Links to Start Your Week 2/23/14

National Security

A federal court decision in New Jersey upheld the NYPD’s surveillance targeting Muslims and argued that if the targets experienced any damage it was not a result of the constitutionally questionable surveillance itself, but of reporting on that surveillance. has a major deal to provide cloud computing services to the CIA. Since they also have a lot of personal data on millions of people, this understandably raises a lot of privacy concerns, especially since Amazon doesn’t have the best track record of standing up to government pressure (within 24 hours of a request from Joe Lieberman, they stopped hosting the website for Wikileaks.) You can sign a petition urging Amazon to make a legally binding agreement not to provide user data to the CIA here. (Also, Amazon treats their employees like shit, so keep them in mind for future purchases.)

This article by Allison Kilkenny, the co-host of one of my favorite podcasts, is a really thoughtful, empathetic, and necessary look at the suicide of an American soldier who committed truly horrific crimes in Iraq.

Civil Liberties

Also, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to place government researchers in newsrooms across the country, to “observe the process by which stories are selected” and “notions of perceived station bias.” In response to outcry against the plan, the FCC is delaying it to revise its parameters.


Yesterday protesters took control of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, after widespread demonstrations. Parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office. Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison, where she was being held after conviction for corruption in a trial that many viewed as illegitimate.

For those still a little lost in the series of events unfolding in Ukraine, The Washington Post has a timeline of major events.


For the first time in years, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has decreased, and they are abiding by the restrictions set forth in the November agreement with the international community. Hooray!


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