This week Iranians returned to the polls for the first time since 2009’s presidential election, and opposition groups and reformers have called for a boycott of the elections. The government wants high voter turnout to show that the regime is still strong, and so they've attempted to clamp down on the media in order to get their version of the story out. Bob talks to Muhammad Sahimi of Tehran Bureau about the regime's efforts at message control.
Familiar with the apps that vacuum in your personal information without your knowledge? Or online companies that track you even after you’ve nicely asked them not to? Well, the White House announced last week a new ‘Consumer Bill of Rights’ that will try to clarify how online companies and app developers are supposed to navigate your privacy. Bob speaks with Ryan Singel of wired.com about consumer privacy’s prospects and potential.
Last month a team of researchers released a paper which demonstrated that it’s possible to identify anonymous authors on the internet simply by analyzing their writing style and comparing it to known instances of their writing. Brooke talks to Arvind Narayanan, one of the authors of the paper, about what it means for the future of online anonymity.
Berlin based artist Julian Oliver has crafted an object that looks just like the classic Russian F1 hand grenade you often see in war movies. But when you pull the pin on this grenade, it doesn’t explode in fire and bits of shrapnel, it records nearby audio and gathers information from local wireless signals and explodes that information onto the Internet. Bob talks to Oliver about the motivations behind his transparency grenade.
In an attempt to make the government more transparent with the information it has collected about her, OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman is sending out personal Freedom of Information Act Requests to numerous government agencies. Bob speaks to Sarah about what it takes to FOIA yourself.
James Murdoch stepped down this week as chief of News International's British newspapers. James' departure followed revelations by British police that the company had bribed multiple public officials and not just at The News of the World but at The Sun tabloid, too. This has renewed speculation over here that the Murdochs may have run afoul of U.S. law, specifically the Watergate-era Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. ProPublica’s Jake Bernstein reminds us what the act is, and explains how the Murdochs could potentially wind up in U.S. courts.
Most of us have been lucky enough to never witness someone's innards being spliced out of their body. Or someone's head being smashed into a wall. But in an action or horror film, we often believe that that's what actual violence sounds like. Deep in the Hollywood studios, sound editors have to create these sounds. How do they know what gruesome violence really sounds like? Brooke talks with Slate senior editor Daniel Engber who wrote about the battle between the real and created sound of violence.