Jul 07 2014

Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan on NSA’s Indiscriminate Retention of Internet User Data, and North Carolina’s Voter ID Law Challenged in Court

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan (sitting in for Courtney Morris), a sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

A four month long investigation by the Washington Post has found that “ordinary internet users” far outnumber targets of surveillance by the National Security Agency. The Post found that “Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations… were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.” Shockingly the Post also wrote that much of the information is, “described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained, [and] have a startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality. They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are cataloged and recorded nevertheless.” Most of the data was collected during President Obama’s first term in office. Click here for the Washington Post article

A court hearing over North Carolina’s new voter ID law is taking place this morning alongside protests by civil rights organizations, which see the law as the worst attack on voting rights since the Jim Crow era. The groups challenging the law in court and on the streets fear it could deter tens of thousands of African Americans from voting in this year’s mid-term elections. The law stemmed directly from the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer that eviscerated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requiring federal government oversight of changes to state voting laws. The law in question cuts down the early voting period, eliminates same-day voter registration, and requires photo ID among other things. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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