Political Misdirection, A Raid on Palestinian TV, and More

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Friday, May 04, 2012

The White House's attempt to distract us from bad economic news, a new FCC disclosure rule that may be meaningless, and a fight over broadcast frequencies in the Middle East.

Political Misdirection from The White House

The big political story this week was an argument between the Obama and Romney campaigns about whether or not Romney would have killed Osama Bin Laden, were he president. As the New Yorker's John Cassidy observed, the argument was actually beside the point -- it was a piece of calculated political distraction by the White House. He explains to Bob how it worked, and what news we missed as a result.

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Public Files Come Online...Sort Of.

In January, we covered a proposal to put the 'public files' of television stations online and the broadcaster's objections to the move. A public file, which stations are legally required to keep, contains information about what organizations are buying political ads and how much they've paid for each ad. Brooke speaks with Justin Elliott, reporter at ProPublica about a recent FCC ruling that will require some stations to put the files online.


Billy Bragg and Wilco - Union Prayer


Balancing Cybersecurity and Privacy

Last week, the cybersecurity bill CISPA passed the House of Representatives. Brooke talks to Congressman Adam Schiff about why he was initially for the bill and why he decided that in its current form it did not offer enough privacy protections to American citizens.

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An ISP Promises to Stand Up to the Government

Nick Merrill is building an internet service provider called Calyx. Calyx will be designed to encrypt user's data in such a way that it'll be inaccessible to anyone but that user. Which means that if the government asks for your browser history or emails, Calyx will be technologically unable to hand them over. Bob talks to Merrill about his plan.

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Western Technology in Oppressive Regimes

Much of the hardware and software used by oppressive regimes to monitor foreign dissidents is manufactured in the west. Margaret Coker, Middle East Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, talks to Bob about President Obama's recent Executive Order banning the sale of this technology to Iran and Syria.


Commotion Wireless and the Transparency of Privacy

In the cat and mouse game between the prying eyes of oppressive states and anti surveillance technology designers, there’s a new paradigm.  But it’s not the technology itself, it’s the way it’s being designed - everything from the funding to the code is available for everyone to see.  Sascha Meinrath, founder of Commotion Wireless, explains to Bob the paradox that the more information they reveal about their privacy software, the more secret it is. 


JD Samson and MEN - Life's Half Price


Local Television Broadcasting in the West Bank

Operating a television station in the occupied West Bank has never been an easy task, with broadcasters facing pressure from both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government. Palestinian journalist and TV producer Daoud Kuttab tells Brooke about the relatively recent establishment of local Palestinian TV stations and the difficulties they face.

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Israeli Raid on Palestinian TV Station

In February, Israeli Defense Forces raided Wattan TV, a local Palestinian station operating out of Ramallah. Brooke speaks to Wattan TV general director Muamar Orabi about the raid and the heartbreak he feels after a decade of work at the station.

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The Israeli Ministry that Ordered the Raid

The February raids on two Palestinian TV stations were carried out by Israeli Defense Forces on behalf of the Israeli Ministry of Communications. Brooke speaks with the ministry's director general, Eden Bar Tal, who says Wattan TV was operating illegally and only raided after repeated requests to stop interfering with Israeli frequencies.


Yo-Yo Ma - Bach Suite for Solo Cello No. 2 in D Minor, Mov. VI: Gigue

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