Morning Media Summary


Internet is world’s ‘greatest spying machine’: Assange:
“Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks, has warned that the Internet was the “greatest spying machine the world has ever seen” and an obstacle to free speech.”

Al Franken: ‘They’re coming after the Internet:’
“Sen. Al Franken claimed Monday that big corporations are “hoping to destroy” the Internet and issued a call to arms to several hundred tech-savvy South by Southwest attendees to preserve net neutrality.”

Fed instructs teachers to Facebook creep students:
“Education Department officials are threatening school principals with lawsuits if they fail to monitor and curb students’ lunchtime chat and evening Facebook time for expressing ideas and words that are deemed by Washington special-interest groups to be harassment of some students.”

U.S. military blocks websites to help Japan recovery efforts:
“The U.S. military has blocked access to a range of popular commercial websites in order to free up bandwidth for use in Japan recovery efforts, according to an e-mail obtained by CNN and confirmed by a spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command.”

NASA Building Network of Smart Cameras Across the US:
“A major government agency is looking to blanket the US with cameras that will never stop their surveillance. But don’t worry privacy pundits, those cameras will be spying on the sky, not civilians. NASA’s All-sky Fireball Network is a series of cameras that track meteorites as they enter the atmosphere.”

Cutting prices is the only way to stop piracy:
“The Media Piracy Project, published last week by the Social Science Research Council, reports that illegal copying of movies, music, video games and software is “better described as a global pricing problem” – and the only way to tackle it is for copyright holders to charge consumers less money for their wares.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

UPDATE 3-Germany to shut down pre-1980 nuclear plants:
“Germany will shut down all seven of its nuclear power plants that began operating before 1980 at least till June, the government said on Tuesday, leaving open whether they will ever start up again after Japan’s crisis.”

Legislation to block EPA regulations make significant gains in Congress:
“Republicans in the House and Senate made major gains Tuesday in efforts to block Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.”

Insurance / Gambling:

Illinois Race Tracks Still Waiting On Gambling Legislation:
“Illinois race tracks have been proposing new laws in the state that would allow the tracks to have slot machines. The tracks have been pushing the measure for several years, since the economic recession, but lawmakers have been slow to act. As another session passes, the tracks are again left waiting.”

Health / Safety:

U.S. Drug Stores Report Sudden Increase in Potassium Iodide Sales:
“One drug supplier says it has sold 250,000 anti-radiation pills to people in the U.S. concerned about possible exposure from Japanese nuclear reactors.”


Foreign bankers flee Tokyo as nuclear crisis deepens:
“Foreign bankers are fleeing Tokyo as Japan’s nuclear crisis worsens, scrambling for commercial and charter flights out of the country and into other major cities in the region.”

Japan’s nuclear emergency prompts panic buying in Tokyo:
“News of a serious radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant has sparked panic buying in Tokyo, as some residents started to leave the capital to escape potential contamination.”

America to have the highest corporate tax rate in April:

“The world’s superpower is about to lead the way in yet another realm. Next month, America is set to bear the distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.”

Sesame Street Actors Plead for Funding:

“The stars of Sesame Street — the real people — are on Capitol Hill helping unions and activist groups protest proposed federal spending cuts to public broadcasting.”


Michigan passes ‘financial martial law’ bill:
“Michigan legislators have approved a bill authorizing state-appointed emergency financial managers to break union contracts that struggling cities and school districts have with their workers.”


240 Fired in MN After Immigration Audit:
“New York-based Harvard Maintenance is firing more than half of its Twin Cities work force—about 240 employees—after an immigration audit revealed that workers were illegal immigrants.”

Public Employees In Wisconsin Don’t See the Irony:
“The protests have been on behalf of well-paid people with excellent jobs — better jobs than the average Wisconsinite’s. And the protesters got massive extra doses of freedom to express themselves in the state capitol for over a month, without any threats of violence or even arrest for the crimes they committed in full view of the police. I mean, I know they have their complaints, but they are not even the bottom sector of the Wisconsin economy. If there were to be a class struggle here, they would be taken aback to find themselves in the role they actually have in this economy: the oppressors!”

Transportation/ Land Use:

Florida loses $2.4 billion for high-speed trains:
“The Obama administration has taken back the $2.4 billion allocated to Florida for high-speed trains and is inviting other states to apply for the money, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday.”