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NSA ‘privacy director’ went on Tumblr to convince people ‘this is a real job’

The NSA’s “Civil Liberties and Privacy Director” Rebecca Richards did a Tumblr Q&A Monday, answering a number of questions about her job and the agency’s privacy practices.

Privacy advocates debate how to use looming Patriot Act expiration dates to their advantage

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Since the Senate’s NSA reform bill failed to move forward last week by just two votes, privacy advocates have split amongst themselves over how to leverage several soon-to-expire provisions of the Patriot Act.

Marijuana arrests have been declining since 2009

(AP Photo/The Oregonian, Beth Nakamura)

It’s been a productive several years for marijuana legalization.

FAA wants to require a pilot’s license to operate a tiny camera drone

AP photo

Tiny remote-controlled drones have millions of uses.

Regulators jump on Uber privacy concerns, call for strict new laws


Several recent reports of abuse of user data by Uber are renewing calls to tighten regulations on apps that have access to users’ locations and other sensitive information.

DHS misplaced 12,000 FOIA requests and forgot they existed

(AP/Eric Gay)

Count the Department of Homeland Security as yet another government agency that has trouble keeping track of important documents.

Colorado weed shops get in the spirit for ‘Green Friday,’ ‘Happy Danksgiving’

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Can’t think of any original Christmas gifts this year? A weed-laced mini-pumpkin pie might do the trick.

Russian site hacks into and livestreams 4,500 private U.S. webcams

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A Russia-based website has hacked into thousands of webcams and baby monitors across the world, and displays their feeds to anyone who wants to watch.

Utah lawmakers are thinking about cutting off the NSA’s water supply

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Some Utah lawmakers want to leave the NSA high and dry—by cutting off their water supply.

Museum can no longer display WWII rifles thanks to Washington state’s new gun control law

Image via Screenshot/Lynden Pioneer Museum Facebook

A Washington state museum is pulling World War II rifles from a display in order to comply with new background-check legislation for gun permits.

Uber’s privacy protections now a target of Senator Al Franken

Minnesota Senator Al Franken, center, watches results come in from his and other races at the DFL Victory Party in Minneapolis, Minn., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Glenn Stubbe)

A lawmaker who oversees privacy issues in the U.S. Senate is pushing ride-sharing titan Uber for answers about its handling of customer data.

DOJ memo urges reduction in overcrowded prisons, details prison mismanagement

AP photo

The Department of Justice plans to prioritize its long-standing need to reduce the federal prison population, according to a recent department memo. Federal prisons are currently at 33 percent overcapacity, which is considered a security concern.

Report: Some EPA employees paid to not work for months or even years

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks to the Center for American Progress’ Second Annual Policy Conference in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

American taxpayers have spent over $1 million paying Environmental Protection Agency employees to do nothing. And we don’t mean just being unproductive. Quite literally nothing, as they enjoy paid administrative leave for months and sometimes even years. A report released by the Office of Inspector General Wednesday found that eight EPA employees garnered 20,926 hours of paid administrative […]

Jesse Jackson thinks Obama’s net neutrality plan would hurt low-income Americans

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson is lobbying the Federal Communications Commission to ignore Obama’s advice on how to implement net neutrality.

CA’s AG is ‘shocked’ her lawyers want to keep nonviolent offenders in prison for cheap labor

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Despite prisons so overcrowded that the state faces a Supreme Court order to reduce its prison population, lawyers for California’s attorney general want to keep nonviolent offenders behind bars.

Every public tweet in history is now searchable, so get ready for a never-ending game of ‘gotcha’

The new universal symbol of "gotcha."

Twitter announced the remarkable achievement of indexing half a trillion tweets Tuesday.

Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists


BUZZFEED — A senior executive at Uber suggested that the company should consider hiring a team of opposition researchers to dig up dirt on its critics in the media — and specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticized the company.

Eric Holder applauds Koch brothers, talks marijuana legalization

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Outgoing attorney general Eric Holder sat down with Bill Keller and Tim Golden of the Marshall Project for an interview that spanned a range of topics, including prison reform, marijuana, and the death penalty—and included some praise for Harry Reid’s favorite punching-bag along the way.

London Mayor Boris Johnson sides with Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor in Shirtgate

In this image issued from ESA, showing British physicist Matt Taylor Thursday Nov. 13, 2014, sporting a garish bowling shirt featuring a collage of pin-up girls in various states of undress, during an interview at the satellite control centre of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Darmstadt, Germany, on Thursday Nov. 13, 2014. (AP)

We’ve achieved a full orbit in “We need to shut up, Pt. 2.”

Tech companies and the White House back NSA reform bill

AP Photo

The Senate is expected to vote today on a bill to reform the NSA, leaving supporters and detractors scrambling to make their final case to legislators.