The 166 page "March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance" was jointly authored by 19 agencies, and has been released in full on The Intercept.
As Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux point out in their analysis, the document is positively Kafkaesque, allowing agencies to add you to the watchlist if you are suspected of associating with a person who is suspected of being under suspicion of being a terrorist -- and "terrorist" has been redefined to include "people who damage government property," and people who seek to "influence government policy through intimidation."
This document -- and the millions who've been placed under suspicion as a result of it -- owes its existence to the Obama administration and its face-saving drive to expand the list of surveillance targets in the wake of the unsuccessful "underwear bomber" plot.
The criteria allow people to be put under suspicion without "concrete facts" and establishes thresholds as low as a single uncorroborated tweet or Facebook post. It also provides for adding whole "classes" of people to the list without any particular individual suspicion.
One interesting aspect of this document and the accompanying reportage: the accompanying article does not identify Edward Snowden as its source, and is deliberately vague about its provenance. This may be further evidence of a second NSA leaker -- a big deal, since Edward Snowden was the first person to ever leak NSA documents to the press. However, given the number of agencies involved in the document's creation, it may be that the leak came from another agency.
The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist [Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux/The Intercept]
I have an op-ed in today's Globe and Mail, "Why do people believe the Earth is flat?" wherein I connect the rise of conspiratorial thinking to the rise in actual conspiracies, in which increasingly concentrated industries are able to come up with collective lobbying positions that result in everything from crashing 737s to toxic baby-bottle […]
Anna Merlan has made a distinguished journalistic career out of covering conspiracy theories, particularly far-right ones, for Gizmodo Media; her book-length account of conspiratorial thinking, Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power, is a superb tour not just through the conspiracies that have taken hold in American public discourse, but […]
Juul is the cash-flush e-cigarette company whose billions (invested by Marlboro's parent company) have allowed it to create a massive market of addicted children, wiping out decades of progress in weaning children off of nicotine.
If you’re part of the maker community, you know Make:. Though Make: magazine is off the shelves as of this year, the eBooks and resources put out by Maker Media are still a fantastic resource for the new generation of tinkerers, hackers, and robotics geeks. If you’re in that tribe, listen up: they’ve released a […]
Life isn’t getting any less hectic, and pressure cookers are a quick, healthy solution for a growing number of kitchens. But if you thought your Instant Pot was versatile, there’s a major upgrade on the market: The Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker. If you’ve somehow never used a pressure cooker before, try […]
When it comes to data analytics or deep learning, there’s one language behind the apps and algorithms that power the biggest companies of today: Python. The best part about this tool is that as versatile as it is, it’s actually fairly easy to learn. But mastery? For that, you need more than just a beginners’ […]