Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Could you find better examples of doublespeak than that from government reports?
NSA: It Would Violate Your Privacy to Say if We Spied on You
The surveillance experts at the National Security Agency won’t tell two powerful United States Senators how many Americans have had their communications picked up by the agency as part of its sweeping new counterterrorism powers. The reason: it would violate your privacy to say so.
That claim comes in a short letter sent Monday to civil libertarian Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. The two members of the Senate’s intelligence oversight committee asked the NSA a simple question last month: under the broad powers granted in 2008′s expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, how many persons inside the United States have been spied upon by the NSA?
The query bounced around the intelligence bureaucracy until it reached I. Charles McCullough, the Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the nominal head of the 16 U.S. spy agencies. In a letter acquired by Danger Room, McCullough told the senators that the NSA inspector general “and NSA leadership agreed that an IG review of the sort suggested would further violate the privacy of U.S. persons,” McCullough wrote.
… What’s more, McCullough argued, giving such a figure of how many Americans were spied on was “beyond the capacity” of the NSA’s in-house watchdog — and to rectify it would require “imped[ing]” the very spy missions that concern Wyden and Udall. “I defer to [the NSA inspector general's] conclusion that obtaining such an estimate was beyond the capacity of his office and dedicating sufficient additional resources would likely impede the NSA’s mission,” McCullough wrote.

(Related) Drones are the “not quite war” tool of choice in countries where the infrastructure does not favor CyberWar...
White House, Citing Public’s Right to Know, Stonewalls on Yemen War
The center of the US drone war has shifted to Yemen, where 23 American strikes have killed an estimated 155 people so far this year. But you wouldn’t know about it — or about the cruise missile attacks, or about the US commando teams in Yemen — by reading the report the White House sent to Congress about US military activities around the globe. Instead, there’s only the blandest acknowledgement of “direct action” in Yemen, “against a limited number of [al-Qaida] operatives and senior leaders.”
The report, issued late Friday, is the first time the United States has publicly, officially acknowledged the operations in Yemen and in nearby Somalia that anyone with internet access could’ve told you about years ago.

Looks like everyone wants to 'drone up.' One of the problems with simple, cheap and effective tools.
Iranian Missile Engineer Oversees Chavez’s Drones

Will this depend on antitrust or potential campaign contributions?
June 18, 2012
The Role of Antitrust in Protecting Competition, Innovation, and Consumers as the Digital Revolution Matures
The Role of Antitrust in Protecting Competition, Innovation, and Consumers as the Digital Revolution Matures: The Case against the Universal-EMI Merger and E-Book Price Fixing - Mark Cooper, Director of Research, Consumer Federation of America Fellow, Donald McGannon Communications Research Center, Fordham University - Jodie Griffin, Staff Attorney, Public Knowledge, June 2012
  • "This paper presents a detailed analysis of the proposed merger between Universal Music Group (UMG) and EMI by applying the standards and methods outlined in the recently revised Department of Justice/Federal Trade Commission Merger Guidelines. It shows that the UMG‐EMI merger is “an unfair method of competition” that constitutes “an unreasonable restraint of trade” because it will “substantially lessen competition” and is “likely to enhance market power.” Simply put, the postmerger firm will have a strong incentive and increased ability to exercise market power, particularly in undermining, delaying, or distorting new digital distribution business models, in a market that has been a tight oligopoly for over a decade. The merger creates a highly concentrated market by eliminating one of only four major record labels and results in an increase in concentration that is five times the level that the DOJ/FTC identify as a cause of concern. The recent history of anticompetitive, anti‐consumer conduct by this tight oligopoly and the role of EMI as a maverick in the digital era compound the anticompetitive effects of the merger and significantly increase the likelihood that the merger will not only result in higher prices but also undermine incipient competition."

I find her work interesting... And we should have been teaching classes on this years ago...
Mindmap for Studying Social Media
For the last two years, I’ve been studying social media from all angles in anticipation of teaching a full course on Social Media (which I did in the Winter 2012 semester). During that time, I tweeted all sorts of articles, videos, blog posts, and resources related to all aspects of Social Media.
Today I’m doing a 4-hour workshop on Social Media for the MCCVLCC, and in an effort to organize and make sense of two years of study, I decided to build a mindmap about Social Media from all the tweets I’ve made about this in the last year.
There are eight major branches on the mindmap:
  • Guidelines and Policies
  • The Business of Social Media
  • Studying the Social Network
  • History of Social Networks and Media
  • Social Media and Education
  • Human Relationships
  • Technology and Tools
  • Legal, Ethical, and Privacy Issues

Could fill in some gaps...
June 18, 2012
Data Citation Brochure published by UK's Economic and Social Research Council
"Just to let you all know that here at the Economic and Social Data Service in the UK we have been working with the ESRC on a brochure to encourage data citation amongst our social scientists and journal publishers. In October 2011 we minted over 5000 DOIs for our ESDS Collection with Datacite, using a methodology we developed to deal with version changes to our data. You can view our Webinar that explains how we do this. We have also spoken at various Datacite events. We are currently sending out over 1000 brochures to all the major UK and key European social science publishers and professional societies in the UK. View our brochure and feel free to borrow from it!"

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