Getting back on the mic after a hiatus

Among the many aspects of working at EFF that I adore is the opportunity to help represent the public interest on so many issues within the digital rights arena.  For much of 2015, I took a break from talking to journalists about policy issues, but I got back on the mic over the holidays and have tried to wield it well in the new year.

While most of my writing and press appearances in January addressed various dimensions of surveillance and the constitutional crisis it has unleashed, this discussion offered a chance to explore some concerns about social media undermining civil society:

Read on for links to another dozen articles, quotes, and interviews from early 2016….

  • My January 17 Deeplinks blog post explored the 65th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s historic warningthat the military-industrial (congressional) complex would come to threaten democracy in America, as it has most visibly in dragnet NSA surveillance (which I discuss in the post) and police militarization (which I’ve explored more closely elsewhere). I had a fun time live tweeting the Democratic presidential debate that night, and felt excited to see this post republished on professor Juan Cole’s Informed Comment blog the next day.
  • On January 16, I celebrated a personal milestone that left me feeling grateful and humbled.
  • On January 14, Forbes published a story about recent policy changes at TSA, quoted me as saying “TSA’s latest attempt to erode passenger rights makes it even more clear the agency demands congressional oversight,” before going on to share my reasoning at surprising length.
  • On January 13, I published a post on the EFF Deeplinks blog responding to President Obama’s State of the Union address, in which he “examined a great many pressing issues confronting our nation and the world” while “[o]ne of the most dire…somehow escaped his attention: the continuing threat to democracy presented by unaccountable, secret mass surveillance in violation of the Constitution.”
  • On January 8, I joined a panel on al-Jazeera America’s The Stream to discuss social media, social activism, and the changing relationship between the two.
  • On January 6, I published a Deeplinks blog post reviewing new guidance from DHS for state & local agencies using drones for civilian purposes unrelated to law enforcement. On January 7, I joined Alyona Minkovski on Huff Post Live (stating at 19:30 in this clip) to discuss the guidance and our analysis of it…at more or less the exact same time as our organization’s supporters thrust us into a viral spotlight in the press and on social media after a telecom CEO responded…let’s say, “indelicately,” to our concerns about his company’s misprepresentations. 
  • On December 31, EFF published a post I wrote about our progress in state legislatures during 2015, including “new policies to reclaim digital privacy, advance government transparency, and protect free expression” from Virginia to California.
  • On December 25, EFF published a post I wrote reviewing 2015’s most significant updates in the NSA spying saga. This is post is a good one if you’re looking for a birds-eye view of the controversy. 
  • On October 28, I spoke with Uprising Radio about the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) in the days before it was enacted into law. I explain that “the problem with this bill is that while it fails to grant meaningful new powers to address security, it actually does a great deal to undermine security….Congress is demonstrating yet again its technological illteracy.”

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