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News Blog

Alternate Realities Roundup 6/14

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2013-06-14 -

Insiders challenge the Obama administration’s claim that the NSA’s data mining helped prevent recent terrorist plots.

Top of the Alty World

“NSA Surveillance Played Little Role in Foiling Terror Plots, Experts Say”—Guardian

A convicted felon pens a heartfelt thank you note to the NRA for opposing universal background checks.—Slate

With more Republicans claiming pregnancy from rape “is very low,” Slate tracks the faulty reasoning behind the argument back to Nazi scientists.—Slate

A Dow Chemical worker received chemical burns over 65 percent of his body and the company is arguing it was just from hot water.—Houston Press

A death-penalty proceeding has begun for a Guantanamo Bay detainee who was tortured by the CIA.—Rolling Stone

Top of Alty Utah

A conservative poll shows Utahns support a path to citizenship as part of immigration reform.—Utah Political Capitol

Critics take to Facebook to complain of Salt Lake County Library staffers marching in the Utah Pride Parade.—Q Salt Lake

Environmental activists are rallying the community through camping against a proposed tar-sands mine in Utah.—Salt Lake City Weekly

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Utah company can’t patent naturally occurring DNA.—KUER

People will be protesting the NSA at a rally in Salt Lake City Friday.—Salt Lake City Weekly

Rantosphere

Chris Vanocur argues that there are five good reasons why embattled Attorney General John Swallow should not only stay in office, but also be reelected.

“2) JOHN SWALLOW IS A JOB CREATOR! At a time when journalism is an endangered species, John Swallow is single-handedly keeping a number of reporters (and bloggers) busy at work. There aren’t that many of us left, and the attorney general has created his own sort of scandal stimulus package to keep many on the job.”—ChrisVanocur

The Long View

Wired looks at the power of NSA Director General Keith Alexander.

“Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. As such, he has his own secret military, presiding over the Navy’s 10th Fleet, the 24th Air Force, and the Second Army. Alexander runs the nation’s cyberwar efforts, an empire he has built over the past eight years by insisting that the U.S.’s inherent vulnerability to digital attacks requires him to amass more and more authority over the data zipping around the globe. In his telling, the threat is so mind-bogglingly huge that the nation has little option but to eventually put the entire civilian Internet under his protection, requiring tweets and e-mails to pass through his filters, and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger.”--Wired

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