jm + long-reads   3

It’s Not Climate Change — It’s Everything Change
now this is a Long Read. the inimitable Margaret Atwood on climate change, beautifully illustrated
climate  climate-change  margaret-atwood  long-reads  change  life  earth  green  future 
july 2015 by jm
Ryan Lizza: Why Won’t Obama Rein in the N.S.A.? : The New Yorker
Fantastic wrap-up of the story so far on the pervasive global surveillance story.
The history of the intelligence community, though, reveals a willingness to violate the spirit and the letter of the law, even with oversight. What’s more, the benefits of the domestic-surveillance programs remain unclear. Wyden contends that the N.S.A. could find other ways to get the information it says it needs. Even Olsen, when pressed, suggested that the N.S.A. could make do without the bulk-collection program. “In some cases, it’s a bit of an insurance policy,” he told me. “It’s a way to do what we otherwise could do, but do it a little bit more quickly.”

In recent years, Americans have become accustomed to the idea of advertisers gathering wide swaths of information about their private transactions. The N.S.A.’s collecting of data looks a lot like what Facebook does, but it is fundamentally different. It inverts the crucial legal principle of probable cause: the government may not seize or inspect private property or information without evidence of a crime. The N.S.A. contends that it needs haystacks in order to find the terrorist needle. Its definition of a haystack is expanding; there are indications that, under the auspices of the “business records” provision of the Patriot Act, the intelligence community is now trying to assemble databases of financial transactions and cell-phone location information. Feinstein maintains that data collection is not surveillance. But it is no longer clear if there is a distinction.
nsa  gchq  surveillance  spying  privacy  dianne-feinstein  new-yorker  journalism  long-reads  us-politics  probable-cause 
december 2013 by jm
How I decoded the human genome - Salon.com
classic long-read article from John Sundman: 'We are becoming the masters of our own DNA. But does that give us the right to decide that my children should never have been born?' part two at http://www.salon.com/2003/10/22/genome_two/
human  genome  genomics  eugenics  politics  life  john-sundman  disability  health  dna  medicine  salon  long-reads  children 
may 2013 by jm

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