Today’s Links: December 20, 2011


GENE HEALY: “Obama and Congress Bring the War on Terror to Your Doorstep
“Last Thursday—which happened to be the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights—the Senate passed a defense bill that demonstrates just how cavalier Congress can be with our fundamental liberties. Given the opportunity to clarify existing law and confirm that American citizens are not subject to indefinite military detention at the order of the president—Congress punted.”

HOWARD LOVY: “DNA: It’s Not Just For the Living Anymore
“To people who say that true nanomachines — those that assemble themselves from the bottom up — are impossible, the best answer true believers can give is simply to present their own existence as proof of concept. We are self-assembled out of simple building blocks.”

LEMLEY, LEVINE, & POST: “Don’t Break the Internet
“Two bills now pending in Congress—the PROTECT IP Act of 2011 (Protect IP) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House—represent the latest legislative attempts to address a serious global problem: large-scale online copyright and trademark infringement. Although the bills differ in certain respects, they share an underlying approach and an enforcement philosophy that pose grave constitutional problems and that could have potentially disastrous consequences for the stability and security of the Internet’s addressing system, for the principle of interconnectivity that has helped drive the Internet’s extraordinary growth, and for free expression.”


TELECOMMUNICATIONS – AT&T Agrees to Drop Big for T-Mobile
“AT&T Inc. is bowing out of its $39 billion bid to buy smaller wireless provider T-Mobile USA after the U.S. government raised concerns that it would raise prices, reduce innovation and give customers fewer choices.”

DRUGS – Tougher Drug Laws Mean Nearly a Third Arrested by Age 23
“Nearly one in three Americans will already have been arrested by the age of 23, recent research suggests. A study analyzing data from the federal government’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that 30.2 percent of 23-year-olds reported being arrested for something more serious that a traffic violation.”