This past January, Laura Poitras received a curious e-mail from an anonymous stranger requesting her public encryption key. For almost two years, Poitras had been working on a documentary about surveillance, and she occasionally received queries from strangers. She replied to this one and sent her public key — allowing him or her to send an encrypted e-mail that only Poitras could open, with her private key — but she didn’t think much would come of it. The stranger responded with instructions for creating an even more secure system to protect their exchanges. Promising sensitive information, the stranger told Poitras
Let Rand Paul have his epic filibuster and Ted Cruz his scowling threats to shut down the government. Let Chris Christie thunder to a second term as the governor of New Jersey, his hubris flowering as his ultimate designs on the White House take shape. Jeb Bush, lying low in the subtropics of Florida, has something they don’t: the unalloyed affection of many of the Republican Party’s most influential moneymen, who are waiting for word on what he’ll do, hoping that he’ll seek the 2016 presidential nomination
The Los Angeles Police Department has ruled out foul play in journalist Michael Hastings´ fatal car crash two months ago in Hollywood, but several media outlets are continuing to promote conspiracy theories about the circumstances surrounding his death. The theories, which suggest Hastings was assassinated shortly after sending friends a frantic email, have received attention beyond the usual fringe suspects partly because of ongoing reporting by freelance blogger Kimberly Dvorak for the CW Television Network affiliate San Diego 6. Dvorak, whom the station touts as an "investigative journalist," is a "National Homeland Security Correspondent" for Examiner.com, a blog network owned by
From his first presidential campaign to the present, the president, his party and his administration have openly flouted existing laws, and it doesn´t seem there is any legal means of stopping him short of impeachment. As you may recall, the Democrats refused to fill vacant spots on the Federal Election Commission so that when the Obama campaign disabled the system to track contributions there was no way in 2008 to challenge and stop the practice and countless suspicious contributions, including many from overseas, found their way into his coffers.
Here’s a little piece of advice for those in trouble with the law: If you don’t want to be arrested, stay off social media. You may recall that on July 28th, riots broke out in Huntington Beach, California following the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing competition. The melee resulted in property damage to stores in the area, small fires being set ablaze, toppling of port-a-potties, looting and fights in the streets and damage to police cars. As is common now in the age of social media, photos and videos of the chaos went viral online, and police promised to take advantage of
The British embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa has reopened after it was closed for nearly two weeks over "increased security concerns". UK staff in Sanaa were sent home after messages between the head of al-Qaeda and the group´s head in Yemen about an attack were reportedly intercepted. US embassies across the Middle East and North Africa were also closed. Yemen said the closures had played into the hands of terrorists, but Britain said safety was the top priority. The BBC´s Rami Ruhayem, in Sanaa, said the reopening of the British embassy, at 08:30 BST on Sunday, appeared to suggest the perceived danger
Thousands of refugees from Syria are pouring over the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, the UN refugee agency says. Up to 10,000 crossed at Peshkhabour on Saturday, adding to an earlier influx of 7,000 on Thursday. The UN agencies, the Kurdish regional government and NGOs are struggling to cope, correspondents say. The UN says the reasons are not fully clear, but there has been a sharp rise in clashes between Syrian Kurds and anti-government Islamist militants. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says this is one of the biggest single waves of refugees it has had to deal with since the uprising against
When British energy company Cuadrilla announced that it was going to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas on the outskirts of the sleepy West Sussex village of Balcombe, the residents were understandably concerned--and they voiced their objections in a peaceful and responsible manner. They set up gazebos and bunting at the roadside; there was tea, music and even a cricket match. But then a hard core of outside activists turned up who transformed the protest into something quite different. [Snip] Wytch Farm in Dorset has been producing thousands of barrels of oil a day since the Seventies, pumping water
VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — Even on a summer family vacation, President Barack Obama is followed by an entourage whose behind-the-scenes movements are juggled by a woman who was born into politics and has been with him since his Chicago days. Ashley Tate-Gilmore heads the White House Travel Office, a five-person operation that handles precise logistics behind every presidential trip. The details usually go unnoticed by the public, unless something goes horribly wrong. Tate-Gilmore not only acts as a high-stakes travel agent for White House press and staff, but a mini-ambassador who is often the first to arrive at presidential destinations.
Why do some countries, at certain times in history, advance technologically, while others stagnate? Are they just lucky? Or smarter? No. It´s all about freedom--the ability to apply and benefit from the new way of doing things.It is not that people in stagnant societies don´t have clever ideas. They´re just not free to exploit them. Ming China is perhaps the most tragic historical example of this. Despite coming up with printing, gunpowder, the compass, and a host of other innovations, it wasn´t China that managed to really apply those new ideas. China might have had plenty of coal, yet no
For a place that attracts people from around the globe, Washington also has a penchant for sending some of them packing. “I spent the better part of 10 years camped in the nation’s Capitol and, toward the end, I just felt like I was suffocating,” said Mark McKinnon, a political strategist who worked on George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns and who hightailed it out of town for Austin, Texas, and Blue River, Colo., a few years ago. “I felt like I was becoming part of the problem and had to get away.” He’s not the only one: There’s a group of
The tech company said all of its services from Google Search to Gmail to YouTube to Google Drive went down for between one and five minutes last night. The reason for the outage is not yet known, and Google refused to provide any further information when contacted by Sky News Online. According to web analytics firm GoSquared, global internet traffic fell by around 40% during the black-out, reflecting Google´s massive grip on the web. "That’s huge," said GoSquared developer Simon Tabor. "As internet users, our reliance on Google.com being up is huge. "It’s also of note that pageviews spiked shortly afterwards, as users managed
The Post reported, “The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.” I know it is de popular to hyperventilate about the National Security Agency (NSA) findings, but the hysteria is disproportionate to what we know. That is the NSA’s fault because it has tried to get by with generalities and platitudes. However, an internal audit is a sign that there were efforts to reduce or eliminate the error rate.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled permanent vacation to announce our resumption of hostilities. Look, we wanted to be nice, irenic, civil, compassionate, kindly, patient, but he wouldn’t let us, as if outraged that we weren’t hounding him every week. In a normal political environment we’d happily have done so. In our last entry, almost three years ago exactly, in the wake of the annual White House Ramadan dinner, we thought we’d struck an appropriate bipartisan tone. But then suddenly, late morning Thursday, he really did go too far. He interrupted his vacation to appear on national television to denounce the Egyptian
Even as he continues to eye another presidential bid, Rick Santorum is stepping into a new role: movie mogul. In June, Santorum became CEO of EchoLight Studios, which produces Christian films. Santorum, who changed his own views on abortion as an adult, believes that if conservatives wish to gain converts, they must look not only to politics but also to the culture. “We’re losing this debate not because of politics,” Santorum told attendees last Saturday at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, the second annual gathering of the group by the same name. “Politicians didn’t change the culture — the popular
In a few short weeks, New Yorkers will choose between two candidates for city comptroller in the Democratic primary. One is Scott Stringer, a conventional Manhattan liberal. The other is a completely unhinged Manhattan liberal. His name is Eliot Spitzer, and for a man who styles himself the “Sheriff of Wall Street,” his real expertise is operating outside the law. As attorney general, he acted like some hick-town bully with a badge and a speed trap. But where it counted — in the courtroom — this sheriff seldom got his man. Then again, Spitzer’s goals in office have always been less about
By April 2007, it became harder for Travis to ignore some of the signs that Jodi’s jealousy was beginning to take over their relationship. Whether it was eavesdropping on his conversations, or digitally through his e-mail, she seemed to be growing more suspicious of him. Jodi and Travis continued to date, visiting Mormon holy sites in Illinois and Missouri. Still, traveling couldn’t mask the tension that was growing between them. When the two went to the home of one of Travis’ friends in Park City, Ill., Travis fell asleep on the couch with his cellphone between the couch cushions. Jodi saw it
This email arrived yesterday from MoveOn, whose communications are generally indistinguishable from those of the Democratic Party. The subject line was “New York Times stunner.” Republicans are trying to steal control of the U.S. Senate by making it harder to vote. Pitch in to help defend the right to vote and stop Republicans from stealing the 2014 election. This plea requires a certain chutzpah, as stealing elections at the polls has always been a Democratic specialty. I think what they are actually referring to is Republican efforts to ensure honest voting so that Democrats can’t steal elections. Dear MoveOn member,
Let’s get real and tamp down the moral posturing about democracy in Egypt. Freely elected President Morsi and his now-deposed Muslim Brotherhood government weren’t practicing democracy. They were co-opting the laws and slowly destroying all possible opposition. Besides, they were aligning with America’s jihadist enemies in Syria, Gaza, and elsewhere. Egypt’s military leaders, no democratic sweethearts either, are aligned with moderates, need Washington more than the Islamists, and back U.S. interests on the Suez Canal and Israel. Americans rightly can’t stand the military street slaughters. For sure, bloody casualties will mount. But the United States has some modest chance to
WASHINGTON — Get your face on TV and write a book: Check. Start meeting the big money people: Check. Visit Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina — Israel, too: Check. Deny any of this has to do with running for president: Check. For politicians planning or tempted to run for the presidency in 2016, the to-do list is formidable. What´s striking is how methodically most of them are plowing through it while they pretend nothing of the sort is going on. Somehow, it has been decreed that politicians who fancy themselves presidential timber must wear a veil concealing the nakedness
On Tuesday, I visited the offices of two local congressmen: Cincinnati’s Steve Chabot and Northern Kentucky’s Thomas Massie. My self-appointed mission was to observe appearances by protesting members of Organizing for Action, the now supposedly “independent” entity which until late last year ran President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. All of OFA’s protest visits “just so happen” to target 135 Republicans characterized as “climate deniers.” As a result, on Wednesday, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, one of the very few real heroes in what used to be the world’s greatest deliberative body, announced an investigation into whether OFA has violated the Hatch
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi argued late Friday that new hires under ObamaCare could threaten the private information of people trying to get health insurance. Bondi said that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is making it easier for someone to be hired as a so-called navigator, cutting back on background checks and eliminating a fingerprinting requirement, which could make it easier for a person’s private information to fall into the wrong hands. “Because of time constraints, HHS [is] cutting back on the requirement to become a navigator, meaning they´re not going to be doing background checks.
It seems that the Republican camp’s hits on Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and his oversight of GreenTech Automotive, currently under an SEC investigation, are at least hitting the target to some degree. Earlier this week, the Washington Post editors posed a rather uncomfortable question or two for the Democrat, who resigned as the barely-productive company’s chairman just last December and remains the largest shareholder. In answer, McAuliffe wrote a piece for Friday afternoon — ahem — that took some rather interesting positions on his fiduciary responsibilities as the erstwhile leader of the company. For instance: You might think that
SHROUDED by foliage and separated from the city by the Hudson River, the looming cliffs of the Palisades mean little more to most New Yorkers than a pleasant view from the West Side Highway. But these titanic ramparts of ancient basalt are also monuments to an apocalypse. The cliffs were once underground channels of molten rock that fed widespread volcanic eruptions 200 million years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea pulled apart at the seams. The eruptions covered more than four million square miles with basalt lava and belched vast amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfur into the atmosphere. Brief volcanic
CAIRO – After torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like "prisoners of war" before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob. In the four days since security forces cleared two sit-in camps by supporters of Egypt´s ousted president, Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority. The campaign of intimidation appears to be a warning to Christians outside Cairo to stand down from political activism. Christians have long suffered
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A young man who testified he was fondled by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has reached a settlement that gives him some peace of mind while putting the university in a better position to recover the money through a third party, the man´s attorney says. The settlement is the first among dozens of claims made against the school amid the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that the young man known as "Victim 5,"