National Security

Snowden questions Putin's 'evasive' denial of mass surveillance

In a question and answer session run by Russia's state-run broadcaster earlier this week, NSA leaker Edward Snowden asked President Vladimir Putin whether his government intercepted, stored, or analyzed the communications of its citizens. Today, writing in The GuardianSnowden says he's not satisfied with Putin's "evasive" answer.

Snowden says Putin "denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter," when he was asked if a surveillance program was morally defensible. The ex-NSA contractor noted that the fact the president responded at all "appears to be the strongest denial of involvement in mass surveillance ever given by a Russian leader," but also drew parallels between Putin's defense and president Obama's "initial, sweeping denials" of the scale of the NSA's surveillance program, "before that position was later shown to be both untrue and indefensible."

"There are serious inconsistencies in his denial." Edward Snowden

Al Franken wants Netflix CEO's perspective on Comcast / TWC deal

Senator Al Franken has repeatedly warned of the dangers presented by Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and today he repeated those concerns in a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. If regulators clear the purchase, Franken said he fears it will give Comcast "the power and the incentive to act as a gatekeeper on the internet, raising costs and limiting choices for consumers." According to Franken, Hastings and Netflix are "uniquely positioned to gauge the risks" posed by...


NYPD shutters controversial unit that spied on Muslims

The New York Police Department has disbanded a division that conducted extensive covert surveillance on the city's Muslim communities. The Demographics Unit infiltrated mosques, restaurants, and other locations with plainclothes officers and...

The first Heartbleed hacker has been arrested

Canadian officials say they've tracked down the man responsible for the last week's Heartbleed-assisted breach at the Canadian Revenue Agency, which compromised the personal data of more than 900 citizens. According to The Calgary Herald, 19-year-old Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes from London, Ontario has been officially charged with the attack after five days of investigation. The official charges are "unauthorized use of a computer" and...

Concepts

Floating nuclear power plants could avoid disasters like Fukushima

Researchers have an idea for how future nuclear reactors can avoid the trauma that led to the 2011 disaster at Fukushima: by building new plants five to seven miles out into the ocean. "This affords some absolutely crucial advantages," Jacopo Buongiorno, a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, which led the research, explains in a video presenting the idea. In particular, Buongiorno says that this distance into the ocean will...

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