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Friday, June 07, 2013

Stories to Watch: 6/7/13

Another reason the PRISM controversy won't turn into a full-blown scandal -- the public is depressingly fine with overreach in the name of fighting terrorism. "The reason programs like these exist and persist isn't that the government keeps them secret," explains Josh Barro. "It's that our lawmakers tell the public they are necessary to achieve a goal of zero terrorism, which might well be true — and the public considers that a good enough reason." Of course zero terrorism is a ridiculous and impossible goal, which means the surveillance state is here to stay until we decide privacy is more important than maintaining an impossible expectation of safety. On the less depressing side, he notes that worries about terrorism are on the decline and the "time might be more ripe now than previously to push back against the expansion of the antiterror apparatus."

Looking for a job? Why not consider poking around in other people's business for the NSA?

Tech companies are denying involvement in PRISM, but perhaps you should take those denials with a grain of salt.

Everything you want to know about telephone metadata.

In a move overshadowed by the PRISM story, Pres. Obama sends an envoy to look into shutting down Gitmo.

Mitt Romney reminds us all why he is not president by regretting the timing of Hurricane Sandy. Not regretting the hurricane itself or the loss of life and property, mind you -- just the timing. If only you could reschedule this sort of thing.

Insurers are handing out rebate checks and lowering premiums. Man, that Obamacare sure is a disaster, huh?

Here's a crazy idea: what if the military services put women in charge preventing sexual assault?

Finally, a woman who had a bit part on The Walking Dead tried to frame her husband by sending letters laced with ricin to the president. Needless to say, this is a very bad idea.

[cartoon via Truthdig]

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