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The Shifting State of Internet Governance

Friday, March 21, 2014

The seemingly arcane business of running the web recently made headlines when the United States government agreed to cede control of the Internet's global address book, also known as the Domain Name System (DNS). Bob talks with Bloomberg Businessweek's Brendan Greeley about the move and the future of internet governance.

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On The Media

Popcorn Time will not cause a piracy apocalypse

Monday, March 17, 2014

For the past week, tech sites have been reporting hysterically on a new app called Popcorn Time, which is being referred to as video piracy's "Napster moment." What it seems the press is missing is that video's Napster moment came and went a long time ago.

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On The Media

FOIA's Report Card

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Freedom of Information Act has been around since 1966, but according to a new report card, federal agencies haven’t yet mastered the art of disclosing. Brooke speaks with Sean Moulton of the Center for Effective government, which just released The Access to Information Scorecard 2014, a sobering look at government transparency.

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On The Media

Stepping into the Light

Friday, March 14, 2014

As we’ve previously reported, US Customs and Border Protection, under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security, is one of the least transparent agencies in the country. But late last week, sparked by a leak of a review done by the Police Executive Research Forum, CBP shone a little light on its processes. Brooke speaks to Brian Bennett, National Security Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, who was the recipient of that initial leaked report. 

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On The Media

Google Flu Trends Is Wrong. A Lot.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

In 2008, Google launched Google Flu Trends, a service that would track the spread of the flu in the US based on Google searches for symptoms like "cough" or "fever." At the time, journalists heralded it as delivering on the promise of all the data generated on the internet. Well, it turns out that Google Flu Trends is wrong. A lot.

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On The Media

The Internet Is Searching For Missing Flight 370 Using Satellite Imagery

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A satellite imaging company called Digital Globe has launched a campaign to use the manpower of the internet to find the missing Malaysian Air flight 370. 

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On The Media

On the Subject of Doxing

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Yesterday, I wrote an article about how doxing differs from reporting, and about Newsweek's article alleging that it had found the elusive creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. In the post I said that whether Leah McGrath Goodman's Newsweek story constituted doxing rested entirely on whether she had found the right man or not. She has claimed in multiple interviews that she is confident she has. The internet, however, apparently furious at what it considers a violation of the putative Bitcoin creator's privacy, has chosen to give Newsweek a taste of its own medicine by doxing Goodman and two others.

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On The Media

Watch Edward Snowden's SXSW Video Interview

Monday, March 10, 2014

Edward Snowden spoke live via video conference with the ACLU's Christopher Soghoian today at 12PM EST about the NSA's spying on the tech community and technological solutions to avoid surveillance. If you missed it, you can watch below.

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On The Media

What Exactly Is "Russia Today"?

Friday, March 07, 2014

 

If a journalist criticizing the government on Russia Today airwaves is a shock, how much journalism is happening there in the first place? Newsweek says “when it comes to Ukraine, RT is like going to a Cold War theme park, only without the breadlines.” The National Journal calls RT's characterization of the crisis in Crimea an adventure filled with “TV, sandwiches and selfies.” Bob talks with Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, about how RT's coverage perfectly balances Putin-promoting and West-demoting. 
If a journalist criticizing the government on Russia Today airwaves is a shock, how much journalism is happening there in the first place? Newsweek says “when it comes to Ukraine, RT is like going to a Cold War theme park, only without the breadlines.” National Journal calls RT's characterization of the crisis in Crimea an adventure filled with “tea, sandwiches and selfies.” Bob talks with Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, about how RT's coverage perfectly balances Putin-promoting and West-demoting. 

 


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On The Media

RT Anchor Breaks The Rules

Friday, March 07, 2014

Abby Martin, an anchor for the Kremlin-funded news channel Russia Today, launched herself into the headlines this week by sternly denouncing Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. On her show Breaking The Setshe said: “Just because I work here, for RT, doesn't mean I don't have editorial independence and I can't stress enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in sovereign nations' affairs. What Russia did is wrong.” Given that RT is widely regarded as a 24-hour propaganda machine engineered to polish Russia’s image abroad, Martin shocked many with her outburst. Bob talks with Martin about why she wasn't afraid to speak out. 

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On The Media

The Pseudonymous Man Behind Bitcoin Has Been Found, and He's Not a Pseudonym

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Long thought to be a pseudonym, journalists have pointed the finger at economists, cryptographers and mathematicians as possible people behind the digital currency. Until now. Maybe.

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On The Media

TLDR #17 - Hey, Guess What? I Found Truth For Us

Monday, March 03, 2014

Last fall, TLDR covered a bunch of hoaxes. Some we liked, most we didn't. On this episode, we talk to Paulo Ordoveza and Adrienne LaFrance, a couple of people who have devoted themselves to trying to debunk the innumerable falsehoods flying around the internet.

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On The Media

RIP Vile Rat

Friday, February 21, 2014

On September 11th, 2012, gunmen attacked two American compounds in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans. Sean Smith, one of the four killed in the attack, was an IT manager in the real world, but online, he was Vile Rat, a hugely influential diplomat in the video game Eve Online. OTM Producer and TLDR co-creator Alex Goldman talks to Sean's friend Alex "The Mittani" Gianturco about who Sean was both in Eve and in the real world.

Programming note: This segment originally aired on TLDR, OTM's new blog and podcast

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On The Media

Cable Barons

Friday, February 21, 2014

The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable could do more than mess with our TV and Internet bills. It could shape how many of us experience the flow of ideas. Brooke talks with communications law scholar Susan P. Crawford about the potential impact of this mega-merger on the information we access through Comcast's digital pipe. 

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On The Media

Fighting Telecom Giants

Friday, February 21, 2014

All across the country, communities are fighting to build their own broadband internet networks as an alternative to the services offered by big cable companies. However, these efforts have often been thwarted by legislation lobbied for by, you guessed it, the cable companies. Bob talks with James Baller, president of the Baller Herbst Law group, who has long been leading the legal charge on behalf of municipalities.

Cake - Fashion Nugget

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On The Media

Taking Sense Away

Friday, February 14, 2014

Jason Harrington worked as a Transportation Security Administration officer at O’Hare airport in Chicago for seven years. Harrington quickly became disgruntled. Not just with the day-to-day absurdity of carrying out what he saw as ineffective security tactics, but by how much the TSA kept away from the public. So, he started writing a blog, anonymously, called Taking Sense Away. Bob speaks to Harrington about his time in the TSA and his Politico article “Dear America. I Saw You Naked. And, Yes, We Were Laughing" which unmasked his anonymity.

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On The Media

Unorthodox

Friday, February 14, 2014

In the past OTM has covered sock-puppetry -- the act of assuming another persona online to praise or defend the work of your real self. We’ve seen it done by art critics, comic book artists, and politicians. Well, now it's an orthodox rabbi. Bob speaks with Steven I. Weiss, an anchor and managing editor at The Jewish Channel, about the rabbi and his online persona. 

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On The Media

The (Not So) All-Knowing NSA

Friday, February 14, 2014

Last week the Washington Post reported that the NSA collects less than 30% of phone metadata, contrary to the popular perception that all call activity is being gathered en masse. As it turns out, the agency is unable to keep up with the explosion in cell phone use, which raises significant questions about the efficacy and potency of the program. Bob talks with Ellen Nakashima who wrote the story for the Washington Post.

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On The Media

No, US Press Freedom Is Not In Dire Decline

Friday, February 14, 2014

This week, the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders released its annual World Press Freedom Index, ranking the media environment of nearly every nation on earth from most free to least. The United States landed, embarrassingly, in 46th place, a 13-place drop from last year. The rank -- below Lithuania, El Salvador and Botswana -- has set off a panic-stricken (and in some instances, gleeful) barrage of media coverage declaring that press freedom in the US is “plunging,” “plummeting,” and “profoundly eroding.” Bob talks with Washington Post foreign affairs blogger Max Fisher about why he's suspicious of these headlines. 

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On The Media

The Media Shrugs, Again

Friday, February 14, 2014

Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine was recently working a crowd of seniors in his Oklahoma district and complaining about President Obama, when a constituent raised her hand and called the president an "enemy combatant" who should be "executed." Congressman Bridenstine responded not by objecting to her statement, but rather by stoking the flames with his own angry anti-Obama rant. A video of the event was posted online, but triggered little attention. Bob ponders the ubiquity of vile, ignorant, and just plain crackpot speech among elected officials, and the extent to which the public, and the media, fail to care. 

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