Thursday, December 27, 2007

Links ...

Ari Melber on how the US government can use social networking sites for surveillance":

... The Bush administration runs massive domestic surveillance of our telephone calls, conducted with extensive assistance by private companies. It has also pressed search engines like Google and Yahoo to provide broad data on users’ search habits to investigate trends in potential domestic crime – not inquires targeting individual users. And as I wrote, Facebook has already been tapped by authorities ranging from campus police to the Secret Service. So even leaving aside any clandestine surveillance that has not been reported in the media, the public record shows that social networking websites are ripe for government surveillance.

I think the fact that the government can deputize websites for national security surveillance and criminal investigations is one more reason to demand that social networking sites ensure that users understand how their information can be used -- and the limits on any notion of privacy “controls” online. ...

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Over at the Freakonomics blog, Ian Ayres calls a foul on the Education Testing Service (ETS) for using its sloppy analysis to unfairly put the blame on single parent families for their kids' poor performance in standardized tests.