Today’s Links: June 19, 2012


SPENCER ACKERMAN: “NSA: It Would Violate Your Privacy to Say if We Spied on You
“The surveillance experts at the National Security Agency won’t tell two powerful United States Senators how many Americans have had their communications picked up by the agency as part of its sweeping new counterterrorism powers. The reason: it would violate your privacy to say so.”

VIRGINIA POSTREL: “3-D Copying Makes Michelangelos of the Masses
“The technology is still primitive and frustrating, and the scans it produces are far from perfect, but the future is clear. The masterworks of three-dimensional art are joining the digital commons. For art lovers, this technological moment represents a tremendous opportunity. […] The question is how the elite palaces will react. Will the institutions that own the originals encourage making data maps public? Or will museums try to lock up the digital versions of their treasures, so that duplication becomes a pirate activity?”

CHRIS CALABRESE & JAY STANLEY: “Ban on Arming Domestic Drones: Let’s Draw a Line in the Sand
“Last week Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and the House of Representatives drew an important line in the sand. Holt offered an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill to bar any DHS funding for ‘the purchase, operation, or maintenance of armed unmanned aerial vehicles.’ (The amendment was adopted and the bill has passed the House.) While moves to arm domestic drones are widely seen as beyond the pale and have not really been contemplated (with the exception of one sheriff in Texas who mused about mounting less-lethal weapons like rubber bullets on unmanned aircraft), we believe it’s crucial to get ahead of any possible trend.”


MARKETS – Facebook Buys Facial Recognition Startup
“Facebook has purchased facial recognition startup, the companies announced Monday morning.”

PENSIONS – State Pension Shortfall Ballooned in 2010
“Recession-plagued states diverted scarce money away from pensions to pay for more immediate concerns, leaving a $757 billion hole in the retirement funds covering millions of public employees, according to a study released Monday.”

IMMIGRATION – Arizona Sheriff Arpaio Arrests 6-Year-Old Girl on Suspicion She’s Undocumented
“Arpaio, of Maricopa County, arrested a 6-year-old suspected undocumented immigrant last week—on the same day that President Obama announced a major policy plan to grant a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants brought to the United States before they turned 16.”