A 21st-Century Rip Van Winkle: What Changed In My Decade Behind Bars

When the New World was two centuries newer, Washington Irving set a fable, "Rip Van Winkle," in the oldest parts of New York State, where the original Dutch settlers' culture still lingered. Life was European then—just set in America. But progress stops for no man. The story's hero evades his nagging wife in the wilds… » 3/19/15 2:31pm 3/19/15 2:31pm

The Secret Service Wants to Build a Replica White House

The Secret Service hasn't been doing an awesome job guarding the White House lately, so Joseph Clancy, its director, plans to ask the House Appropriations Committee for $8 million so that president's guard can build a replica White House on the Secret Service training grounds in southern Maryland. » 3/17/15 10:10am 3/17/15 10:10am

Obama's Latest NSA "Reform" Is Predictably Weak

If this is NSA reform, it's pretty pitiful. The Obama administration will announce new rules today that will force the intelligence agency to delete data about Americans that was "incidentally" collected—basically, accidentally scooped up in an overly broad search query. As of now, the government collects and stores… » 2/03/15 11:40am 2/03/15 11:40am

It's Finally Game Time for Net Neutrality

On Thursday, the government is expected to propose new net neutrality rules that would treat the internet more like a public utility. According to several reports, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal will reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. This is great… » 2/02/15 12:50pm 2/02/15 12:50pm

What Obama Gets Wrong About Cybersecurity

So there's good news, and there's bad news. The good news is that Obama mentioned a sprawling set of cybersecurity initiatives at the State of the Union tonight. The bad news is that they suck. » 1/20/15 10:40pm 1/20/15 10:40pm

The White House Says Net Neutrality Laws Aren't Necessary

As the FCC prepares to finalize its net neutrality rules, the president has beome increasingly aggressive in its posture about how the process should work. On Thursday, the White House pushed back at the new Republican-led Congress by saying that net neutrality laws wouldn't be necessary. It should be up to the FCC. » 1/16/15 11:40am 1/16/15 11:40am

Obama's Plan to Loosen Comcast's Stranglehold on Your Internet

President Obama glad-handed some network engineers in Cedar Falls, Iowa today. No, it was not a campaign stop. (He's done running for president.) The commander-in-chief's visit to the local utility office of Iowa's first gigabit city is a mission statement: America needs more internet service providers that aren't… » 1/14/15 3:50pm 1/14/15 3:50pm

Obama Wants Hacking to Be a Form of Racketeering

In the wake of the Sony hack and yesterday's CENTCOM shitshow, President Obama just announced new cybersecurity legislation and related proposals for "securing cyberspace." This is a good thing, because America's cybersecurity kind of sucks. It's also a worrisome thing, since cybersecurity legislation like this stands… » 1/13/15 6:10pm 1/13/15 6:10pm

Obama Wants Stricter Data Privacy Laws (That Still Aren't So Strict)

President Obama will announce two new pieces of legislation on Monday that are designed to protect consumers from the massive data breaches and students from greedy companies that want their data. Good idea! However, some think Obama's plan doesn't sound like it provides quite enough protection. But it's still a good… » 1/12/15 10:02am 1/12/15 10:02am

Obama: Sony Made a Mistake Pulling The Interview

White House: Enough With the Damn Selfies Already

President Obama had a meeting with Prince William in the Oval Office today. Sitting under the a portrait George Washington, the two men chuckled and acted like old pals. They did not, however, take any selfies. And neither did any of the reporters present because they were explicitly asked not to take selfies in the… » 12/08/14 4:20pm 12/08/14 4:20pm

We Fixed Comcast's Bogus, Misleading Net Neutrality Statement

Comcast just put out a blog post about how it actually ("surprise!") supports net neutrality and agrees with President Obama's plan. It overlooked a few important facts, however. So we fixed it. A more accurate version follows below—look for our additions in [italics]. » 11/11/14 6:00pm 11/11/14 6:00pm

Obama's Plan to Save the Internet

Good news, America. Our president, Barack Obama, is finally standing up for the internet, and asking the FCC to classify it as a public utility. In other words, he's asking the agency not to allow destructive things like fast lanes (a.k.a. paid prioritization) or throttling. It's a great day! » 11/10/14 9:47am 11/10/14 9:47am

The Phones on Air Force One Look Like Iron Man Accessories

Despite Harrison Ford's best attempts to enlighten us, Air Force One remains a mysterious place. Pretty much the only time you get to see the inside of the president's awesome airplane is when the White House photographer offers a peek. Ever notice how weird the phones look? » 7/20/14 3:00pm 7/20/14 3:00pm

Here's One Early Proposal For Obama's Presidential Library In Chicago

Obama's nearing the end of his second term, which means talk is turning towards where he'll be setting up camp post-presidency. The location of his presidential library is being hotly contested, with Chicago, New York City, and Honolulu all vying for the prize. Here's one proposal for locating it in Bronzeville,… » 7/01/14 4:40pm 7/01/14 4:40pm

One Year After Snowden, What's Really Changed?

Father's Day is here again, but this year, dad won't be getting an exciting bucket of leaks from Edward Snowden. No, instead we all get to look back on a year of NSA revelations and wonder what's actually changed. The truth is, depressingly little. » 6/05/14 10:40am 6/05/14 10:40am

Is Obama Already Watching Next Season's TV?

Is President Obama already watching the next episode of True Detective? Does he already know how Homeland ends? What about Sons of Anarchy? An interesting but entirely speculative article published in the L.A. Times suggests that, yes, the leader of the free world has early access to episodes of popular TV shows that… » 2/17/14 3:40pm 2/17/14 3:40pm

Obama's NSA Reforms Come Up Short

In a major speech Friday morning, President Obama scaled back the NSA's surveillance operations and redefines how we collect intelligence overseas. In brief, he ordered the end of the bulk telephony metadata program (in its current from) and spying on foreign leaders. Beyond that, though, the future remains murky. » 1/17/14 11:57am 1/17/14 11:57am

The Grim Future of a World Without Net Neutrality

A federal court dealt a deadly blow to net neutrality on Tuesday by striking down the FCC's open Internet rules and practically inviting broadband providers to offer preferential treatment to companies willing to pay for it. It was a deadly blow, but did it really kill net neutrality dead? » 1/14/14 2:25pm 1/14/14 2:25pm

President Obama Will Announce NSA Reforms on January 17

It's really happening, folks. On January 17, President Obama will remark on "the outcomes of the work that has been done in the review process" for reforming the country's intelligence practices, Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday. » 1/10/14 3:03pm 1/10/14 3:03pm