturbing truth about our digital media system.

The Price Of Connection: Surveillance Capitalism

The Price Of Connection: Surveillance CapitalismImagine, if you can, a period long before today’s internet-based connectivity. Imagine that, in that distant time, the populations of every country were offered a new plan.

We Can Read All Your Email, And You'll Never Know

We Can Read All Your Email, And You'll Never KnowFear of hackers reading private emails in cloud-based systems like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo has recently sent regular people and public officials scrambling to delete entire accounts full of messages dating back years.

The Future Of The US Supreme Court Is At Stake With Who Wins In November

The Future Of The US Supreme Court Is At Stake With Who Wins In NovemberAt a recent rally of Donald Trump supporters in North Carolina, Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence said the result of the November presidential election would determine the shape of the US Supreme Court for the next 40 years.

Should We Worry About The Privatization Of Genetic Data

Should We Worry About The Privatization Of Genetic DataPresident Obama has promised to support a bold future for medicine where diagnostic testing and treatments aren’t just what’s best for most people – they’re what’s best for you.

3-minute Saliva Test Would Spot Stoned Drivers

3-minute Saliva Test Would Spot Stoned DriversResearchers have applied magnetic nanotechnology, previously used as a cancer screen, to create what could be the first practical roadside test for marijuana intoxication.

Does More Regulation Lead To More Fraud?

Does More Regulation Lead To More Fraud?When top-level managers find governance mechanisms too coercive, they’re more likely to commit fraud, according to a new paper.

The Myth That Started The International War On Drugs

The Myth That Started The International War On DrugsThe image of China as an opium slave was the starting point for an international ‘war on drugs’ which, over a century later, is still being fought today.

Is Your Employer Watching You Online?

Is Your Employer Watching You Online? A new study reveals employers are using online information about job applicants without their knowledge, to inform hiring decisions. Approximately 55% of organizations now have a policy about this type of practice, called profiling.

More Third Parties Know What You Do Online

More Third Parties Know What You Do OnlineFor more than two decades, people have used the internet to research, shop, make friends, find dates, and learn about the world. And third parties have been watching—and learning.

How Companies Learn What Children Secretly Want

 Student privacy laws are not adequate. Mary Woodard, CC BY-NC-ND If you have children, you are likely to worry about their safety – you show them safe places in your neighborhood and you teach them to watch out for lurking dangers.

How to Break the Power of Money

How to Break the Power of MoneyWe can refuse to accept the pervasive, but false, claims that money is wealth and a growing GDP improves the lives of all.

Why a Tax on Wall Street Trades is a Great Idea

Why a Tax on Wall Street Trades is a Great IdeaOne of Bernie Sanders’s most important proposals didn’t receive enough attention and should become a law even without a president Sanders. Hillary Clinton should adopt it for her campaign.

Why Are Black Youths So Often Branded As Criminals

Why Are Black Youths So Often Branded As CriminalsTwo years ago, on Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American teenager, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Two years have passed since the recent high school graduate was denied the opportunity to begin his next stage of life: college.

Should We Be Locking People Up In Prisons At All?

Should We Be Locking People Up In Prisons At All?Footage aired last week of children being abused in a Northern Territory prison sent shockwaves around the nation. These images forced us to grapple with the problem as if it were breaking news, despite the fact that so many people knew so much about it for so long.

Buying And Selling Hacked Passwords: How Does It Work?

Data breaches are a regular part of the cyberthreat landscape. They generate a great deal of media attention, both because the quantity of information stolen is often large, and because so much of it is data people would prefer remained private.

What People Fear Predicts How They View Police Reform

What People Fear Predicts How They View Police ReformAt a time of intense national attention on law enforcement and race, a new study suggests that racially based fear plays a role in public support for policing reforms.

Why We Need To Find A Cure For Social Death

Why We Need To Find A Cure For Social DeathEvery year, over 50m people in the world will die. Old age, disease, war and starvation all contribute to that number, and scientists, doctors and charities do their best to bring the figure down.

A View Of American Islam From The Suburbs

amercian muslim 7 10On June 10 Americans celebrated Muhammad Ali as a paragon of athletic prowess, dignity in the face of suffering and patriotic dissent.

Why The Wounds From Incarceration Never Heal

Why The Wounds From Incarceration That Never HealNew research that we’ve published with our colleague Mary Laske Bell shows that African American men who are former inmates are irrevocably harmed by time they spent behind bars.

How To Spot An Online Lie

online lying 6 29There are three things you can be sure of in life: death, taxes – and lying. The latter certainly appears to have been borne out by the UK’s recent Brexit referendum, with a number of the Leave campaign’s pledges looking more like porkie pies than solid truths.

How Regulating Guns Like Cars Could Improve Safety

How Regulating Guns Like Cars Could Improve SafetyIn the midst of the Senate’s failure to agree on measures designed to tighten controls around the sales of firearms, a new idea is emerging.

Why Does LGBT Bias Translate Into Violence?

Why Does LGBT Bias Translate Into Violence?In the United States, public support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has increased in recent years

Hillary Clinton Seizes On Environmental Justice

Hillary Clinton Seizes On Environmental JusticeHillary Clinton has won the California primary, in part by appealing to environmentalists in a state with a long tradition in conservation and aggressive climate change policies. The victory follows the release earlier this spring of her strategy to address environmental and climate justice – a topic that’s risen to national prominence following the Flint water crisis.

Why Should Prostitution Be Decriminalized?

Why Should Prostitution Be Decriminalized?It seems that almost everyone has an opinion about prostitution and sex work. But with Amnesty International’s recent unflinching policy recommendation to decriminalize all adult consensual sex work

Securing Web Browsing: Protecting The Tor Network

Securing Web Browsing: Protecting The Tor NetworkThere are more than 865 encryption tools in use worldwide, all addressing different aspects of a common problem. People want to protect information: hard drives from oppressive governments, physical location from stalkers, browsing history from overly curious corporations or phone conversations from nosy neighbors.

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