Links to Start Your Week 6/16/13

Here’s an interesting take on the aftermath of the NSA scandal. Booz Allen, the company that employed whistleblower Edward Snowden (and which is helping the United Arab Emirates build their own version of the NSA under the guidance of Mike McConnell, who headed the NSA until he left for a job with Booz Allen,) is being called on to answer for their ability to secure their own secrets.

More news on the government surveillance front. The police keep facial databases that are increasingly being used not just for drivers’ license fraud, which was their original purpose, but also for finding suspects, victims, and even bystanders to crimes. There is apparently little restriction on their use, beyond that it be “for a law enforcement purpose.”

National Geographic brings us a little background info on tear gas.

There has been a lot of press about a moderate being elected to the presidency in Iran, but aside from vague mentions of a promise for more rights for women and a less adversarial relationship with the West, it’s not clear to me what his policies will be, nor how much power he has in comparison to Ayatollah Khameini. I do know the Ayatollah is the ultimate power in Iran. Here is one of the articles I’ve read, though.

And finally, the U.S. has concluded that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people. As such, it will begin providing weapons to the rebels, whereas until this point it was only providing non-lethal aid such as body armor and night vision goggles.


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